Remember when your favourite band as a kid turned shit? When they started sinking their claws into current trends in a sad and desperate bid to stay relevant. Hanging off the back bonnet like the evil TBOT-1000 in Terminator II? I know I do. So many times I’ve been let down. Another one bites the dust I tell myself as one more piece of my heart crumbles away.
Cue the exception. For around 10 years now A Place To Bury Strangers have been shattering skulls and peeling eyes with their own particular blistering brand of rock and roll. Headed by Oliver Ackermann, who owns Death by Audio pedals, and was also a proprietor of the now defunkt Death by Audio venue in Brooklyn NYC; A.P.T.B.S. are once again touring the world. This time in support of their latest release Transfixation, where they have continued to sculpt chaos and refine the art of rock and roll.
Local Suicide is pleased to be giving away 2 door passes for this show at Berlin’s Lido Theatre on the 21st April. So email email@example.com to get your grubby mittens on a free ticket.
Ahead of their show Mr Mustard had a brief chat with Oliver from the band. Here is his interview:
LSD: Your new album Transfixation still sounds like a APTBS record but little bit more refined. What was different for the band in recording this album?
This record came together completely different than all of the others. We had been on tour for a while and had a lot of crazy ideas for melodies and such that had been floating around on those tours and then went straight into our studio and started recording. We were going to figure out how to capture live power on a record so the experimentation was high. There is so much physicality to a live show and none with a record. So we set up 100 mics, recorded on top of each other, recorded into an amp into an amp into an amp, recorded songs on cassettes anything to really capture that sound. We ended up figuring out the secret to capturing a good sounding recording by accident a couple of weeks in. It didnt matter how we recorded it just mattered how we played what we were recording. We just had to be performing something special at that moment and that was it. There needed to be no studio trickery or anything. It was all fucked up feeling captured in those moments.
LSD: DIY has always been a big part of your ethos. Whether it is building your own pedals to your own lights. What inspires this in you? And how important is this to your creative process?
I think the fact that the stuff isnt available and if it was i couldnt afford it is the biggest inspiration. If there needs to be a bridge to get to where you are going you build it. Im not going to wait for someone to hold my hand. As for what made us want to create a show it would be the inspiration of other people who did the same. From people who created crazy venues to people who made amazing album artwork it all has such depth.
LSD: Death By Audio has now closed, with Vice filling the building, there are so many stories floating around of how Vice acted in this situation, what happened?
They didnt really do much. They just went to the landlords and offered them tons of money to take over the block. A lot of people at Vice were coming to shows and were aware of the spaces around and I think that might have had something to do with what attracted them to the area. I am not sure. One thing for sure is they do not actually support these sort of things or try to so it is kind of lame when people try to fool their audiences. I know we are all not so naive and know that the execs over at Coke are not hip and cool and like the same things as us but Vice sure does pretend to be.
LSD: How do you feel about the Vice Network nowadays?
Its a pretty scummy and elitist. But you know that is still interesting and they have made some good money off supporting great artists.
LSD: What spaces are filling Death By Audio’s shoes in NYC now?
LSD: Journalists seem to tirelessly lump comparisons onto the band, does this frustrate you?
It is strange and perhaps lazy but maybe they are right. I don’t really share the same feelings with the reviewers and we aren’t trying to write music that sounds like who they compare us to but hey they are the experts so they must know something I dont know. I cant judge our music it is too slaved over and personal to me.
LSD: Between APTBS and Death By Audio do you get much sleep?
I get some sleep but on my waking hours work very quickly and hard to get a lot done.
LSD: What were you digging musically or non-musically during the process of this album?
A lot of different things Matchess from Chicago, The Soup Cans, The Dreebs, Grooms were working on songs for their new record which was inspiring to hear, Zomes, lots of old youtube Butthole Surfers, 80’s live punk……