Explosions in the Sky

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Explosions in the Sky

Background information
Origin Austin, Texas, USA
Genre(s) Post-rock
Years active 1999–present
Label(s) Temporary Residence Limited, Bella Union
Website www.explosionsinthesky.com
Mark Smith
Chris Hrasky
Munaf Rayani
Michael James

Explosions in the Sky is an American instrumental post-rock band from Texas. The band has garnered popularity beyond the post-rock scene for their cinematic, elaborately developed guitar work, narratively styled instrumentals, what they refer to as "cathartic mini-symphonies," and their enthusiastic and emotional live shows.[1] They primarily play with three electric guitars and a drum kit, while band member Michael James will at times exchange his electric guitar for a bass guitar. [2]


[edit] History

Originally called Breaker Morant, Explosions in the Sky was formed in Austin, Texas in 1999. Drummer Chris Hrasky is from Rockford, Illinois, and the rest of the band hails from Midland, Texas. The new name of "Explosions in the Sky" came from a comment Hrasky made in reference to the noise[3] or sight[4] of fireworks when they left KVRX on the night they played their first set and recorded their first track, "Remember Me as a Time of Day", that would be released on a compilation.[3] Their 2000 debut album, How Strange, Innocence, was locally distributed in the form of CD-Rs. Rehearsal footage is featured on the short film Cicadas, which won an Austin Film Festival award.[5]

Explosions in the Sky quickly gained a reputation for themselves among other established local bands such as Lift to Experience. Temporary Residence Limited signed the band on the strength of their demo after only half a listen; the demo was submitted by fellow Austin band The American Analog Set with a brief note saying, "This totally fucking destroys."[6]

They garnered a small amount of media attention with their second album, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, due to rumors linking it to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The band denied any connection in interviews. The album art shows an airplane with the caption "This plane will crash tomorrow." There were false reports that the last track was called "This Plane Will Crash Tomorrow" and that the album was released on September 10, 2001;[7][8] the concept had actually originated in 2000, and the album was released on August 27, 2001. Bassist Michael James was detained in an airport as a threat to security, and had to explain why his guitar contained the words "this plane will crash tomorrow".[3]

After being contacted by Brian Reitzell, Explosions in the Sky wrote the soundtrack for the 2004 film Friday Night Lights. Despite having access to rare equipment in the studio for that project, the band kept to their songwriting style in creating original material.[9]

Their most recent album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, which debuted February 20, 2007, exists as both a one-disc version and a two-disc special edition featuring remixes by multiple artists.[10] The band began touring on February 19 in the U.S. and Canada.[11] They played a shortened version of "Welcome, Ghosts" on the February 20 episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. On May 10, they canceled the shows up to August due to a family illness.[12] They performed on Austin City Limits on June 29, 2007.[13] They acted as curators of the UK-based All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in May 2008.

[edit] Music styles and characteristics

Onstage in New York City, 2007

Although the band's music deviates from pop, Hrasky said that they have similar goals "like immediately grabbing your attention and getting to your emotions."[14] Rayani said, "We don't consider ourselves post-rock at all; we consider ourselves a rock band."[15]

In a post-show interview clip on Austin City Limits, guitarist Munaf Rayani said about their status as instrumentalists, "I mean, I think we discussed singing for half a second, and then it just kinda, we just dropped it. We just didn't go back to it because we weren't comfortable enough." Drummer Chris Hrasky added "There were a couple of instrumental bands at the time that we were heavily into; Dirty Three and Mogwai; we were listening to those bands a lot. And I think we just liked the idea of a band that there was not a leader or main songwriter, everyone collaborating and has their own say. I don't think any of us want the sort of 'leader role', so a leaderless band is kind of the best best option for us."[16]

[edit] Band members

[edit] Discography

[edit] Studio albums

[edit] Soundtracks

[edit] Compilations

[edit] In popular culture

  • In addition to the film, the television series Friday Night Lights also prominently features Explosions in the Sky's music throughout its first season, with the songs being licensed by NBC from the band's previous catalog rather than being specifically recorded for the score, as was the case with the film.[17] However the title music for the TV series was composed by W. G. Snuffy Walden.
  • "First Breath After Coma" was used in the trailer for the 2005 film Shopgirl. As well, it was also used in the Israeli film Close to Home, and in the "Montage of Discontent" section of the skateboarding film Good and Evil, put out by the company Toy Machine. The song "A Poor Man's Memory" was also used in the Good & Evil special features.
  • "Your Hand in Mine" was featured as background music before an NFL Game during a montage when several Hall Of Fame athletes and prestigious members of the sporting world delivered Brett Favre a "Legends Tribute". The song was also partially featured in the trailer for the 2007 film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
  • "Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean" and "Your Hand in Mine" played in the background of two Cadillac commercials. This caused a debate among fans on their website, which was settled by a long message from the band regarding the practicality of the situation.[15]
  • The first three words of the song title "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept" is the name of the French Explosions in The Sky Website, created in 2003.
  • "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept" was the title of the 16th episode of the third season of the TV series One Tree Hill, while "The Birth and Death of the Day" and "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone" were the titles of the final two episodes of the 4th season. "What Do You Go Home To?" was the title of the 13th episode of season 5.
  • The song "Have You Passed Through This Night?" from the album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever contains sampled dialogue from the movie The Thin Red Line.
  • Several of their songs have been used on NBC after the licensing for NFL games and The Road to the Final Four program.
  • The song "Your Hand in Mine" was played during a look back at the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony on NBC.
  • ESPN Page 2 Sports Columnist Bill Simmons referenced them in a reader mail column, highlighting one reader's comment that listening to Explosions in the Sky makes any experience, no matter how ordinary (such as walking one's dog), seem transcendent. [18]
  • "The Birth and Death of the Day" was used in an advertisement for the BBC documentary Lost Land of the Jaguar.
  • At Lollapalooza 2008, Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey caused a stir, shouting "you fools should be watching Explosions in the Sky," as the two bands were playing at the same time on opposite sides of the park.
  • "An Ugly Fact of Life" was used in the 2007 film "The Kite Runner" while Amir read Hassan's letter.
  • "The Only Moment We Were Alone" is partially featured in the trailer for the 2008 film Australia
  • "First Breath After Coma" is played during a Big Ten basketball commercial.

[edit] References

  1. ^ NPR Music
  2. ^ a b . http://www.rectangular.org/explosions/equipment.htm. Retrieved on 2009-03-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d Michael Chamy (2003-10-24). "Born on the Fourth of July". The Austin Chronicle. http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/print?oid=oid%3A183039. Retrieved on 2007-06-28. 
  4. ^ "Explosions In The Sky, 4 July 1999". KVRX. 2006-03-24. http://www.kvrx.org/locallive/performance.php?pid=183. Retrieved on 2008-01-13. 
  5. ^ "Explosions in the Sky". Muze. 2007-02-01. http://www.mywire.com/pubs/Muze/2006/10/01/728372?extID=10051. Retrieved on 2007-06-28. 
  6. ^ "Explosions in the Sky > Biography". Allmusic. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:w9frxq90ld0e. Retrieved on 2007-02-08. 
  7. ^ David Frazier (2002-11-15). "Post-rock explodes in Taipei". Taipei Times: pp. 17. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2002/11/15/179685. Retrieved on 2007-06-28. 
  8. ^ Adam Mayle (2005-01-26). "The day the music died an accidental death". The Black Table. http://www.blacktable.com/mayle050126.htm. Retrieved on 2007-06-27. "And the creepiest detail of all is that the record had a track that was titled, unbelievably, "This Plane Will Crash Tomorrow," which was subsequently removed from the album." 
  9. ^ Explosions in the Sky. ""Friday Night Lights Original Soundtrack"". http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/fnl.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-08. 
  10. ^ "Explosions in the Sky Album Details Surface". Spin. 2006-11-14. http://www.spin.com/features/news/2006/11/061114_explosionsinthesky/. Retrieved on 2007-02-08. 
  11. ^ "Shows". ExplosionsInTheSky.com. 2007-02-03. http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/shows.php. Retrieved on 2007-02-08. 
  12. ^ "Shows". ExplosionsInTheSky.com. 2007-05-10. http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/news_archive.php?articleID=25. Retrieved on 2007-05-11. 
  13. ^ "Austin City Limits". ExplosionsInTheSky.com. 2007-06-25. http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/news_archive.php?articleID=27. Retrieved on 2007-06-27. 
  14. ^ Billy DeFrain (2004-10-15). "Explosions in the Sky to light up Sokol". Daily Nebraskan. http://media.www.dailynebraskan.com/media/storage/paper857/news/2004/10/15/Arts/Explosions.In.The.Sky.To.Light.Up.Sokol-1743264.shtml. Retrieved on 2007-06-28. 
  15. ^ a b Juliet Eilperin (2006-09-25). "Out of Texas, a Wordless Wonder". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/24/AR2006092401053_pf.html. Retrieved on 2007-06-28. 
  16. ^ "Austin City Limits". PBS.ORG. 2007-06-25. http://www.pbs.org/klru/austin/artists/3302_eits_interview.html. Retrieved on 2007-10-17. 
  17. ^ Todd Martens (2007-01-08). "Explosions In The Sky Ready New Album, Tour". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003528775. Retrieved on 2007-06-28. 
  18. ^ "Mailbag: Where was the Rocket's red glare?", "ESPN.com" 14 February 2008.

[edit] External links

[edit] Official

[edit] Fansites

[edit] News and media

[edit] See also

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