Chicago-based experimental outfit Locrian defies easy categorization
Locrian began their musical lives making music for themselves. The duo of André Foisy (electric, 12-string, and acoustic guitars, bass, tape loops, effects) and Terence Hannum (synthesizers, vocals, tape loops) first jammed the jam in their town of Chicago back in 2005, but it wasn’t until a few years later that they emerged as Locrian. While the early portion of their career saw them concentrate on the recorded medium, often with a slew of local musicians along for the ride, the pair were eventually lured to the stage to unearth their once-in-a-lifetime sonic thunderstorm. Painfully assembled and acutely constructed, Locrian’s melodies run the gamut of aural tolerances, from hushed minimal electronics to metal moods, interwoven with nods to pop, noise, experimentalism, rock, drone and the avant-garde. The addition of drummer Steven Hess has taken the band to new heights, as heard on this year’s incredible The Crystal World.
André Foisy answered a few of our questions.
Hour: Can you briefly take us into how the band came together?
Foisy: We were friends with similar interests in music and we wanted to start playing music with fewer boundaries than our projects before this. We gained our roots in the Chicago noise scene. The concepts behind our music gained ground because Terence and I both grew up in the hardcore/punk communities and we felt like much of the music in these scenes presented the listener with these direct answers to bigger cultural problems. For example, in response to our current environmental crisis, many of the themes in the hardcore punk scenes that we grew up in would respond by emphasizing veganism or other direct things. For us, these direct responses are unsatisfying, unrealistic and much more complicated than doing something on our own. Our music doesn’t want to give the listener any direct answer to any of our bigger global cultural problems, but we do hope that it inspires people to want to formulate their own.
Hour: You almost appear, from the outside listening in, to approach the making of music from an academic standpoint.
Foisy: We have our roots in academia and that’s part of who we are. It’s only natural that we would think critically about what we do.
Hour: Is it Locrian’s goal to keep the music genre-less? There’s no real easy way to describe your music since it straddles so many styles.
Foisy: I don’t think that’s our goal. We play music that touches a chord in us. I don’t normally think about genres, but about feelings that I want to convey in the music. Genre categories are for music writers.
w/ Mamiffer, House of Low Culture, thisquietarmy
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