from Dazed & Confused, February 2008
Even after his band Deerhunter became an underground sensation this summer, singer Bradford Cox had no intention of quitting his boring day job at a sign-making shop in Atlanta. "I think working is healthy," he says. "That's how I was raised. But I got fired! We were touring too much. So a lot of my new record was made because I had nothing to do with my time and I was extremely depressed." The record is called Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel and it's his debut solo album under the name Atlas Sound, where he swaps Deerhunter's spiralling ambient punk for a bedroom-pop feel that's tighter but just as inventive. "I want my music to be asexual because I'm asexual as a person. Rock music is usually pretty sexual, but it's such an adolescent, experimental, androgynous sexuality. It's like breaking into your parents' closet and putting on your mum's make up or finding your dads' porno tapes hidden in a shoebox."
Cox has had a lot of bile spat at him this year, often by people who don't realise that his gangly frame is not the result of heroin addiction or an eating disorder but of a genetic disease called Marfan Syndrome. This hasn't stopped him laying his life bare on his blog, to the point where guitarist Colin Mee nearly quit Deerhunter in August because he didn't like the way the online chatter was getting in the way of the music.
For Cox, though, it's just part of the process. "In rock'n'roll, you find yourself in this self-defeating cycle. You start off mystifying and encrypting everything to create the illusion of depth. But then you leave yourself open to misinterpretation, so you have this urge to tear it all down and expose yourself as frail. But people don't expect that, so you start building up again. It's a cycle." He pauses. "It's like you kill yourself to create something - and then straight away you're resurrected to explain what happened when you were gone."