Interview: A Place to Bury Strangers

“We put our entire life on the line for the show”
A place to bury strangers
Jerome Sevrette
By Graham Turner |
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What makes a truly memorable live show? Do you hop along hoping to hear a carbon copy of the band’s latest album? Fair play – just don’t expect that if you’re lucky enough to go see New York trio A Place to Bury Strangers this Saturday at Mom Livehouse. What you are going to get – and it’s something special – is a chance to connect with something very primal, liberating and sometimes even violent. It’s illicited in a manner that can only be done through the rawest music delivered by the kind of band that puts its bodies and instruments on the line. The bottom line: A Place to Bury Strangers are one of the most exhilariting live acts ever to grace a stage.

That’s not hyperbole – there’s going to be broken instruments and walls of sound louder than anything you’ve ever heard. You might just discover a part of yourself you didn’t know was there. Shows like this are what make a live scene grow, so we are absolutely over the moon to catch up with the band ahead of their gig in North Point... 

Your shows are famed for being extremely physical and chaotic. How do you think that resonates with audiences here?
I think Asian audiences have a lot of spirit and there’s an excitement we feel from the people. We are so thrilled to be here that it’s really going to electrify the shows no matter what else is happening. We want to share every show experience we’ve ever had at every show and we want to do and see everything we can. Basically, we’ve motivation to make it the most over-the-top intense experience ever.

Do you think that romantacised image of rock ’n’ roll, the edginess, a focus on a visceral live show, is something that bands put less onus on now? 
I do think people in bands romanticise the past and put up a wall between those images of the past and their present band rather than learn from those experiences and incorporate them into something bigger and better with their own live shows. Maybe they didn’t see it enough or never figured out what was going on because they only caught a glimpse, but we remember and we were there. The shows from my youth that blew me away are now totems of inspiration for wanting to push further and share the experiences from my youth with the audiences of today. It seemed so magical when we were young and having lived to achieve those moments, it’s led to us investing a combination of all of those elements into every brainstorm we ever had. The experience of the live room and the power of the moment all play into new opportunities for new sounds and emotion to be created.

What do you think makes a truly great live show?
It is so many things, really. We put our entire life on the line for our shows and mix that with good music. And I think that’s it. I do love dynamics and so we are constantly becoming more and more dynamic, ranging from whisper quiet to so insanely loud it’s pure.

Any plans for a new album?
We have a new record that we just finished and is being released next year. It was quite a trip of a record to make as we moved a couple of times in the process. It’s also the first record we’ve done with our new drummer, Lia Simone Braswell. She brings such an intensity with her drumming and her voice on this record, it really transcends the physical plane and brings something spiritual to our new sound.

What can we expect from the live show?
Something completely different.

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