A Place To Bury Strangers

Try, if only for a moment, to envision a scenario in which you could still be completely *surprised* by a rock band. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s increasingly rare.

A couple of years ago, A Place to Bury Strangers were in search of a new drummer. Lia Simone Braswell, an L.A. native, had recently moved to New York, and was playing drums in shows around Brooklyn "just to keep her chops up." As it turned out, APTBS bassist Dion Lunadon caught one of those shows and, after seeing her play, was moved to ask her if she’d want to come to a band practice sometime.

"I told some of my friends about it before I met up with them," Braswell says, of the rehearsal that would soon lead to her joining the band. "They told me, 'You’re just gonna have to keep up as much as you possibly can.’"

"To be fair, she had also never seen us live," Lunadon adds. "She didn’t necessarily know what she was getting into."

What she was getting into: For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers-Lunadon, founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann, and, officially, Braswell-have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume. They don’t write setlists. They frequently write new songs mid-set. They deliberately provoke and sabotage sound people in a variety of cruel yet innovative ways. They can and will always surprise you. "When something goes wrong on-stage, a lot of bands will crumble under the pressure," says Ackermann. "We like the idea of embracing the moment when things go wrong and turning it into the best thing about the show."

This April marks the release of Pinned, their fifth full-length and an album that finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where Ackerman lived, worked, and created with complete freedom. "After DBA closed, I moved to an apartment in Clinton Hill," he says. "I couldn’t make too much noise, couldn’t disturb my neighbors. I would just sit there and write with a drum machine. It had to be about writing a good song and not about being super, sonically loud."

There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies ("Execution"), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate ("There’s Only One of Us"). It all opens with "Never Coming Back," a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Lunadon’s unrelenting bass. "That song is a big concept," Ackermann says. "You make these decisions in your life…you’re contemplating whether or not this will be the end. You think of your mortality, those moments you could die and what that means. You’re thinking about that edge of the end, deciding whether or not it’s over. When you’re close to that edge, you could teeter over."

It’s a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole. "As things go on, you don’t want them to be stagnant," Ackermann says. "Being a band for ten years, it’s hard to keep things moving forward. I see so many bands that have been around and they’re a weaker version of what they used to be. This band is anti-that. We try to push ourselves constantly, with the live shows and the recordings. We always want to get better. You’ve got to dig deep and take chances, and sometimes, I questioned that. It took really breaking through to make it work. I think we did that."

They definitely did.

WATCH // A Place To Bury Strangers Shares “What We Don’t See” Video Dir. By Jimmy Fusil, EU Tour Starts Tomorrow

“APTBS recorded Transfixiation, and to us it’s a cubist self-portrait of their live presence; distorted (but accurate!), it captures the essence of their sound from multiple perspectives. Those three aren’t just loud, they move a LOT OF AIR. They move a lot of things, making and breaking them in the process”
– Jimmy Fusil [PopSoda]

A Place To Bury Strangers‘ new album, Transfixiation, is out now on Dead Oceans. Premiering this morning via Drowned In Sound, the video directed by Jimmy Fusil [PopSoda], invites us into the band’s practice from the point of view of the space itself. Watch it above, on YouTube, or for our international viewers on DailyMotion. APTBS also begin their European tour tomorrow night in Dublin at Whelan’s with September Girls.

If you haven’t already, pick up the album direct from us, iTunes, Amazon, your local record store.

A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS UK/IRELAND TOUR DATES
All dates / tickets here: deadoceans.com/tour

Tue. March 31 – Dublin, IE @ Whelan’s (w/September Girls)
Wed. April 1 – Belfast, IE @ Voodoo
Thu. April 2 – Glasgow, UK @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Fri. April 3 – Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall (w/September Girls)
Sun. April 5 – Manchester, UK @ Sound Control Basement (w/September Girls)
Mon. April 6 – Nottingham, UK @ The Bodega Social Club (w/September Girls)
Tue. April 7 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds (w/September Girls)
Wed. April 8 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb lfor Bach (w/September Girls)
Thu. April 9 – London, UK @ Oslo (w/September Girls)

ALBUM RELEASE // A Place to Bury Strangers ‘Transfixiation’ Out Now

“APTBS lives up to that fatalism with a meltdown of timeless proportions, sounding like The Yardbirds as fed through a blast furnace”

Jason Heller at NPR Music

A Place To Bury Strangers‘ breakneck and brain smashing new album, Transfixiation, is out now on Dead Oceans.

Get the album now via: Secretly Distribution, iTunes, Amazon, your local record store

We’re so proud of the band’s fourth studio album and critics agree:

“some of the most inventive and intelligent noise rock since the turn of the century”

Line of Best Fit

“[Transfixiation] represents another giant step forwards in A Place To Bury Strangers’ continual evolution”

Drowned In Sound

“A Place to Bury Strangers is known to be a behemoth on stage, and Transfixiation is as loud as the group’s reputation merits.”

Slant Magazine

A Place To Bury Strangers will tour in support of Transfixiation starting starting tonight and will be joined on the road by Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Creepoid and more! They cap it all off with a performance at Austin Psych Fest in May. Full list of tour dates after the jump.

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LISTEN // A Place To Bury Strangers Shares “We’ve Come So Far” From ‘Transfixiation’ Out February 17th

A Place To Bury Strangers‘ new album, Transfixiation, is out in just over a month on Dead Oceans and today they’re sharing the fantastic second single, “We’ve Come So Far”, via The FADER. “We’ve Come So Far” is a blistering all out explosion of sound and is possibly the closest the band has ever come to capturing the energy of their live performances in a recording.

Guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann says of the song – “The lyrics were written by themselves. The meaning is absolute truth. Life is super intense and fucked up so even accomplishing anything is a huge feat. We should all be proud of that. When we have worked extremely hard for something for so long it is just amazing to look back on it all. Sometimes I just want to shake people for feeling useless. There is so much potential and amazing things going on all around. Help make something great for us all to enjoy. ‘We’ve Come So Far’ has an endless building feeling which mimics life.”

A Place To Bury Strangers will tour in support of Transfixiation starting next month and will be joined on the road by Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Creepoid and more! They cap it all off with a performance at Austin Psych Fest in May. Hear “We’ve Come So Far” above or over at The Fader. Full list of tour dates after the jump.

Pre-order the album via Secretly Distribution, iTunes, Amazon, and your local record store.

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tour dates

03/14/18

Austin, TX - SXSW

03/15/18

Austin, TX - SXSW

03/16/18

Austin, TX - SXSW

03/17/18

Austin, TX - SXSW

03/18/18

Austin, TX - SXSW

04/12/18

Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere (Pinned Record Release)

04/18/18

Wiesbaden, Germany - Alter Schlachthof
See all upcoming shows »

video

Never Coming Back
by A Place To Bury Strangers
Supermaster
by A Place To Bury Strangers
Now It's Over
by A Place To Bury Strangers
Love High
by A Place To Bury Strangers
What We Don't See
by A Place To Bury Strangers
We've Come So Far
by A Place To Bury Strangers
Straight
by A Place To Bury Strangers
And I'm Up
by A Place To Bury Strangers
Leaving Tomorrow
by A Place To Bury Strangers
You Are The One
by A Place To Bury Strangers
So Far Away
by A Place To Bury Strangers