Static Dress release debut project ‘Prologue… (Comic Book Soundtrack)’
Static Dress are the U.K.’s newest offering of heavy and genre-bending music, harking back to legendary early 2000s groups such as the Bled, Underoath and Norma Jean while seamlessly fusing modern electronic elements. The band utilize distinct production techniques that push sonic boundaries, with everything from ASMR-inspired vocals to tense and chaotic glitch effects and cinematic climaxes. Within their two-year career, Static Dress have always focused on quality over quantity and art over dollar signs, constantly expanding upon their blend of post-hardcore and their signature visual aesthetic.
Ahead of their new project, we connected with the band to discuss their development, their artistic vision and what it was like recording a comic book soundtrack.
As a band, you have always managed to find an engaging and meaningful way to build up hype and mystery behind everything you do, from your music videos, teasers and viral marketing. What is the intention behind that, and where does it come from?
My philosophy is that there is no mystery in music anymore. Everything is curated and made with the intention of fast-tracking a career. This band’s direction is all about the art and encapsulating people into a world [that] they can coexist in and be a part of, rather than making something that will do well immediately or jump to the top Spotify playlist or charts. We don’t exist to get good numbers on an app. We do not want to cater to any other platform apart from our own. We make this music for ourselves to show that a band can do it all on their own and on their terms. I want to make every single move that we do special. There is so much that is hidden within what we do.
Your sound draws on both nostalgic and modern elements in a way that has always felt so genuine. What are the influences that shape your sound?
Mainly, I want the band to sound like an actual band. I do not want to overproduce anything. At the end of the day, this is a band with real people and not computers playing everything. At the same time, I want the music to sound competitive with other bands and artists out there. Sonically, we are big fans of electronic music like Jon Hopkins and sound design for film and video games. I’m also really into ASMR and stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable. Right now, I’ve made it my thing where I’m like, “I’m going to use the worst gear I can find” because none of us are born from backgrounds of wealth, which some people find hard to believe when they look at our production value.
You’ve had co-signs from artists across multiple genres, including Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon, lil aaron, LiL Lotus and Connie Sgarbossa from SeeYouSpaceCowboy. What has it felt like to have that kind of support?
For me, there’s a saying that has always stuck with me, and that’s “real recognizes real.” When people from the non-band world like lil aaron and LiL Lotus came out to support the band, I was like, “This is sick” because it meant that we were able to reach other people outside of our scene. It also showed me that this genre of music that we play can still be relevant and popular. It’s been cool to see the support, but I don’t ever want to use someone else’s lane as a trajectory for myself.
Having only released singles one at a time since the band’s inception, you have still managed to make each release feel like its own moment. What’s the process behind this format?
I want to create branding behind each single, whether that be a shirt that ties into the world of that release, a tour announcement or a video I direct. I want it all to tie in. I want to make a single that lasts longer than two minutes once it’s released. If I can make an impression on someone that lasts longer than it takes for the song to circuit and listen to, then I’m like, “Mission successful.”
You are gearing up to release your highly anticipated debut EP, Prologue, along with an accompanying graphic novel. What can you tell us about this?
With the comic and entire saga, it’s a prologue for everything that is to come in the future from us. The visual realm and audio realm are two completely different storylines. I do not want to ever have them cross over. If you hate how this band sounds, then you might like how it looks, and vice versa. From day one, there has been a goal to write a story that is bigger than what this band is. The story is constantly evolving, and I’m hoping this will be one of the most interesting concept pieces people have seen and heard in music.
Are there any plans to tour in the U.S. in the near future?
The goal and mission for this band to level up is to come to the States and tour. I also just want to see and visit all of my friends I’ve made through this band.
What’s the last song/album you listened to?
The last thing I listened to was To Decay In A Deathless World, the new album by God Complex, which is hands down the best heavy record of the entire year, and I will happily fight anyone to prove them wrong.
I know you are a huge fan of retro video games, particularly from the PlayStation 1 and 2 generation. What are some of your favorite games?
Straight up, my No. 1 is Metal Gear Solid. It’s the best game of all time, down to its script, storyline, character development, attention to detail and the way the game creates suspense and uses innovative playstyles. For my attention span and destructive mindset, I also love Tekken 3. I’ll go toe to toe with anyone, any day, with that game.
What’s something you hope fans can take away from what you create?
I want to inspire people to do art, whether that’s being in a band, doing photography, creating short films, painting, writing poetry or anything that is artistic. I want us to be the source of pushing someone to create as much as they can. I want to create a new generation of people who want to move forward and be productive. Without art, you have black-and-white lines on paper. It would be a bleak world.
FOR FANS OF: Underoath, the Bled, Refused
SONG RECOMMENDATION: “sweet.”
Check out our interview with the band for issue 400, available here.