Archive for the ‘A Place to Bury Strangers’ Category

Interview: A Place to Bury Strangers

Monday, August 31st, 2015

A Place to Bury Strangers warp time and space around you. This is one of those bands where people really mean it when they say, “you’ve got to see them live.” The kaleidoscopic madness of light and sound all fucked up in a primal cacophony is the kind of spectacle you’ll be talking about in a decade. Here, APTBS’ arch-madman talks the new record, Transfixiation, and the changing landscape of indie rock in Brooklyn.

Matthew Tomich: To me, Transfixiation sounds a lot more kind of chaotic and freeform than your past work. What kind of album did you go into the studio expecting to make?
Oliver Ackermann: With this record, we were really trying to capture our live sound. It just seemed like we’d been playing so many shows while doing the Worship tour and we’d been, I thought, the best band we’d ever had, just with the band we have right now. And so right after that tour ended, we tried to go directly into the studio and record. We’d written a bunch of songs and we were going to write more and that was at least the initial plan. I don’t know if that necessarily even ended up happening, but we kind of discovered real quickly that all these ideas and methods that we had planned for how we were going to record had sort of disappeared and it became about capturing some really special moments. At least that kind of happened.

MT: Was it a more relaxed and chaotic process than what you’ve had in the past?
OA: I don’t know. We worked really hard. We worked ourselves kind of to the bone. I don’t know if it was necessarily relaxing. At some point, we even had almost a meltdown between the band, all of us just working too much together and working too much day and night, like the drummer getting tendinitis and stuff. We were just pushing ourselves too far. But you know, I think that’s what happens. You always have an idea of doing grand things and making things really crazy and over the top and you usually end up wearing yourself down to getting sick and having to take breaks.

MT: You recorded this in Norway, didn’t you?
OA: Part of the record was recorded in Norway and that was only a small part. Only two of the songs from the record were in Norway. There was this Norwegian collective which flew us out there and did this tour and we recorded with them maybe nine songs — all from Serena-Maneesh — in this studio, and two of them were on this record. That was just like amazing – to be out in the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold. We’d step outside and there’s huge mountains and glaciers and stuff. I don’t know, it was just an awesome experience. If anyone gets the chance, they should do it.

MT: You mentioned you feel this is the best line-up you have with drummer Robi Gonzalez onboard – what has he brought that’s different to the group?
OA: It almost makes everything so much easier. I feel like right away he just hits crazy hard and he brings really interesting beats right away to the table. He’s just, as much as I’ve ever worked with, an extremely serious drummer. He can play stuff that’s as fast as I can ever imagine writing a song and that’s really awesome. He also just puts his all into creating beats and going in interesting, different places. That’s kind of cool to work with someone who pushes your idea of what music is and what it could be.

MT: I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the venue closures that have been happening in Brooklyn. Obviously Death by Audio is where you based your pedal manufacturing studio, and then Glasslands closed at the end of last year, and Brooklyn Night Bazaar closed about a week after you guys played. From the outside, Brooklyn’s still framed as the modern nexus of indie rock – how has that fracturing brought about by those closures affected you and the community at large?
OA: It’s kind of always been like this. It’s always going to be a revolving door of venues and things. That’s just kind of life in New York. It constantly pulls the rug out from under you and it’s kind of an interesting thing. But I don’t know if humans or people are supposed to necessarily go through that constantly — the places that you frequent and like to go to are constantly closing down. Constantly your close friends are moving away or moving to other neighbourhoods that are too hard to go visit and stuff, so it’s kind of tiring at times, where everything’s sort of against you. But it’s also kind of good too – you can embrace that. It’s sort of what life is about; everyone you know ends up dying and all sorts of things happen. It’s maybe life at hyper-speed or something. There’s really still so much going on in New York and in Brooklyn there’s lots of cool clubs that are opening up and things going on. You just have to constantly re-find them and find those places.

MT: Do you think the roles those buildings play is overstated – that they’re more about mythmaking around the scenes and there’s actually still that community that will always function regardless of the space?
OA: I think so. It seems like it. I still know tonnes of really great bands, and there are still cool people who are doing other cool community spaces. It’s definitely a shame. It’d be a sweet if these places still existed because they’re on an upwards trajectory when they’re getting shut down. Death By Audio was just getting better and better and better, so it’s just a shame that you’ve got this place where all this culture is getting better and more well-known and cooler and cooler bands are coming, more fun events, more artists and everything – it all kind of comes together. To shut that down is sort of, in some ways, a shame. Maybe it’s started heading in some sort of bad direction but some of these places are going in a good place so there’s no need for those. It’s really hurting the community that’s being built so there’s things which have to start over. But I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe it’s all on its way out right now and the whole scene is crumbling, but it’s kind of hard to tell. I think that going over to other places in the US and all over the world, I think there’s a whole movement against this free artistic movement, especially in the US. But there’s still always going to be kids and people wanting to do crazy shit so hopefully they’ll be able to hold on and make it work.

MT: Are you still basing yourself and your pedal manufacturing studio out of Williamsburg or are you somewhere else now?
OA: No, now we’re in Clinton Hill in Brooklyn so it’s another neighbourhood a few neighbourhoods away, it’s near the navy yard. You know, it’s going alright but it’s tough – those things that we did in Williamsburg took us years to build that up and work it into what it was so kind of back again at square one or two or whatever and trying to rebuild something up and see what happens.

MT: Have you noticed some other people from that community kind of migrating down that way – to like the Cobble Hill and Red Hook area?
OA: People move all over the place, really. There’s even other people who move way far out. There’s a lot of people that we’re living with in these areas where you’re living in these cheap and affordable warehouse spaces because they don’t want to work some corporate job and they want to be DJs at radio stations and do these art projects or teachers and stuff, so it’s hard for them to even afford to move to Red Hook. So they have to move way out to the beach or to Queens or something. I don’t know. We’ll see what ends up happening but it’s sort of spreading things out for now.

MT: Just talking about your pedals again – are you bringing any new toys to Australia for this tour?
OA: I think we will, yeah. We just did a custom edition of Interstellar Overdrive for Dion, the bass player for A Place to Bury Strangers. It’s tweaked to just his liking. We just came out with a new pedal, the Waveform Destroyer. I’m not sure if we’ll be bringing any or not. We’ll see.

MT: I saw that you’re playing with the Jesus and Mary Chain in LA soon and I know a lot’s been made about your love for that band. Is that a dream come true for you, to be able to share a stage with them?
OA: Yeah. We’ve done it a couple of times and it is in some ways. I guess I’ve done it a couple of times already and maybe the excitement has worn off in some sort of way. I don’t know, it’s just going to the shows – it’s kind of cool. It gives me that sort of warm feeling in my heart. I guess I just always wish that they were still going crazy or a little bit more fucked up than they are. It just seems they’re not maybe into it as much as I would’ve hoped or something. But who knows, I guess we’ll see what happens.

MT: When did you play with them before?
OA: We played with them in maybe 2007, maybe 2008 at Webster Hall. And then we played with them recently at the Levitation Festival in Austin, so they were cool. But the times when I remember when I saw them when I was younger – it could just be that it’s a faint memory, but it just seemed so much more crazy. So to see them now it’s like some older dudes playing their songs that you like. There’s nothing of that moment of unpredictability where maybe they’ll fly off the handle and something really crazy’s going to happen. There was that loss of some of that excitement. But you know, that’s one of those things that =drew me to some of those bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain stuff – you thought it was someone playing a chainsaw and not a guitar. You know that’s not going to happen. You know it’s going to be some dudes playing some tunes up there. I’m thrilled to get the opportunity, but I don’t know.

MT: What are some other bands right now that are exciting you in that way – flying off the wall and doing crazy shit, the kind of stuff that you guys have made a reputation for?
OA: There’s a band Yonatan Gat which is pretty awesome. It’s the dude form Monotonix. It’s really wicked – it’s kind of Middle Eastern music which is really crazy. There’s this band called The Dreebs from Brooklyn where they’re just insanely dynamic – it just explodes and erupts into these sort of furies of some sort of electro insanity. Or this band Destruction Unit from Arizona or something, where they just destroy what they’re doing without looking back and with no fear, just fucked up and crazy and kind of cool. Those are all very different bands but it all sort of encapsulates in different ways that kind of energy and stuff.

MT: You guys are coming here in September and you’ve lined up a US tour through November, right? What’ve you got planned beyond that?
OA: We have a European tour that will happen right after that US tour and then I think we’re going to take a break for a couple of months. Hopefully we’ll be recording another record maybe and probably some more touring when the next year starts.

A Place to Bury Strangers land in Australia this week. See them with Melbourne’s Flyying Colours on the following dates:

Friday September 4 — Corner Hotel, Melbourne
w/ Luna Ghost

Saturday September 5 — Manning Bar, Sydney
w/ Narrow Lands

Sunday September 6 — Crowbar, Brisbane
w/ Dreamtime

Tickets on sale now through, Oztix and venue outlets.

Interview: Flyying Colours

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Between touring Europe and the UK, releasing their second album, ROYGBIV, and supporting Johnny Marr on this Australian tour, it’s been a busy year for Flyying Colours. Before they join A Place to Bury Strangers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane next week, Matthew Stoff spoke with lead singer Brodie Brümmer to talk touring the old world and how a Reddit post led to an international distribution deal.

Matthew Stoff: So your band was recently announced as the support act for the upcoming national tour of US band, A Place to Bury Strangers. Are you excited?

Brodie Brümmer: Very much so. It’s pretty great. I saw them last time I was at the Corner Hotel, and now we’re playing with them at the Corner Hotel. They’re one of the loudest bands I’ve ever seen. It’s going to be great. We’re playing with some friends of ours as well, Luna Ghost — they’re a great band, you should check them out.

MS: You’ve been touring constantly since the international release of your latest album, and the local version just dropped earlier this month. Do you think you’ll slow down anytime soon?

BB: No. The only reason we’d slow down or stop touring is to make our record, which is what I want to do now. I think the thing with touring is that if you just do it, things will just come up, you know — like the A Place To Bury Strangers tour, which is going to be a great opportunity. And then we had Johnny Marr when we came back from Europe, and we’ve got our own single tour that I guess we’re kind of in the middle of now, and our EP tour in September, and there’ll be different things towards the end of the year. In Australia, it’s not very exhausting at all in my opinion. It’s nothing like playing in the Europe or the UK when we were over there. We played that many shows. It’s a bit different in Australia.

MS: How do you find the Australian scene compares to what you saw in Europe? Was it different to playing shows in Australia?

BB: Yeah, I mean, people were a lot more fanatical about music over there, less worried about being cool or whatever it is. I think people just like music over there and I think that we experienced that. The kind of music that we make, being shoegaze, and the kind of audiences we were playing for and where we were over there in Europe, that’s essentially where this kind of music came from, so it was very well received.

MS: Yeah, I think you’ve got a really British sound in comparison to a lot of the other stuff that’s coming out of Australia lately. Really traditional shoegaze, in a way. Do you think that had any impact on your reception overseas?

BB: It’s not generally contrived. We don’t necessarily set out to make that type of sound, but yeah, I think a lot of music coming out in Australia is very different to what we do. A lot of bands in Australia play guitar and it’s usually either a slacker indie sort of thing or an all-rock thing, like Kinghook or something like that. I’m not into any of that crap, I think it’s all rubbish.

MS: Fair enough. So, what are you into? Where do you find your inspiration?

BB: Me? I don’t know, anything and everything. That being said, our Facebook page really sums it up. Our influences are listed as Fleetwood Mac and My Bloody Valentine. That’s pretty correct. So you know, we listen to absolutely everything and all different kinds of stuff, but I think it just culminates in this 90s-inspired, shoegaze type of thing. Sonic Youth and Nirvana were two bands that really got me into playing guitar. That was kind of what I loved but I don’t know. It’s not like we’re trying to be anything. It just kind of comes out a certain way. That’s what bands like us and Luna Ghost and Contrast and some other bands in Melbourne are about. We’re trying to be a guitar band, full of loud guitars and not be rock and roll or pop or something. You can still have loud guitars and not be like that. You know what I mean?

MS: Yeah, you’re loud and rocky, but at the same time you’re quite melodic.

BB: That’s what I love about music and I think that’s how Nirvana came to be who they were in the end. Because it was still loud guitar music that got people going, but at the same time, Kurt Cobain was a really genuine songwriter who was quite melodic too.

MS: You guys are basically like that, but with a really psychedelic vibe as well.

BB: Exactly, and I guess that’s just drawing on all our other influences. That’s the benefit of it being 2015 and not 1991. We’ve had a lot of stuff happen between then and now that we get to draw from as well.

MS: Yeah, and the internet means we’ve got more access to those influences than ever before.

BB: Definitely.

MS: Was it also helpful in marketing you to overseas communities?

BB: Yeah. I mean, it’s the only way it would have been even possible. We got our label over there, Club AC30. That came about by someone posting about us on the shoegaze subreddit. Club AC30 saw the song, listened to it and asked us if we wanted to put it out through them. And we’d only really just put the album out in Australia, it had only just been distributed here. But they really have their shit together. They know what they’re doing. They’re a very specific label for our kind of music, and they just took the EP and ran with it. We got a lot of attention over there in the UK particularly just by going through AC30 and Shelflife in the US as well. They’re both kind of varied labels, but genre specific labels. So straight away it puts you in that area.

MS: I think it’s a popular sound in Europe at the moment, particularly in the UK as well. Lots of shoegaze specific radio stations where you guys would fit in.

BB: Definitely.

MS: It’s been a bit of a whirlwind success in some ways.

BB: Yeah, it’s just been awesome. It’s cool as well to be able to go overseas. I’d never been before in my life, so it was really cool to go the UK and Europe and play a bunch of shows. People actually knew our music and wanted to see us. It was great.

MS: So what are your plans for the rest of the year? Do you have any new songs you’re working on?

BB: Oh yeah, we’re going to record a full length album by the end of the year. Whether or not we finish it is another question. We’ll finish up this run of shows Melbourne, then we’ve got the A Place to Bury Strangers tour, then one more before the end of the year, but mainly we’ve just got a lot of new material that we’re working on. I think it’s that thing, you know — you get to that certain point where you’ve played so much live that it’s really exciting to go to the studio, even just the rehearsal room, and make music for no one but yourself. I’m really looking forward to that.

Flyying Colours join A Place to Bury Stranger on their Australian tour on the following dates:

Friday September 4 — The Corner, Melbourne
w/ Luna Ghost
Saturday September 5 — Manning Bar, Sydney
w/ Narrow Lands
Sunday September 6 — Crowbar, Brisbane
w/ Dreamtime

Tickets on sale now through, Oztix and venue outlets.

ROYGBIV is out now through Shelflife.

A Minute With Luna Ghost

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Before they kick off the most effect-pedal-heavy show of the year at the Corner in Melbourne with A Place to Bury Strangers and Flyying Colours on September 4, we spend a minute with Luna Ghost and find out what’s new.

Describe your music in five words or less.
Neo-psych fuzz-verb’n’roll .

What’s going on in the world of Luna Ghost?
Mostly finishing up tunes for our first album/trying to find money to record it.

What motivates you to make music?
Our lives revolve around music. We listen to music everyday, so why not make some too? And if someone likes it along the way then that’s a really good feeling.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
High points are always making that connection with people through music — if the crowd’s getting into it or someone lets you know they liked the show or an aspect of it, it means we’re at least doing something right. Playing in such a rich community of awesome musicians is something else. As for low points, as long as there are still venues supporting live music, there aren’t too many lows. We feel very blessed.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Well definitely APTBS new album Transfixiation! There’s also The Soft Moon who are pretty sweet. Night Beats, The Black Ryder, The Laurels and heaps more.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first?
That’s a tough question. We couldn’t eat me [Sean] first because I’m all bones. We couldn’t eat Daniel because his diet is ice coffee and beer so he wouldn’t taste too great. That leaves us with Chris and Pete. I guess whoever loses a fight to the death between them.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
Our bass player Daniel “BOG” Patterson has lately become so confident in himself, he now demands to be worshiped as a ‘God’. He’s obnoxious and out of control. I can’t remember the last time I saw him without an iced coffee in his hands.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring Australian artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.
Icehouse would be playing “Great Southern Land” for hours on end inside the realisation of that painting Shane Warne has in his house. The VB would be flowing endlessly. Then all our favourite bands would get together and play “Get Free” by The Vines while Craig smokes all Warnie’s darts and trashes the place letterman style. Then, the theme song for “Hard Yakka” by Mike Brady would play at exactly midnight and we’d all get in utes Mad Max style and drive off into the desert together.

Luna Ghost join Flyying Colours in support of A Place to Bury Strangers at the Corner Hotel on Friday, September 4. Tickets on sale now through

Noiseweek: Record Store Day, David Bowie, El Ten Eleven, Weedeater and more

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


Tangled Thoughts of Leaving’s Yield to Despair comes out today. You can stream and buy it on Bandcamp and see them play The Bakery one last time before its closure to launch the record. Expect this album to be rank highly on all of our best-of lists this year, and expect this show to be gargantuan.


The BBC is reporting that David Bowie is working on new material for a musical stage adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth, the 1976 sci-fi film about an alcoholic alien in which Bowie had a starring role. Though Bowie is not slated to appear on stage, he’s said to be closely involved in the production, which is set to debut in New York in December.


High on Fire have announced the title and release date for their 7th LP: it will be called Luminiferous and it will be released on June 23. The announcement was accompanied by the following mini-treatise from riffer-in-chief Matt Pike:

“We’re doing our part to expose The Elite and the fingers they have in religion, media, governments and financial world downfall and their relationship to all of our extraterrestrial connections in the race to control this world. Wake up, it’s happening. All while we stare at a socially engineered lie we think of as normalcy. Unless we wake from the dream, there will come true doom.”


A Pressing Business: tQ Goes Inside A Czech Vinyl Plant | The Quietus

“Since much of digital music technology is helmed by a crop of multi-billion dollar companies, with millennial branding and self-styled demi-gods for CEOs, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the marketing strategies and modes of consumption for a medium like vinyl are concerns for a comparatively sluggish underground; a physical product that’s barely changed for generations, yet discussed on panels, in clubs, in record shops, on loop. The companies who supply them, too, must be similarly small-time affairs. But the year-on-year growth of the market recently has been remarkable. The Official Chart Co. noted that 2014 was the first year since 1996 in which sales in the UK reached the one million mark and, according to Nielsen Music, sales in the US alone increased 52% on the year previous to hit an impressive 9.2 million in 2014. And just this past week, the Official Chart Co. also launched the weekly Official Vinyl Albums Chart and Official Vinyl Singles Chart, for the first time in the company’s history.”

Meredith Graves: Pussy Power | Dazed Digital

“That people who have been hurt and people who have been marginalized deserve to be heard. That’s really the first and most striking similarity that comes to mind. In my perfect world, the prevailing ideology would be ‘do what you can to make the world better, to make your life better.’ I have now been in many countries where young kids have come up and said they were inspired by me because I came forward as someone who survived abuse and has suffered from mental illness. You can survive the cultural conditions that have fought to suppress you. I have lived through a horribly abusive relationship. I have struggled my entire life with extreme depression and mood disorders. And now, after a year of traveling the world and talking to people about it, I’m here in a place where I can facilitate the survival of others. Survival is an option, and once you can get to the point where you are above water, if and when you’re feeling up for it, you can reach your hand back and pull someone else up.”

Are You Even Real? Identity and Music in the Digital Age | Pitchfork

“This February, Father John Misty released I Love You, Honeybear, a pretty folk album that doubles as an exposé of our generation’s subconscious. Critics have zoned in on “Bored in the USA”, a mournful white-guy ballad accompanied by laugh track—an apt and self-justifying touch. But the lyrical crux within the album is “Holy Shit”. The song grandly reels off a chain of personal and political ruptures—revolutions, holocausts, incest dreams, original sin—which all emphasize the album’s driving concept: the unbearable heaviness of Josh Tillman’s love for his wife. After he’s tried on many rock-star guises—the chauvinist, the lothario, the “changed man”—it’s in “Holy Shit” that Tillman’s shape-shifting character crystallizes. Honeybear doesn’t just fuck with authenticity; it shows how, when our everyday frames of reference disorient us, our identity fractures, and we grasp for a toehold in the familiar.”



Last week we previewed the second track from Berlin noise rock trio HEADS.’ blistering debut and now Heart of the Rat Records are streaming the EP is streaming in full. It’s a lethal dose of concentrated, unapologetic and frankly ugly pigfuck with hints of Shellac, The Jesus Lizard, Young Widows et al. And it’s bottom-heavy, too; the record hits its stride in the bubbling tension of Black River and Foam before climaxing with the understated and disturbing The Voynich Manuscript. Difficult listening, as it should be.

Weedeater — Claw of the Sloth

North Carolina’s weed metal innovators return with this expectedly filthy cut from their forthcoming, where “Dixie” Dave Collins sounds like he’s singing through a throat tube or gargling cough syrup as he growls over some of the trio’s muddiest riffage to date. The album is called Goliathan and it’s out on May 19 through Seasons of Mist.


Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld — The Rest of Us

Director Dan Huiting looms like a voyeur as his camera tilts, tracks and intrudes in this new clip from the forthcoming Stetson/Neufeld collaboration out through Constellation Records at the end of the month. Rarely do music videos match the mood of their companion sounds so well, let alone when the subject matter is so abstract. Repeat viewings recommended.

A Place to Bury Strangers — Now It’s Over (Live on KEXP)

The Loudest Band in New York are also The Most Well-Lit Band on Tour, bringing a collection of strobes and disco-balls to their in-studio appearance for a Seattle radio station. Oliver Ackermann is pretty much a robot when his voice is filtered through that many vocal processors, and the trio chose the most claustrophobic cut from their Transfixiation for a their decidedly claustrophobic performance.

El Ten Eleven — Nova Scotia

The latest video from post-rock’s most pragmatic duo is playful and serene like much of their back catalogue, juxtaposing live footage with sun-washed scene of a pair of kids frolicking and raising hell. The cut comes from the For Emily EP from early last year. Now can someone please bring these guys to Australia?

A Place to Bury Strangers — Transfixiation

Friday, February 13th, 2015

When you are a truly remarkable live band, it’s quite hard to capture that live power through the recorded medium. I have always liked A Place To Bury Strangers but seeing them live and listening to their records are generally two quite contrasting experiences. Don’t get me wrong, the records are great, but live it is a wholly different and much more engaging and dangerous experience. The new record Transfixiation, produced by the band themselves, seems much more raw, much more on the edge. It has the normal APTBS punk-gaze sound but with more rawness and at every turn it sounds like it is almost going to fall apart, much like their live shows. This is the first APTBS record that captures their live essence.

But catch them live — they are truly a game changer.

Transfixiation is out on February 17.