From Indie Rock to Netflix: An Interview with Post Animal
Joe Keery of “Stranger Things” is a guitarist in this rising Chicago band
by Morgan Lonergan
Photography by Kevin Allen
This past Friday as a treat to myself, I decided to contact the band Post Animal for an interview. I’m glad I did so, because on top of seeing an amazing show that night featuring a multitude of local bands, I got a small glimpse into the life of one. The afternoon consisted of tacos à la Joe Keery, high school stories, and one air conditioner-less apartment.
First and foremost, the members of Post Animal are Chicago musicians who are in love with the local scene. “There is a communal atmosphere here that doesn’t really exist anywhere else,” said keyboardist and guitarist Jake Hirshland. His band mates all agreed that in Chicago, “bands go to listen to other bands and simply enjoy the music.” Delving deeper into the subject of Chicago bands, we began to talk about some of their, for lack of a better word, role models. They admire the success of groups such as The Orwells, Twin Peaks, and Whitney, to name a few.
Everyone agreed that the most admirable thing about these bands is that even with their ever-growing audience, they stay proud of their Chicago roots. Just like the bands they look up to, Post Animal is quite humble. Although they would love to start playing larger venues and festivals, they enjoy what they do now; playing house shows and DIY venues. Dalton Allison, their bassist, mentioned that “taking things slowly and progressing gives us time to improve on what we know, and have a more professional sound.”
The idea of recording “clean” and “professional” music is what sparked the creation of The Garden Series, a series of singles which each member of the group had a part in producing. Joe described the album as a learning experience for the band. “We want to make sure that our next full album is as good as possible,” he continued “The Garden Series was a way to test out what sounds we like, and learn how we can improve on our playing.” The psych-rock band takes the creation of their music seriously, but they still have fun with it. Their music is an outlet of expression which they have a desire to perfect.
This past weekend, Post Animal played what they described as their biggest show to date. The appropriately named “Midwest Shitfest” featured them as an opener for The Orwells. They voiced some serious excitement for the show, and were extremely grateful to be included in such an event. The band was ecstatic to play such a big show to promote their music. A majority of the songs played on Friday were unreleased songs from their upcoming album. (Which I am very much looking forward to.) In my humble opinion, their performance was fantastic, and I’m sure the audience would agree.
The Netflix show Stranger Things has also affected the band’s recent success. In case you haven’t seen the show, Joe Keery, a guitarist and vocalist in Post Animal, stars as one of the main characters. Rather than single Joe out, the band is very supportive. When I asked what they all thought of Stranger Things, Dalton told me “we really enjoyed it, the show is fantastic.” He continued by saying “We are used to watching him act, but seeing him open with such an intense [make out] scene surprised us a little bit.”
The success of the show has provided them with a larger platform to share their music. Surprisingly to them, they have gained fans from countries such as Mexico and Australia due to the show. Hopefully the show will continue to impact Post Animal in a positive way.
After having the wonderful opportunity to interview and hang out with these guys, I’ve gained some real respect for their art. I encourage everyone who reads this to check out their music available on Spotify and Bandcamp.