Warn your eardrums. The New York band A Place to Bury Strangers, playing 11 July at Beco 203, is known for its noisy sound – so much so that the band sells its own brand of earplugs. A woman even claimed once that the volume of one of their shows hastened her giving birth. ‘She came to one of our shows really close to going into labour, and ended up going straight to the hospital from there. I think our music had the baby wanting to get out of there as soon as possible,’ laughs guitarist Oliver Ackermann.
Not for everyone, their loud sound is nevertheless something of a selling point, talked up to lure those unfamiliar with the band’s brand of sombre-toned shoegaze rock, perhaps best described as a mix of ex-tour-mates The Jesus and Mary Chain and classic 1980s post-punk favourite Joy Division.
The high-decibel sound is mostly unintentional, says Ackermann: ‘We get so immersed in our music that we lose track of what’s loud and what’s not, and that’s what we want our audiences to feel. We want them to literally be “touched” by the music.’
Ackermann, drummer Jay Space and original bassit Jono Mofo formed the band in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the trio released their self-titled first album. After their second, 2009’s Exploding Head, they replaced Mofo with garage rocker Dion Lunadon.
The group has yet to play Brazil, but having played South America once – a one-off in Bogotá, Colombia in 2010 – they say they’re excited about their Brazilian début. ‘We always hear people speaking so highly of Brazilian audiences – that they like to get crazy. But even if that doesn’t happen, we’re going to get crazy,’ says Ackermann. APTBS will be playing songs from all the albums, but won’t make any promises: ‘The setlist depends on our mood the day we play,’ he explains. Whatever tracks they choose, expect a large dose of energy, and that trademark ruckus.