Walking Bicycles are yet another beautifully transgressive indie band that are currently looking to stray even further from anything resembling the “popular” and fully submerse themselves in the abrasively avant-garde… and it’s working to a pretty awesome degree… The Chicago outfit, nearly a decade into their existence, are currently working on their fourth LP (due in early 2014) and will be previewing it on a 7” to be released on July 30th on their very own Highwheel Records (home of the recently profiled My Gold Mask). The group would seem to be troubadours of the sonically postmodern (Is that an oxymoron?), while also having an impressive grasp on the most modernly poignant musical compositions (They certainly out-weird their comparisons to the likes of Siouxsie and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.) Their sounds have gotten quite a bit more morbid and, to be honest, scary, but they embrace that. I recently got a chance to chat with the group during band practice about what you can expect of their immediate future.
Izzy Cihak: Walking Bicycles are responsible for Highwheel Records, quite a cool label. How would you describe the experience of running an indie label? I’m a huge fan of My Gold Mask, Bang! Bang!, and Unicycle Loves You, in addition to yourselves.
Walking Bicycles: Thanks. It’s a labor of love, really. You have to be crazy to run a label these days, but it’s rewarding.
IC: You have a 7” that’s about to drop at the end of this month. What can be expected, compared to previous releases, and what can we expect of your upcoming full length?
WB: It’s definitely still Walking Bicycles. After nine years we know our sound. Like the tracks on the 7”, expect the material on the full-length to stretch the boundaries we’ve set in the past, incorporating avant-doom, noise, and psych to the post-punk abrasiveness of our earlier releases, with a subtle leaning away from any of our previous pop tendencies.
IC: What would you consider to currently be your biggest influences and inspirations, whether they’re from the world of music or not?
WB: We obviously love other bands or we wouldn’t own a label, but we’re not necessarily musically influenced by any one band. It’s more like pieces of bands and genres and tone culminating into one sound that propels the stories, the urgent questions, and the observations behind the lyric.
IC: Your work has drawn comparisons to a number of admirably notable artists. Do you have any particularly favorite assessments of your work, whether from critics or friends and family… if you even pay attention to that kind of thing?
WB: We liked when we were compared to Clinic and, recently, to Savages. Those are good. Both are great bands, but the comparison isn’t spot on. We don’t believe our sound is easy to sum up.
IC: In addition to completing your next full-length, what are you most excited for in the second half of 2013? Any chance of a tour? If so, what can be expected of the live experience?
WB: Tour is definitely in the future, but right now we’re focusing on finishing up the full-length. As for live, expect to be sonically berated. You’ll leave feeling small and weak.