Laura Pleasants released a new EP as part of a rollout for a big European tour she has planned for later this year. Her previous band, Kylesa, took an indefinite hiatus beginning in April of last year. Pleasants has worked and recorded as her other project, The Discussion, ever since.
Kylesa did not break up out of animosity or difference of opinion, they did it so that their members could pursue other creative avenues. Pleasants, who was probably instrumental in the decision to enter hiatus, is already knee-deep. She goes into the studio solo but is joined by bassist Dereck Lynch and drummer/sampler Richard Adams for live performances. While Kylesa was more of a collaborative effort for Pleasants, The Discussion is her own show, a solo career masquerading as a three-piece band. It was a necessary step for Pleasants, who’s talent demands a total leadership role wherever she may be. One year later, it seems goal of her decision has started to materialize.
Kylesa, the heavy metal band out of Savannah, Georgia, has always been on the fringe of an oft-explored territory of genre, applying more experimental sounds and ideas to a tradition that has an unwritten set of rules and signifiers. One could almost call them psychedelic rock, but harder—although as Les Claypool has taught us, psych rock can be hard, too. Kylesa’s name comes from the Buddhist term, “kilesa mara,” which has to do with alternate mental states. Kylesa has produced seven studio albums and six EPs over the past fifteen years. The group formed in 2001, as a sort of reorganization of the preexisting group, Damad, in which the band brought on Laura Pleasants and rebranded. Pleasants is widely known to be a major influence in the band’s creative direction. The Discussion could almost be thought of as Kylesa’s logical next step.
The band released a statement last year, essentially telling fans that the decision wasn’t born out of bad blood.
“After 15 years of nonstop touring and writing, we decided that it is time for a break. A lot of you have been asking when we are coming to your part of the world and that means a lot to us. However, we feel it should be known that as of now we have no plans to play any shows or work on any new material.”
Pleasants, the cofounder of the band, made most of the major decisions along with Phillip Cope and Carl McGinley. The band had two singers, Pleasants and Cope, who’s different vocal qualities produced stimulating harmonies.
Pleasants has already released the group’s first EP. The EP is part of a rollout for the announcement of a European tour for later this year. One can expect The Discussion’s sound to sound like an evolution of Kylesa’s, as the latter has been defined largely by Pleasants own imagination. The new EP can be found here.
Photography Credit: Raymond Flotat