Recording engineer: Steven Kray, with technical assistance from Bill Ward
Video production: Jarratt Taylor
Video shooters: Jarratt Taylor / Anthony DelCalzo / Lana Bui
Interview: Alex Lewis
Photos: Inger Klekacz -- see the full photo set
Cymbals Eat Guitars' music demands a listener's attention in a way that's unusual for a band on the indie rock circuit. They've crafted a sound that draws on very familiar alt-rock tropes - blaring electric guitar, cliff-hanging hooks, sing-a-long melodies - yet their songs burst and project themselves through linear structures that hardly ever come back to familiar choruses or refrains. Their music unfurls a steady stream of haunting moments without allowing for an ear's return. At least not in the traditional way we've learned to expect from our pop music. A Cymbals Eat Guitars song will cascade through change after change (just listen to the eight-plus minute epic "Rifle Eyesight"), but still there's something familiar that emerges when you pay attention. Maybe it's front man Joseph D'Agostino's constant restless energy, maybe it's nostalgia for 90's Dinosuar Jr.-era indie rock.
The band dropped by our studios to play songs from their second full-length album entitled Lenses Alien. It's their debut record for Barsuk and the highly anticipated follow-up to their breakthrough LP Why There Are Mountains. Produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile), Lenses finds the band taking a confident step forward. We chat about their new album, working with a well-known producer, and the story behind putting a 8+ minute song at the top of their record.
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