Oliver Ackermann is a freight train of creativity. With his long-running Brooklyn-based indie rock band A Place To Bury Strangers, he has influenced many bands over the years with his mix of tense post-punk and pummeling washes of shoegaze guitars that have left fan’s ears ringing for nearly two decades.
While the world shut down, Ackermann refused to sit idle and pressed forward working on new inventive guitar pedals with his world famous company Death By Audio. If that wasn’t enough, he also formed a new record label—Dedstrange Records—and reignited inspiration with a new lineup of APTBS. This new lineup shift brought about the band’s newest 5-song EP, Hologram.
In our conversation, we talk about how the constant threat of being surpassed by New York City’s momentum can be both inspiring and suffocating. It’s a subject that Ackermann is close to, as he tells me about the storied saga between his legendary DIY space Death By Audio getting bought out from underneath him and his partners by VICE Media.
We also discuss how he kept up his creative energy during the pandemic, the new lineup of A Place to Bury Strangers, making pedals for his heroes, and of course, the joys of playing music at ridiculously loud volumes.
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