For Fans Of: At the Drive In, The Skies Revolt, La Dispute
Heavier Than Air Flying Machines might always be a question mark of a band. Nothing about the gritty, high-gain debut album, Siam (released last September), is typical, nor anything about the band's spastic live performance. But then again, that's just the point of the band.
"The first conversation we had about the band, we said, ‘Let's just write music that people hate,'" said Bassist Jeremy Pyne.
"Our first show, I was surprised that people were even watching us," added Jaymes Pyne — Jeremy's brother and HTAFM vocalist — with a laugh.
But that's not to say the band is bad on any level - perhaps just less accessible to a world that thrives on hook-laden radio pop. Powered by untamed vocals, highly technical bass lines and an arsenal of college-level vocabulary words, nothing about Heavier Than Air Flying Machines is formulaic. Jaymes attributes this to the seven years the band's members spent in another band called Joy Ride.
"After that band, I was just done with music," he said. "When we started this project, we wanted it to be different. We're not going to write a song and think, ‘Oh, people might like this.'"
"We just kind of threw that stuff to the wayside," Jeremy added. "We wanted to do our own thing. We just wanted something dirty and loud. It shows in the album. It's kind of jankity music, but it's fun."
The band's refusal to conform to a formula bleeds into its live performances as well. Sets involve homemade stage lights built from old lamps. Between songs, the band doesn't speak with the audience. Instead, various dialogue audio tracks are played through the P.A. — some announcing the band's name, others with various literature references or historical quotes.
"When we're on stage, we feel like it's just the three of us there in the room," Jaymes said. "Anything we can do to insulate ourselves from feeling like there's an audience, we'll do."