"THE THEME in my mind this week has been, 'Necessity is the mother of invention,'" says Valentine Lovecraft Falcon of Get Hustle. It's a refreshing statement to hear from anyone making music in this recent age of obsessive ornamentation. But if there's one thing Get Hustle has mastered in their 15 years, it's the counterintuitive strategy. After nearly a half-decade of sporadic activity, I ask Falcon what the band sounds like today. "Heavy esoteric metal," she explains. "Gospel anthem-ish. Revolutionary power." Out of anyone else's mouth, such words might add up to little more than a mighty non sequitur. But from her, they create the proper frame for grasping Get Hustle's transcendentally violent sound.
The group's roots are the noise-punk rooms of San Diego in the mid-'90s. But it was in Los Angeles that keyboardist Mac Mann and drummer Maxamillion Avila met up with Falcon to evolve Get Hustle's sprawling power, which fits the abrasive color of proto-punk into the baggy shape of free jazz. All without guitars.
A deepened commitment to the band hastened a move to Portland in 2001. It was here that the members felt they could focus full-time on elaborating the material that would become 2005's Rollin' in the Ruins. Avant-goodwill followed in that EP's wake, including a lengthy European tour and recording sessions with Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio. But it was what Falcon refers to as her "Saturn Return" that contributed to a three-way stall in the group's activity, with all the core members starting new bands in the meantime.
A new album called Down from the Clouds is in the works. It's the first disc the band has produced in-house with Mann at the boards. "It feels way cooler," Falcon says about the band's reboot. "It's a source of creativity we can dip into and come back to years later. It may not sustain on a monetary level but on a psycho-natural level, it's there—like dreaming of a lake over and over again. It's there. Somewhere."