After releasing two singles, LA's mathematical thrashers QunQ are readying their album Desolation Row Revisited for release April 22. Their first release for Tape Deck Mountain's label Nineteen98, the trio of guitarist and singer Ben Heywood, drummer Brandon Hardy and bassist-everything-else-man, S. Foye break down the barriers and walls with constructive, yet destructive dialogues. Issues of control and confidence get thrown into the uncertain abyss, on the QunQ's premiere of “HYP”.
From the dirges of dischord and melodic shreds of guitar string shrapnel, Ben turns the tides of self-doubt into the art of unabashed proclamations. From the beginning we have it all laid out on the line to dry—”I told you that I knew what I was doing, but I don't”—sharing transparent inner questions of direction that many mistake for a derelict compass. Brandon and Foye back up the sentiments that are mixed up with a deluge of inner fears and autonomous-seeking outlooks through razor sharp timings that rage angst ridden, proggy riffs and chord rips. On “HYP”, QunQ knocks down expectation with an emboldened reclaiming of time, self-re-evaluations, gripping the steering wheel, and correcting the “out of control” alignments of life.
QunQ's Ben Heywood, Brandon Hardy and S Foye, take us behind the hype of “Hype”, their upcoming release Desolation Row Revisited, “heretic youth party” acronyms, and more.
We just got the memo of you all signing to Travis Trevisan's, aka Tape Deck Mountain, imprint, Nineteen98. What recordings are waiting in the wings, in the rehearsal spaces, in the song-sketchbooks, in progress, or just even in mind?
Our first release for Nineteen98 is called Desolation Row Revisited and it's a collection of our first two self-released singles and some stuff we recorded in Seattle while on tour last year. We're constantly writing new material and are currently plotting creative ways to record and release more music in 2014.
What does a regular QunQ recording, writing, practice/rehearsal consist of, and how do the three of you all contribute to the song construction process?
We have a pretty strict regiment of breakfast burritos, beer, earplugs, and lots of feedback. When combined in just the right fashion, a QunQ song is born. As for recording, S. Foye, our bassist, handles the predominate load of engineering and mixing, however we did get help on our latest release from Robert Cheek, who produced a couple of the tracks at his studio, ExEx, in Seattle.
Take us through the mathematics and compositional physics of the “my time” and “outta control” variables at work on “HYP”.
Without getting too esoteric, “HYP” is musically and lyrically about life being out of control. Contrary to conventional belief structures, which are created to impose control, we embrace the chaos and randomness of life. It's extremely liberating to know it's okay to not know where you're going or how you're going to get there. In fact, that's a pretty good mission statement for the band itself and how we write our music.
Was the titling idea like taking the word “Hype” and then just subtracting the 'e'?
“HYP” is an acronym for 'Heretic Youth Party' that serendipitously references, 'hype.'
The B-side, “Vultures & Dogs” really rips too, as those guitars grind everything into the asphalt. Was the title a way to provide a species correlation, like to say that vultures are the dogs of the sky?
We hadn't thought of it that way, but we like it. So, yes.
How did the three of you first form QunQ?
Ben did a solo record a couple years ago and S. Foye and Brandon were his backing band for the tours. We liked making music together and our other projects were falling apart, so it was a natural transition that we would begin writing songs together.
What inspired the name, the letter symbol and strike-out in your group's name?
We like the way it looks. It inspires questions. It feels contrarian. We like the idea of diametrically opposed opposites coexisting.
What are you all listening to these days?
Converge, Contant Lovers, Mutoid Man, Russian Circles, St. Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Liars, Dead Rider.
QunQ's Desolation Row Revisited will be available April 22 on Nineteen98.