Supplemental Pills Bring Cerebral Psych Music To ‘No Easy Way Out’

On their sophomore full-length album, No Easy Way Out, Portland, Oregon’s Supplemental Pills “examine tragedy” following the murder of their bass player Aron Christensen in 2022.

The band is comprised of Ezra Meredith (vocals/guitar), his brother Joel Meredith (guitar), Andy Foster (bass), RonJon Datta (keyboards), and Mark Folkrod (drums/backing vocals). The five-piece follow-up on last year’s Volume 1 with a “dark psychedelic sound” that they refer to as “cerebral music.”

Ezra says of their new album’s sound:

We do a lot of things: heavy blues, psychedelic, and atmospheric rock. It’s not as psychedelic/jammy as our first record. It’s more dark and brooding. It has some jams in it, but it’s far more focused.

Tragically, the biggest story on the Supplemental Pills front isn’t their sound, but the death of Aron Christensen, who was murdered while on a hike with his four-month-old puppy, Buzzo. However, prior to his passing, Supplemental Pills were finishing up what would become No Easy Way Out, an eight-track collection of songs that “explore, examine, and contemplate life, death, and how nobody makes it out alive.”

Ezra adds:

Aron knew about the struggles of life, and how hard it is to get out of bed every morning and deal with the day-to-day. He could understand the darkness, look at it in the eye, realize what it was, and attempt to deal with it. We’d often talk about struggles we were going through, and how it’s super-hard to get through life at times. He could understand that better than most people I’ve ever met.

The band’s first album, Volume 1, released in 2022, mostly came about from the band jamming out ideas and Ezra then editing a collage of soundscapes to create songs. However, with No Easy Way Out, they actually set out to write songs, using very little editing this time around.

With No Easy Way Out finished and set for release July 21st, Ezra contemplates where the band fits in, and comes to the conclusion the band doesn’t.

He says:

I don’t think it has a place. It’s a weird kind of music. It doesn’t really fit in. Some people like it. There is a lot of repeating elements. It’s a form of music for people to get into if they want to be taken away to somewhere else. It’s more like post-punk – for people who like Joy Division, who just don’t want to be here. It’s about dealing with life when you didn’t ask to be here. You’re just born and you’re here; you don’t pick your parents, your race, or your gender. But there you are, in a town, a city, on a farm, you try to gain consciousness and try to wade through the waters of life.

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