Although they have a much larger alliance, the veteran word-punk band has a punitive volume Lightning Has been as a couple for over 20 years. In the space of seven albums, player Brian Gibson and drummer / vocalist Brian Chipendel have perfected a solo bombing, a band dueting with fireworks like hovercraft. Their colorful style, happily distorted sound, visceral rhythm, and minimal setup have influenced a lot of bands over the years. Their latest LP, Sonic Castle, Another boulder, this time the giddier, towards the more harmonious arrow. We spoke with Chipendale about the benefits and challenges of the two longest-running activities in Shila.
Spotify for Artists: You were a trio for almost two years in the 90’s, weren’t you?
Brian Chipendel: Okay, we started as a couple. We played a show in 1994 at an art-school cafe at our school, Rhode Island School of Design, and we acted as a duet. And then maybe for two years … we had Hisham Vorocha, who went on Black dice And Soft circle. He was our singer.
Why did you decide to continue as a couple?
I kind of think it allows us to wreck it. I was a big fan Ruins, A Japanese duet – khad and umsol and song. And then Godheadsilo. I think these two bands have allowed us to exist, somehow, on some small scale. For example, “They sound cool. We can sound cool too. Minimal cool.”
What is the biggest benefit of being a couple?
When you make a hundred rupees, you get fifty rupees each. In a band, when running becomes difficult, money has a big impact. And it’s sad and annoying and it sucks. We would walk around with the band with three or four or five people and see the money going much further for us. Plus we can sit in a small car. We would sit in a minivan. So, it would be like two people with good gas mileage in a minivan, earning more money for each member, then a more familiar band with four people in a van. So in the beginning when things were really tight and the times were tough or whatever, the bonus for the two was really big for travel.
And then, if the two of you and you are on the same page, you can decide very quickly. All kinds of decisions. “Shall we play that show?” “Yes.” “Yes.” “Cool.” There are some things that two people can do very fast … if you’re on the same page.
What about the biggest challenge?
I would say the biggest challenge is the opposite – if you are not on the same page. Two-person voting can really be crippling. “I like this song.” “I don’t like this song.” Negative win. “I want to play that show.” “I don’t want to play that show.” Okay, we’re not going to play the show, we’re not going to use the song. An odd number band is probably quite convenient because you can break the bonds, which is quite nice.
I mean, we were [a band] For 25 years. It’s probably longer than that [the] Marriage and belongings statistics. As a two-piece, which is basically like a relationship, a very single relationship, we’re doing pretty well! And that’s, a little bit, because at the moment, we agree on a lot of things. We always fight over the song order on the record. This is another one that becomes sensitive.
What about the songwriting process?
This has actually changed during our relationship. I think in the beginning, we had a passive-aggressive relationship. Like I was a kind of dick and he was kind of cold. So I can choose Bloodgeon things in existence and then he will work fine on them. I will be shooting down a lot of things. I want to be like, “That baseline sucks, fuck that shit!”
But I think now we’re mild, and so we don’t fight over much anymore. And I don’t know if it’s for good. I actually think it’s good to have some kind of friction in the band. It’s like you’re married and it’s really burning and it’s great, and then after a while you learn to work together and you become a realistic team. I wonder if it is reflected in the music. I think it’s probably a bit. We agree more and thus our music agrees a little more. That’s why everyone likes our new record.
I think it has been another positive about what we can literally do [each] Just play our own choda songs. And as long as we run them together, it’s music because it’s two simple things overlapping. You know, it’s like when you get more people, you have this chaotic, big, free-jazz band. We can be both super-alpha dogs in our game and it can still work. No one practically compromises and then it’s okay. And that was part of our skiing that was, “I’m going to do what I want all the time and I’m not going to sit on the guitar solo or whatever.” And it’s just the work of two types of people, it doesn’t become absolutely chaotic.
Do you have any suggestions for duos?
I think, in any relationship, don’t wait for the other person to do it. Just do as much as you can. Things don’t always have to be fair and equal. Have as much fun as you can.
H Christopher R. Wingerten