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A Place to Bury Strangers 

Sixty seconds with Oliver Ackermann

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Indy: So you're billed as "The loudest band in New York"?

OA: That's what some people say. I dunno, it kinda sounds like baloney to me. But hey, it's not so bad, and it works. There were a couple of different journalists who had written it, so then other people started saying it, as well.

Indy: And what's that do for your booking?

OA: It was pretty funny. We'd just played this show at a certain venue, and these friends of mine said "Wow! We didn't know they put barriers up in front of the bands here!" I guess the club was scared that we were the loudest band from New York and things were gonna get crazy, so they'd put barricades in front of the stage.

Indy: You've also got a prospering side business, the effects-pedal company Death By Audio?

OA: Yeah. And the first pedal was a forced feedback loop, Total Sonic Annihilation, and that started the whole thing. I started looking at things unconventionally, because making things really simple keeps the ideas really pure. Then I did this thing where I would take on any custom project that anyone would throw at me.

Indy: What were some of the weirdest assignments?

OA: All sorts of things. People would send me ideas or drawings — they'd want some wild white-noise-generator-remodulator-delay-pedal or something. I'd get three-page-long e-mails of some description of a guitar sound. And if somebody takes that long to describe a guitar sound, they probably don't even know what the hell they're talking about.

Indy: What's your biggest seller?

OA: People have been really excited about the Robot, which uses this voice chip from children's toys. But we've turned it into a guitar pedal that does arpeggiation of your sound with really lo-fi, fucked-up distortion. It's good stuff. And I'm always working on something in top-secret development, of course!

Indy: So your band could become even louder?

OA: We're always working on that, so we'll see what happens!

At Denver's Bluebird Theater, April 11.

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