250px-pelican_bandInstrumental act Pelican recently released their Ephemeral EP, their first for Southern Lord Records. After wrapping up a tour with ISIS, our good friend and Pelican guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec took a few minutes to fill us in on the label switch from stoner metal-haven Hydra Head and the band’s direction towards tighter, shorter songwriting.

How did the switch to Southern Lord come about after a lengthy career at Hydra Head? How does each label’s business styles differ?

We just toured with ISIS. We love Hydra Head. Occasionally, after a decade, an artist just wants to try other pastures… it was a way to grow and have a new experience. We just welcomed Greg’s enthusiasm and his helping us articulate our vision.

You went from working at Hydra Head while maintaining the band to focusing solely on Pelican. How did you maintain a balance when working on both at once? Did you ever run into conflicts of interest?

The balance was hard, hence the loss of one to work on the other. There was never any conflict. I was never doing work that would open up avenues for pushing my own band at the expense of another, etc.

Why release an EP instead of an album?

We’ve always done EPs. This is our third. We always like to try shorter formats to test new material, directions, etc.

City of Echoes saw a much more concise songwriting style, and now you are releasing an EP. Are you making a conscious decision to make Pelican’s style more condensed?

There is never a decision that is pronounced in Pelican. Things flow often without much discussion. This EP is no longer or shorter than other EPs… but yes, it does seem apparent that we’ve left the 10+ minutes songs behind. For now.

What do you have planned for the rest of 2009?

We just toured with ISIS. We’re going to record a new full length in July, release it in October and tour in support of it in the fall in the US. That’s it so far!