Listen :: I Hate Numbers
MIA: Musically, how did the band form, what past experiences do you carry with you?
PETE: We are all multi-instrumentalists with a few bands behind us! I used to have a band called Thee Tenements, Kyle used to play in the Automatones (out of Santa Cruz) and Josh records psych-pop under the moniker Skipperthomas. I never played in the school Dorkchestra, though! Thank god! I was an art kid! But Kyle did, and he still uses his broken school clarinet on BEAD. Kyle and I met while stalking Andrew WK at a show he played with “To Live and Shave in LA”. We found Josh when Al Gore invented the internet and we used it.
MIA: Describe the feeling of living and making music in New York, feel free to share a memory or a certain place (bar, restaurant, record store) that makes you feel like home.
PETE: NYC makes us feel like small potatoes because there are so many bands and such an established hierarchy, which can be a real bummer to think about, but its also a motivating factor. The quintessential NY experience for me is probably getting cannoli at Fortunato’s, a Caffe and pastry shop with a very notorious owner, if you know what I mean!
MIA: How does the band like to get ready for a live show? Is there a favorite song that you enjoy to perform live?
PETE: We move gear, plug in our cables and electronic doo-dads, and try not pull any muscles. There’s never enough time for sentimental rituals, like drinking raw eggs or setting off firecrackers like Steve Albini does! We always love playing “BEAD” and “Trade your bologna for blood” since they are quite the hi-NRG jams and always manage to sound great even on bad soundsystems! And expect Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” to work its way into the set soon!
MIA: What are your recommended records so far of ‘08?
PETE: Amazing shows generally have more of an impact on us than albums… but if you insist:
Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual = Been into them for years — they sound like Deerhoof with Glen Tipton + KK Downing on guitar.
No Age – Nouns = they give everyone a needed reminder that American indie rock has its roots in 80s DIY punk. They use sampling/ looping in very clever ways.
Gangi – A = Our friend Matt makes amazingly textured electro-folk. His tabletop live setup is a lot closer to High Places or Silver Apples, but his guitar playing and vocals are very Donovan-y!
Boris – Smile = Japanese rock is always brilliantly manic. The wah tones on “Statement” are pure bliss! With this track, they have reached the coveted pantheon of uber-rock–an elite group of bands that includes Comets on Fire, Acid Mothers Temple, and Hi Rise.
These Are Powers – Taro Tarot EP = No Wave for the hip hop generation! Totally into the massive electro booty-bass drum, and we love the grinding ‘Confusion is Sex’-style drone on “Cockles”.
Awesome Color – Electric Aborigines = I love how most of their songs ride one swaggering groove for the whole track without any breaks! Derek’s guitar playing is totally classic, but also highly inventive in the way he uses unorthodox chord voicings and an oversaturated practice amp to generate mindblowing feeback!
MIA: Name a visual artist or piece of work that inspires you.
PETE: Really liked Olafur Eliasson show at MoMA/PS1, especially the orange room that had the effect of flattening all colors into grey-scale. I’m always excited by environmental and experiential art — Dan Flavin and James Turrell would fall into this category, too. Been into the minimalism and repetition of Sol Lewitt for a while — definitely an influence! I also love the imaginary realities of cinematic photographers like Gregory Crewdson. We aspire to transcend the spatial realities of the room in a similar manner when we produce our recordings.
MIA: Please share a mixtape with a theme of your choice.
God’s Money V – Gang Gang Dance [god’s money, 2005]
Kill People – Excepter [debt debt, 2008]
Death Disco – Public Image Ltd [best of pil]
Shoplifting – The Slits [cut, 1979]
Fall to Pieces – Six Finger Satellite [law of ruins, 1998]
Calous – Skream [various, 2007]
The Eternal – Joy Division [closer, 1980]