May 22, 2006

Interview: Accelera Deck

There are changes, there are changes, and then there are changes. Accelera Deck’s latest album, A Landslide of Stars, marks the debut of Accelera Deck’s new format: rock band. For those familiar with the band’s oeuvre, you’ll know that AD has always hovered somewhere between electronica, noise, and experimental, but the word “rock” was never part of the equation…until now. Accelera Deck mastermind Chris Jeely decided to shift the focus of his music, and now, the ominous instrumental landscapes have been augmented with guitars, drums, and lyrics. You can't mistake him for a Kranky artist anymore! The sound is reminiscent of a rough Sonic Youth, or, more correctly, Unwound. The songs are loud; the songs are long; the songs are scary—and, frankly, it's an impressive feat. A Landslide of Stars is Jeely's rawest and roughest recording to date and it's also his best. Just take a listen:

Listen To: "A Landslide of Stars"

For more from this great record, check out his Myspace page.

We recently asked Jeely to explain himself...

After years of making music by yourself, what prompted your decision to form a band?

Well, it sort of evolved that way. I spent 2005 recording a solo rock record under the name 'Skulllike' and playing live often with my band The Trust Riots. So when I started working on Accelera Deck material my mindset was already there. The music on the album started from drones created by me manipulating my own guitar playing. Then, when I hooked up with drummer Zach Evans (who played on the record) things just kind of fell into place. Zach has since left the band and been replaced by Brad Davis. I definitely wanted to draw a clear line to separate the solo material from the band material which is why I released the triple CDR
live recordings of solo work.

The sound is a bit more "rock" in nature. Were there any particular bands or records that inspired this more traditional sound?

Yes, it’s definitely rock, Brad and I aren't afraid of that! He and I have been playing music for such a long time now that I’m not sure any influences are really conscious anymore. Other folks are much better at saying 'it sounds like this or that' than we are. I played in bands and wrote 'songs' long before I picked up computer music so to me there isn't much of a difference, because the inspiration to create still comes from the same place inside. I think we are more influenced by the attitude certain bands and labels have or partial elements of certain records rather than what they sound like. Like the wall of sound on "Loveless", the uncompromising attitude of Dischord Records, the steady pulse of Lungfish, the downstroke guitar attack of Johnny Ramone, stuff like that is what the
influences are.

Tell me a little bit about the rest of your band. What's their background?

Brad Davis is the drummer. Brad and I have known each other since we were really, really young. We both got our instruments the same year and
played and wrote our own songs from the start (they were awful, but we were sincere) Brad and I are both big music fans and we will talk for hours about all kinds of stuff; he turns me onto some great music and vice versa. He is also the drummer for the group Plate Six, who are an astounding group.

Are you happy with this new direction? Will Accelera Deck become a more traditional band, or will it also encompass the solo electronic sounds of before?

Very happy! It feels great to be playing an unaffected guitar and singing as well. The background drones are still created the same way as before so it’s like an expansion to me rather than a new direction.

Thanks, Chris!

1 comment:

Sean Padilla said...

You're right --- the new Accelera Deck album DOES sound like Unwound, particularly their The Future of What album. I love it!