How did a place both wonderful and strange come together?
Russ: A place both wonderful and strange was me originally, which sounds super egotistical, but originally I was in a band called Silent Draperunners and we broke up because my bandmate just wanted to be a journalist which is super awesome but I sort of wanted to continue on this path. My issue has always been that like as a dude, i’m not super into just wanting to be a cis gender white dude stomping around and making noise music. so if there’s not a female energy to bounce off of, I kind of don’t want to do it. So when my last collaborator and I split ways, Shanda, Laura, and I started talking about working together
Shanda: I was in a band previously for about 5 years, unfortunately it ended in a very traumatic way, with an act of violence perpetrated against me. At that point I had known Russ for about a year. I had lost everything I had been working on and Russ had also lost something, so we just decided to work together to try to make something new.
Russ: I kind of fancy myself as the witch house “The National”… just because I like vests and I drink a lot of wine
*raises wine glass*
Anyway, Shanda had written some lyrics to a beat I had written for my first project,
Shanda: Vanessa did the production for that one as well
Russ: Oh that’s right, my wife is on that track.
Laura: I would say it was kind of serendipitous when this happened, I didn’t really know Russ outside of his online presence, and I wasn’t acquainted really with Shanda – but the dynamic has really been very fantastic, balanced, and fun. They’re both creatively such mavericks, – Just like Sarah Palin
What is the concept behind this project? I’m assuming it’s Lynchian in nature.
Russ: The name behind the band is what it is just because… I had already gotten the tattoo. Just kidding, but a place both wonderful and strange was one of my favorite parts of Twin Peaks. In 2014, I think, I was approached by the David Lynch Foundation to do a show based around like everything they knew about me because I had done the Silent Draperunners thing for a minute and as a place both wonderful and strange my friend Lucy and I had toured a complete two and a half hour re-soundtracking of “Fire Walking With Me” through like 4 states (and that was goddamn impossible) –but they were basically like Lynch is doing an art opening in Philly and we would like you to do the afterparty and you have like 25 minutes. At the time the full blu-ray had just come out and I was super captivated by the pieces of “Fire Walk With Me” that Lynch had been forced to cut out of the movie by the studio. So I made a show based around those and some other stuff and it ended up becoming a thing that escalated to the point where we realized people didn’t necessarily care about the visuals but they wanted to hear the music because it was this improvised electronic noise that happened to be really sensitive, and I’m probably giving all this too much credit but it’s a noise record that doesn’t take it’s dick out and wave it around. It’s a noise record that doesn’t really even have a gender which i feel like is a thing that doesn’t really exist in the noise scene. There is either shit that Boomkat is like this is transcendental male shit or they call it like nauseating because it’s made by a woman… so
Shanda: The music industry in general, and the world in which we exist is male- dominated. It’s just something for me as a woman to navigate through and to add what I can, what artistry and quality I can to the world. I try to make people experience things maybe not necessarily through a filter of gender but through emotions.
Laura: I kinda feel like at least within the noise scene, it would seem as though the options are limited for women. Like you can either be angry or upset – but the great thing about [The Laura Palmer Deviations] it really allows the grander scope of experience to shine through.
Circling back to the last question, I connected with ‘Twin Peaks’ on a very visceral level, like ‘oh shit this is my home town’. This is a small weird community filled with these fascinating characters somehow co-existing without any real connection to time or logic.
David Lynch has always been a huge influence in any art that I make.
Russ: I think it’s because Lynch manages to take the completely weird and inaccessible and kind of force it down your throat, like telling the audience ‘no you do get’. a place both wonderful and strange is akin to this approach because we take seemingly disparate influences — Janet Jackson, found sound, noise music, David Lynch, extreme darkness and extreme light — and we process it into something that’s completely inaccessible around the edges until you start to experience it. It happens TO you, and it’s in the eye of that tempest that you realize it’s all actually familiar.
Do you have an conclusory remarks about Laura Palmer Deviations and what’s to come after the forthcoming album?
Russ: The record is going to be a version of the soundtrack to what originally initiated as the afterparty of David Lynch’s Unified Field Art opening in Philadelphia. It ended up becoming a touring/improvisational thing every night. What the record is, is multiple performances combined and edited into what is basically a perfect 22 minutes, edited by Partisan, the most amazing mix/master person I’ve ever met.
Shanda: He’s a frickin genius
Laura: He is
Russ: He is a genius. And uh [the record] will be interesting and emotional and moving if you just listen to it. Our goal is to have people listen to it and then come out to a show and our other goal is we want to turn around the third record very quickly because when we do shows that aren’t Laura Palmer based they are a lot pop-ier and this weird sludge noise thing isn’t where we are right now, we’re releasing it because a lot of people wanted it but it doesn’t reflect where or what we are right now. We are going to pop it up a bit in the future.
Make it Pop