Spotlight: Milwaukee shoegaze/indie rock band Tapebenders

By on November 3, 2014

The adventurous and accessible musicality of modern rock band Tapebenders (formerly Elusive Parallelograms) stems from refreshing respect-diversity ideals. “We come from such varied backgrounds as people and as musicians,” contributing guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Andrew Foys explains. “We just consider ourselves a creative collective striving to make good art.”

After an epiphanic creative period that saw the group releasing three masterful EPs in 11 months (as Elusive Parallelograms), Tapebenders is welcoming in a whole new era artistic growth. To mark this time, the 6 piece has changed its name to Tapebenders and are releasing two landmark releases. First, “Chasing Ghosts” is an anthology album that neatly summarizes the group’s past five years—cherry picked from the band’s two LPs and three EPs. The second is an album of new material created in the fevered inspiration the group has been experiencing in the aftermath of their watershed three-EP project; slated to begin production very soon.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based 6 piece forges a distinct sound from a variety of sources, ranging from majestic progressive rock, classic and contemporary psychedelic, bluesy riff-rock, textured modern rock, concise pop, indie rock, metal, and shards of shoegaze and post-rock. Since the band embraces such a panoramic stylistic perspective, the group has garnered favorable comparisons to such diverse artists as The Replacements, The Dandy Warhols, The Stone Roses, Built to Spill, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Flaming Lips among others. The group received accolades from such noted tastemakers as Fearless Radio, Performer Magazine, Alternative Press, Slug Magazine, Speakercreatures, The Fire Note, Babysue,, AV Club Milwaukee, Uncut Mag (UK), Rocksposure, and On Milwaukee.

Tapebenders officially began in 2008 as Elusive Parallelograms with the release of their debut album. The creative collective have weathered personnel changes until finding the optimum lineup of complimentary talents. Tapebenders is Andrew Foys, vocals, guitar; David Schessow vocals, guitar; Jeff Krause, bass; Stefan Dostanic, guitar; Adam Asher, keyboard; and William Pogue, drums.

The collective’s bold artistic openness is rooted in the mutual respect its members have for the varied life journeys of each musician. Andrew Foys currently has two children and is a focused husband and father, but as a kid he wracked up some felonies. Jeff Krause survived a debilitating mental illness and drug addiction. Stefan Dostanic grew up in Serbia, a world away from the others, “Because of our varied personal stories and hurdles, there is this feeling of freedom in the band—we don’t like to be boxed in,” Foys explains.

The idea of the band being a creative collective means the band shares in all aspects of the record making process, from songwriting, to arranging, to recording in Andrew Foys’ basement. And a crucial hallmark of Tapebenders’ artistry is their recording approach production. “That’s really what ties it all together, our overall approach to production—our focus on layers and textures keeps the music consistent because we don’t cling to genres,” Andrew says.

The group’s expansive production aesthetic is currently best experienced on the final installment of the EP trilogy, Fragments. This is the creative breakthrough that announces a profound period in the band’s development. The band worked on it 18 hours a day for 14 days straight, and it has inspired Tapebenders’ bold new album. “Looking back, it feels like a weight has been lifted and we can see quick improvement and where to go next,” Foys says. “Things are developing so fast, and everybody in the band is super happy.”

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Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.