Post-rock is a one of the most delicate and forward-thinking genres in contemporary rock. At the forefront of the genre is the band This Will Destroy You who hails from Texas. Their latest album Another Language was released last year to critical praise, and they’ll be coming to New York, playing St. Vitus for two shows on February 26-27, with the second show already sold out. They combine the instrumental rise and fall with an artistic restraint, straddling the line of ambient atmosphere with crushing doom that’s both surprisingly concise and effectively disorientating.
I got the pleasure of having a delightful conversation with drummer Alex Bhore over the phone. Bhore is the newest member of the quartet having joined the band five years ago, replacing original drummer Andrew Miller.
Bhore says that his goal with the group is to make music that takes risks or makes people feel uncomfortable. As an avid music listener, he likes bands and albums that are challenging and “grow on him.” Some examples that were brought up were Swans and Tortoise, both pioneers for the post-rock genre, but also bands known for their abrasiveness risks. For Bhore, there’s a desire to keep a certain sound that’s true to This Will Destroy You, but to keep turning that sound “on its head,” keeping it fresh and subverting expectations.
On Another Language the goal was achieved by arbitrary restraints that the band places on itself. Some of it was simply logistics. Two of the members live in Dallas and two of the members live in Austin which is a 3 hour difference, and that fact alone makes regular practices difficult. However, those restraints necessitate a structure and focused songwriting process, which was prepared individually before going into the studio, and smoothed over as a group during the recording process. Bhore said that the “stars aligned” to get Another Language written and recorded on time, but that those time restraints added an integral level of structure important to the album’s manifestation.
The band has also just released a beautifully riveting music video for the song “New Topia” which Bhore said is one of the “coolest things [he’s] ever been a part of.” The visual aspect was spearheaded by Adam Fuchs who’s a friend of the band and animator for The Creators Project and Adult Swim. It took six months to conceptualize, with two months for storyboarding and conceptualizing, and four months to animate. For Bhore, the video is “up to interpretation” but there’s a definite theme of “potential afterlife” that runs through the song, as it’s dedicated to Fuchs’ father who recently passed.
Despite the heavy music and introverted music, Bhore assures me that everyone in the band likes to keep it light-hearted on stage and in between songs. For him that makes concerts a far more engaging and “cool experience,” and that when This Will Destroy You does talks to the audience it’s usually just joking around and having as much fun as possible. His favorite whiskey is Bullet and he told me he recently got some great coconut flavored pancake mix from Trader Joes. If you get the chance to check them out on February 26-27 at St. Vitus, expect a heavy and fun experience, I would highly recommend it!
Article by: Steven Klett