STNNNG's Chris Besinger on his band's new record and playing Shellac's ATP festival
After slaying the First Avenue crowd during their opening set for Shellac back in September, local quintet STNNNG got a burst of additional good news when Shellac asked them to play in their curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England, at the end of November. The three-day festival, which has been playfully dubbed the Nightmare Before Christmas, features bands hand selected by Shellac themselves, with STNNNG joining an impressive lineup which includes legendary bands like Wire, Mission Of Burma, Neurosis, Oxbow, Mono, Melt Banana, and many others, as well as local heavyweights Arcwelder.
In addition to joining that illustrious lineup, STNNNG also have a new, Steve Albini-produced record set for release in February on Modern Radio. Gimme Noise was able to ask STNNNG frontman Chris Besinger a few questions about how much fun the band had opening for Shellac at First Ave, how gratifying it was to be added to their ATP lineup, and what the band has in store on their new record and the new year.
Gimme Noise: So, what can you tell me about the new record -- where did you record it, who produced it, and what we can expect from the new songs?
Chris Besinger: It was recorded in April at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini. The tunes are all songs we've been playing live over the past year or so. It is not quite finished yet, we'll be mastering it at Abbey Road when we go to London next month. I am very proud of it.
I saw your show opening for Shellac -- it was a great set, as good as I've heard you guys sound. What was that night like for you, personally?
The show with Shellac and Bellini was fantastic, I love both of those bands and it is always a treat to play the Mainroom. I personally thought it was one of the best Shellac shows I've seen.
How did you get in so good with Steve and Co. for them to include you in the upcoming ATP?
We'd actually been asked a few days before the Mainroom show, and it came as quite a surprise. I mean, I was hopeful we'd get asked but I was still shocked when we received the email. We've been friends with Bob Weston for a long time, we see him frequently in Chicago. Todd, obviously we all know from around town, and we got to know Steve when we made the album.
Are you planning on playing more UK shows around ATP, or is it just a one-off for you? And what bands are you most excited about seeing during the festival?
We are hopefully going to play a couple of shows in London when we go over there before the festival. I am excited to see every band playing the festival, though I am especially giddy to see Nina Nastasia again. What I really like about the line-up is it's basically all active bands who are still making new music, and it is an honor and a privilege to be considered in that group.
Anything else planned between now and the release of the record in February?
We are playing December 22 at the Turf with Arcwelder, which is the only thing we have scheduled for the rest of this year. Obviously, with Ben in Polica, his schedule fills up fast. But we've got a big record release show planned for February, which, if we can pull off what we are hoping to pull off, will be very memorable indeed.
As always we plan to play shows, write songs, do our thing.
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