Planning for Burial Sip ‘Whiskey and Wine’ at Mom and Dad’s
Reflecting on humanity's perceived impossibility of meaningful reconnections with one's past, a wise man named Jon Bon Jovi once posed the question, "Who says you can't go home?"
Now, over a decade later, Thom Wasluck — better known as the mastermind behind the gloomy dronegaze project Planning for Burial — is following the guidance of his New Jersey neighbor on new album Below the House, the follow-up to 2014's Desideratum LP. Wasluck's latest album doubles as a documentation of the musician's late 2014 homecoming (he hails from western Pennsylvania); when he wasn't working alongside his father as a commercial / industrial insulator, he was composing the record in his childhood room. CLRVYNT had the chance to chat with Wasluck on his lunch break about the process for a special installment of Trials of Job. Read on for our chat, and listen to the album's first single, "Whiskey and Wine," below.
What, exactly, is your family trade?
Well, it's not so much a family trade as it is I followed my father into a trade. We are both Union Commerical & Industrial insulators. He's nearing his retirement, while I'm around the halfway point of my apprenticeship.
Were you involved with your family trade prior to coming back home? What were your responsibilities?
When I got out of college in early 2005, I worked on permit for three months, where I mostly cleaned up, brought material to people working and got them anything else they might need on a massive job site — just something to put a little money in my pocket.
Describe your most memorable experience working at the job, either good or bad.
I think just getting away from my old job and being able to have holidays off and not be worked to death has been the best thing about it.
What were your co-workers and supervisors like?
I work with a lot of guys who knew me as a kid because of my father, but I don't remember many of them. Everyone is mostly laid back, so that's nice.
Did your co-workers or family ever know you were gleaning from these experiences for your music? How did they react?
My family only knows that I make music, but [they] don't know anything about it. I just recently accidentally sent a show flyer to my father, so he knows the name; whether he has looked anything up, I'm not sure. One time I heard a familiar sound while working. I looked in the direction and my one co-worker was staring at me while playing my stuff on his phone, and that kind of horrified me. Some of the guys know and will make mention of it, but that's about as far as it goes.
How do you think your skills in the workplace have translated to your music, if at all?
Sometimes the work gets a little repetitious — you can go on autopilot — so, I have time to think about lyrics or how I would want to work on something musically when I get home. The job is strenuous physically at times, but at the end of the day, I do get to leave work at work, so I don't have any extra stress on my shoulders.
What's the biggest lesson you learned from the job?
You have to take each day as it comes.