Ashrae Fax could be legendary by now, but they chose not to be. All kidding aside, I wrote about their album “Static Crash” a long time ago. Their background is in Greensboro, North Carolina – which lies in the United States of America. The band mainly consists of Alex Chesney and Renee Mendoza. What can really be said about them? They’re imaginative, to say the least. Combining elements of electro-pop, dream pop and gothic, together somewhat hard-hitting industrial undertones. One could say that they’re really original, and then one could agree with that statement. Now they’re back, to play a couple of shows. Also, because the label Mexican Summer decided to pick them up and re-master their first release “Static Crash“. So, I wanted to ask them some serious questions, and some that were not. A chilled out experience which would be an easy read for everyone that would bother with it. Have fun!
Why did you choose to reunite to play live, and release a re-master of your “Static Crash” album?
– Mexican Summer made us do it. No, really we want to support them supporting us, if that makes sense. We need to get out there and play some shows for the people who want to see us. It’s simple give and take.
Since you’re releasing it very soon, I wanted to ask you about the album itself. What was it like in the process of recording it?
– It was recorded in a 16-track studio on black face ADATs. Shitloads of outboard gear with patch bays and a 20 channel 8 bus console… we could go on and on. The gear part is fun to talk about, but still is pretty simple, we didn’t fuss over it, we just got takes and moved on. But we cut it really close because we booked tour before the record was done and were busting ass to get copies made and silkscreen the art work the day before we left.
You’ve teamed up with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer for this re-master. Why is that?
– They found us really. We had no serious intentions of doing any more releases or putting anything else out. We had a successful small run re-release on Hot Releases’ label and were toying around with the idea of doing more when Mexican Summer emailed us. We had lots of material to work with so we signed up to release our entire discography.
What have you two been doing these years when you weren’t occupied with Ashrae Fax?
– Alex has been playing electronic/techno music as Faster Detail. I got married, played in a band with my husband called Filthybird for about 8 years of that time, started a tech career, bought a house. Mostly normal life stuff with music as a second job.
You’ve already gotten some rave reviews on the re-master, as I send you this. Any review in particular that got you “going”?
– I really liked Surfing on Steam’s review. I felt like s(he) really got it and shined light on the things that make our music unique. Especially the vocal performance which I think really sets our music apart from the abundance of dream-pop/goth-synth bands that are out now.
I’ve also been wondering, for some time now – who’s the man portrayed on the album itself and why did he get the pleasure to find himself on the front of it?
– It’s actually a female Chinese Air Force pilot. Our friend Scab Von Havoc from Aluminum Noise created that art work for us and it has stood the test of time.
Since your music is comprised by so many different influences, aesthetics and the likes – what kind of “aim” do you have with your songs, both lyrically and musically?
– Lyrically, the aim isn’t always clear. Some songs are more about sounds than words while others tell more of a story or are words about sounds. Musically, we just wanted to make something futuristic. And to make the kind music that we wanted to hear.
I’m not sure that people know that much about you two. What’s your background?
– We’re both X-cons.
Alright, you’re playing live in North Carolina and on the Hopscotch Music Festival later this year. What can one expect?
– A four piece band comprised of the original Static Crash players: Alex, Renee, Mike, and Robert. Some dancing. Probably some awkwardness and shoegazing from some members as we get our sea legs back. Maybe some singalongs.
Thank you for answering these questions. As I’m a robot, I expect you to leave your message here in the end. What have you got to say?
– Word up.
Head on over to Ashrae Fax’s bandcamp, so you can listen to two tracks from their re-imagined release “Static Crash!“.