Kera & the Lesbians, “Snakes”

Sjimon Gompers

Found on their Year 23 EP, LA’s Kera & the Lesbians premiere the video for “Snakes”, directed by Sinziana Velicescu and Michael Delaney with photography direction from Lonnie Francisco. For their song about snake oil merchants and demagogues that slide and slither on their bellies—the languid, manic, and assertive lyrics are visually paired between the scenes of mad scientists and maniac ministers. And with the band taking off on tour October 1, Kera & the Lesbians are offering two pairs of tickets to their October 10 show at Bootleg HiFi for tenth and twentieth fan who
e-mails us their favorite Kera song and choice lyrics by Monday, October 6.

The b/w shot video opens with contrasted images of a clergy-bestowed crown of thorns being placed on Kera’s head in one frame—to a metal electroshock treatment-like helmet being applied in the other—connected to a four track tape recorder. The video plays between the antiquated institutions of pseudo-sciences and religious practices that adopt their own similar and sinister outdated rituals. With Kera depicted as both the patient undergoing science fiction-esque experiments to the unrepentant congregation member in the chapel, her lyrical fight for an honesty and truth pitted against the meddling characters of the song title’s referenced “Snakes”.

“To be honest, to be true, to believe in all I’m telling you, I really hate to be a phony because your reality ain’t true.” The space and time demands from the agendas of cruel lab technicians and creepy pastors are rebelled against via the fist clenched Spanish guitar strums, that spits a statement of freedom from the clutches of malevolent methodologies. “All these trials, all these changes, flourish in my life, some re-arranging.” And like Kera’s own mysterious disappearance by the video’s dramatic conclusion, she once again transcends the stale schools of dogmatic principle that have little room, nor respect for the beautiful, autonomous nature of the individual.

As they prepare to take off on their West Coast tour, we got a chance to catch up with both Kera and Michael in the following conversation:

What was the attraction to mixing science, electric shock kinda experiments with religious settings and assorted associations?

Michael Delaney: I’ve always been interested in science and spirituality, and where the two intersect. Music can be an extremely spiritual experience, and has been used as a form of therapy for centuries. I thought it would be interesting to explore these themes visually and create a visceral film about trying to relieve one’s guilt and repent from your sins. It’s inspired by Hitchcock, Caravaggio, and Indian director Mani Kaul.

Since we last talked circa Nailbiter, and it being almost a year after you dropped Year 23; what is the current focus and state of Kera and the Lesbians?

Kera: This past year has been rad! We released our newest EP Year 23, played a packed residency at the Echo in LA, toured the West Coast and made some great friends along the way.

Now we are focusing on our upcoming October West Coast tour and “Snakes” video release. We’re talking with labels about releasing our debut full-length next year, as well as a national tour.

This past year has also brought a lot of changes that have left me to feel transparent and vulnerable, but only in the best ways that have allowed me to grow as artist. Ultimately, if we can keep having fun and writing music that we are stoked about that is all that really matters.

Aside from writing music Michael and myself have started a production company/collective. Our focus is to throw cool shows/events to develop a community of rad artists from all mediums and backgrounds. We’ll be releasing zines, tapes, and some other fun stuff. Stay tuned!

Our first event is October 10 at the Bootleg Theater and will include Limited Edition on-site screen printed posters, and a mixtape cassette that Michael and myself curated. We want everyone who comes out for the show to leave with something you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

What is next for the group? What can you tell us about new recordings that might be in the works?

Kera: TOUR! We just want to play out more and share our music with everyone all over the globe. I have been currently writing tunes for the next release after the album that I am really stoked about!

What’s the latest and greatest from LA, and who does the world need to be listening to right now that we’re not listening to for whatever reason?

Kera: These are some of our local LA favorites: Joel Jerome, Gothic Tropic, Froth, Girlpool, Tele Novela, and Fever the Ghost. Our buds at the label Hit City U.S.A. are killing it. They’re also releasing our mixtape and presenting our show at Bootleg October 10!

Find Kera & the Lesbians on the following west coast tour dates:

October
01 San Francisco, CA – The Depot *
03 Pioneertown, CA – Desert Stars Festival #
05 Oakland, CA – Leo’s %
07 Portland, OR – Alhambra Theater
10 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg HiFi ^
12 San Diego, CA – Casbah +
17 Palm Springs, CA – Ace Hotel

*= w/ La Luz
#= w/ He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister
%= w/ Pookie and the Poodlez, BaD bAd
^= w/ Heathers, Girlpool, guest DJ Devendra Banhart
+= w/ Young Rebel Set

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