A Place To Bury Strangers, New York city based noise rock band famous for their energetic triumphant shows. The band toured numerous countries including Russia, Greece, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, and Croatia and now it arrived to the faraway country -Li-thu-a-nia. After their mesmerizing show in Devilstone festival, I caught up with the guys (mostly the guitarist/vocalist Oliver) to talk about New York, smashing guitars and beer.
E: You have toured so many countries. How does it feel playing in Eastern Europe?
Oliver: it is our first time Lithuania! Devilstone has a unique feel as we get a chance to be a part of very pure focussed scene. We always try to go to places that are harder to get to. I feel like there you connect with the kids in a better way. People are not jaded and more real. Because in New York there are so many venues and people, so many cultures coming together and crashing together, there is almost a weird competition between music. I feel a lot of other places don’t have that. Travelling around the world is eye-opening. It is amazing to see how different people live and to share our experience with them, we feel lucky.
We have grown up from our own personal experiences and we have almost written our own type of music
E: Talking about the scenes, where do you situate APTBS within New York scene?
Oliver: We don’t really connect with any other bands In New York. We have grown up from our own personal experiences and we have almost written our own type of music. We don’t record with anybody else. We produce and master our own music. When you listen to our records they sound very shitty in some ways compared to other people’s music [laughing], but not to us. For me this music is tuned to my ear to be exactly what I want to hear. Maybe it will not make us a top 40 band or maybe we won’t get played in a movie, but it is a perfect puzzle piece to what I love. Who cares! It is a unique voice and I think that’s important. People constantly try to homogenize everything.
E: About the records, fans go mental during your live shows, but critics like Pitchfork gave 5.5 for Transfixiation…
Oliver: The guys actually don’t like us in Pitchfork any more [laughing]. We had a venue in our house and the guy got turned away at the door, like “don’t you know who I am?”. I don’t care who you are. There is no guest list and it’s 5 dollars to get in. All the money goes to bands. If you don’t have 5 dollars to support the bands… even if you are some kind of celebrity you should want to support the music scene.
E: Yesterday you have smashed your guitars on stage. Is it something you do regularly?
Oliver: Yes, but we figure out the ways to repair them.
Dion: Yesterday my guitar was broken beyond repair. But usually we can fix the whole thing.
Oliver: You see us destroying things, but we bought those guitars in the 90s when they were really cheap. The guitars are not put on the shelves but are used every time. I like to build guitars from scratch and fix them. We don’t buy new guitars each time.
The way the band is run is more of a political statement
E: What are the politics behind APTBS if there is any?
A lot of our songs are about personal issues, feelings, relationships. They reflect political issues too but not as pointing as Dead Kennedys. The way the band is run is more of a political statement. We are anti-establishment in a sense. We are not doing this for the money. We are here to perform something that is so personal and so powerful and true to us.
Hopefully we won’t get arrested in the process. We are going to do a lot of recording in illegal spaces, streets, subway cars
E: Future plans?
Oliver: New album next year. Hopefully we won’t get arrested in the process. We are going to do a lot of recording in illegal spaces, streets, subway cars. Hopefully we won’t get shot by police officers.
Dion: We have a couple more shows booked in Las Vegas and Portugal.
Oliver: Probably next year at some point we will come to the UK. I hope the UK will be able keep it together after Brexit.
E: Anything else to add?
Oliver: Lithuanian beer! It is so delicious! We have been drinking lots of Lithuanian beer and it’s all really good. I almost want to say it is better than Belgium beer, but they would probably get hurt for that. If anybody out there reading this has not tried out Lithuanian beer, you owe yourself to try some!