|The Stationary Set
|pop reputation's saviours
Corinne Bagish - November 1, 2013
When it comes to melody, Brooklyn’s The Stationary Set is anything but shy. Their brand of electro pop is dramatic and soulful - these 5 dudes are not afraid to get feely and they’re mindful of said feeliness. On their Facebok page, it’s mentioned that they strive "to make the 'pop' in pop music less of a dirty word." The Stationary Set’s cover of Pat Benetar's "We Belong" is an embodiment of this pulsating, hazy electro lends the ‘80s classic new depth. The electronic touches that pepper their sound are never isolating, they just expand it. In fact, The Stationary Setfinds their sound at its best when let loose within a large space. And, since forming in 2009, they’ve played had their fair share of big venue performances. They’ve shared the stage with Phoenix and Mumford & Sons and most recently played a sold out show at Highline Ballroom along with January Jane. The band is recording an EP over the course of the winter, so stay tuned for more warm and fuzzy goodness.
You've said that you strive to "make the "pop" in pop music less of a dirty word. What's been your strategy and do you feel like the stigma is as strong in the indie-dominated Brooklyn community?
Our general opinion is that there is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to making your melodies attainable or catchy. It's possible, and we try to, write hooks that don't have to live in a specific structure in order to have the most effect on the listener. We have songs that don't have refrains and some that do. But, we don't adhere to a structure just because that's what you do when you are trying to write attainable songs.
You play every new song live before you consider recording. What exactly do you gauge from a live performance? Is there a certain factor that makes a song a shoe-in for recording?
I guess, first and foremost, we consider how we all feel about the song after we play it live a few times. As in-- what does it mean to us now that we've used it to represent ourselves? If it needs to be work-shopped, so be it. But we feel that playing new songs live is important. It's sort of like seeing if your new contraption can actually fly before you send the plans to the manufacturer.
You've mentioned that your sound is at its best when played in a large venue. What makes that the case?
I guess I should clarify that it's not that we think our sound is meant for big venues, it's that we strive to put on a show that makes the listener think they are in a big venue with us regardless of where we are playing. There is a certain standard of showmanship that we hold ourselves to because the audience- who paid money to get in- deserves more than an accurately executed representation of what is on the record. So, we play every show like we are on a big stage, emitting lots of sound.
Your sound is both complex and stripped down at times -- what elements do you feel like keep it consistent?
The backbone of all the songs, really. They all come from simple origins, so we like to play with their settings. Whether played on toy instruments in a laundromat, in a garage in Lexington, or with tons of inputs at Bowery Ballroom, we try to write music that can stand up straight under the simplest of arrangements as well as fully produced.
Love the cover of Pat Benetar's "We Belong." Any other covers in the works or covers you'd like to attempt next?
Thanks! We have no plans on doing another cover at the moment, but we sometimes toss around ideas. That was really fun for us because we've never done anything like it before. Plus, having all of our friends with us in the video was a pretty cool testament to the sentiment of the song in general- we belong together.
In June you announced that you were officially back in the studio. Any hints as to what we can expect and when we can expect it?
We expect to be at it over the course of the winter. We are trying different approaches other than the old, 'go in witha producer and knock it out' type of thing. We have already done a ton of stuff on our own and are happy with the results we are getting. The record itself, the songs, we are very proud of and overall it feels more grown up thematically than our last record. But as always with us, things will be added and taken away during the process so it's hard to tell where it will live by the time it's done.