Τετάρτη, 3 Φεβρουαρίου 2010
A Static Lullaby
When you think Chino, CA, the first thing that often comes to mind is Chino State Penitentiary, a hulking slab of concrete and steel that holds within its walls some of the most dangerous criminals the Golden State has to offer. Standing in sharp contrast to that is the town of Chino Hills, a small slice of Orange County suburbia situated in the shadow of this man-made monstrosity; and this is where A Static Lullaby call home. Creating a musical fortress as imposing as the aforementioned edifice, their music is at first listen, seemingly impenetrable but filled with an underlying humanity. Building upon searing guitar riffs that stutter and tear, their songs quickly shift into choruses that are as sensual as they are abrasive.
Playing their first show a mere two weeks after their formation, the band – Joe Brown on vocals, Nate Lindeman and Dan Arnold on guitar, Brett Dinovo on drums and Phil Pirrone on bass – possessed an immediacy and passion that far transcended their short history. “August 18th (2001) was our first show. We never played a show before. People were showing us love the whole time. It was awesome,” recalls Pirrone. Having shared the stage since then with the likes of Glassjaw, Hatebreed, In Flames, Snapcase, Finch and Andrew WK, A Static Lullaby has learned the importance of giving everything they have to their audience. “We just fucking explode on stage. We just feel it and explode. We are known as the fucking crazy band that goes off and it’s awesome.”
Raised on a musical hodgepodge of hardcore, emo, ska and the likes of U2, Peter Gabriel and Jimmy Eat World, A Static Lullaby defy easy classification. “I know we’re defined as hardcore or apple-core. But we’ve come off with so many different names, we don’t really think are us just yet. It’s just what we’re being labeled as. We’re still waiting for that right one. We’d classify ourselves as hard rock,” explains Pirrone. Their sound embraces so many different genres – building on them and turning them inside out until they are almost unrecognizable in their original form – that the final product is far greater than the sum of its parts. “We have developed our sound over the months, it’s turned into something really beautiful. We are happy with the direction it’s going in,” enthuses Dinovo. “We’ll come up with the song, get it down and sometimes make changes live according to the energy of the crowd. We’ll reconstruct them like five times before it’s how we really want it.”
The band signed to Ferret Records in the Summer of 2002 after serious interest from major and independent labels alike. They opted for the personal attention that only a smaller label can supply. Arnold explains, “He (Carl Severson, label head) knows what’s going on. He knows how to handle it, he’s not being an idiot. So it’s awesome where we are.” . . . And Don’t Forget To Breathe, the band’s full length debut, is their first proper release. It follows their self-produced “Withered” EP. “We got sick of burning them and selling them. Then there was a demand for mail order from different parts of the world so we decided to press 1000 and call it the “Withered EP” and package it”, Phil explains. While “Withered” shows a band at its genesis, . . . And Don’t Forget To Breathe represents a huge leap forward both musically and aesthetically.
Produced by Steve Evetts (Snapcase, Sepultura, Hatebreed), the full length is a totally different beast. Opening themselves up to Evetts was a difficult, yet rewarding, process. “The whole point of it is Steve takes our music and feels it, he breaks parts off of it and really changes the songs. It’s been a learning experience from just doing it ourselves to actually having an outside opinion.” While the studio environment was foreign to them at first, they feel confident that . . . And Don’t Forget To Breathe will be a close representation of what they bring live. “We’re going to come out with something close. What we do in our rehearsal space is going to be on the record because even when we practice, we don’t just sit there and practice. We go crazy because that’s just the way the songs are.”
The songwriting process has not suffered at all in the confines of the studio. “The way I write my song is I write in moods, I will see something that affects me or my life and I’ll write. The music will be exactly how I feel. Every riff I write, everything is exactly how I feel at the moment,” says Arnold, the band’s primary songwriter. “I see things in my friends, things around them, people’s lives. I usually take different pieces of that and what I view and feel and just throw it into my writing,” adds Brown, who handles all of the songs’ lyrics as well as their powerful delivery.
And yet for all of the rage and catharsis that comes out in their music, A Static Lullaby are not the angry young men their sound might suggest. “You look at every other band and you’re like ‘oh these guys are in a band’, and you look at us and see five little shits, who play music,” jokes Brown. But while looks can be deceiving, their sound doesn’t lie. A Static Lullaby are, much like their name suggests, a volatile mixture of sound and substance built upon a foundation as rock solid as the monolithic jailhouse of their childhood home.