An Aesthetic Anaesthetic is a local band comprised of Dan Hoefler (guitar), Joshua Corriveau (Guitar), Sam Edgin (bass) and William Covert (drums). The band's genesis took place in Colorado, but didn’t truly take form until moving to Chicago. The current roster met via craigslist, and gelled instantly through similar styles and interests. In the short time An Aesthetic Anaesthetic has been together they've already released two EP's and a full length.
A!A!A’s influences run the gamut—from Johnny Cash and Battles to Fugazi—yet they’ve separated themselves from the pack with a sound that they best describe as, “if you took the angry tone of Refused, combined with the building style of Explosions in the Sky, and added a dash of the Kinsella’s.” Centerstage caught up with bassist Sam Edgin to discuss the collective's songwriting process and how their full-length debut, Before the Machinery of Other Skeletons, has been a long time coming.
How did you guys initially come together?
Craigslist is mainly to thank for us being a band. Dan formed the band with our old drummer, Greg, out in Colorado. They both moved to Chicago where they met Josh via Craigslist. They played as that lineup for about a year together. Then I (Sam) booked them at Reggie’s Rock Club. A few months later they asked if I would come into the studio and record bass for their new EP, and after jamming one time we decided I should stay in the band. We played as that lineup for another year, then Greg decided to pursue an education in Florida, so we put out another ad on Craigslist looking for a drummer; and this is where Bill comes in. Again, we had one session with him and decided he was the best man for the job. We’ve been playing together under this lineup for a little over a year now and couldn’t be happier. Even though we met randomly, we are each other’s closest friends. It’s nice to be in a band where there’s no drama, and everyone just wants to play music and constantly be working to take the band to the next level.
Who are some of your inspirations?
We have a pretty large spectrum of influences as individuals. Our personal inspirations range from Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash to bands like Saves the Day, Battles, and Cursive. As a band though, I would say our strongest influences would be Fugazi, Mogwai, and Refused.
Does Chicago in particular inspire you in any way?
There’s a lot about Chicago that inspires me, personally. I think it’s one of the hardest cities for bands to really make an impact on people. So many good scenes have come from Chicago (especially in the sense of avant-garde and Math Rock) but it’s breaking into that scene that is truly difficult. I think that’s sort of what drives me as a musician though. Being an Instrumental / Math Rock / Metal band makes getting noticed a lot more difficult. All of those scenes are really small, tight niches of people, and unless you’re one of the cool kids that everyone knows, you have a slim chance. The way we look at it though, is that these fads come and go. One year pop punk is huge, and the next is indie electronica. All we care about is playing the music we love, and anyone who wants to throw down with us is always welcome.
What’s the writing process like for you guys when you’re ready to sit down and make music?
Honestly, we’re kind of all over the place when we write. Sometimes at practice someone will just start playing a riff and we’ll jam on that for a while, then we’ll go back and review the parts that were really cool and start writing from there. Other times someone will have a whole song already written and we’ll each add our own suggestions for the song. Something that is great about playing with A!A!A is that we all contribute to the song writing. There’s never one person who makes all of the calls, and writes all of the songs. We all contribute something to everything we write, which I think is why our songs end up being 7-12 minutes long and have pop / metal / and math elements.
You have two EPs out right now, what has been the biggest transition for you guys from one project to the next?
Our biggest issue has been being able to afford recording more! Writing for us has never been a problem. We have a library of about 25+ songs, and we’re still writing. I guess the constant struggle for every release we have is making people constantly aware of our releases. So far, we’ve had all of our releases available on our bandcamp site as Pay-What-You-Want. We’re not concerned with making money off of the band. We just really want people to hear our songs and enjoy our music. Although this process is difficult, I think we’re on a good track. In the last year, we’ve gone from drawing 20-25 people to 60-75, and we’ve gotten shows with Tera Melos and Marnie Stern.
Is there a full length in sight?
There is! After 3 years of only being able to record EP’s, we’re finally releasing our first full length entitled Before the Machinery of Other Skeletons. BTMOOS is 9 tracks long and runs just over 60 minutes. We are extremely excited to get this full length into the hands of Chicago. We tried to make the CD flow and be more of a statement than just some songs for you to listen to. When there aren’t vocals in a song, most people tend to lose interest. If someone is not telling them what a song is about, they don’t know how to “feel.” We tried to make this album a journey/experience of sorts. Before the Machinery of Other Skeletons will move you one way or the other. That’s the best part about instrumental music. You don’t have to be in a certain mood to listen to it. The music will just enhance your mood.
What else do you have planned for the coming months?
We’re being interviewed on Fearless Radio on August 22nd; our CD release show at Beat Kitchen August 26th; and then we head out on tour for 10 days to Colorado and back. So we’ve got a pretty packed schedule.
For details on A!A!A's record release show check our listings.