“We are a sort of an outer space cyborg club looking in at the Earth,” says Tony Assi about his band Psychic Astro Club.
The group plays psychedelic rock with hints of jazz and mellow slowcore indie rock. The project is an evolution of sorts for Assi, who originally recorded an EP in 2014 under the name Tony Tricks, which was also psych-rock, but more blues-oriented. He then put together a band to play the songs live. Over time, the band members have changed. Once he got a solid lineup, and saw how the group was developing its own sound, he changed it to the Psychic Astro Club.
“It’s definitely more thought out, and complex. Better produced. Just generally more thoughtful,” Assi says.
The biggest change in Psychic Astro Club is the sci-fi themes around the band, both in terms of lyrics and in terms of the overall presentation of the group, which Assi says is somewhat modeled on George Clinton’s Parliament. Assi describes the new record Station 1, which came out last week, as a concept album, but not one with a cohesive storyline. It has more to do with the unusual perspective the music comes from, like a third-party perspective. What would aliens think of humanity and Earth if they saw it?
In concert, the group has also has been playing with more theatrical elements. “If you’ve ever seen me live, I wear a costume, makeup and sometimes even play the part of an actor. This is the direction that I want to go in. I’ve been making some subtle steps in that direction,” Assi says.
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.