Newaxeyes
Gig Seeker Pro

Newaxeyes

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Electronic Post-rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Newaxeyes Scramble Samples and Smear Boundaries"

The combined age of Seattle foursome Newaxeyes is 100. Yes, they're Millennials—but the good kind, the kind that form an innovative band, perhaps this city's soon-to-be best, if things continue as they have in the 16 months they've been together.

"What you might call a 'Millennial perspective' deeply informs the conceptual aspect of our work, in that we interact heavily with information as a concept," says synthesist/bassist/sample-wrangler Jordan Rundle, at 23 the youngest member of the band. "We like to interact with the idea that all information is fundamentally the same. You derive your own significance to it. That comes out of the fact that we're heavily sample based; we appropriate wildly different sources from all over the musical spectrum and the conceptual spectrum."

Along with guitarists Will Hayes and Tyler Coray and synthesist/beatmaker/floppy-disk manipulator Bret Gardin, Newaxeyes purvey an omnidirectional approach to music-making that has roots in Cornish College study as well as voracious web-surfing and crate-digging in the service of scouring history for the choicest snippets to repurpose. Or in the case of their early crowd-favorite track "Lips," transforming a brief snatch of strings from a lousy Lipps Inc. tune into a sublime textural motif that stains your brain with a strange kind of optimism. Newaxeyes' music smears the boundaries of genres like hiphop, psych rock, noise, and musique concrète in the same diabolically clever manner with which they obscure samples. Pretty much everything's warped all the time, but the sound comes out very beautiful and emotive. The closest comparisons might be outliers like Fuck Buttons and Dälek. Newaxeyes stress that "elusive fifth member" Will Smith, their live sound guru and studio engineer, is key to their aural alchemy. Smith runs Hatchback Recording and is also a cellist and composer who studied with Hayes at Cornish under jazz great Wayne Horvitz. "We'd be in over our heads a lot of the time without him," Hayes says.

Newaxeyes are instrumental virtuosos who work like hiphop producers. With Coray's and Rundle's backgrounds in visual art (both do design work for Capitol Hill ad agency Creature, in whose basement bar/chill-out room the interview takes place) and Gardin's and Hayes's serious instrumental chops, Newaxeyes are a self-contained unit who can put on a spectacular A/V display, build a website, and design a logo like pros. But their music's anything but commercial; they're only in it for the art.

The band's rampant diversity makes them difficult to pinpoint, and consequently they've played on bills with noisers, psych-rockers, hiphop heads, and dance bands, and even covered a Horvitz composition with jazz musicians. "I don't think a scene exists for this stuff we make," Rundle says. "That's one of the most rewarding things about being a bit faceless; people bring us onto bills solely because they think we're a valuable thing to listen to."

Rundle says Newaxeyes songs "start from a place of utter chaos," but the four players scrupulously hone the initial big creative bangs into pieces that have discernible peaks and valleys. The titles on their first official release, the "Assange/Church" 12-inch due in late November on Sonny Mishra's DivineDroid label, refer to whistle-blowers Julian Assange and Robert Church, reflecting, as Rundle notes, the members' obsession with "government obfuscation and manipulation of information. Assange is an interesting, larger-than-life public figure. Conceptually, it ties into information free use and manipulation and the contrast to that, which is sort of occluding the truth and occluding the true nature of something, which we do in our music."

"Assange" combines deeply poignant guitar chimes à la Terje Rypdal's '70s ECM LPs with some of the grittiest, slitheriest beats heard this decade. It's an anomalous beauty. "Church" is pregnant with jet-engine roar, prowling guitar, and bass figures in the vein of Codeine, and a sluggish boom-bap that bumps with the doom-laden finality of mid-'90s Scorn. A madly scrambled blues vocal sample tops the track like erratically applied whipped cream to a lead pie.

"Our heaviest moments, we keep pushing it farther than people will anticipate," Coray says. "We like to test people's patience and expectations. When a lot of people talk about getting put into a trance or certain headspace, they think of a quiet, ambient vibe. I think you can put somebody in a trance through a complete wall-of-sound abrasiveness."

"There's no fundamental difference between beautiful, lilting textural stuff and the harsh, wall-of-noise stuff we explore that can be overwhelming in a completely different way, but it hits the same receptors, ultimately," Rundle concludes. "The goal is to wipe the difference. We're not working with two diametrically opposed concepts. Oscillating between them, we're trying to find a sound that can accommodate all that while still having a singular vision." - The Stranger


"Disco Droppings: Newaxeyes Interview"

For my first interview of 2015, I talk with Newaxeyes. We’ve become friends recently, and I wanted to share their mindset and energy both on the site, and at our monthly “Disco Droppings Presents” where they will headline this week. The band has donated some gif previews of their visuals, which you’ll see spread throughout the feature.

Alright, let’s drop in..


DD Whatsup Newaxeyes. I feel we have been drawn together for a reason. I connected with your diverse style, and willingness to push things. Happy to have you headlining “Disco Droppings Presents” at Kremwerk on the 19th.

NWXYS Thanks very much for having us. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.

DD It’s definitely been a trip for me, spending more time with your music. You guys have mentioned trances, how do altered perceptions play a role in your art?

NWXYS We generally seek to create sounds that reach the listener at a sort of pre-intellectual level, so that there’s less interference going on and the music can be taken in more directly. When we are at our best is when we feel more or less “entranced” and when we are letting the music happen in its own way, without the constant real-time analysis that can be poisonous to a piece.

DD We’ve both been placed on a variety of music bills, where have been your favorite environments so far?

NWXYS We love to play with hip-hop beats people, psychedelic rock bands, modern composition types, performance art groups, harsh noisers, you name it. From the outset, we have always wanted to fluidly interact with a broad spectrum of styles and genres to carve our own chameleonic sound, so we’ve been happy to be invited to very disparate sorts of bills. Even better is that we tend to be received well by diverse audiences, maybe offering something atypical and challenging to the environment.

DD In addition to the music, I’m intrigued by your visual element. Tyler’s Instagram for example, definitely see an eye for catching things. And the logos and artwork you use work super well. Is this a group effort or do certain members of the band focus here?

NWXYS We all met more or less through our time at Cornish College of the Arts (Bret wasn’t a student but it sometimes felt like he might as well have been). Will was the only music student – Tyler was a photo/video art major and Jordan was in for graphic design. So it’s very natural for us to shape a visual aesthetic concurrently with the music. We’re lucky in that between the four of us we have the skill set to handle pretty much every aspect of the project. Tyler creates the majority of the photography and makes our videos. Jordan makes the logos, website, and most posters.

DD Where have your most impactful inspirations for Newaxeyes come from?

NWXYS It’s all over the place. When we started out, we were listening to a lot of Oneohtrix Point Never, Death Grips and Demdike Stare – electronic-oriented stuff that tends to be simultaneously physical and cerebral. But we all have such eclectic tastes and personal influences that it would be difficult to answer generally. From a non-musical standpoint, we are all fascinated by data, the societal effects of the Internet, and forces of power and influence hidden from public view.

DD Lastly, how would you describe your upcoming live set alongside Sphyramid, Raveghost, Dream Beat, David Comito and I?

NWXYS We have this super inconvenient habit of writing new material and reshaping old stuff until pretty much the day of the show, so that’s a bit hard to answer. We’ll be playing some bangers though. Being that it’s Kremwerk and Disco Droppings, we’ll possibly lean more heavily on dirty dark dance vibes. - Disco Droppings


"41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2016"

"Newaxeyes will take over the world." - Nada Mucho


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members