The Velveteers’ darkest songs sound like they could soundtrack a gnarly visit to an abandoned slaughterhouse—and now one of them actually does soundtrack a gnarly visit to an abandoned slaughterhouse. “Father of Lies” is the fourth glimpse of the Denver rock band’s Dan Auerbach–produced album Nightmare Daydream, out October 8 via Easy Eye Sound. It’s the longest—and one of the heaviest—tracks on the record, pairing singer/guitarist Demi Demitro’s snarled cries with heady guitar work, menacing bass lines (care of Jonny Fig), and simmering drums (Baby Pottersmith) that boil over in the song’s climax.
“I have the devil whispering in my ear / Telling me all the things he knows I want to hear,” Demitro sings in the chorus before pleading “just give me a peace of mind” over and over again. Still, this isn’t despairing music—it’s actually inner-demon-struggle music. “‘Father of Lies’ is about battling the voices in your head,” explains Demitro.
The accompanying video, directed by Laurie Polisky and shot by Helena Gruensteidl, taps into that inner-demon-struggle theme. It’s just as intense and dramatic as the song itself, with plenty of spooky candle circles and shadows and crosses. This satanic-ritual-chic look is a major shift from their previous video for “Brightest Light,” a comparatively sunny affair. “Father of Lies” and “Brightest Light” come after “Motel 27” and “Charmer and the Snake,” all of which appear on Nightmare Daydream.
Demitro spoke to us about the band’s new video, working with Dan Auerbach, and their new tour, which kicked off last night in Detroit. Read the brief interview and watch “Father of Lies” below. Nightmare Daydream is out October 8 via Easy Eye Sound. You can pre-order it here.
What prompted you to write “Father of Lies”? What’s the song about?
“Father of Lies” is about battling the voices in your head. Having a little devil that sits on your shoulder, whispering in your ear.
How’d the accompanying music video come together?
We wanted to really capture the heaviness of the song. We worked with some friends of ours, Helena Gruensteidl and Laurie Polisky who directed it. We actually ended up shooting the music video in an abandoned slaughterhouse and it was perfect for the vibes we were wanting to capture. The slaughterhouse was very creepy—you could feel that some heavy shit had gone down there.
When did you first get connected to Dan Auerbach? How’d he help shape the sound of Nightmare Daydream?
In February 2020 we got a call saying Dan Auerbach listened to our music and wanted to meet us. So we flew out to Nashville and then made plans to record. Dan is an amazing producer and had so many cool ideas, he really knew how to get all the tones we wanted and I think that helped shape the sound of the record a lot. It was nice having a producer who knew when to push us or when to say that take was perfect. It’s easy to overthink things and do a million takes, so it was nice having Dan’s perspective on that.
You once cited “basically every Queens of the Stone Age record” as an influence. Do you hear any other influences on Nightmare Daydream?
Yes, we are also influenced by PJ Harvey, Rose Hill Drive, T. Rex, Radiohead, The Stooges, Brockhampton, Fleetwood Mac, and Richard Swift.
You just kicked off a tour that will keep you pretty busy for the next few months. Are there any dates you’re especially stoked about? What’s the mark of a good live set for you?
I’m super excited to be playing the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, and of course the Troubadour in LA—I feel like both those venues are sort of like a rite of passage and we just feel really honored to get to play there. For me, high energy shows are always my favorite, and having the energy be mirrored from the audience is one of the best feelings. It’s been a while since we’ve been actually able to play to a live audience, so it feels amazing to be back on the road again.