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Place to Bury Strangers - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 24 / 5 / 2008

Place to Bury Strangers - Interview


New York-based trio A Place to Bury Strangers have just released their self-titled debut album, , which is an atmospheric combination of psychedelia,shoegaze and space rock. Anthony Strutt speaks to them about it

A Place to Bury Strangers features Oliver Ackermann on guitar and vocals, Jono Mofo on bass and Jay Space on drums. They are the loudest live band that I have ever seen and live in New York. They released their self-titled debut album in October of last year, which is an atmospheric combination of psychedelia,shoegaze and space rock. They recently toured Britain for the first time and I spoke to Oliver Ackermann and Jono Mofo at a gig at the Legion in London. PB : Can you introduce yourselves ? OA : I play guitar and sing. I'm from Virginia originally but I now live in New York. JM : I play bass. I am originally from Wales but now I live in Brooklyn. PB : I was told that A Place to Bury Strangers were originally called Skywave. Is that true ? OA : That was my old band. When I was based in Virginia, I played in Skywave with a couple of friends of mine down there. It ended when I moved to New York and we started A Place to Bury Strangers. It was in the same style of music. PB : Did Skywave release anything ? OA : Yes, there were a few albums, but they were all very limited. There was a cassette that came out only in Italy, a few different 7 inches on different labels, a CD that was released in Boston and another we released ourselves, but nothing that there were many copies of. The biggest release was 2,000 copies. PB. How long have A Place to Bury Strangers been going ? The sleeve notes on the album say it was recorded over 5 years. OA : The album was started before the band even formed. JM : It was supposed to feature songs between 2003, when the band first formed, and 2006, but there are songs before then. OA : We held some songs back for the next album as well. We have also got some new ones which we are writing for it. PB : How did you all meet ? OA : A Place to Bury Strangers started before I met the others. The other two were in a band called Mofo that supported A Place to Bury Strangers. That is how we met them. As the other members of A Place to Bury Strangers both then left to move onto other places for various reasons, Jono and Jay both joined one at a time. PB :(To JM) Were you in other bands over here before you moved to New York ? JM : Yeah, but they were nothing to write home about. Both Jay and I were in Mofo, and then we did this really. PB : It also says on the sleeve of the album that you're the loudest band in New York City (This I can now verify is true-AS). What are your influences ? I can hear the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth and 'Faith' era the Cure in your sound. OA : They are definitely influences. We play that sort of music. It's music that comes from the heart. I grew up listening to bands like My Bloody Valentine and the Cure. PB : Do you have day jobs still ? OA : I make guitar effect peddles for people, which I have doing since 2001. JM : I work as a set builder and Jay is a bar tender, but a lot of the money we make is invested back into the band. OA : We are not making money now, but we are setting ourselves up so that we might eventually do so. PB : Where does the name come from ? It is pretty gothic. OA : It's ridiculous. I have thought the name was stupid for a long time. It has always been about the music with me though, so I don't really care. Our old drummer came up with the name. It's a reference from the bible. It's about a place called Potter's Field, which really was a place to bury strangers. After Judas died, it was bought with the 30 pieces of silver that he had been given for betraying Jesus. PB : What are your current plans ? You're touring a lot at the moment. Have you got enough material for a second album ? OA : Definitely. We are working on it right now. JM :. We have got a busy summer ahead of us. OA : I spent two and a half years recording it and mixing the last Skywave album, and I'm not going to do that again. PB : Is there anything else that you would like to add ? JM : This tour is to promote ourselves and the album. We are then going to do some shows here and there in the States and also have a few shows with Nine Inch Nails lined up. We toured the States as a support band and are going to be doing a headline tour in October. OA : We may also go to Japan and Australia. PB : Thanks for your time.

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Place to Bury Strangers - Interview

Place to Bury Strangers - Interview

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Interview (2015)
Place to Bury Strangers - Interview
Anthony Strutt catches up with original and founder member, Oliver Ackermann from New York-based noise rockers A Place to Bury Strangers to talk about their just released fourth album, 'Transfixiation', and life for the band since leaving Mute Records

live reviews

Garage, London, 18/11/2009
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Anthony Strutt finds New York-based shoegazing/psychedelic trio A Place to Bury Strangers to be on fiery form at a show at the Garage in London to promote their new 'Exploding Head' album
ICA, London, 8/12/2008

favourite album

A Place to Bury Strangers (2008)
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Anthony Strutt examines the eponymous debut album of the self-proclaimed loudest band in New York, A Place to Bury Strangers, which he missed out on when it was released at the end of last year


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