A Place to Bury Strangers
About A Place to Bury Strangers
The project of Oliver Ackermann, A Place to Bury Strangers combines shoegaze, space rock and more into blisteringly loud but often beautiful music. Despite frequent lineup changes, APTBS' dedication to volume, pedal-stomping sounds, and smoldering attitude remained as they moved from the classic shoegaze sounds of their 2007 self-titled debut to the noise and electronic experiments of albums like 2015's Transfixiation and 2018's Pinned. With 2021's Hologram EP, A Place to Bury Strangers returned to their noisy roots, condensing nearly two decades of their history into a handful of songs.
While the group's roots date back to 2002, A Place to Bury Strangers first gained momentum when Ackermann, formerly of the like-minded Skywave, joined forces with drummer Jason "Jay Space" Weilmeister and bassist Jonathan "Jono Mofo" Smith, both former members of the band Mofo. This lineup of the band played its first show in Brooklyn in 2003, and took a darker, heavier, and more experimental approach than any of the members' previous projects. The trio made a splash in 2006, when they self-released three EPs and played shows that led to them being hailed as New York's loudest band. In 2007, Killer Pimp released the band's self-titled debut, which captured their sonic assault in its rawest form. To support the album, the band toured with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Nine Inch Nails. After signing to Mute in early 2009, APTBS honed their songwriting for that October's Exploding Head.
In 2010, Mofo left the group and was replaced by bassist Dion Lunadon. For the 2012 EP Onwards to the Wall, APTBS moved in a darker, louder direction reminiscent of their early releases. By the time their third album, Worship, arrived that June, A Place to Bury Strangers were down to the duo of Ackermann and Lunadon, who recorded and produced the album themselves. Later that year, drummer Robi Gonzalez joined the band and made his recorded debut on 2013's Strange Moon, an EP of covers of songs by the legendary Portland band Dead Moon. APTBS then worked with Serena Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen at Norway's ABC Studios on February 2015's Transfixiation. The band's first release for Dead Oceans, it was also one of their noisiest and most eclectic albums. Gonzalez retired from touring and was replaced by Ceremony drummer and former Skywave member John Fedowitz for the Transfixiation tour. Drummer/vocalist Lia Simon Braswell joined A Place to Bury Strangers for 2018's Pinned, a sleek set that emphasized electronic textures as well as the interplay between Ackermann and Braswell's singing. Ackermann then appeared in the guitar effects pedal documentary The Pedal Movie and remixed Data Animal's single "Dead Raver" before the release of July 2021's Hologram EP. A Place to Bury Strangers' inaugural release on Ackermann's Dedstate label, it was some of the project's noisiest music in years and featured Fedowitz on bass and Sandra Fedowitz on drums. ~ Heather Phares