Expect sensory overload from White Denim at Paradise

Most modern rock bands wouldn’t dare release a tricky, prog-rock instrumental as their latest single. But most bands aren’t White Denim, the quartet of music obsessives from Austin, Texas. The single, “Reversed Mirror,” hails from their last album, “Side Effects.” Though a catchy and rocking tune, its long and tricky guitar and synthesizer solos make it an oddball single by most standards.

“Not for us,” singer/bassist Steve Terebecki said this week. “James (guitarist and co-founder James Petralli) and I both had pretty big record collections even before we started this band. Sometimes we’ll get on a tear where we’ll discover some record from the early ’70s, and that will work its way into our writing and production style.”

In this case the influence came from a few deep-catalog prog artists like Camel, Soft Machine and Colosseum. “Every one of those bands has gotten played in our tour van. We’re huge prog-heads in general, so we’ve always jammed on that music. ‘Reversed Mirror’ was a song we’d done onstage for a while and for people that knew and liked the band, putting it out as a single makes sense. As far as getting new people to like our band, it probably won’t help much.”

There will be plenty to engage the ears when White Denim play the Paradise Friday. The new live album “In Person” — the band’s third release in just over a year — captures the sensory overload of their live show: Most of the songs segue together, with radio-friendly rockers flowing into frantic instrumentals, plus surprisingly pretty tunes appearing out of nowhere.

As Terebecki notes, there’s a method to all the musical madness. “We don’t like to stop much during a live show, so whenever we think of possible ways to connect songs we pitch those to each other. We hash a lot of these things out in the rehearsal room. Whenever we make set lists it takes the form of a few different chunks or medleys, so there’s about eight different ways we can go in the course of a set. We’ve written songs every way you can name, whether it’s starting with an acoustic guitar and James’ voice, or starting with a jam and working a song around that.”

Their prolific recording pace is partly the product of having their own recording studio in Austin. “We’ve taken the reins and given ourselves room to experiment. There was a time when we had too many cooks in the kitchen, and the record label was influencing too many things.”

But Terebecki says that some of the outside helpers were welcome — notably Wilco mainman Jeff Tweedy, who co-produced one of their earlier albums. “He was super open and really cool. But the production style that he and his engineer have is a little slick, so you can hear his influence there.”

Despite some changes in Austin’s musical climate, he says the band has no intention of leaving. “It’s still a pretty great music town, but it used to be a lot more effortless. Nowadays the cool places are all getting gentrified, same as in most cities. We’ve still got a good music scene, we just need to figure out where to put it.”


White Denim at the Paradise, Friday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $20 at the door.



Source link