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PEELING ON PEELING (as it appears originally in ULTRA MAG)

By: Nic Waterman


I’ve been playing in Anna Timoshenko’s art-punk meets psychedelic-spaghetti-western project Peeling for about a year and half now and it occurred to me there’s still a whole bunch I don’t know about the band, the music and actually, Anna. I just show up and play guitar man. Anyway I thought I’d reach out and ask some of the pertinent questions that I for one am dying for answers to –– as I assume you are too. So you're welcome... Stay informed...


N: So I know this band has morphed quite a bit from its inception, both in sound and line up. Can you talk a bit about the history of Peeling? How did we get here?


A: Peeling has been a 1 to 5 piece in various phases over the last four years. I’ve always written the music for the band, it just takes a long time to get it all together. There have been some hella great musicians joining me on stage but everyone’s got other projects and lives to be lived, so it’s been pretty non-committal that way. Hearing it transformed live with multifarious playing styles though is always a treat and I hope it keeps morphing into something newer and weirder and more engaging.


N: Worshipper, your first full length LP comes out on Black Friday, and I’m one of the few people who’s heard it in full. I can hear a wide range of stylistic influences from post punk to cowboy psychedelia –– even some ambient electronics. What were you listening to when you were writing this thing? And would you say you wear your influences on your sleeve?


A: My influences are so all over the place that I don’t think it’s immediately obvious what they are. I try not to hard rip any particular genre or style and instead blend all the aesthetics I love into my own thing. I grew up on classic rock and punk and have just been getting progressively deeper into their niche sub-genres as I age. Now I’m listening to 70’s Turkish psych and Lydia Lunch. If I had to pick my favourite current bands, it’d probably be Total Control and Tonstartssbandht.


N: This record was home recorded. It sounds super trashy but also good as hell. What’s the trick to great lo-fi production?


A: I like to call this record mid-fi. The trick is a 2011 MacBook Pro and about $5K worth of hacked plug-ins. (Don’t narc on me). Utilize whatever tools you have available to get interesting sounds and then EQ the shit out of them to make it palatable. 


N: Playing with Peeling I never paid attention to your lyrics (sorry). But listening to them on the record, you seem to be singing about some epic, archetypical shit. Can you talk about some of the thematic elements of your song writing?


A: Inadvertently epic I suppose. The lyrics are mostly about classic ol’ existential dread. There’s a song on the album literally called Dread. The big question throughout the record is how to navigate life and all the garbage it throws at you. And the takeaway on the closer (also titled ‘Worshipper’) is to just forge your own path. The last line in the song is “show your devotion and be your own god”. Respect and trust yourself, yeah? 


N: Who’s more annoying to be in a van with: me or Kiefer (bass player)?


A: Whoever left the trail of Cool Ranch Bugles all over the carpet. But y’all are alright.


N: We were in New York when the pandemic hit. The last show I ever played was with Peeling! How do you think COVID has affected the future of rock n’ roll? Will I ever get to go on the road with y’all again?


A: Rock n’ roll was kind of fucked already long before COVID happened. So it’s basically bottomed out at this point. Now is the time to reevaluate and restructure all the parts of the music industry that aren’t working for us. I love touring more than anything and look forward to seeing it back on the same scale eventually. But we really need to shift our focus towards rebuilding what’s left of our local music communities.


N: So what’s it like dating your drummer?


A: PROS: Lots of make-outs, always having someone to share a bed with on tour, supporting each other in artistic endeavours. 

CONS: Drum videos 24/7, getting on my case about practicing, does not like to karaoke “All Right Now” by Free. 


N: What’s next for Peeling after Worshipper? What does our future hold?


A: I’m excited to get on with the next record and start experimenting new approaches and techniques in recording and composing. But happy for now that Worshipper is finally done. Fingers crossed shows will be back next year, too, because that’s been a drag. Guess we should probably start practicing?