Née 2009 in suburban Connecticut, emo-punk collective The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die (TWIABP moving forward) have redefined what “emo” means for the collective millenial lexicon. A pejorative adjective merely six or seven years ago, emo has returned to its proper place in the musical universe: a legitimate offshoot of the punk and indie communities, channeling the Rainer Marias and Weakerthans of the late nineties and early aughts.
TWIABP‘s lineup is large and often changes. They all contribute to the odd but invigorating amalgamation of spoken word and heartfelt lyricism, set against a backdrop of complicated arrangements that manage to sound twinkly, ethereal, and feverish all in the same song. Two full length records and numerous EPs and splits later, this band has grown from cult favorite along the DIY circuit to respected innovator throughout the music community. We believe they serve as the perfect foil to heavier Pianos Become The Teeth, and we’re thrilled to have them on board for the August 22 show at (le) Poisson Rouge. Vocalist David Bello answered a few questions for us to mark the occasion.
We’re thrilled to have you on board for this show. I remember seeing you at small spaces like The Lab in Alexandria VA, and Stay Sweet Fest in Richmond! What does it feel like to be growing and playing larger spaces and tours?
It feels really good to be growing and playing for more people. Smaller shows are still very much fun, because there’s a closer interaction with the crowd, but often in bigger shows there’s better sound and better visibility for people who can’t be right up front. Stay Sweet and Stay Spooky were some of my absolute favorite shows to play and hang out at.
Within the emo genre, you guys definitely have a unique sound and approach. What influenced your style? Any particular artists?
I think we all hold unique influences individually, but the ones we share are the obvious ones like Modest Mouse, Tool, and Fleetwood Mac. I get a lot out of listening to Lucinda Williams and the Japanese band Boredoms, but I don’t think the others really care for either of those. To be honest, I really dont care for Mr. Bungle or Primus while most everyone but me loves it. It’s a little too whimsical for my taste, but I do appreciate the musicianship.
I’ve always wondered this about large bands – is it ever difficult to get things done creatively with so many different artistic brains offering input? What does the creative process look like for you?
I actually find it easier to contribute with so many people. I consider it more of a workshop environment. When I was in college, I took a lot of creative writing courses and we would bring things we had written to the class and everyone would get critical and advise the writer on how to refine their piece. With everyone acting as writer, we get to hone the songs together and hold hands. I think it’s really fun. We’re all very close friends.
What’s the story behind the name?
It’s an abrasive truism we dared ourselves to keep.
To piggy back, I’d love to hear more fun iterations of the name. The hot dog was great – have any other brands appropriated the name in a way that made you laugh?
I have yet to hear one that surpasses mediocre-pun. If one ever makes me smile less awkwardly than a dinner table magic trick, I will eat my hat.
What’s next for you guys? New projects in the works?
We have a 7” coming out very soon with two songs we’re very proud of and a full length in the fall that I think is our best work to date.