It seems a simple enough task to just sit around and write perfectly assembled pop songs—at least it does when listening to New London Fire. But of course, it's an impossible task for most to do, and especially to do with such frequency and ease as this New Jersey quintet does on their debut album, I Sing the Body Holographic. New London Fire soak their sweeping pop gems in a sea of synths and peppy guitars, all capped off with the pleasant rasp of singer David Debiak. His brother and keyboardist Jason Debiak takes a moment to talk about the band's name change and kicking their way out of the emo gutter.
MERCURY: Bands seldom change their name unless it's due to something drastic—like legal action—so why change from Sleep Station to New London Fire?
JASON DEBIAK: Sleep Station had always been a one-man operation led by my brother, but this project is much more of a "band" effort. When David and I went to record a new Sleep Station record almost two years ago, we called on a few close friends to help collaborate on the recording. Twenty songs later with a sound that was a lot different than Sleep Station, we realized that this was no longer a solo project but something much different.
Is there a certain sibling rivalry when playing in a band with your brother?
Oh not at all! That would be hilarious though, like the guys from Oasis but with much smaller eyebrows. Family is more important to us than any band will ever be, so we would nip a rivalry in the bud before it mutates into that horrible monster that you see lurking around in other bands.
I Sing the Body Holographic has been done for quite some time now, given the almost-yearly schedule of Sleep Station releases, why did this album sit on the shelf for so long?
Eyeball Records had been [between] distributors for quite some time, so we felt it was best for us to wait for them to get nice and settled into a new distro home before we would release anything.
Considering Eyeball Record's history as setting the foundation for modern emo, and suburban New Jersey's role in hosting it, was there a conscious effort to steer clear of that genre in New London Fire's music?
Our influences are all over the map, but I can honestly say that most of us never really listened to anything in the genre that Eyeball was known for (but that's not to say we don't like it!). Having not listened to it, I don't think we could make an emo album if we tried. We didn't go into the studio with any genre in mind of what the record was going to be, we just wrote what came to us and the final product just happens to be much different than anything else on the label.
New London Fire perform at Satyricon on Thurs Oct 12