Unlike the last few apocalypse scares (Y2K, Heaven’s Gate, Edgar C. Whisenant in 1988, 1989, 1992, and 1995), it seems like a lot of people are really excited about 2012. Not just metal bands and survivalists, but like, my neighbor and the woman at the coffee shop and most of the people at human resources at work. It seems like everyone’s so sick of this life they’re eager for anything different. Travis Egedy, aka pictureplane, is one of the most eager-for-change people I’ve met, but he’s already working on it.
In a barely-marked warehouse in a grim neighborhood of Northwest Denver, he’s been ringleading these furious, excited dance parties since 2005, half his energy focused on a rack of electronic equipment, the other half spent running and flipping through the crowd. On October 9th, he sets off on a U.S. tour, singing and dancing the end, yes, but also what comes after. We asked him a few questions just before he set off on his trip.
Vice: There are parts of your music that have the same bouncing, fun-forward air of Portland/Bay Area/L.A. based acts like Y.A.C.H.T. or Hawnay Troof, but then there are parts that feel more wistful and edged, like the Armageddon ecstasy Gang Gang Dance or the more four on the floor stuff by Excepter. I was thinking recently about this quote from Common during the heights of the 90s East Coast/West Coast rivalry, "the one that's in the middle is the one that sees the most." How do you feel about that as a Coloradan?
pictureplane: Armageddon ecstasy is a good term. I would say that I have more in common with bands like Gang Gang or Excepter, just because of their propensity for experimentation. Common's quote is interesting because I do feel like Denver is culturally removed from both the coasts. There is something to be said for artists and musicians who are not fully aware of what is supposed to be "now", and just living as they please. A lot of that is changing now with the hyper exchange of information because of the internet, but Denver will always be this little autonomous community. We are a mountain oasis, a "wonderwall" if you will.
I met you at Rhinoceropolis in Denver, what's the deal with that place?
Rhinoceropolis is a beautiful and filthy warehouse that I live in with my friends. We have been around for three years now, and in that time I feel like it has had a huge influence on the development of Denver as a creative volcano. We have amazing bands that come through here, like Dynasty, High Places, Lightning Bolt, Indian Jewelry, Z's, HEALTH, Ssion, Abe Vigoda, Barr... so many others. I think it's important for everyone to be able to see incredible bands like that in a more intimate context where the primary concern is the music, not beer sales or whatever.
What I liked about Rhinoceropolis is that there's something lawless about it that sidesteps all the rigid nightclub/bar/concerthall crap you usually have to deal with.
Well there is something about a DIY living situation that will naturally be lawless. As an experiment, it proves that people will behave themselves even when there are no rules telling them how to behave.We were really influenced by Monkey Mania, which was a warehouse in Denver that existed before Rhinoceropolis. I've always hoped that Rhinoceropolis would be a model for ways of sidestepping society and creating culture and community on your own.
That song "Trance Doll" off your new 7" has this hugeness, this wall-shaking/full-body bang presence to it. Do you think we're living in a more epic time?
Time is speeding up. We are accelerating towards a great shift. In "Trance Doll" I say "there is no cage, time and space enter the new age". People are waking up all over the world, a key to our global cage is in our hands. So yeah it is fucking epic! The future is already here, we just need to figure out how and what to do with it. I don’t know how pictureplane fits into all of that.
Pictureplane is touring the U.S. with BDRMPPL throughout October, and will be at Glasslands in Brooklyn, New York on October 21, 2008. For complete tour dates go here.
Photo by Tara Chacon.