One thing is immediately apparent when listening to Implodes: they sure know how to set a mood. Their 2011 LP, Black Earth was basically one long droning, ambient, heavily textured mood piece. With 2013’s Recurring Dream they’ve found a way to transition their gloomy sound into a slightly more melodic and fleshed out set of songs, with more prominent vocals, and chiming, shoegaze guitars and synths.
The Chicago-based band joined us at saki as part of our monthly Off The Record series back in April. We set the lights down low and were treated to an amazing live set with visual accompaniment by filmmaker and musician, Chris Hefner. Much like Implodes’ records, this session washes over you like a haunting memory. They blur the boundary of noise and rock. They are a very tight live band, but their songs seem created to give an illusion of blurred lines and shifting focus. The band uses vocals much more prominently than they used to, but they can’t quite be called “lead” vocals. They’re a part of the nebulae, but no more than any other instrument.
As an album, Recurring Dream rewards repeated listens. It leaves something different with you each time. We think this session does the same. Listen to it over and over again. You’ll likely find you love it more each time!
Check out our interview with Implodes guitarist and vocalist Matt Jencik:
Can you tell us about your influences both music or otherwise for Implodes?
We all like a wide variety of music. 60s/70s/80s rock, metal, horror and sci-fi soundtracks, ambient music of many kinds, electronic, metal, shoegaze, 20th century classical, folk music, jazz, prank calls etc...Film is also very important. We talk about movies with each other a lot. Each of us thinks about music in a visual way and hopefully that translates for people listening to the music.
Is it individual songs that come into rehearsals or more collaborative?
Matt Jencik - we mostly demo stuff on our own then send them to each other. Sometimes we'll exchange ideas back and forth a few times before we play them together at practice. everybody contributes their own ideas to a
finished song in some way.
How would you compare the results the latest record as compared to previous recordings?
Black Earth was a hodge-podge of solo recordings and full-band recordings that covered a few years of writing. Our original bass player james Barron moved to LA before we finished the album. We never actually played a live show with James. Emily joined soon after and her contributions at the end definitely helped form the record into what it became. Recurring Dream is definitely a "band" album and most of the songs were completed and recorded after we had played them in front of people many times.
I know you are quite active with other projects and bands as well. Can you tell us what you and the other members are working on to expect from Implodes and any other projects?
Ken has two solo albums on Kranky and he plays live regularly. Emily plays bass in Mayor Daley. They put out an album in 2012 and they also play out a lot. Justin is in a relatively new band called El Mejor. I record music on my own and play out solo, though very rarely, and over the past few years have toured as the bass player for Papa M.