Formed in 1999 in Austin Texas, This all instrumental quartet has been making some big noise with its take on post rock music. The band likes to refer to it as “cathartic mini symphonies” and thinks of themselves as more of a straight forward rock band. I agree with David Fricke, reviewer for Rolling Stone magazine, with his description “Explosion in the Sky specialize in a highly disciplined enchantment: echo-laden orchestral-guitar rock as specific as Bach in its circling concentric melodies and as steadfast as AC/DC in its push to ecstasy”.
The band consist of Michael James, Mark Smith, and Munaf Rayani all on guitar with James dropping the guitar and slapping the bass every so often. Sitting behind the drums is Chris Hrasky.
Having formed under the name Breaker Morant it wasn’t long before they changed their name to Explosions in the sky. This was due to a comment made by drummer Chris Hrasky upon seeing a firework show after their first gig.
Not long after forming, Explosions released their first album “How Strange, Innocence” in January 2000. The band released 300 copies of this album all on the CD-R format. This album was re-released in 2005 with new art work and re-mastered. During the years prior to the album being re-mastering the band stated there were a few times they wanted to buy back all the CD-R copies and burn them.
Explosions sophomore release, “ Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever”, attracted some attention with its cover art. The album was released on August 27, 2001 just a few weeks prior to what we now know as 9/11. The cover had and airplane on it with the saying “ This plane will crash tomorrow”. Some folks tried to read into this and thought the band had connections with the tragic event. The guys denied any connection and this good ole American band fought on and in 2003 released their third album “ The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place”.
In 2004 the band received an email that would eventually provide them with major national attention. Brian Reitzell, a major movie music supervisor, asked the band if they were interested in doing a movie sound track for “Friday Night Lights”. The band being from Texas were more than ecstatic to do it. The movie was released in October 2004 and went on to be a classic and spawned a TV series.
Over the next few years Explosion in the Sky released two more albums. In 2005 they released “The Rescue” and its follow up 2007’s “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone”. On their 2007 release the band admits this was the hardest to record but is the one their most proud of. They should be proud of the album for it charted at #76 in the U.S.
The next four years following their 2007 chart success the band members dealt with marriage, kids being born, and even a short lived sabbatical. After these four long years and sorting through 50 plus demo’s, April 26, 2011 saw them release their sixth and latest album “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care”. The long wait paid off and Explosion saw the album debut at # 16 on the U.S. charts.
Explosions in the Sky has also seen success in the TV and Movie sound track world. They have several movie credits including “Friday Nights Lights” , “Paul Blart, Mall Cop”, “Ghost of Girlfriends Past”, “The Big Empty”, and “Love Happens”. Their TV and commercial resume is just as impressive along with songs in several documentaries including Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”.
The band in currently planning a Spring tour of the western states that kicks off April 5th in Boulder Colorado and is highlighted by a sell out show and extra date added in San Francisco on April 16th & 17th. They also will be playing the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City on June 24th followed by some international dates.
I have to admit I had never heard of these guys but after doing some research and listening to several killer tracks and watching their video’s I have become very intrigued by this band. I can imagine watching some crazy visuals while cranking their tunes. Explosions has a reputation for enthusiastic and emotional live shows so I am really fired up to see these incredible musicians live ! You should be to !
So here’s the scoop. Explosions in the Sky will be playing here locally in Reno Nevada on April 12th at the Knitting Factory. Click on the Knitting Factory link to buy tix. See ya there !