Eclectic, electronic, energetic, enthralling – all these words come close to describing this iconic quartet from Sheffield, UK.
If you’re unfamiliar, start here:
SPOTIFY – 65daysofstatic – Bird’s Robe picks
WATCH ‘retreat! retreat!’ live in Japan
WATCH ‘Radio Protector’ live in Japan
Since their last ‘usual’ record, 65daysofstatic have taken their sound to places bands don’t always get to go. A mixture of touring, soundtracking (‘Silent Running’ and ‘No Man’s Sky: Music for an infinite universe’ amongst others), more touring, remixing and collaborations with artists, scientists and dancers has opened up a world of possibilities for their prodigious talents.
65’s early years marked them as a band impossible to define. In a certain light, sure, they were a ‘post-rock’ band, sharing stages and a mastery of dynamics with stalwarts like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. If observers only got as far as their multi-syllabled name and never listened to 65 on record or saw one of their hectic live shows, maybe their perception of what 65 are stopped there. If so, they’ve been missing out. 65daysofstatic are walking a very different path.
Their first live shows were a confusion of bootlegs, drum machines and dance beats. Early tours found them in the depths of Europe playing at 3am in drum’n’bass clubs as often as headlining rock venues.
Developing their sound over their first three albums ‘The Fall of Math’ (2004), ‘One Time For All Time’ (2005) and ‘The Destruction of Small Ideas’ (2007) saw them reaching the stage where they flitted between disciplines at will. The support of legendary UK label Monotreme saw them better able to take their talents abroad. 2007 brought a back-of-the-van tour of America with post-hardcore bands. A year later they returned as an ‘arena band’, opening up for The Cure for months, playing to hundreds of thousands of people. They carved themselves out an unclassifiable brand of noise that appealed on a fundamental level across the board, allowing them to conduct punk-rock stage-invasions at festivals like Dour, mould abrasive noise into unlikely anthems on a huge scale at mega-festivals like Summersonic, and create tents full of glitchy, angular dancing at Glade festival with equal success.
2010’s ‘We We Exploding Anyway’ saw them, in their own minds, up their game significantly. They focussed on bringing dance beats and soaring guitar noise to the forefront of their sound and lifting their fearsome live show to the next level. Their uniqueness let them transcend the usual festival circuit and embark on new adventures. Warehouse raves in deepest, darkest Russia? Check. Waking up thousands of Japanese dance-festival-goers by walking onstage at 6am as the sun rises above a forest outside Tokyo? Check. Winning over Metal-fans with a brain-meltingly loud Sonisphere set before heading off to Edinburgh Festival for a five night residency live-soundtracking interpretive dance in the same week? Check.
The 18 months of touring WWEA finished in spring 2011 with two sold-out, back-to-back shows in Singapore. The rest of that year was taken up with the unexpected success of their ‘Silent Running’ project. Originally conceived as a two-nights-only performance for Glasgow Film Festival, the exceptional response to what 65daysofstatic managed to achieve (90 minutes of brand new material, performed precisely in sync to the film) meant more and more Silent Running performances got booked. Their fans clamoured for a soundtrack album.
In November, 65daysofstatic released their ‘Silent Running’ re-score on their own Dustpunk Records label. The vinyl sold out before it had even been pressed. Despite the band intending it to be an underground, fans-only release, press that did manage to get hold of copies shouted loudly that it might be 65’s best work yet.
This brings us to the end of 2011. Somewhere in there, they worked with scientist/BBC documentary-maker Adam Rutherford and N.A.S.A on a video-tribute to the Space Shuttle missions. They also performed their score for interpretive dancer Jean Abreu’s ‘INSIDE’ to a sold-out audience at the Southbank Centre.
Then to 2012 – following a sold out headline spot at Belgium’s Dunk Festival, a chance meeting backstage brokered a deal that produced, at last, news that the band would venture to lands previously unexplored. The release of their entire back catalogue in Australia, through Bird’s Robe Records. A series of deluxe editions packed with a mountain of rare and unreleased material. Then, the announcement of their first ever Australian tour, an Asian tour and the promise of new material in 2013.
Another period of reflection, heavy touring and reincarnation saw the band produce perhaps their finest and most cohesive studio record to date, with 2013’s ‘Wild Light’ sparking another round of world tours, including a return to North America with Caspian for their first American shows in 7 years. Joining the ranks of Northern Music’s management roster and rekindling a relationship with Monotreme for a 10th anniversary edition and tour in support of ‘The Fall of Math’ saw resounding success for a rare trip in nostalgia, including a sold out London headline at the famous KOKO club.
65’s next project became the genesis for the next phase of the band – drafted to compose music for the infinite universe of acclaimed indie game ‘No Man’s Sky’ led to the band’s further experimentations with scoring and remixing that have seen them burrow deeper into compositional rabbit holes than ever before. Their latest release ‘replicr.2019’ is a showcase of this current phase – however impermanent it may be.
Keep an eye on 65daysofstatic. They have only just begun to show what they are capable of.