The sonic sound of Amplifiers
• "We've never really been the kind of band to try to recycle sounds that have already been created by others," says Si Lewis of Amplifiers. "We're much more interested in developing our own in our own way."
The Pittsburgh band describes itself as "a musical experiment involving the crossing, blending and transcendence of modern and vintage musical genres" and cites its influences as Circa Survive, The Dear Hunter Explosions in the Sky, Tool and Sigur Ros, among others.
The band formed in 2007, but Mr. Lewis says, "the original lineup imploded on itself shortly thereafter," so it was "rebooted" with guitarists Jonathan Davis and Andrew Brest and drummer Tim Evans.
Amplifiers released an EP called "Formations" in 2010 "more as a promo than anything." Since then, it's been working toward the new full-length "Everything Obsolete," which showcases the band's muscular alt-rock sound over 13 cinematic songs.
"It's more complete, and much more representative of who we are as a band and as individuals," says the singer-bassist. "It also will have an actual physical release the way that we wanted to do it" -- with the first 200 copies packaged in a DVD case with photography by Brendan Perry.
There were no shortcuts to achieving the sonic sheen that Amplifiers put on "Everything Obsolete," and a customized instrument served as the connection.
Mr. Lewis plays "a highly customized version of the rare and rather obscure Bass VI, which is essentially half bass/half guitar." It caught the attention of Casey Crescenzo, guitarist for The Dear Hunter, and Mr. Lewis went to work on building him a custom Bass VI.
When The Dear Hunter member heard the music Amplifiers were working on, he invited the band to record at his studio in LA. They ended up recording the final third of the album with him, and it was mixed in Long Island, N.Y., with Mike Watts at VuDu Studios.
"We just want people to enjoy it," Mr. Lewis says, "and want people to feel like it's OK to feel something beyond just simple pleasure of listening to our music -- we want them to take something, anything out of it that they can. Hopefully it'll make an impact somehow on someone. And if it does, then we've done our jobs. We look at this not really only as releasing a new album, but more of a closing of our first chapter as a band and beginning to write a new one."
The CD release show is at The Club at Stage AE Saturday with Through These Walls, Kid Durango, Red Hands and Doomsday Initiative. Doors open at 5 p.m. $10/$12 day of show at ticketmaster.com.music