Dive Bar Wisdom with A Place to Bury Strangers
A Place to Bury Strangers are a New York City–based American noise rock band, composed of Oliver Ackermann (guitar/vocals, bass), Dion Lunadon (bass guitar, guitar) and Lia Simone Braswell (drums). The band, commonly known by the initials APTBS, play a heavy, atmospheric wall of sound-influenced blend of psychedelic rock, shoegaze and space rock.
Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers just finished a tour with Austin's Black Angels. That tour hit new Brooklyn space Brooklyn Steel earlier this month, and you can check out more photos from that show, like the one above by Ester Segretto, HERE.
For this edition of 'Dive Bar Wisdom' we caught up with A Place to Bury Strangers while they were out on the road, to talk about future plans, post Death By Audio life, and some of their favorite places in NYC...
BV: It's been three years now since a new LP. Are you working on anything new and have your musical influences gone in any different directions over that time?
Oliver: We are working on another record at this time and it is a reflection of post show space Death By Audio (which has been a lot of work) and getting exposed to a super wide eclectic batch of bizarre Youtube video music. There was that vision and then we totally changed direction when Lia Braswell joined the group. There has been a new blending of her rhythms and voice to create something alien and fierce.
Meanwhile, [APTBS bassist] Dion has an album coming out in June? what can you tell us about that?
Dion: Michael Jackson wrote 75 songs for Thriller so I thought best I write at least 50! I recorded 50 songs in 3 months and chose the ones that I felt worked best as an album. I'm really happy with it. Raw, hard and fast. Comes out June 9th via Agitated.
Were your grandparents (or a grandparent-like figure in your life) music fans or even musicians? Did any of the music they liked or played influence your own musical taste or style of music?
Lia: My mom's former bandmate and lifelong friend/my "godmother", Karen, has been the most influential (and youthful) grandma-like figure in my life. She and my mom were in a band called Sail Joia in the 70s, a fusion of samba/funk/rock based in the Netherlands and Portugal. Karen has lived a life worthy of her own biography for all the stories she has about spending time with Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, and The Monkees, but her overall spirit as a woman in her late 70s who can talk about orgasms at the dinner table or say fuck with every breath is all that I can aspire to be in my later years.
What is some worldly advice that a grandparent or grandparent-like figure gave you that’s stuck with you? How has that influenced how you think about life or music?
Just a hard work ethic I suppose. Its extremely hard to make a living through art. Most people either are not willing to put in the work or they give up because they thought it would be easier. You have to be the one to make things happen and be the one working on your art while everyone else is out partying or whatever. The only ones that are willing to do it are the ones who live for it and truly enjoy it for the right reasons.
Death By Audio, the famed venue you co-founded and lived in, closed about 2.5 years ago. How has life been different since then?
Oliver: A lot has changed. Some friends have come and gone. New York is still constantly changing and its hard to have life be stable. I guess it is just more of the same. Every day is unpredictable and has difficulties but ultimately there are a bunch of people around who are down to do good things. I am really happy for that. Thanks to everyone being so cool and helping out. It has been a tough couple of years but I think we are finally getting back to making some really good and creative things happening again.
What is your current favorite place to see or play live music in NYC? Why?
Lia: There are so many! Secret Project Robot is a really cool space. I haven't played there but they put on a rad Halloween party a few years ago with an all-female Ramones cover band that I thoroughly enjoyed, plus they just reopened at a new location that looks freaking amazing! I also like Baby's All Right, their stage backdrop is one of my favorites. Dance parties and awkwardness abound..
What is your favorite Brooklyn dive bar and why?
Oliver: I love Happyfun Hideaway. It is cheap, owned by the best people in the world, plays good music and has good times all the time. You must go.
Happyfun Hideaway, pictured above, is located at 1211 Myrtle Ave in Brooklyn.
APTBS are playing the Broad in LA with Xiu Xiu in August. Flyer for that at the end of this post: