Let us introduce you to two talented musicians who are currently uniting the DIY math rock scene across the globe- Space Blood.
Hailing from Chicago, Space Blood are a mask-wearing, theatrical instrumental duo consisting of William Covert on Drums and Sam Edgin on Bass. Together the pair combine their creativity to create an explosive melodic fusion of Math Rock, experimental, energetic instrumentation. Fusing their punk ethics with strong DIY roots results in a certain impetuous attentiveness found in Space Blood.
The duo are an act you need to fully embrace, their audaciousness and compelling compositions leave you wanting more as you are drawn into their own unique magnetic force field. The attentive duo entice listeners, watchers, fans and you can’t help but absorb all things SB. The pair toured the UK last year and are set to return next month for a handful of unmissable live dates (see below).
Earlier in the year, Space Blood announced their plan to curate and release a series of albums called Math & Atlases, with each album focusing on the math rock/post rock/experimental music scene of a specific geographic area.
With just days until the first release is due, August 25th, we find out more about the first in the series of must hear records. The forthcoming Math & Atlases release is focused on the math rock scene of a country, the first being the UK. The second release is focused on the math rock scene of a city – Chicago, and the third release is focused on the math rock scene of a multi-state geographical area – the Western US. Math & Atlases. The UK record is due in a couple of days time, then the other two releases to follow in October and December respectively.
“The idea for the series came from our tour of the UK we did last October and discovering and playing with some many great contemporary UK math rock/post rock/emo bands and wanting to share those bands with bands/fans we know back in the US and vice versa“- William Covert.
Just two people have worked hard on making such a great and promising idea into something real- something that our strong music minded community can own, can share and can discover. Three records which showcase some of the best acts from across the continent will soon be available to own on physical format, as the pair have teamed up with Little L Records who are releasing the albums on tape, as well as tape pressing by Wiener Records, subsidiary of Burger Records.
Math & Atlases UK Track Listing
1. Space Blood- Animal Rights Pay Day
2. Right Hand Left Hand- Tarts and Darts
3. Wot Gorilla?- Skiddaw
4. Vasa- Not a Cop
5. Iran Iran- You Make Me Feel Ted Danson
6. Alright The Captain- Toaster Mouse
7. Lambhorn- Then it Was
8. Bear Makes Ninja- I Ditch Girls Who Believe in Ghosts
9. Kusanagi- Spires
10. BONUS- Iran Iran- Olivia Ted Danson (Raccoon Acid Remix)
The first release from The Math & Atlases series is the perfect collection of tracks which highlight the diversity of impressive DIY math rock, post rock, experimental bands from all corners of the UK. With 8 abrasive bands that are all notoriously working hard, progressing within their act and developing their own live scene. The 10 track album effortlessly promotes some of the most meritable acts around, each composition comprising the record, compliments the raw projection of the release- melodic, mathy and more-ish.
Space Blood have picked a handful of national acts who individually all support other musicians in the same boat. And that’s something we adore about the UK- we help other acts- it’s not a competition, it’s a community and this reflects so well within the current scene.
Intrigued to find out more about the forthcoming Math & Atlases release we had the pleasure in chatting to Will of Space Blood to discover more about the record, the band and why the UK was the right choice….
Firstly thank you so much for spending time with Circuit Sweet, please kindly introduce yourself and your role within the band for those less familiar.
I’m William Covert, one half of the band Space Blood. I play drums in the band and anyone who has seen us live who is also a Tim & Eric fan might recognize me wearing a Cinco Face Time Party Snoozer mask during our live shows.
What’s the story behind the formation of your outfit and where did the name come from?
The way the band functions is with the idea of thinking of something you’d like to see done on stage or heard in a song that you haven’t seen or heard anyone do before and then try to do it. People tend to have certain expectations of what a rock band should be as in what they should like look and sound like and so forth. Walking on stage in a mask and underwear and then doing absurd comedy skits between songs while a tape recorder plays pre-recorded stage banter was just where the live show and my outfit developed organically to challenge expectations of what a band performance should look like. In Space Blood, I’m influenced equally by absurdist comedians like Tim & Eric and Eric Andre and artists like William S. Burroughs as much as our musical influences. I view the live show of the band as a vehicle to try to challenge how someone views what a rock show should/could be. Originally I wanted to wear something that would be funny and purposely absurdist and be kind of the anti-rock star outfit. I’ve played quite a few shows now where after we got done playing and I took my mask off and and put my pants back on and go talk to people and they don’t realize I was the one in the mask playing drums, and to me that means the outfit is working.
We wanted a band name that didn’t take a lot of thought or have a pretentious meaning, but would be something that the immediate gut reaction upon hearing it would be it fits. When going back and forth with possible band names, Space Blood just kind of immediately felt right. In my mind I could imagine the phrase ‘space blood’ being some kind of bit on a comedy show like Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, Mr. Show with Bob and David, or Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job! so it fit with the humor of the band.
Where did the idea of putting together a series of album releases called Math & Atlases Come from?
The seeds of the idea came a year ago, when I went to ArcTanGent to experience the festival and then two months later Space Blood toured the UK for the first time. I came back from the UK and recommending so many UK bands to my friends in Chicago and vice versa with new friends I made in the UK who were asking me what Chicago bands they should check out, and from that kind of came the idea of doing a series of splits with bands we really liked from different places we’ve been to try and showcase them on an album instead of just doing word of mouth with my circle of music friends.
Doing an album focused on UK bands was a no brainer, as the UK really seems to be the central hub of the contemporary math-rock/post-rock scene. There’s some really good Chicago bands that we know, like, and respect and wanted our local music scene represented as well. Over the years of touring the US we’ve also made friends with bands in the Western US, and there’s a really interesting underground music scene out west, and we wanted to represent some of those bands in that scene too. We’ve liked to have done more than 3 albums, 3 music scenes, but as a two-man operation doing all of these releases that’s all we could handle doing ourselves for now.
During your time in the UK how did you find the UK DIY scene compared to that where you are based?
I found that the UK DIY scene to be quite different from the DIY scene happening in Chicago/US Midwest. The most immediate difference is the scene is quite younger in the UK than it is over here. I think in Chicago the DIY punk scene has such a romanticized history that goes back so far that it’s hard not to talk about the Chicago/Midwest DIY community and not talk about the past, and much of the current scene here is swept up in nostalgia. I felt the contemporary UK DIY scene is writing its own course right now, and it isn’t steered by nostalgia as much as is its driven towards being something new and unique and there’s a lot of young life blood in the scene. The UK scene seemed much more cohesive than what I’m use to in the US. I think the size of the island is a great advantage for the music scene. In the US, most of the scenes are so scattered and cities can be so far apart, that you don’t know what’s happening in a music scene an hour from you and it’s easy to have these insulated communities that don’t interact with other bands or communities that exist outside of themselves, but in the UK every city we played in seemed to have some knowledge of what was happening all around them in different places, and I found that really inspiring and really cool.
Did you perform alongside all the acts during your UK tour, that are featured on the first release?
No, we did play with a good handful of the acts i.e. Alright the Captain, Bear Makes Ninja, Kusanagi. Some of the acts I saw when I went to see ArcTanGent before our tour like Iran Iran and Wot Gorilla?.
Why were the chosen bands the right ones for the first Math & Atlases? Tell us a little about the curation of the release
I kind of view Math & Atlases as an album version of All Tomorrow’s Parties. I can remember through the years when Shellac, Tortoise, and Battles and all these great bands curated ATP and they’d have these great line-ups that the curating bands hand picked themselves, so with Math & Atlases I wanted us to curate it with the mindset of who would want to play with if we were curating something like ATP. The bands on the UK release are bands that we like and listen to, and many of them we’ve played with or met and have gotten to know, and I think that brings an element of solidarity to the album. All the bands are in these together.
What does the final finished release mean to you and what do you feel it captures?
I feel the finished album captures a legitimate representation of the contemporary math-rock/post-rock scene happening in the UK. If someone came to me and said the UK math-rock scene is something they’re not really familiar and looking for a place to start, I feel I could recommend checking out this album and feel good about recommending it as a fair representation of what’s happening there right now.
How did you all get involved with Little L Records and Weiner Records?
We first starting talking with Little L Records about a year ago. They really liked our first EP that came out last fall, and wereleased a split EP with the NYC math-rock band Hannibal Montana on Little L Records earlier this spring.
Wiener Records we got involved with this spring. We’ve played multiple shows with David Liebe Hart, formally of the Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, and David has done some releases through Burger Records as well as absurd humorist Neil Hamburger. Wiener Records is the cassette label of the Burger Records family, and felt we’d fit with some of the other releases of the Burger Records family.
What do you love about having your music on a physical format such as cassette?
I think a main advantage of a format such as cassette is the logistical feasibility of pressing on tape. I think for many DIY bands it makes more sense to press on tape as it minimizes logistical issues over other physical formats. For one thing, if we wanted to release this album on vinyl, it wouldn’t be coming out when we wanted it to just because of the amount of time it takes to do a vinyl pressing. Also, with touring the UK in September, it’s far easier to move around with tapes as your main physical format for merch rather than trying to tour with boxes of Cd’s or vinyl and dealing with expensive shipping costs and those additional logistical issues.
What do you believe is the best thing about releasing a DIY project on a notorious DIY label?
I think the best thing is the potential of increasing the exposure for the bands involved with the project to an audience who may not know them yet, but are already into DIY music and might appreciate this series of albums.
Can you tell us a little more about the next 2 releases to follow? Any hint of guests
Absolutely! The next 2 releases focus on the contemporary math-rock/experimental music scenes in Chicago and the Western US. Math & Atlases: Chicago will be released in October and features some of our favorite Chicago bands in Paper Mice, Evasive Backflip, Den, Snort, Mark Shippy of U.S. Maple, and more. Math & Atlases: Out West should be coming out before year’s end, and a few of the bands involved are Chipper Jones from Texas, CRTTRZ from New Mexico, and 100 Onces from California.
And finally any last words?
Thank you for supporting the efforts of DIY bands and labels.
Along with the Math & Atlases releases, we’re also really looking forward to playing in the UK again in September. We’re doing a two-week long tour and playing shows with many of the bands on this first release.
Editors Note: Will, we cannot thank you enough for spending some time with us, we 100% support your efforts and we can’t wait for the album to be released and loved from Tuesday. We will catch you in a few weeks….
As mentioned the pair will be touring the UK next month for their Intergalactic Knobhead Tour- save those dates!
9/15 @ Scruffy Murphys, Birmingham
w/ Maycomb / Okinawa Picture Show / Silverface
9/16 @ Bar Block, Glasgow
9/17 @ Undertone, Cardiff
w/ Iran Iran / Amy Grindhouse / Esuna
9/18 @ The Mothers’ Ruin, Bristol
Math & Atlases:UK Release Party
w/ Iran Iran / Lambhorn
9/19 @ Green Door Store, Brighton
w/ Oh Captain / Exploder Than You
9/20 @ Ryans Bar, Derby
w/ Alright The Captain / Irk / Downward
9/21 @ CHUNK, Leeds
w/ Irk / Wot Gorilla?
9/22 @ Gullivers, Manchester
w/ Wot Gorilla? / Bearfoot Beware
Presented by Fecking Bahamas
9/23 @ Old Blue Last, London
w/ Theo / itoldyouiwouldeatyou / Quadrilles
Presented by Punktastic & VIce
9/24 @ The Exchange, Leicester
w/ He Was Eaten By Owls
9/25 @ JT Soar, Nottingham
w/ He Was Eaten By Owls / Bellow Below
9/26 @ Temple, Lincoln
w/ Bears Makes Ninja / Temple Steps
Be sure to check the site from Tuesday where we will be promoting the full Math & Atlases UK release and grab the album from our favourites Little L Records and Weiner Records.