“A very angry wolf…”- Joe Shrewsbury, describing 65daysofstatic‘s sound.
In late June 2007, an expensive copy of Rock Sound made it to my grubby paws in the quiet city of Bentonville, Arkansas. It had a free CD and one of the bands there was 65daysofstatic. I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard and I wondered if I would hear more from them later. The free CD had several bands and I think the best two were 65daysofstatic and The Depreciation Guild. Somehow, both bands felt related for a while: tagged and bagged as post-rock bands, chucked into a bin of oddities and mostly forgotten on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
So I crossed to the right side of the Atlantic. By the time I arrived to my house in Sheffield, the band wasn’t gigging there any longer. They did the same as Rolo Tomassi: get out of the home turf, test yourself out there, were bands are made or broken. For a while, there was nothing but silence and static. And then 2010 hit and We Were Exploding Anyway came out. While comparisons with The Prodigy came and went as fast as a cannonball, I thought it was the greatest album in their catalogue. It packed a punch, every song felt like a single, and even Robert Smith dropped by for guest vocals.
They toured We Were Exploding Anyway with Nedry and Loops of Fury. I managed to interview Joe Shrewsbury at the Octagon. The conversation seemed dry at first, but there was a lot of humour. Conversations about genres, Pet, Slint and the evolution in sound were the main points of that lengthy interview. I wasn’t quite ready for their show. It was much more intense than expected, with a barrage of lights blinding those foolish enough that looked at them instead of dancing.
If there was one moment to chuck away that “post-rock” tag that never fitted them anyways, it was this. Songs with cascading loops and samples. Songs with a simple synth and three drumkits (the amazing ‘Dance dance dance’), furious lamentations (‘Piano fights’) and Banco de Gaia-style drones (‘Tiger Girl’) translated flawlessly into a vivacious live show that never disappointed. It was very far from rock, and that’s what made it so memorable.Heavy Sky EP contained the leftover tracks, and although they were all good, it was a wise decision to release them as a separate beast. We Were Exploding Anyway was perfect in its final form.
A year later, they performed the live re-scoring of Silent Running. My interview that time was with Paul Wolinski, on the top floor of Queens Social Club. We talked about Polinski, his side project, and how the challenge of re-scoring a film was something they felt passionate about. You could tell their music intertwined perfectly with space exploration and “space hippies.” This seemed a clue of what eventually would happen.
Instead of performing Wild Light during Tramlines 2013, an art installation was set up at Millenium Gallery, in Sheffield. Prisms 14 was intense and you didn’t need a band to rock you to the core, the visuals, and the perfect surround audio sent shivers down your spine. It was a rapture emotion, understanding that 65daysofstatic could capture the collapse and explosion of the madness of a city that ate itself too long ago.
Their latest project is the mammoth task of scoring No Man’s Sky, a complex videogame that, as I mentioned, fits their love of space. The soundtrack is dynamic, a concept developed back in the 90s with Ultima VI and perfected by Rockstar Games since The Warriors hit the shelves. Desolation, hope, bitter cold and radiating quasars pulsate through the tracks of this new venture.
65daysofstatic can’t be trapped inside a genre; an angry wolf would die inside any closed space. Instead, the beast rages and howls through dimensional veils, tearing genres asunder, never looking back, never looking down, always ready to disappear into oblivion, where it’ll never grow old.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López