Buildings: "Loud junk is what we love to play;" at Cause tonight
The upcoming release from Buildings, Melt, Cry, Sleep, is a jarring and powerful album, built around aggression and volume. The time in between this one and the avant punk act's 2008's Braille Animal saw the band maturing -- vocalist/guitarist Brian Lake temporarily relocated to Chicago, and the band found a new bass player in Sayer Payne. With drummer Travis Kulman rounding out the lineup, they got to work on a sophomore release that will be issued on CD by local label doubleplusgood with the vinyl produced by Colorado label Cash Cow Production.
Gimme Noise took a moment with Lake and Payne to ask about the putting together their second album. Buildings will play a release show tonight at Cause with Gay Witch Abortion, Iguano, and Miami Dolphins.
Gimme Noise: It's been 4 years since Braille Animal. Did you work on the Melt, Cry, Sleep that entire time?
Brian: Well, I moved to Chicago, there were financial hardships, and we had a change of bass players that affected a lot of the dynamic of trying to write an album. Once we got Sayer permanently we fine-tuned, wrote new songs, and were ready to go into the studio.
You nearly called it quits a few years ago. How did the experience change your approach to the band?
Brian: I realized I made a mistake. I had personal reasons for going to Chicago. Leaving Minneapolis was something I needed to do to get my shit straight and realize what goals I had in mind for the band. I came back wanting to do nothing but pay our dues and get to the point we are now and I couldn't be happier.
Travis: I made Brian move back. I didn't have any friends, just the 331. We knew we needed to make more music.
There are a number of different sounds at play in your songs. Are you striving for something specific, or is it a natural pulling in what you've heard over the years?
Brian: Well, when we started out we had a goal in mind to be angry and aggressive. But we strayed from that and became a kind of spazzy/groove/punk-oriented kind of band. We have always been a fan of 90s Bellini, Shellac, Unwound, Nirvana, VSS, etc. Those bands were essential to our lives and carry weight in the music we write. Every band has to draw from somewhere, you know, but I just want to make it with more noise. Make it aggressive and have the songwriting come out like you are getting punched in the face.
Travis: We all three listen to so many types of music, but this is what naturally comes out. Loud junk is what we love to play.
How do you explain the violence to your sound? Is it a dark joke, an outlet, a bit of both? Do you think people who don't know you would get the wrong impression based on your music?
Brian: It's an outlet, of sorts. We all lead lives where we don't get to express ourselves the way we want so, instead of doing it at home, we take our anger out in front of people. If people can see that we put 110 percent into our music, I think they will understand where its coming from and understand the raw emotion involved.
Travis: Our sound is very comparable to our influences. It's right there, it's obvious. I'd agree it is both somewhat of a joke and an outlet. My neck is ruined forever because of drums, but I don't mind.
You went on a mini-tour after the CD release in December. How did that go? What was a highlight?
Brian: We toured with Self Evident, the best men in the world. It went really good; we are always received well in those cities by going back to them over and over again. I guess a highlight would be Matsua in Arlington Heights, IL. It's this Japanese supermarket that has everything you can think of and the best $4 sushi I have ever had. I almost bought a samurai sword and some tempura at the same time. [Laughs.]
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.