Fri, Mar 04, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Day after day

The members of UK outfit 65daysofstatic love what they do, whether you call it math rock or post-rock

By David Chen  /  Staff Reporter

65daysofstatic, a UK post-rock band with an electronica edge, plays at the Megaport Music Festival in Kaohsiung on Sunday. The band also performs in Taipei on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of The Wall

Post-rock often conjures up images of scruffy college-age musicians performing instrumental rock music for college-age fans, heads bowed, bobbing to slow-starting grooves that build into epic jams laden with electric guitar effects and crashing cymbals that later dissolve into quiet, ambient sounds.

It’s tempting to use this description for 65daysofstatic, the British band that’s headlining the Megaport Music Festival in Kaohsiung on Sunday and plays at The Wall (這牆) in Taipei on Tuesday.

But 28-year-old guitarist Joe Shrewsbury, who says his band has never called its music “post-rock,” isn’t crazy about the term.

“Post-rock has a real stigma to it these days,” he wrote in an e-mail interview with the Taipei Times. The genre, Shrewsbury says, “seems to have murkier connotations with dark rooms and riffs, and artwork with allusions to the fall of the Roman Empire or whatnot.”

“It doesn’t summon images of incredibly healthy and well kempt young men, lithely playing gripping and phenomenally exciting instrumental music that can be danced to until you can’t stand up,” he added.

Indeed, the four-piece band’s music tends to go at a faster pace than most of what’s called “post-punk,” driven by programmed drumbeats and loops.

“A lot of the songs we write do stem from the electronic side of things,” he said. “Because electronics can be so different, and [have such a signature sound], they often dictate the overall feel of a track.”

The band, from Sheffield, broke out in 2004 with The Fall of Math, an album that combined progressive rock with electronica. The tight arrangements and complex rhythm patterns used by the group have also led fans to refer to its music as “math rock.”

PERFORMANCE NOTES:

What: 65daysofstatic live in concert

When: 7:40pm on Sunday in Kaohsiung, 8pm on Tuesday in Taipei

Where: The Megaport Music Festival in Kaohsiung, Pier 2 Art District (高雄駁二藝術特區),1 Dayong Rd, Yancheng Dist, Kaohsiung City(高雄市鹽埕區大勇路1號 and The Wall (這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1)

Tickets: See ticketing info on Megaport Music Festival at megaport2011.blogspot.com for Sunday’s show; Tuesday’s show is NT$1,400 at the door, NT$1,200 in advance

On the Net: www.65daysofstatic.com


65daysofstatic enjoys an avid following in the UK and gained wider exposure as the supporting act for The Cure’s tour of the US in 2008.

The association led to a later collaboration with The Cure’s bandleader, Robert Smith, on Come to Me, a track from 65daysofstatic’s 2010 release We Were Exploding Anyway.

The album is more accessible than the average post-rock album, and Shrewsbury acknowledges that it has a “dancier feel” than the band’s previous recordings. A song like Go Complex could be played at a rave; others such as Dance Dance Dance could be the soundtrack for a video game.

Part of the band’s sense of pop comes from an appreciation of mainstream artists. 65daysofstatic members have remixed and created mash-ups using the music of megastars such as Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake.

“We are always interested in making our music as catchy and accessible and enjoyable as possible,” Shrewsbury said. “So in that sense, ‘pop’ is a huge influence.”

Tiger Girl, a 10-minute track from We Were Exploding, is an example of the band’s balance of post-rock and electro-pop. The song’s melody follows a cinematic arc that ought to be familiar to post-rock listeners, while a thumping techno beat speaks to the dance floor crowd.

Shrewsbury says the songs’ complex arrangements and electronic instruments present a few technical challenges in performing live, but that doesn’t deter the band’s enthusiasm for touring.

“We put everything into playing live, and we love doing it,” he said. “I guess it stays fresh because it’s one of the greatest jobs in the world.”

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