Q & A with A Very Special Episode

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Features

A Very Special Episode (photo by Cherylynn Tsushima)


Noisy postpunk band, A Very Special Episode, are staples in the Brooklyn DIY scene known equally for their work ethic, striking visuals and intense live shows. They are on the eve of releasing a brand new album, Freak Me Out, which incorporates themes of horror, cults and their intersection with pop culture. We were intrigued so we sent some questions over to the band which bassist/vocalist Kasey Heisler and guitarist Patrick Porter were nice enough to answer for us. Find out more about the band and the album below:


Tell us a bit about who you are as a band.

Kasey: Three doofuses having fun and trying to start a fire hoping other people will come to the party and hang with us.


You draw upon movies and other music for influence. What are some of the influences for this record and for the band in general? Can you talk a little about how those outside influences shaped the writing of Freak Me Out?

Patrick: Personally, I’ve been very inspired by the two feature films Beyond the Black Rainbow and Mandy by Panos Cosmatos. They’re like the world’s slowest but most visceral roller coasters. As best I can I’ve tried to recreate the experiences and emotions those two movies have given me as I’ve watched them.


How much actual self-discovery went into the making of this record?

Patrick: Well, we ended up booking both chunks of studio time before all of the actual songs were written so that provided very fertile ground for self discovery. Thankfully it resulted in success (we think).


AVSE performing

AVSE live at EWEL (photo by Kate Hoos)


What was your favorite thing about recording at Studio G?

Kasey: Everything about it felt legitimate and special but I would say mostly it was working with Jeff Berner and Ross Colombo, and how collaborative the experience got to be with them in finding the sound and all the weird ways we could get there. 

Patrick: Like Kasey said, it was a blast working with Jeff and Ross and it was also nice recording within walking distance of our home. It was also just really fun playing with all their pedals and equipment for overdubs.


How much does the Brooklyn DIY community tie into your identity and your sound as a band. And can you speak a little to that?

Kasey: I feel like we really found our sound and identity the more that we began to find our community there. And have you ever been to a show to see your friends and they kick so much ass it makes you mad and jealous?? That can be incredibly motivating. 

Patrick: Everyone in the scene is so creative and constantly pushes us to think outside the box on how to expand our sound and step up our game. It’s like our peers give us permission to feel brave enough to take risks and make bold choices in our tunes, and I hope we do the same for them!


The world is tough to navigate a lot of the time these days, and it can be hard to stay motivated. How do you stay inspired to keep going and doing what you’re doing with all the bullshit of life coming at you and the challenges of being independent musicians on top of it?

Kasey: I am fairly bad at staying motivated when things around me become difficult but Patrick is always using everything around him to inspire new musical or visual ideas and he ends up inspiring me the most.


AVSE performing

AVSE live at EWEL (photo by Kate Hoos)

What do you get up to outside of the band?

Kasey: These days it’s mostly band stuff, but being a TV couch potato is an origin story for me and my tendency persists for sure. Good TV, bad TV, I’m here for it.


Going back to movies, got any hot recommendations? Some obscure or cult classics we should know about?

Patrick: I recently watched Infinity Pool, Skinamarink, and Barbarian—all of which are new releases I recommend. I also really did fall into a Criterion rabbit hole recently; Brand upon the Brain is an incredibly weird silent movie from 2006 that really stuck with me that deserves more eyes.


If you could interview any cult leader from all cults throughout history, who would you interview?

Kasey: I got really drawn into NIXIM through The Vow on HBO as a lot of people did and I would love to interview Keith Raniere just to find out how he was persuasive enough to get a bunch of fairly successful people from around the world—including working actors and filmmakers living in LA—to move to Albany.


If animals were cults, what cult would cats be and what cult would dogs be?

Patrick: Cats and dogs already have their own well established cults; have you talked to a passionate cat or dog owner? They may not have a well defined name but that doesn’t mean they aren’t already a thing. For more proof, ask Kasey or myself at the next show you see us at the crazy things we’d do on behalf of our cats.


Would you rather be in a money cult or sex cult?

Kasey: Money cults are less terrible but sex cults get all the attention…

Patrick: Is there any such thing as a consensual sex cult? Probably not…


Do you believe in aliens?

Patrick: If they’re out there and we made contact they’re probably more weird and horrible than we can possibly imagine so I’m glad we haven’t yet.


Would you spend a year on Mars (all expenses paid)?

Kasey: Hell no, I don’t even know how I’m gonna be on tour for the better part of a month.


AVSE performing

AVSE live at EWEL (photo by Kate Hoos)

Flash forward to a few months from now and the record is out, and everyone is buying it hand over fist, how will you be sure this whole thing wasn’t actually a grift?

Kasey: At that point, will it matter? One man’s grift is another man’s self discovery after all.

Patrick: While it’s definitely not a grift, there’s no sure fire way to prove it. That said, I highly recommend the vinyl combo with the tote bag.



Freak Me Out releases in full via EWEL records on 6/23/23


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