Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing no games.
- Posted on Nov 16th 2011 3:00PM by Jenny Charlesworth
We Are Busy Bodies
"Man, Broken Social Scene showed us up again," Matt King tells Spinner with a laugh.
But it looks like King and his DD/MM/YYYY bandmates save for Tomas Del Balso will get to debut their new project, Absolutely Free, before anyone from the BSS camp can unveil another offshoot. Absolutely Free will play their inaugural set at M for Montreal this Thursday (Nov. 17) when industry insiders and music lovers converge to check out the annual music showcase.
"Our new set-up looks a little like a laboratory," says King. "We have synths everywhere and a couple drums sets; it's a neat set-up and we still switch around a lot."
King admits that since Absolutely Free boasts nearly the same lineup as their former band, fans shouldn't expect a total sonic transformation -- good news for those crushed that there won't be a followup to 2009's 'Black Square.'
"It's four out of five from DD/MM/YYYY, so it's pretty much inevitable that it will sound pretty close to what we sounded like," he says. "But this is a little more dynamic. DD/MM/YYYY was always everybody playing full force, all the time, like a barrage of spastic energy. With Absolutely Free, there's a little more build up and a couple new influences, like Kraftwerk and more world music."
"I'm taking a Turkish cinema class right now," he adds. "And I'm like, 'Wow, Turkish music has a lot of weird time signatures. So stuff like that is making it in."
As for how this new project -- named after Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention -- came about, King says DD/MM/YYYY had run their course.
"When we started the band, we had written a self-destruct program," he jokes. "We had originally booked the last show for like September 24 and then we were like, 'No, we should book it for 11/11/1111 -- conceptually that looks better.' But, really, bands are like relationships, some relationships last till death, and some change with the way they work and you move on."
Absolutely Free isn't the only thing the DD/MM/YYYY alumni are working on either. As King reports, there's plenty of projects to prevent any post-breakup blues.
"[Drummer and keyboardist] Moshe [Rozenberg] and his friend Ryan Dodgson, who's an illustrator, they're making a book. Moshe is writing the songs to go along with Ryan's pictures, and it's called Brr!"
"I have a band called Bling Blong, too," he adds. "It's just two of us on synths and drums, and we play music to projections and we sell dumplings, 'cause we don't have merch yet. Then I also have a project called Street Fighter where I've modified video game controls so when you play the drums, you control Super Nintendo characters."
DD/MM/YYYY never followed a paint-by-numbers approach, their music and energetic live shows were far from predictable. While the guys may have ditch their old band name -- and lost a collaborator -- fans can still count on the new formation to be just as experimental and bold. And the Absolutely Free moniker is a pretty good indication of their resolve to keep operating outside of the box.
"We liked the idea of freedom and Frank Zappa's usage of it, or even Devo's was appealing; it's like tongue and cheek, something impossible to achieve but still something everybody's looking for."