Sons Of An Illustrious Father Photoshoot and Interview in FAULT Magazine 30






Ezra Miller, Josh Aubin and Lilah Larson. This is the Sons of an Illustrious Father. The voice needed for a generation in crisis.

The trio have been producing music together ever since they were in school – with Josh joining Ezra and Lilah as a kindred soul later on. Their recent prominence to the forefront of our attention stems from their undeniably relevant music for our current socio-political status. The trio self describe as gender queer and are tackling the poignant facets of today’s society head on. What are their motives though?

You’ve started the band when you were in high school. How would you say that you’ve evolved since? Surely at that tender age, you didn’t have the same awareness and vividness about who you were as people.

EZRA: We’re completely different now. As musicians and as people.

LILAH: Hopefully we’ve become better as musicians.

JOSH: We’ve definitely learned to take more accountability and be more conscious of our privilege in the world.

Was that a conscious decision or something that happened naturally?

JOSH: It’s a little bit of both. Most people strive to be better versions of themselves but learning how to put that work into practice can be a long process. A lot of people don’t really fully engage.

How do you feel that translated into the way that you make music together?

LILAH: I think we’ve become much better at communicating more peacefully in our collaborations. When we started making music as teenagers, we had the communication skills of a teenager. That was quite a different scene.

EZRA: We did use to have a lot of disparate sounds on the record. We used to have a lot of different frequencies and completely different songs. I feel like as we’ve progressed, each album felt more and more close to itself. All these things are a mirror of the people in the band. When we first started, everyone had different motives. The vision is now unified.

The album is a metaphor for a world that has lost half of its biodiversity. Do you want to be a refuge/comfort blanket or a call to arms and mobilize the masses into changing their ways of thinking?

LILAH: I think that they’re not mutually exclusive. I think that for a lot of people, doing work to change the world and to change ourselves is comforting. I think the feeling of being helpless and useless and disengaged can be incredibly overwhelming. I don’t think that a call to arms is mutually exclusive to a comfort blanket. You have to carry the blanket into the field of battle.

EZRA: Armed blanket. Some plates of steel.

How do you access that state of mind of expressing the pains of society in a coherent way?

EZRA: I think it comes from our shared intimate space where we communicate very directly, honestly,

immediately, the things we think and feel and desire. We have so many rituals that we reinforce or evoke that reality amongst ourselves, but I think that on the most basic level, holding that space as 3 people allows us to open the portal through which we can then leak them in that sonic space.

Is it a cathartic process for you? Something that you find necessary in order to function in the world that we currently live in?

EZRA: Well, better out than in. It’s our way to process, whether it’s sharing, expressing, primal screaming or ecstatic dancing. Modes and means of catharsis are essential for a human being, especially in modern civilization where we’re meant to maintain a schedule even if it means stacking up emotional baggage or phycological weight. It’s good to have an outlet for expression.

What do you want people to take from your music?

LILAH: Whatever they need to take away from it.

JOSH: We don’t want to be assigning what they should be experiencing.

EZRA: It’s almost trying to create space for options on what people are experiencing. Everyone creates media now and we consume media constantly from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. It reiterates itself out in our dreams. So much is driven by profit. For any person to make media now is to open a space for another option. It feels nice, there are artists who spend a lot of time thinking about how a colour can psychologically manipulate someone to feel a certain way so they want to buy a certain thing. And then artists can also try and create a space wherein someone is liberated from manipulation and has autonomy in their experience of a piece of media.

Most of your socio-political ideas and gender theories translated into your music are aimed at an older demographic. However, adults are set in their own ways. Have you considered making your music and messages easier to translate to a younger demographic, as young people are the future?

LILAH: Influencing the malleable youth is a mistake that people have been making forever and what we really should be doing is raise awareness in our youth who are already so fucking rad and have yet to be crushed by society.

I don’t know if you hung out with any kids recently, but I know a couple of radical young children like my cousins. They are the most brilliant, bold, gender-queer, hyper-political and anti-racist. They’re 12 and 14. I learn from them and they give me inspiration. And our fans as well – we’ve met a lot of our fans and many of them are quite young and they ’re very inspiring to us. I think it’s really important as people growing older and as people who are content creators in the world to not make the mistake of thinking that we’re the experts.

EZRA: We need to give more power to young people. Young people are the strength of the world. They’re the only possibility of renewal of this planet. Those of us who are here who are grown in this world have made unforgivable errors. We’re done, it’s over. The sooner I think people can release power and ask the youth to inherit this broken planet, like what is what they see. Just opening a space and trying to liberate a space. The next generation should be given a ton of autonomy and power. Because we’re obviously completely out of line at this point. We should just surrender to an army of babies. Babies for president. Robot babies 2020.

What’s your FAULT?

LILAH: I’ve got pretty weak teeth. They ’re prone to cavities.

EZRA: I can be quite violent at times.

JOSH: I’m very easily malleable.