Composed of the rural New Mexico-raised dirt heads from the late Unit 7 Drain (one of the most relentless Albuquerque rock bands of all time) and I is for Ida, The World on Fyre is the next phase in an enduring sonic assembly. Harry Redus-Brown, Ella Brown, Tony Sapienz and Chris Newman converge here in a noisier fashion, parting with catchy hooks to create a cacophony that should frighten some and titillate others. This week the band unleashes these new sounds in a physical form. In anticipation, we e-quizzed Harry about drinks, New Mexico music and, of course, The World on Fyre.
What was the inspiration for this new project?
I think we had three inspirations: Unit 7 Drain was going into hiatus so Ella could be knocked up without having to be out at bars every weekend until 2 a.m. Tony, Chris and I had all started to really get into some heavier and more experimental music (Shellac, The Warlocks, Leeches of Lore, Boar Worship, Silversun Pickups). And I think we all also had this sense of wanting to get back to our experimental music roots.
This is a band made of ex-Unit 7 Drain members—how is The World on Fyre different from Unit 7 Drain?
Functionally, from a performance standpoint, it's different because we have two bassists and one guitarist, as opposed to U7D's more traditional two guitarists and one bassist arrangement. We're also much more collaborative with respect to song writing. And we're twice as heavy, three times as noisy and four times as sweaty.
Which form of music would you like to see enjoy a resurgence in New Mexico?
I wish that we had a better post-punk-type scene here. I mean, at one point I could stomach the whole three-chords-and-a-sixpack punk approach that seems to dominate the punk scene here, but now I'd rather listen to car crashes. Some smarter, artier punk would be much appreciated by me.
Favorite drinks with which to rock?
Me: Marble Brewery beer. Tony: rubbing alcohol and Pepsi. Chris: any beer. Ella: Jameson, neat.
What's the biggest problem facing the Albuquerque music scene?
Apathy. So many of the newer bands aren't willing to do the legwork necessary to cultivate a following. Many times I hear great new bands talking about how nobody comes out to their shows, but I don't see them out at the clubs putting out flyers, I don't see them doing at least two shows a month, I don't even see enough web promo! And you can do that shit while sitting on your couch eating a candy bar and watching "Law and Order." Anyway, again: apathy.
Sonic predictions for the new decade?
It's pretty doom and gloom among my peers to be perfectly honest. There's this whole generation of kids out there who seem to believe that musicians should give away their music for free. Everyone is having to work a lot harder for a lot less, which is killing some bands and frustrating most. But I'm an optimist, so I predict that people will decide that a great album is worth at least as much as a mediocre hamburger, and music will come roaring back.
What are your star signs?
I'm a Virgo (don't hold it against me), Tony is a Libra, Ella is a Libra and little Chris is a Capricorn.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I hope everyone who liked Unit 7 Drain, or likes I is for Ida, will come check out the new project. We're taking it really seriously, and trying to provide a lot of substance to people who like that type of thing. Also, we're allowing attendants of the show to name their own price for the new album, so please, the show is free! Come out even if all you've got is a stray dollar; we'd be more than happy to trade you a pretty cool new record for that dollar.