When I called A Place to Bury Stranger's frontman Oliver Ackermann, he was at his neighborhood hardware store buying tubes of super glue. As it turns out, it's a necessary errand for the tour that will bring him and his band through SA.
"I'm trying to fix this little spinning parts on our stage lights," he explained. "They're all smashed up from the last tour."
The builder/destroyer narrative fits about as well as any for the Brooklyn band, who over the course of their decade-long lifespan have hung their reputation on both extremes. Once christened as New York's loudest band, the trio (Ackermann on guitar and vocals, Dion Lunadon on bass, Robi Gonzalez on drums) has only continued to push their sound — best described as a mix between The Jesus and Mary Chain and a jet engine — to more punishing extremes. They also hold the distinction of destroying their instruments onstage with more frequency than any band since The Who. Again, super glue is the fix.
On the flip side, Ackermann is making a name for himself with his Death by Audio effects pedals, used by the likes of TV on the Radio, Wilco and Nine Inch Nails. With APTBS, the loudness continues with their fourth album Transfixation, which came out in early February.
"There's such a feeling of meticulously building something and then destroying it," said Ackermann, noting the album's goal to mix "something so vicious with something so pretty."
It's live, though, where the band really comes into its own.
"In the moment, playing live is unlike anything else. It's like taking a drug, you're just instantly transported to another place," said Ackermann. "The best is when you can really let go. I think it happens to most anybody who listens to music where your brain sort of switches in this way and you're just riding along the music."
The current tour marks the first since the band's formation, an improvement Ackermann believes will allow them to keep plenty of edge to their live sets.
"That's the reason we go do this," he said. "We try to throw ourselves into crazy situations, play songs that we're not very familiar with, improvise parts, changing the set, things that make it so you can reach these places, rather than doing something mundane."
$10, 8pm Sun, March 1, The Korova, 107 E. Martin, 226-5070, thekorova.com
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