Back in 1999, all Chris Hrasky wanted was to trade in grad school for a shot at playing drums in a rock band. When he placed his “Wanted: sad, triumphant rock band” flier in a record store in Austin, Texas, he got his wish – and pretty quickly, after getting a fateful phone call from a few guys interested in putting a band together.
“Eventually, we gave this guy a call and, years later, we’re all best friends,” said Explosions in the Sky guitarist Michael James.
The band formed in 1999 as Explosions in the Sky – a fitting name considering the powerful, provocative post-rock sound the band is known for. From the beginning, Explosions in the Sky has been an instrumental band only, but this was not entirely a conscious decision.
“None of us are really great singers,” James laughed. “When we first started, we weren’t sure about the type of music we would want to play, but within a few practices, we worked hard on the instrumentals and figured we’d just screw it up with vocals.”
Explosions in the Sky is Hrasky (drums), James (bass, guitar), Mark Smith (guitar), Munaf Rayani (guitar), and bass player Carlos Torres joins them on the road.
James says the band has developed a collaborative vibe, with all members contributing their own unique voices to the sound.
“We all feel the same love for this music, and we’re all so invested in it that it’s a really collaborative process,” he said. “I play bass and guitar, but if I have a great drum beat in my head, I can talk to Chris about it, and it’s the same the other way around.”
Explosions in the Sky made a name for itself after creating the score for both the movie and television show “Friday Night Lights,” and has maintained a loyal following ever since.
The band spent the past couple years writing and recording new material, and spent much of last year on the road playing festivals and club shows alike.
“We try to make each of our live shows as intense and visceral as possible, because that’s the kind of show we want to see,” James said. “We love watching the bands who put their all into their performances, and that’s what we try to give the audience, too.”
When it comes to listing off his biggest influences in his music, James points to people in his life, and even memorable books and films. “Anyone who is an artist is constantly influenced by anything and everything in their lives,” he said. “It’s important to try to keep yourself open to whatever comes your way.”
The band released its fifth studio album “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” in 2011, and is making its triumphant return to the road April 5, making a stop in Seattle April 10 at The Moore. Tickets are available for $25 at www.stgpresents.org. The band will also play during the four-day Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge May 25-28.