The Persistence of Psyopus
"We've been called avant-grind mathcore. That's the best description I've heard," says Christopher Arp, guitarist for Rochester, NY's Psyopus. "We're trying to push the boundaries of music, so being a technically proficient band helps because we have the ability to do that." Odd Senses, the follow-up to 2007's Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, is the latest shove at music's limits from the hyperactive band. "It has more of a miserable mood than our last record; it's more artsy," Arp says.
Sometimes it seems like recording is the only pit-stop Psyopus ever get from touring ceaselessly for months at a time. It's how they've built their burgeoning rep in the aggressive music community - "there's a lot of energy in the music, we're a very intense band" is how Arp characterizes a show - but he is also burning out band members faster than Axl Rose.
They've only been around for seven years and already have eight ex-members, including bassist Michael Horn, who quit recently, just weeks before the van departed for yet another road haul. But Arp shrugs off these occasional speedbumps. "This isn't a lifestyle for everyone," he reasons. "They just came to a place where they were no longer able to withstand the pressures of being on the road."
It's not an issue of musical output - "the band will always be Psyopus as long as I'm in it" says the lone original member - but of bringing newbies up to speed quickly enough. "It can be a major pain in the ass when you only have two weeks before a tour to learn this kind of material." At least there's no doubt about who's in charge. "I've always been writing the majority of the material. Keeping that thread from album to album has been the key to Psyopus."
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