Static Dress vow to introduce more risk, announce debut LP ‘Rouge Carpet Disaster’
Static Dress have announced their debut album Rouge Carpet Disaster, due for a May 18 release. They also released a video for their emotionally-driven track “such.a.shame.” The new track showcases the band's mastery of a wide range of styles, seeing them craft soaring, rich post-hardcore that harkens back to the harmonically rich early years of the genre.
Alternative Press connected with singer and creative director Olli Appleyard for issue #402, where he detailed some of what is coming from the band this year. During the conversation, Appleyard spoke about the band's ambitious vision. He showcased the intense drive and passion that motivates Static Dress to push themselves again and again. Among other things, Appleyard spoke of “discovery and magic” and the band's intention to introduce more risk into their music-making.–Alternative Press
Static Dress want to show their peers and the world at large that with a determined work ethic, a forward-thinking mentality and the courage to take risks, you can redefine what it means to create art in the modern world. Led by singer and creative director Olli Appleyard, the band have an advantage: a leader who’s one of the truest visionaries in recent history. The artistic scope that Appleyard sees the world through is one part Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon), one part Kanye West and the other part Björk. While these are stark contrasts, it all begins to make sense when you see the hyperstylized world that Static Dress have created.
While the band initially won over early fans with their unique blend of futuristic yet nostalgic post-hardcore, it’s evident that in 2022, they’re set to bring mastery and detail into every genre they touch. Given the impeccable electronic elements, abstract vocal arrangements, use of foley artistry and cinematic sounds exemplified on their latest release, Prologue… (Comic Book Soundtrack), we are witnessing what could become one of the most inventive groups alternative music has birthed this decade.
You’re open about the fact that Prologue is not to be seen as your debut EP, but rather just a taste of what’s to come. Now that it’s out in the world, do you feel pressure to release a full-length?
OLLI APPLEYARD: I feel like doing this might have created some pressure, but honestly, I say no. That whole album level that we used to hold ourselves on, especially in music and artistry, doesn’t exist anymore. You get bands that are coming out and playing headlining shows and selling out venues that just have singles.
You have been very DIY-focused in your recording approach, especially with this latest release, and welcomed the challenge of doing so. Do you feel the urge to collaborate with producers in the future?
We have always been very hands-on in the studio, but I still think we could go into the studio with someone else to share the workload amongst us a little better and help bring a new flavor to everything. We’re more than capable of doing it on our own, but I want to strive a bit further and be able to use the tools around us and explore more territories, rather than just be inside my own head.
Are there any dream producers you would love to collaborate with?
Steve Evetts. His OG way of approaching records is really sick. Eric Valentine, that’s one. What he can do, I struggle to understand, and I also look from a standpoint of how they write and how they think songs are good. I think that’s more important than anything because sound and texture are one thing, but songwriting is a whole other world. You can get a good engineer and good recorder, or you can have someone who is hands-on in songwriting and decision-making.
Are there plans to come to the States this year? It’s beyond overdue, wouldn’t you say?
I know it’s going to happen, but the main problem is that we are independent artists, and to be able to afford to come over, we’re looking at around an 11,000-pound loss, with working visas. I don’t want to risk losing our biggest market just for one tour, and it sucks because I’m seeing all the people who want us over there, but I can’t take the risk of never being able to go do it just for one tour. I want to be at our peak, where I know I can turn up and it’s going to sell and do well, rather than some cities where it might be hit or miss.
There are some cool tours planned [in the U.K.], and we’ve got a lot of headline stuff that we’re gonna try to do because it now feels like the time to not do these dive bar shows that we were doing and actually step into real venues. We’re gonna make more of an experience of these live shows and have a way more involved, atmospheric show, much like you’d find at a theater, rather than a show where you turn up and buy a beer. I want to be able to put something on for people, and not just a show on a weekday.
Is there anything you want to tap into more with your music this year, lyrically?
There’s so much more because as a person, from when this band started to now, I’ve grown a lot mentally. There’s going to be a lot of stories revolving around immediate self-reflection, and then I’ll expand them to use in our world, make different characters and make stuff work together. There’s a lot that will be on the way, and hopefully, everyone who listens can relate in some way or another.
Something that’s so striking about the band’s appearance is that you have a guitar player who wears an abstract and unsettling mask, with no explanation as to why. Where did this idea come from?
The main reason for this is because it makes you ask, “Why?” If it was just another dude who was wearing a band T-shirt, you’d be like, “Oh, that’s that dude, and I follow him on Instagram.” Then there’s this thing. You don’t know whatever it is, but it exists in this realm and exists in this world. It’s another talking point and another vessel for you to cling to of discovery and magic. I wanted to incorporate something different and be able to expand internally without having to say anything or do anything.
What risks do you want to take this year?
A big thing for  is going to be reintroducing more risk. We’ve sprinkled over electronic music more before. I want to deep dive into that and collaborate with some people who I don’t think anyone will see coming, whether that be producers or artists that have visual references. I want to do so much work with so many more people and bring them into our world and hopefully change a lot of people’s ways of thinking. People will say, “You’re an inspiration to make me try harder,” and that’s literally what this is about. I want people to put [in] more time, effort and passion.
This interview first appeared in issue #402 (22 for ’22), available here.