Every year for the past decade, Missoula, Mont. plays host to Total Fest, a groundbreaking music festival that showcases up and coming underground hardcore, punk rock, experimental, noise and metal bands alongside a few more well known acts. This year marks the festival’s 11th year and Dan Deacon, Harkonen and Torche headline. The event takes place at various venues throughout Missoula from Aug. 16th to 18th.
The festival’s founders dig all over the country to unearth some of America’s best kept punk rock secrets, and I spent an entire evening a checking out every single band I didn’t recognize. I found an emerging band from Minneapolis, Minn. called Buildings that recently released the incredible album Melt Cry Sleep, so I contacted their vocalist Brian Lake for the following interview:
Geek: You’ve been a band for six years, but are only now starting to branch out (outside Minnesota). What has prevented you from doing massive tours in the past?
Lake: Before it was (the band) not recording for one thing. We’ve had a couple of holdbacks with certain members not being able to run out around the country. So we just kind of fixed that situation, but it wasn’t really until this new record came out that we kind of pushed forward with getting out there. Before you have money, funds are always a factor. We didn’t have the funds to get (the album) done as fast as we could, and once we got it done, we figured it out from there.
You’ve talked about how your music falls into a certain niche audience who like heavy and aggressive music. A lot of heavier artistic bands get frustrated at that, but it seems like you’ve resigned yourself to the fact you’ll have a smaller audience.
Yeah. I’d rather have 35 people there wanting to listen to us than have 300 people there and only 35 of them want to listen to us. Noise rock is noise rock and only certain people are gonna like it. All I’ve really wanted to do is take someone who doesn’t necessarily listen to it and hope they would find the artistic creativity in it, get amped on the live show and enjoy it that way.
What in your life has drawn you toward making more aggressive music?
Oh, I don’t know. I just listened to the bands that I listened to when I was going up in high school. I listened to a lot of The Birthday Party, G.B.H., The Suburbs and stuff like that. Then I graduated to The Jesus Lizard, Melvins, Unwound, Nirvana. That was what we listened to when we were teenagers. I’ve always just enjoyed that type of music and it’s really easy for me to write too. I can’t write a pop song, but I can write a weird, noisy dissonant chord type thing, you know?
Check out Melt Cry Sleep here: