The release of 2004's 'Pretty Lightning Paw EP' disappointed some fans, with many seeing it as little more than a stop-gap release and primarily a solo record. However, 'Horses in The Sky' returns to the 'full band' sound of their second album 'Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards'.
When asked on whether the release has consciously been more of a 'sum of all parts' Efrim (founding godspeed you black emperor! guitarist who, together with other godspeed members Sophie and Thierry make ASMZ) writes, in the same fractured language that's litters the artwork of the release: "we stand in a circle and throw our clumsy bits and pieces and knotted strands onto the floor.and try to fit these anxious shards and jagged fragments into each other".
Although reluctant to state direct influences, Efrim mentions Husker Dú and Roscoe Holcomb in the course of the interview, along with Nina Simone, who features in the artwork to the album and even in the lyrics of the first track of the album; 'God Bless Our Dead Marines'
This fifth release also saw a fifth line up change, the adoption of seventh member Scott, a polyinstrumentalist involved with the band Black Ox Orkestra, who ASMZ bassist Thierry and violinist Sophie are also part of. On the line-up Efrim says there are no planned changes, but with the ongoing evolution of the band this remains to be seen.
The current obsession in the british media with the 'new' wave of bands coming out of Canada seems to have passed ASMZ. While tired "post-rock" bands wax lyrical about the influence of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, a band in which core ASMZ members Efrim, Sophie and Thierry were/are part of, very little column space has been given to the band in comparison while fellow Canadians The Dears, The Arcade Fire and DFA1979. Not that this bothers the band. When asked of the 'scene' and the celebration of it Efrim remarks: "We refused the invitation to that party quite a few years ago, and don't expect to be invited again any time soon."
Which brings us to the plan regarding promoting the album. The
don't plan to tour the UK again until early 2006 and Efrim is adamant the
band will not release a single from the album, and never will release one
unless they create "
"We are proud of our ruckus, proud of the messes we've made together,
to sing together, proud of the clamour our seven hearts make when they
all at once, excited and awkward and loud"
"We are proud of our ruckus, proud of the messes we've made together, proud to sing together, proud of the clamour our seven hearts make when they pound all at once, excited and awkward and loud"