A Place To Bury Strangers Interview
Photos by Robert Hanna
To begin, what has inspired some of your sound? That sludgy, alternative, electronically-brooding vibe is really special and one I’ve only found in a few other bands, one of which is Creepoid from Philly. It’s a niche sound that fits in with a lot of different things that makes you a really interesting act to follow.
Thanks man. Yeah, I’ve trained my brain to go mush sometimes and it can directly tap in to past experiences from going to exhibits, to walking in the woods, to getting pulled into mosh pits and having my face blown off by speakers.
That sound, however applicable, is one of the more minority sounds of Psycho Las Vegas, not exactly the demographic of heavy music that we would expect but one that is fitting to share the Psycho stage(s) nonetheless. How does it feel to be reaching a seemingly different crowd than usual?
I always like it. If they are super insane fans of something else, like they live their life for a particular power pop band, they hate us in this really amazing way. It’s as if we are extremely offensive to even be a band. And large acts hate us because we don’t play along with tracks or use autotune or pay $500 for a soundman or have guitar techs or care what is in our monitors – we are just playing music, and that is threatening to some, that it all isn’t presented in a nice little package.
Your live performances have been full of eccentric lighting displays and very energetic members – do you feel the response from the crowd to your energy levels?
For sure. After a show the other day, someone was telling me that he was just pulled into our shows. All he could do was obsess over the spectacle in front of him.
Your live performances do often include hitting guitars on the ground – how many has Oliver smashed? How does the one I’ve seen in so many pictures (quite a few of which are it making contact with the stage floor) still work?
I play the shittiest guitars at this point. The fret board is not flat at all. They have been broken and glued back together to be a hunk of noise. They adapt over time ,but everything can be broken over and over again – all you have to do is figure out how to fix it. That is only how you can know your instrument. You don’t need it to know it to play it well, but there is a connection when it could only ever exist through you.
You also play with a wall-of-sound style of show – what made you want to push your sound to that level?
Get yourself a big loud amp and turn it up all the way. Run some distortion pedals, start adding more amps, more microphone picking up the room, anything making it louder and you will eventually break the threshold of something other worldly.
Aside from Psycho Las Vegas, you have also just recently played Devilstone 2016 in Lithuania – did you see any artists there you were excited about? Is there anyone at Psycho that you’re particularly interested in catching a set from?
Toxic Holocaust was pretty cool. I’m a tough critic, but I think they had a kinda cool Motorhead Ministry going on. Good songs like “666” and “Reaper’s Grave.”
If there was one band you could tour with, either defunct or active, who would it be?
Are you guys working on any new material since 2015’s Transfixiation? Is it going to be a span of a couple years before we hear something or will an EP possibly bridge the gap until the next album?
We are working on a record now. We’ll see what happens.
In your recorded music, your lyrics are often presented between mumbles and croons, usually containing ambiguous and very meticulously measured metaphors. How do such interesting lyrics come to you? Is it a lengthy process or just a quick jot of the mind type deal?
It really just kind of depends on what is being asked of a song. Everything is always different in some ways. Best to look at everything with fresh eyes. Like the way people should look at most things. Thoughtfully and with an open mind. Life is better that way.
The aesthetic direction of your work is also one I find very fitting for your sound; do you work with any particular artists or do you prefer to make a lot of your “image” yourselves?
We work with anyone who wants to collaborate. We do things. We silkscreen t-shirts and record covers and posters and such sometimes. Is that what you mean? We are just having a great time.
A Place To Bury Strangers is playing at this years’s Psycho Las Vegas
Design by: David V. D’Andrea