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    A Place To Bury Strangers Founder Oliver Ackermann

    "People Will Eventually All Go Vegan"

    Interview von Anne
    06.04.2022 — Lesezeit: 7 min
    Deutsche Version lesen
    A Place To Bury Strangers Founder Oliver Ackermann

    A Place To Bury Strangers founder Oliver Ackermann agreed to an interview. We talked about the new album "See Through You". I also asked him some questions about his vegan lifestyle, and he revealed how the current tour is going and what's next on the APTBS schedule.

    The conversation was an absolute highlight of my blog history so far. So I am very proud to present it to you today. A Place To Bury Strangers is one of the most versatile projects in their genre. Founded in New York in 2003, the band is known for its extremely intense live shows and emotion-driven and powerful noise/shoegaze sound.

    Anne: Hi Oliver! Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview! I feel honoured to have you on my blog! How are you doing today? You are definitely sharing some good vibes these days on social media by sharing brand new pictures from your ongoing tour! So it's finally time, is it? How do you feel about it?

    "There are more tour dates coming up"

    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography
    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography

    Oliver: Hello Anne! Thank you for the chat! I am good today. We just crossed over to England from the Chunnel and are headed to London tonight. I was pretty unsure of how this tour was going to go as there is much worry all over the world now about what is going on and what will happen. Still, it seemed like if we had even the chance to go and forget about reality for a moment, it could be a good thing, and it has really been great. So I think if you are able to be entertained and have the option, it is a good thing.

    Anne: Where can we meet you? Besides the dates you shared on your website, are more concerts coming up?

    Oliver: We have all of those dates from our website1, and then there are other dates that will be announced, but I guess we will all have to wait and see.

    Anne: You just released your new album, "See Through You". Congrats! It's marvellous! What inspired you to write it?

    "The album tells the story of a journey"

    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography
    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography

    Oliver: Thank you so much. I was in a crazy place writing this record and put a lot into it. I was working through feeling pretty betrayed and let down by the previous band members, and writing this record really helped me through the insanity that was going on in my head. It's a tough place to be when you feel turned on by your friends. It brought up times in the past of disappointment but also was really cool in how a lot of other friends reached out and helped me out through the process. I feel so much better for it all, and the record sort of encapsulates that journey as it was happening in real-time while it was recorded.

    Anne: I think my favourite song on the record is "I Disappear". I love its electric mood and the noisy atmosphere. I would love to know the story behind it!

    Oliver: It is the sound of melting away under a lover's touch and how self-doubt and self-consciousness just slip away in those moments. The blanket of sound is the sound of being lost from reality.

    Anne: You have the reputation of being New York's loudest band – has it always been your goal to blast the speakers and shock people with thunderous music?

    "We will not regress into something easier"

    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography
    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography

    Oliver: I think there is a time for things to be an appropriate volume, and sometimes our shows work up to those moments. But that kind of music is A Place To Bury Strangers. It is sort of a rule of mine that with this band, we will not regress into something easier as we go in but further explore the anxiety and excitement of this music. It's at least a goal. I feel like some bands just give up after an excellent record and then lose direction and don't put out another challenging album. We may not succeed, but if I don't feel like the record we are putting out is necessary, I think it would just never come out.

    Anne: Would you say that you've become quieter over the years? Or is it more the other way round like I experienced it with bands like Swans and Mogwai?

    Oliver: I think people get used to louder and louder music, so it's not as shocking from the audience's perspective, but we still play as loud as we ever did. Some rooms or restrictions stop things from happening, but we always favour the sound when it shakes your body, and you feel the sound waves scrambling your brain waves.

    Anne: Some years ago, you went on a tour with Nine Inch Nails. How was it to spend your time with Trent and Atticus? Are they friends of yours?

    Oliver: That tour was absolutely incredible, but we didn't spend much time with them as I think I was just in such awe to be doing it that we haven't kept in touch. It's too surreal to meet and be friends with people that a teenage me was a massive fan of.

    Anne: Enough about other bands. With your music, you are always keeping your style while figuring out different angles of mood and feelings. It leads to a very versatile experience for people listening to the various records in your discography one after another. So what's your secret? How did you manage to canalise all these creative ideas, stay focused and build this exceptional complete work of art?

    "People seem to like me ideas"

    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography
    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography

    Oliver: It was really the confidence I gained after our first record came out – I didn't want it to. I had been recording with my own techniques for years and thought that it didn't really serve me well as I didn't think anyone liked my music, so when the record got rave reviews, I was like, ok, I'm just going to follow my heart and do things my way from then on. I am extremely lucky that people like my own personal exploration with music and just continue. I remember being curious when I was younger about the idea of someone who only painted one picture and spent their entire life on it what it might look like, and the strange world of our music is a bit of an inspired version of that bizarre idea.

    Anne: You told me you are also a vegan. When did you decide to give up animal products?

    Oliver: It was definitely from my fiancé's influence and watching movies like Earthlings. Maybe five years? I'm not sure, but there really is no reason to hurt some animals if we don't have to. We don't have to have every comfort in the world. I wouldn't punch some cow in the face if I saw it walking in a field.

    Anne: I can imagine you are meeting many people when you're on tour or working in the studio. Did you convince some of them also to go vegan?

    "The feeling and emotion of music is relatable to animals"

    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography
    A Place To Bury Strangers, London, 2. April 2022 © Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography

    Oliver: I think it helps as we end up eating at many vegan restaurants, and it must at least go through their heads because it just makes sense. Also, even if someone isn't vegan and eats less and fewer animal products, it's getting closer and closer to a friendlier planet.

    Anne: Why is it that so many people within the music business at least tried being vegan? I think, on average, there are many more than in the population as a whole.

    Oliver: Music is so much about feeling and emotion and pain, which is relatable to animals. We don't want to feel pain and have that inflicted upon us, so we have an outlet with music and often step back, analyse the situation, and see that it is messed up.

    Anne: Are you using your music as a form of activism? If not: Can you imagine doing so? I did this very personal interview with Belinda and Justin from Crippled Black Phoenix, and they said they would love to do more, but it's also always a question of the perfect dose?

    "Inspiration is very important"

    Oliver: I think so but in a very non-direct way. I believe both – direct and non-direct – are very important. By inspiration, you can lead someone to believe in themselves and make rational decisions on their own to do good. It's sort of the building blocks of learning. When using a direct method, you tell them what to do and what not to, and this can sometimes not have people really invested in the feelings because it wasn't self conceptualised. So show a better world to live in and perhaps we will go there.

    Anne: Why do so many people keep saying that they love animals, but one hour later, they get back to eating them without spending a single thought about what's on their table – while they are calling people militant for not wanting to kill other beings?

    Oliver: It's been a huge campaign for years. The meat industries are enormous, and corporations don't care about you or animals. They just want money. If there were more money in seitan, it would change, and things are a bit. You can definitely see fast-food restaurants and just a ton more vegan places and options everywhere. I have faith that people will eventually all go vegan. It seems like the only logical way forward. It's a lack of education and laziness, really.

    Anne: What's up next for APTBS – besides the release and your tour plans. Are you already working on new songs?

    Oliver: We are. We've been playing a new song every night on tour, and it has been such a blast. I am excited about the direction of the band. John, Sandra, and I are having so much fun and coming up with so many crazy ideas. It's bliss.

    Anne: Thanks so much for answering my questions! It was an immense pleasure!

    Oliver: Thank you, Anne! It was a pleasure!

    A Place To Bury Strangers – "I Disappear"

    Pictures: Nick Sayers, Deathwish Photography, A Place To Bury Strangers, London, April 2nd 2022

    1. A Place To Bury Strangers website

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