Greek rockers Prince of Lilies have a sound that evokes the early ‘90s Seattle scene popularized by Sub Pop Records. And considering that their debut album, Vent, out now through Grunge Pop Records, was recorded with legendary producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Stooges, Fugazi), this stylistic influence feels like a total no-brainer.

Watch the video for Vent’s lead single “Mid Life Crisis” below:

On the video release of “Mid Life Crisis,” the band states:

“The video is a raging skateboarding pool party at our friend’s house in Dogtown (Venice, California) and it all happened more than 30 years after the original Z-Boys raged and cultivated a scene and culture that just keeps living on and on—Dogtown’s not dead, it lives.

“It freaked out the neighbors so much that they called the police to shut it down. The LAPD pulled out the big guns and had the LA Riot squad with helicopters come close down the epic party. It took them hours to finally shut it down. It was just epic.”

Read on below for our interview with Prince of Lilies, where we discuss the process behind Vent and recording with Steve Albini.

You carry the sound of a band who have been together a lot longer than you have—there’s a connectivity to the music and this sense that you all really know how to elevate each other’s performances to get the best results. What was the creative spark that lead to this act, or what is the uniting force behind this band?

Anger, frustration, and a feeling of true desperation all played part in creating this band. And unfortunately, too many drugs. Really depressed and at my last attempt to play loud rock and roll the way I like it, I called Steve Albini and asked him if we could record some tracks at some point with him at the helm. He said he had a few days open later on and like that, the energy started to flow creatively. So thrilled to get to record with him, the music just started flowing out at every band rehearsal. He gave us the spark and inspiration to create something out of nothing. That seed of hope he gave us got watered and nourished until we had a garden of 27 songs ready to enter his studio.

The new record has a fresh energy that’s surprisingly clear and focused. Each song has a distinct feeling but is equally huge in sound. I’m struck by how each song is fueled by writing songs that feel as emotional and personal as possible. What did you want to do with this album, musically?

I was stuck in a dead-end relationship and felt that there was no way out. Ever. My only hope and joy were playing in this band. It was my only non-drug-oriented release. I didn’t try to write songs for any reason, just let my emotions find their way out into the open. I did listen a lot to Nirvana and Jesus Lizard at that time, and on the anniversary of Kurt’s death, I ended up writing eight songs just that day alone. My soul just wanted to scream so loud, and my heart wanted to explode. I felt trapped in a cage and just could not get the thoughts of suicide out of my head until the songs started writing themselves.

I’m curious how you approach writing songs. There’s a lot of density here, and I really love how the songs feel focused on making at least me as a listener overwhelmed yet energized but there’s a care to the songwriting that reveals a wonderful depth behind the noise. What’s your approach to songwriting? what comes first for you: a rhythm, a riff, or a feeling?

Definitely a feeling. As soon as we start jamming, I’ll play some new chord progression just by chance, and suddenly we’re all grooving on it and then I just start singing whatever comes out naturally. That’s pretty much how all the songs were born. I only had a few that I’d written on my own and showed them to my bandmates at rehearsal. There’s definitely no structure or design to our songs. They come and go as they please. We’re just thankful they were given to us from the ether.

Thematically, this record is not afraid of serious subjects and conveying hopelessness, but there’s the sense that you’re opening yourself to allow the listener to connect with these feelings and let them know they aren’t alone. What did you want to talk about with this record?

When Steve was mixing it, I realized then how messed up I was emotionally and began to understand my lyrics too. There were deeper meanings to many songs that I never knew I actually felt until I heard myself signing them back on the speakers. I can attest now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to dig deep enough to find that well of positive energy that has been crammed so far down and release it with no aim or goal but to just feel happy again. It’s possible. Life and music are gifts and just let them give you strength.

Stream Prince of Lilies here.

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