In Interview: Sounds Of System Breakdown

In Interview: Sounds Of System Breakdown

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by Danielle Holian

How and when did the band start?
ED: SOSB has been around in various forms for about ten years. It all started as a solo act that Rob did when he was in college, using a combination of guitar, vocals, synths and live triggered samples like some kind of futuristic one-man band. Rob soon figured out that the scope of his music would be limited only by the amount of limbs he had to play with so he started adding members to up the limb count. The current set up, Rob, Richy and I, have been together for the last 6 years or so.
Where did the band’s name ‘Sounds of System Breakdown’ name originate from?
ED: When Rob started writing electro music, he was heavily influenced by glitch music, a genre that samples the sounds of audio equipment making noises that it normally shouldn’t, and all of his tracks back then and most of the ones we write nowadays usually have some glitch-style element to them. The name was originally a reference to that but these days we tend to think of it more as a reminder of the problematic nature of playing live music that relies on computers and complexly interconnected synths doing what they’re supposed to. The laptop is like the really unreliable, flaky fourth member of the band.
What attracted the band to ‘Electro-Indie’ as the bands Genre?
ED: I don’t think there was ever really a conscious decision to start playing ‘Electro-Indie’, it was more a natural outcome of the mixing of our various, individual influences. Rob comes from a more Electro background whereas me and Richy would both come from more traditional, Rock/Funk/etc. backgrounds. The music we play is what we each bring to a song, rather than any preconceived notion of what a song should sound like.

Who or what are the band’s influences?

ROB: Lots of them! We constantly consume new music and try to glean inspiration without deviating too far from what we set out to do. At the beginning it was New Order, Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem. These days I’m a big fan of Daniel Avery, Boxed In, NZCA Lines, and Moderat.

Can you describe your music in general for our readers?

ROB: Electronic music, but always with organic elements. Whether that’s live drums and guitars or samples or field recordings depends on how we’re feeling that day! Vocals, somewhere between David Byrne and Dave Gahan. Our live set is big, loud and danceable.

Where can someone view your music?

ROB: We have the usual Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Youtube pages or you can check out our latest music video; a docu-music video by the super talented Allyn Quigley.

How has your music evolved since you began?

ROB: Maybe a bit less brash, a bit warmer and more fleshed out. We’ve got tighter as a unit. Working with a producer on our last album (Rob Kirwan) has really expanded our horizons.

What are your plans for the future?

ROB: We’ve got about 20 or 30 songs in various stages of completion. The plan is to tease out the various threads and build a series of cohesive releases. In particular, we’re really excited about a few songs we’ve been playing live for a while but haven’t released yet.