Já nos primeiros segundos de "Who Cares About Tradition?", música de abertura do trio de Portland, Collate, já dá pra sacar qual é a deles, pós punk torto, evocando fantasmas de Wire, Gang of Four, Au Pairs entre outros, mas não é apenas isso, ou que fique apenas nestas referências, a segunda "Useless", fecha a matemática sonora dos caras, no wave clássica, tornando a audição ainda mais caótica.
Esqueça polimento, aqui todo é pra machucar os tímpanos, toda soa esquisito ao mundo musical atual, mas que tem um delicioso ar fresco para os iniciados nas maravilhas do entortamento sonoro.
Com exceção do Parlor Walls, fazia tempo que eu não ouvia uma banda nessa linha tão instigante.
A dica é, se você precisa sair do óbvio, o Collate é a sua solução.
***** Interview with Collate *****
Q. When did Collate begin? Tell us about the history...
jpn: we had a vague plan to do a “messthetics style” group, and originally i really wanted to play a cheap electric piano and we tried hard to learn a desperate bicycles track. but it didn’t quite gel right off the bat that way, so i tried playing guitar and we all agreed that was the way to go. since then everything has happened quickly and without much discussion.
Travi: Jacyn and I have been in several bands together (Mall Caste, Ex-Debs, Conditioner Disco Group, Vog) and I met Erika when we both had radio shows on Freeform Portland and she was playing in a great band called Dr Identity. Erika’s band broke up right around the time that Conditioner Disco Group had planned to take a break for several months. It seemed like perfect timing to do another project so we agreed several months in advance to have a practice on Easter Sunday of last year. It worked out!
Q: Who are your influences?
jpn: Joe Meek, Carol Kaye, Wendy Carlos, Kurt Vonnegut, Brian Eno, Don Van Vliet, Frank Tovey… all artists with consistent but diverse aesthetic.
Travi: I feel lucky to be in a band with Jacyn and Erika. They both have an encyclopedic knowledge of post punk and DIY music (check out Erika’s podcast Futures & Pasts for proof!). When it comes to the structure of the songs, the drum rhythms are kind of built-in but I fill in the spaces with inspiration from free jazz percussionists like Sunny Murray and Han Bennink. I only just learned to really play the drums when we started this band so those influences might not be completely obvious considering my skill level but they are there. It’s probably audibly clear that I’m very inspired by Palmolive’s drumming with The Slits and The Raincoats. Before Collate, I just played drums along to David Axelrod records in my basement. When we started this band, I practiced by playing along to the first Raincoats record, Scientist Wins The World Cup, ESG and Way Worse. Beyond that, I love the drums on the first Os Mutantes record and Lizzy Mercier Descloux records like Mambo Nassau and Press Color.
erika: I’m completely self-taught, but so many of the bands that I love were also coming from untrained backgrounds & playing music in unconventional ways, which I think really benefited me when I was first trying to learn how to play bass. Late ‘70s/early ‘80s post-punk is what I’m most versed in when it comes to my musical tastes & I’m particularly drawn to bands from that era who had women playing major roles - Delta 5, Pylon, Oh-OK, Kleenex, the Petticoats, etc. The Fall have been a huge influence on how I approach playing music, specifically in not being afraid to play simple parts or repeat certain things over & over. I’m also really into scrappy UK DIY Messthetics-type bands, the whole early ‘80s Flying Nun scene & art school weirdos everywhere.
Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
red krayola- god bless the red krayola and all who sail with it
the homosexuals- the homosexuals record
eurythmics- in the garden
flying lizards- the fourth wall
the raincoats- the raincoats
This is basically impossible, but for today i’ll say it will be these:
1. Rammellzee + K-Rob - Beat Bop
2. Nina Simone - To Love Somebody
3. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
4. The Stooges - Raw Power
5. Gilberto Gil - Expresso 2222
erika: At least in terms of some of the records that are important to me on any given day…
The Fall - Perverted by Language
Pylon - Gyrate
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth
Wire - Pink Flag
Gang of Four - Entertainment!
Q. How do you feel playing live?
Travi: Playing live is my favorite part of this band. Erika keeps the time and the beat with her blue Hagstrom electric bass, Jacyn flies around contorting with his green Kingston electric guitar and my drums are like the wires closing the circuit and lighting up the song. Being in a band for me is all about finding that ecstatic place with the music.
erika: I still get really nervous every time I play a show, so the actual experience usually ends up being a total blur for me. I try to not think too much about the fact that other people are watching what I’m doing & sort of detach myself as much as I can so that I don’t get completely freaked out... the line that’s often constructed between “performer” & “spectator” is really weird.
jpn: it’s hard- as a band that is somewhat intentionally not too tight/ embraces a shambolic approach, there’s always a chance it could all fall apart, but out of all the groups i’ve been in, i feel more ‘present’ during a collate set. it’s fun and weird to stare at an audience member right in the eyes.
Q. How do you describe Collate´s sounds?
jpn: if we were unacquainted i’d say “no wave art punk”
erika: My friend Charlie described us as “aggressively dry” & I think that’s as accurate an assessment as any.
Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
jpn: it was recorded with minimal mics onto an 8 track cassette machine. we played live and overdubbed vocals and a couple tracks have subtle extra guitar. it was mixed directly from the cassette to a cd recorder in analog, with no computer programs used.
Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Travi: Two of my favorite bands recently have been Neon and Mozart from the Bay Area. Mozart just broke up but they have a really perfect mutant punk rock single available online.
In Portland I really dig local projects like Way Worse, The Social Stomach, Amenta Abioto and Tig Bitty. I’ve been listening to recent records by artists like Exploded View, The World, UK Gold, Irreversible Entanglements, gSp, Kamasi Washington, The Space Lady, Matana Roberts, Preening, Violence Creeps, Table Sugar, the late Charlie Megira and Mdou Moctar.
I’ve also been picking up great reissues or compilations from older artists like Alice Coltrane, National Wake, Connie Converse and Dorothy Ashby.
erika: I’m really fond of a lot of newer bands coming out of Australia these days - Blank Statements, the Shifters & Primo all come to mind. Maraudeur from Switzerland & Vital Idles from Scotland. So many of our out-of-town friends who we’ve played shows with since Collate started, like Neutrals, Blues Lawyer, UK Gold, Nail Polish, Naked Lights, Marbled Eye...
jpn: Shopping, Rays, Sneaks, Terry, Tough Customer, Nots, lié, L.O.X., Baus, Soft Butch
Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
Travi: We’re always kicking around ideas for cover versions….I’d really like to cover I Want Your Love by Chic and maybe Love Me For Real by Rim And Kasa. I’d love to hear a very hi-fi band like The Dap-Kings cover a Collate tune.
erika: We were trying to cover “Get Up & Use Me” by the Fire Engines for a minute & I was pretty excited about that, but it wound up being way too hard for either me or Jacyn to play it & sing it at the same time.
jpn: we talked about only covering songs we all actively dislike, so be ready for an ep of liberated fleetwood mac, eagles, and journey songs.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
jpn: i don’t like making plans for the future, it’s a scary place.
Travi: We wrote some new songs right after we recorded the LP. We’re going to make a cassette tape of them and sell it on a tour of the western half of the USA this fall. We’d like to tour more but it is not always financially possible.
Q: Any parting words?
Travi: Coffin for the head of state.