Americana Highways presents this premiere of Ethan Larsh’s song “Deathwish,” from his forthcoming album The Emperor. The Emperor was recorded at Echoes Recording Studio; rngineered by Todd Stotler; mixed by Jon Chinn; and mastered by Harold LaRue.
“Deathwish” is Ethan Larsh on vocals, guitar, and bass; Jake Kimberley on guitar; Bill Sinclair on harmonica; and Tim Weller on drums.
The video was directed by Q and A Productions. We had a chance to chat with Ethan Larsh about the song and the video. The video is just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: How did this song come about?
Ethan Larsh: I wrote this song very quickly. It came from a jam with my drummer, Tim Weller, that we morphed into a structured song in the span of a half hour. I wrote the lyrics in about fifteen minutes, specifically wanting blues motifs – drugs, the devil, death, and jail. I love old blues songs, there’s a power in them, and I wanted to emulate that. I also recruited Jake Kimberley, from Caustic Casanova fame, to give me the shreddiest solo he could muster. I wanted it to have a Captain Beefheart feel at points, which Saxophone Player Scott Silbert emulated perfectly. I feel with songwriting, that vibe and energy should be the biggest thing you strive for – this is one of the first songs I wrote that focused on vibe and energy.
AH: The video is a lot of fun. What was your experience making it?
EL: My friends Quinn Myers and Austin Reed made it for me – they do a great job. Plus, my drummer, Tim Weller, was the devil. It was a ton of fun to make it, we’d all have funny little ideas that would make their way into the video. I really enjoyed making it.
AH: How do you exorcize the rock and roll demons? Follow-up question, how do you summon the rock and roll demons?
EL: I imagine you exorcize the rock and roll demons by playing imagine dragons or something like that. Summoning them is by tricking your drummer to be in your video, only to blast him with red body paint and force him to dance with maracas.
AH: What’s your favorite piece of gear to play with right now?
EL: I don’t use a ton of gear really, but I do use a Jekyll and Hyde guitar pedal. That’s pretty much the only thing I use with my guitar. I love how it sounds.
AH: You draw from so many great influences. What’s something you’ve been listening to recently that really speaks to you?
EL: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. I got into it late, but it sounds so huge and optimistic. I want my music to sound that huge.
AH: Your live shows are so energetic. How do you maintain that level of showmanship?
EL: I kind of just shift into another gear. Most of the time I feel kind of lethargic, but I really try to give something people will remember when I play live, so I try to find the reserves in the tank and go extra when I play live. I’m also used to doing 3 hr bar band gigs, so when I do one that’s 45 mins, it feels way more intense.
There’s a high level of creativity by Ethan Larsh in his latest album. “Deathwish” combines a solid rhythm with harmonica that uninhibitedly punctuates the scene. The video brings the pursuit by demons into a short film, “looking over my shoulder there’s a hellhound on my trail.”
Find the music here: https://ethanlarsh.bandcamp.com/album/the-emperor
Enjoy other new music in our New Americana Music playlist, here: New Americana Music playlist by Americana Highways