Artist Interview: Mission Of Burma (playing Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Shellac)

Wednesday 8th August, 2012

Name Of Band: Mission Of Burma   

Hometown: Boston, MA, USA.

Year Formed: 1979

Bio: From the outset, 'Unsound' was not going to be like any other Mission of Burma album. As expected, the material is raw, primal and aggressive. They still have a signature knack for twisting even the most ferocious noise into complex structures. There are, of course, those killer hooks scattered throughout, but just not quite where you would expect. Yet with all three lead members resolutely making the decision to deliberately stretch their boundaries even further, they stepped out of their comfort zone to create their most rewarding, bewildering and multifaceted long-player yet. With a new label home, 'Unsound' is out now on Fire Records.

'Unsound' is Mission of Burma's fifth studio album, continuing their remarkable legacy. It seems redundant now to even call it a comeback because they're a dynamic, current band. Originally together just four years, from 1979-83, Mission of Burma reformed in 2002 for a handful of shows...which let to more concerts, then more, and eventually the release of 2004's "ONoffON", their first new recording in over twenty years. But no one expected them to just keep putting out records, let alone records that were every bit as vital and influential as their seminal early recordings. Their first album 'Vs' is down in the annals of time as being one of the most important post-punk records ever. Their subsequent recordings: "ONoffON", "The Obliterati", "The Sound, The Speed, The Light", and now, "Unsound", continue to grow in scope, depth and accomplishment with every step. (read more here...)

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Clint Conley:

Do your best to describe the sound of your band in one sentence: 

Explorational sonic perplectitudes.

What are the most recent activities of your band? 

Rehearsing in a windowless, airless, fetid, man-fug torture box.

How excited are you to play this event?  

Very. It gets us out of the torture box.

Do you have a connection with Shellac / an idea why you were chosen to play?

Westonian umbilical connection.

Which of your releases do you feel ATP attendees should check out first?   

Unsound (2012)

Are there any other currently confirmed bands you're excited about seeing?

Scrawl

If you were curating, name three bands you'd want to play your event... 

Volcano suns
Sproton Layer
Consonant

If you could pick one record release in the last year which would you recommend?

OFF! - Off! (2012)

What have your previous experiences at ATP been like?  Any favourite memories? 

It's been exhilarating and exhausting. Favourite memory; meeting heroes - Wire.

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Roger Miller:

Do your best to describe the sound of your band in one sentence:
   
Chaos and Order aren't supposed to fit together like this.

What are the most recent activities of your band?

Played outdoor concert in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY.  Fun!

How excited are you to play this event?

Quite.

Do you have a connection with Shellac / an idea why you were chosen to play?

Sleeping with their bass player.

Which of your releases do you feel ATP attendees should check out first?

Unsound - our most recent.

Is there one of your tracks you think specifically represents you best?

Random Access.

Are there any other currently confirmed bands you're excited about seeing?

Shellac Of North America: YES
Wire: YES
Mission of Burma: NOT SURE
The Ex + Brass Unbound: YES
Shannon Wright: NOT KNOWLEDGABLE ON TOPIC.
Arcwelder: YES   
Scrawl: YES
Red Fang: NOT KNOWLEDGABLE ON TOPIC.
ALiX: NOT KNOWLEDGABLE ON TOPIC.
Bear Claw: NOT KNOWLEDGABLE ON TOPIC.
The Membranes: SHOULD BE INTERESTING.
Helen Money: YES
Dead Rider: NOT KNOWLEDGABLE ON TOPIC.

If you were curating, name three bands you'd want to play your event...

Rocky Erickson
Neptune
Future of the Left

If you could pick one record release in the last year which would you recommend?

Helen Money - In Tune.

What have your previous experiences at ATP been like? Any favourite memories?

Generally, really fun with a layer of the absurd. Fun memory: Since The Rachel's were playing our first time at ATP (2002), Clint convinced me I should write string parts for our song WOUNDED WORLD. I had a day to write them and show them the parts and make it happen.  They played it without a hitch. However, last time we were there the quality of the beer dropped considerably. I ended up drinking Italian beer as a last resort.  Why the Fuck are the British mimicking the worst attributes of American beer brewing? Budweiser is NOT a good beer, sorry.  The only reason the American's can even use that name is that the Budweiser USA can pay for more lawyers than the (original) Czech brewery (who actually own the name). Money is Power.
   
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Mission Of Burma play ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Shellac this December, on sale now.

You can download the free tracks 'Second Television' (click here) and 'Dust Devil' (click here) via our Soundcloud. Both are taken from the band's Unsound LP, out now on Fire. Check out the band's official site here.