With the Disappears‘ August 2013 album, Era, the band has produced a tighter and more decisive album that holds nothing back. Era sounds like an interesting mix of Kraut and industrial rock, also honing in on more experimental elements that excite and overstimulate the senses in the best ways. We spoke to founding member and vocalist, Brian Case about his past projects, how he perceives his own unique voice and this current experience touring Era.
You released a new album in August. Can you talk about a bit about what Era is about? Is there an underlying these or story to this collection of songs?
Era is about a new beginning, no theme or story per se just us trying to make something new and different than where we’d been before. It felt like a good time for a change and personally all of us were in the middle or on the cusp of something and this was the artistic response to four people in different places. We wanted to go deeper than we had previously and I think we accomplished that – it’s our most introverted and personal record, and I’d say our best for it.
Disappears’ sound is pretty unique. Who are your musical influences?
Our influences are varied but not unexpected – UK and NYC during the late 70’s early 80’s, weird soundtracks, lots of Chicago (the city), CAN, some modern classical, VU, etc. I think we may just pick certain aspects of each and combine them in a different way. like a krauty goth band or something. Maybe that’s just industrial though……
Brian, your vocals are really effective and intriguing. It’s really cool the way you express yourself, but if you had to could you sing a traditional ballad, or do you consider yourself a vocalist, over the term “singer”?
Yeah, I don’t know – I don’t have a traditional voice or vocal range by any means but neither do lots of “professional” singers. I could do something traditional and it would come out my way, which is ultimately better in my opinion. Not “my way” but someone’s own interpretation and emotion grafted onto something.
Speaking of vocals – Disappears is so different from 90 Day Men. How did you evolve from such a different kind of band? What did you take away from being in 90 Day Men?
I actually feel like they are pretty similar – not musically but in terms of what we want to do conceptually. Bands to me are just different combinations of people – it all comes down to the personalities and the skill levels and the communication, any variation of those can have completely different results. I don’t really look at it as a departure or something but more of a progression from where I was 10 years ago to now. I took a lot away from 90 day men, it was a lot like your first significant partner – we did everything for the first time together, from making albums to touring to going overseas etc – I learned everything from being in that band and from the experiences we had.
You’ve been touring a lot with Disappears, what was you favorite experience touring Era in Europe and the US?
Europe is hard to say – we have a lot of friends there and a lot of places we do well. Also there are always just a lot of nice surprises there so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I can say we ended in Bergen Norway after a beautiful train ride across the country with an amazing dinner and really nice hotel room so that was perfect. As far as the US goes I guess playing the first night of our label’s 20th anniversary party was a real highlight – we got to play the last show for a long time from some of our friends Implodes and we opened our set with a collaboration with Rob Lowe who I played in 90 day men with. We hadn’t been on stage together in at least 10 years so it was really special for me.
What are your plans for 2014?
We’re recording in May so just figuring out what that’s going to be. We’re also doing some shows – some with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – so that should be cool. The writing process is my favorite part of being in a band so it’s a time I really like – especially in winter when you can just get in the bunker and fight the elements.
Do you have any advice for emerging indie musicians?
Do your own thing. Don’t worry about whoever is into whatever or a label or anything. Do your thing – what you want – work hard and believe in it.