GEN F: Ty Segall

Photographer Ariel Zambelich
June 20, 2011

The real truth about OC surfbrat-cum-NorCal scuzzlord Ty Segall is that his songs used to be these kinda miss and hit blowouts, hiding big holes under adrenaline and no-production fuzz. They were rad and got him loads of fans and a girlfriend and all that, but in the end, the old stuff was too scattershot to make a lasting impression. Now, all of a sudden, Ty Segall just straight rules. He fucking tears. It’s like he swallowed the Beatles whole and lit a match and shot a fireball to space. How did this happen, we wonder, after listening to the cross-eyed garage riot refrains on his latest, Melted. And what detergent takes out ear blood?

Segall attributes the upgrade to “taking a step back and getting a little weird,” but there’s way more to it than that. For one thing, he recently took his act from an apeshit one-man spaz-out to a balanced three-prong force, and he will soon swell his ranks to five. At the time of our last conversation, Segall and bandmates Tim Hellman and Emily Rose Epstein were on their way up the West Coast to a run of Canadian dates. They had just sold out Seattle and Segall talked philosophy in high spirits. “We’re mellow. We don’t pick fights with anybody. None of us will get wasted and call our girlfriends names. We’re not those kinds of people.” With 23 years down, $150 in the bank and the border in his sights, Segall’s outlook is much sweeter than what his scummy sound would have you believe. “I’m just a lucky kid. Having fun and getting to do cool things is really what it’s all about. It’s awesome!”

tempers Segall’s positive mental attitude with pure frenzied teenage evil. The record seduces and slays with relentless melody, no-fi guitar hell and the creepy wobble of static-baked oldies. You know how it is when you fall asleep with the radio going and everything turns sinister and indistinguishable in your groggy head? Melted’s like that. Like bummer summer Paul McCartney frenching the Marine Girls and spitting out sun-warped, circus-lit Trogg rock. Segall calls it “Spazzy people really loudness.” Yeah! “It sounds like, I don’t know man. It sounds like rock ‘n’ roll.”

Stream: Ty Segall, Melted

GEN F: Ty Segall