Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sound Travel: A Place to Bury Strangers’ Tour Isn’t Just About Playing an Album, but Creating Something Unique for Themselves

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 9:11 AM

To listen to A Place To Bury Strangers is to be overtaken by sound.

The Brooklyn trio, known for a wall-of-noise approach since their 2007 self-titled debut, labored to capture the volume and the intensity of their live shows on record for their fourth album, “Transfixiation,” released last month on Dead Oceans.

“This record was a journey over a long period of time, us working on these songs and these ideas, capturing how the band sounded live and that kind of power,” says Oliver Ackermann, the singer-guitarist frontman who has worked to cultivate APTBS’ reputation as the loudest band in New York.

“There’s nothing like that feeling of being completely by some crazy loud guitar amp. When you feel that, it cracks through your day or your head and it’s a complete experience,” he says. “That’s what I want when I go to shows, something to take you over and take you out of your regular life. That’s something that really moves me and touches me the most in performances, so we try to do that sort of thing.”

On “Transfixiation,” Ackermann, bassist Dion Lunadon and drummer Robi Gonzalez set out to capture the chaos of their performances, without necessarily trying to tame it.

“I always try to make every album louder and crazier than ever before. That’s the goal, first and foremost,” Ackermann says. “But it always turns out once you actually get to putting all the songs down, that’s not always the best thing to do, so there are all these other songs that play with the contrasts and tell a story. Someday I want to make a record that’s just noting but loud and crazy songs.”

The process was strained. After touring for two years in support of 2012’s “Worship,” the band hit a wall when they tried to parlay that energy straight into the new album. So they just walked away, not sure they’d regroup at all.

But bit by bit, Ackermann pieced together new songs, working in the band’s home base of Death By Audio, a studio/venue/rehearsal space in Brooklyn.

“We started with one method of just going in there and setting up some microphones and then tried to do all these audio experiments. We spent too much time getting crazy on some things,” he says. “(The title) ‘Transfixiation’ was the mental breakdown journey of this record.”

Shortly after finishing the recording, the band got word that Death By Audio would have to close, to make way for the hipster marketing conglomerate Vice Media’s new offices.

“I thought we’d have all this time to work on tours but it ended up being so insane at the end of Death By Audio, all the parties and shows and art shows,” Ackermann says. “We didn’t really get a chance to play these songs right after we finished them.”

After the break, the band returned to the songs with a new mindset, cracking open the songs and putting them back together again.

“We’re doing some crazy experimenting on this tour, doing some different set ups we’ve never really tried before,” Ackermann says. “That has led to different kinds of versions of these songs and different ways to play them. We’re creating something new and unique for ourselves. It’s exciting rather than just playing along and replicating the album.”

A Place To Bury Strangers With Creepoid

7 p.m., Monday, March 9

Club Congress

311 E. Congress St.

$8 advance / $10 door; 21+


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