Bubblewrap your crockery and brace for impact, because Earthquake Party!, Boston’s most combustive noise-pop band, are about to blow up even further.
The Allston trio (keyboardist Mallory Hestand, guitarist and lead songwriter Justin Lally and drummer Josh “J-Raff” Carrasco) have always lived up to their moniker – catch one of their hyperkinetic, punishingly loud, irresistibly catchy live shows and you’ll understand why they’ve had such trouble shedding that exclamation mark, which most of their fans still use even though it’s technically not part of their name anymore.
But after several years as a beloved fixture of the local scene, Earthquake Party! are hungry for bigger things – and bigger things, it seems, are hungry for them as well. For one, they are opening for the Thermals tonight at the Sinclair, the biggest venue they’ve ever played. More importantly, though, they are hard at work on their full-length debut record, for which they have high hopes indeed. The other night Scout Cambridge sat down with Hestand and Lally and got them talking, and here’s what they said:
On the creative process:
MH: “Justin really understands how to make different dissonant sounds respect each other. You’ll have one sound that goes in and out and in and out of two or three different sounds, and they totally respect each other, and it’s a beautiful thing that takes a lot of fine-tuning, but it’s something that his brain just comes up with somehow.”
JL: “It’s not something that comes easy for me at all. It’s just that one of the only things I love to do in the world is play guitar. And I have no theory background. When Mallory says I write a song that bridges this gap [between dissonant sounds], that means I’ve been playing that for three weeks in my room trying every single note that could possibly be in it. I don’t know chords – I’m just making my fingers into different positions for hours a day. It’s just trial and error. Every time I pick up a guitar, I imagine a tiny person on a dark path in a forest who’s gonna get f***ed no matter what. But sometimes I stumble upon the most perfect chord arrangement, and I’m just like ‘That little dude in the forest is doin’ okay!”
On their vision for the band:
JL: “I definitely have a vision for this band. This band is not an outlet for how I feel.”
MH: “No, this band is an outlet for how YOU should feel when you’re at your partiest.”
JL: “If I had to sum it up, it’d just be – total abandon, no tomorrow, if you’re ever at that amazing point where you’re just so happy, and fireworks are shooting off around you everywhere you look, and you’re just like, ‘I don’t care if I die tonight, I’m so happy!’ That is the only spirit I want to write lyrics for this band in.”
On their hopes for the new album:
JL: “I will honestly say that if the record that comes out this year is not in the top ten records of most people’s lists, like nationally, I’m gonna be disappointed. I’ve worked my whole life to this point. I started playing guitar in seventh grade, and I’ve never done anything but that since then. I’ve had the two most supportive parents of all time, and I’ve been in bands that have helped me get to this point. This is the band that’s supposed to do it, and this is the year that’s supposed to do it. All we have to do is go into the studio and DO IT.” -Nick Cox