Elusive Parallelograms' new LP anything but vague
Classifying itself as "experimental" is as specific as it gets for Elusive Parallelograms. Able to continuously evolve while consciously side stepping a forced classification, Milwaukee-based Elusive Parallelograms combines genre, experience and instrumentation with absolutely no apologies for complexity.
A contestant in 2008's MOBFest Milwaukee at the Miramar Theatre, Elusive Parallelograms experienced its fair share of notoriety and success in the last year. The band is extremely self-contained, recording in a home studio or self-producing its debut LP "and Everything Changes" at the Chicago Recording Company.
From hints of Beatles-style pop in "And Everything Changes" to the danceable ska sounds of "Rev," the new LP adds in some of the garage rock popularized by the likes of The Killers and The White Stripes.
The band integrates synthesized vocals, occasional Irish melodies, elements of straight metal and Nirvana era- alternative, but most importantly, from the first listen, there is a sense these boys are playing exactly the kind of music what they want.
And, they aren't going to compromise it.
Elusive Parallelograms came together in 2003 through a string of connections and introductions in the Milwaukee / Chicago area.
Today, it's rare to find all six band members (Clayton Hamburg, Andrew Foys, Cory Husher, Stefan Dostanic and John Hense) in the same city without a show, practice or band meeting at the forefront of their discussion.
Recently, we caught up with drummer Cory Husher to get the dish on the new album, the old band and the current show.
OnMilwaukee.com: What did the band do before "And Everything Changes?"
CH: We had an EP called "Double Think" that we tried to record all ourselves. We didn't really know what we were doing at the time and no matter what we did, it didn't really sound very good. Andrew ended up going to recording school at the CRC and so we continued recording at our house while he was learning for a year; kind of high-grade demos. And then we re-recorded at CRC with Andrew.
OMC: Do you think you take the typical, traditional approach to recording?
CH: We think of the album like a painting; using a full palette and creating a complete album. We're really thinking about the big picture. We have a lot of great songs in us and we're really trying to push everything. We can't just settle. It's a great album and we're confident in pushing it, but we're always looking to the next to let people know what we're about.
OMC: Do you feel a push to move into the mainstream music industry?
CH: We know what we are and we know what we're not. We know we have certain goals that we want to accomplish and we want to do things a certain way; we don't want to jeopardize our image for what someone else wants.
OMC: How would you describe your sound? Can you classify your place in the music scene?
CH: We've had to market ourselves against what we really want to be. To market yourself, you really have to define what you are and we don't really want to be defined. So, it's the ironic twist in this whole business that we're getting into the business aspect of music.
OMC: Do you feel you've been successful with letting people know what you're about in Milwaukee?
CH: It's about the music for us first; it's not about being celebrities or what have you, it's about being real people and telling people we live in the real world, so you should listen to this music. "And Everything Changes" is just a response to the change in FM radio quality -- from quality music to what sells.
OMC: So, do you see your band as an opposite to FM radio?
CH: We aren't doing this because we think we are going to become rich and famous. We play because we love it and we want to continually grow with it. And, should someday something more than that come about, we'd be happy but we aren't focused on that.
OMC: How do you continuously develop a new sound?
CH: It's a matter of understanding the historical relevance of where we're at and where we need to be. And while we're all a bunch of interesting people who have a concept of our own style, it's so important to understand where it all started.
Check out Elusive Parallelograms with Jail on Jan. 29 at the Borg Ward, 823 W. National Ave.
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