Friday, April 18, 2014

What a Concept: Dots Not Feathers and Volcanoes Talk About Their Upcoming Albums

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:25 AM

click to enlarge Dots Not Feathers (from left to right: Chris Dickey, Katie Brooking, Nick Blackburn, Ryan Myers, Jessica Haley, and Stephen Baier). - BRYAN SUTTER
  • Bryan Sutter
  • Dots Not Feathers (from left to right: Chris Dickey, Katie Brooking, Nick Blackburn, Ryan Myers, Jessica Haley, and Stephen Baier).

When Eric Peters suggests a hike to St. Charles for a group interview, he does it without his signature hyperbolic flair. The message comes with the watered-down flavor of a gin and tonic that sits at the bar without so much as a sip taken. "I know the perfect place. They have a Mustache Monday. And it's kinda like a dark cave. And it's called Old Millstream Tavern." There is also a shitstorm of emojis that depict various natural disasters. And dolphins.

Still perplexed as to how a cave can be anything other than dark, we agreed to make the trek. Peters, his Volcanoes bandmate Jon Ryan and Baier are all friends. All three will participate in Baier's band's album-release show. A deep bill with disparate genres that ping-pong throughout, Baier's band Dots Not Feathers is the headliner, with opening sets by Volcanoes, Palace, Emily Otnes and the Weekdays, and Amen, Lucy Amen.

After he guards his tater tots from a ravenous pub hound, Baier explains the bill. "I love playing with bands with people I can talk to and relate to on a personal level so much more than playing with a band that sounds like us," he says. The pub hound retires to his master's feet and Baier continues. "I feel like it doesn't help breed this creative culture within our audience members, either."

Ryan, whose stoic countenance breaks only in laughter, says, "That's how [Volcanoes] always had to do it: Find a band with a similar energy and culture. People who like the same stuff. And it always works." Peters straightens in his seat, which causes the circular tables before us to stumble like a lit collegiate, and sums up Volcanoes' intent for the bill. "Our music is heavy and dirty, but it isn't angry. We needed an energy that was big and in your face with the positive party energy. We want you to dance, not beat up a stranger."

click to enlarge Volcanoes (from left to right: Eric Peters and Jon Ryan.)
  • Volcanoes (from left to right: Eric Peters and Jon Ryan.)

The tangible human elements of Volcanoes' upcoming concept album, Future Sorority Girls of America, are bolstered with a melodic-yet-distorted bass and schizophrenic percussion. Unlike Heavy Hands, Volcanoes' prior release, Peters' voice takes precedence and often feels like an action, as opposed to a necessary component of songcraft. "The vocals are much more modeled after Blood Brothers and Dismemberment Plan," he says. Often his delivery chokes on complacency and sputters inside a snobby delirium. "I also took a lot of influence from Sleigh Bells and Paramore."

Future Sorority Girls of America cover art - PHOTO COURTESY OF VOLCANOES
  • Photo Courtesy of Volcanoes
  • Future Sorority Girls of America cover art

Future Sorority Girls of America is a satire on poor decisions young beta or omega women make in the presence of alpha females. Ryan elaborates, "The best indicator of what the album will be like is the first track. It's called 'I Never Could Swim.'" Peters picks up where Ryan trails off, "The pivotal line at the end of the song is, 'You were all sharks in the water, and I never could swim.' It's about living in the world that you could never survive in but being there anyway."

Continue to page two.

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