Alex Embiricos caught up with one of Glasgow’s up and coming bands, The Lava Experiments, who supported Caspian and God As An Astronaut at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on 9/11/10
“We were thinking of dressing up in clown suits, there’s nothing like playing melancholic music wearing a big pink clown suit.”
‘The Lava Experiments are a band in the chryslis of change, not in the comedy of a clown suit.’ Originally the brain child of singer/ guitarist Fraser Rowan, the band began as a series of experimentations named ‘Lava’ in downtempo ambient electro and, as Fraser eloquently puts it, “some guitar orientated stuff”, which were entirely autonomous. But as it turns out an Icelandic jazz bad had all ready nabbed that title, thus with the addition of bassist Rory McGregor and drummer Alan Wond, The Lava Experiments were born.
So when I ask how they all met I was immediately dealt with “In a dark room, in a gay bar, we just felt things”, thus begins my highly entertaining interview with an interesting band, who no doubt have the required chemistry to pull off the mammoth sounds I heard the other night at King Tuts, with only three guys on a small, sparse stage. Sparse the stage may have been, but the crowd was packed in and intently listening to the layered synth, crunchy guitar and deep vocals which had formed so completely and emerged from the cocoon. Their audience, expecting post-rock, displayed much “nodding of heads, tapping of feet, and stroking of chins” in contemplative appreciation.
They have been described as a harder Explosions In The Sky, and cited influences of Cedar Rose and DJ Shadow among others, but however you would describe them it is definitely not ‘post-rock by numbers.’ If diversity was ever an asset, it is expressed in the likes of these guys, and as Fraser says “there’s always a post-rock tag hanging around your neck doing anything like what we do, and a lot of people decide what they want to sound like before they’ve picked up an instrument. We don’t.”
But this mix-mash of influences comes with a price: For everything that works there are lots of things that dont work and Fraser says that the addition of the rhythm section “added a whole new dimension… a completely different thing to what I was doing by myself.” Perhaps it’s because of this fusion of different influences brought by each member of the band, that The Lava Experiments could be considered “a match made in heaven.” This is a band in metamorphisis, with new material in the pipe line and Blackbody volumes I, II and III under their belts who knows what The Lava Experiments will transform into next