Interview With A Band: A Place To Bury Strangers (Mute Records)

APBTS_JoelBarhamand.jpgBrooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers is an ear-piercing noise-pop trio that has recently released their debut on Mute Records.  After working hard playing countless shows, touring with bigger bands and producing their own records, these Jesus and Mary Chain torch-bearers have finally made the jump to the big time.  Follow us after the jump to find out what one of NYC’s loudest bands have learned along the way and why they decided to take the plunge to a major.    


1. Your new record Exploding Head drops October 6th.  What have you learned about songwriting this time around?

Nothing, it always just happens and it can’t be explained. All songs just write themselves and you just have to be there to make it a song. 

 2. At Musformation we talk a lot about choosing the right producer.  What went into the decision to get Andy Smith to help with the new album? 

ndy Smith did a few remixes for the last record that I felt had the right aesthetic to what I have always tried to do. He is a genius and really made the album what it is. It wouldn’t have such great clarity to all the chaos without his touches on there. 

3. The new album is loud, aggressive, layered yet still pristine in clarity. Did you walk out of the studio with any favorite new recording tools? 

 I definitely learned a lot when working with Andy. There are some things about recording that are very anti-intuitive for what I would think would be the case in getting sounds that I want. I think he
really helped me realize some of these things and the techniques to improve certain elements of a recording. 

4. From the Death By Audio connection alone, we know you guys are gear heads. So what is a piece of equipment you can’t live without and why? 

 Actually, I’d say that I am a different kind of gear head. I can live without all of the equipment. I like songs and those can hold their own being played on a toothbrush. I think it is all about just working with the tools you have, I have had great success using a dual well tape deck where each track was recorded while the tape was being dubbed. Don’t get me wrong good gear will get you great sounds and I love building effects and experimenting it is just not crucial. I think the mic preamps I built greatly improved the sound of this record. 

5.  Another thing we talk about at the site is being independent.  You guys had a big following and some serious momentum before signing to Mute.  What
went into the decision to go with them (what did you feel they could do better for you than you could yourselves)? 

There was a lot of thought that went into signing with Mute and really it all came down to the fact that Mute is completely run by people who
love music, it is really like working with a small indie label, there are just more people working over there. I make music because that is
what I like to do so it is great to work with people that I trust who will coordinate details and promotion etc and I can focus on the playing of the music. 

6. You guys are known for the presence you have live. What advice can you give for a group looking to improve their live show? 

 Enjoy the music they are playing live. 

7.  You guys have been played some big shows recently and are about to embark on a serious tour to support the album.  What are some things you should bring on tour that most people may not think of? 

When you go overseas you have to bring your nail clippers in with your gear because it can be used as a dangerous weapon, obviously. You might give the pilot a pedicure only to distract him and take over the plane. 

8.  No likes to live in the past, but the music business is one where the path to success is never clear. What is the biggest mistake your group ever
made? 

 We never bring enough amps on tour, it always starts with like 5 or 6 amps and then at the end we can only ever fix up just barely enough to
play the shows. 

 9.  The music industry is changing at an insane pace and few people can predict it’s future.  From your perspective, what is the biggest
misconception in the music industry today? 

 That you can make money being in a band.

Buy the new album “Exploding Head”

Band Website
Mute Records