Aaron Pfannebecker and Matt Conboy of Sisters
Fashion sense-do you think you have one?
Matt: I wouldn't go as far as saying I have fashion sense. I do like things for reasons of cultural, historical and comfort, but I think most of of my choices are out of necessity.
Aaron: I think I've been wearing the same clothes since I was fifteen, so maybe its time to change.
Matt: When I was fourteen, I was a skater wearing cargo pants all the time. I grew up in northern California in the late 90s, where everyone wore cargo pants or raver pants.
Explain the birth of the Death by Audio.
Matt: I originated as a pedal company, and then I founded the showspace with Jason Amos in 2007. Its better now then its ever been, with consistently better shows. Its become easier now that we have this train finally running.
The show space is also your rehearsal space?
Matt: We play here a lot, ya know. It almost doesn't feel like playing a show sometimes.
The Fashionable Bystander: Sisters
Sisters talk vandalism at Death By Audio and dressing like a fifteen year old.
For behind the scenes of the Sisters shoot, watch the video here.
Whats changed for the better or worse in this area?
Aaron: I don't think we have that kind of time. I actually live in Greenpoint now, and bike here past all the condos, and its horrible. I hate this neighborhood. I'm bored with it, everyone is the same young kind of thing. I guess i am too....
Matt: For me, its slightly more complicated because on the plus side, the influx of people is helping a space like this thrive, but this gentrification phenomenon is going to help being the downfall of this space. The other thing that sucks is four years ago, we could go outside and yell as loud as we wanted. No one could hear us. I like things that are slightly neglected or abandoned because it represents real opportunities for exciting things to happen.
What is your least ideal audience?
Matt: Well, there are a lot of shows where people are really disrespectful, like breaking things, hurting people and threatening people.
Matt: One thing that has helped is having the walls painted with these murals. When we first moved in, we intentionally left the space with its white walls, and then after the first two shows, which were these Connecticut hip hop groups, everything was covered in graffiti. It was this steady decline where it was like, "Oh, someone put their foot through the wall." Its really unfortunate because I like common space! But when they stopped allowing subway cars to leave the yard if they had graffiti on them, suddenly it was a lot safer to be on the train. It was a leap in logic that I never really agree with, but when it happened to me, I can understand that what a space looks like determines how people live and act in it.
What's the best thing about your music?
Aaron: Its energetic and they're all pop songs. They're noisy and slightly disruptive, but accessible, so i think thats good. They have catchy melodies, so I think that's good...
Well you're bias. How do you think listeners would answer that question?
Aaron: That we sound as close as possible to having a soundtrack to the life of Billy Zane.
Well a wise editor at The L actually said parts sound like the soundtrack to the Sixteen Candles.
Aaron: Well John Hewes was gonna cast Billy Zane.
Matt: John Hewes was gonna cast Billy Zane? I dunno...
Who Billy Zane is?!
Matt: No. I know who Billy Zane is. He's the guy that got spit in the face in Titanic. He also had one of the best cameos in Zoolander.
What do you think would be the best venue in the world?
Matt: Underwater. Actually, I think that some sort of natural outside space, like the forest.
Like a Death by Audio camp?
Matt: Once we all get evicted and this all gets torn down, we'll probably have a reunion of sorts.
And Billy Zane will be there.
Aaron: Yeah, he'll be there.