The story of School Of Seven Bells, though retold often, is relatively new, so what’s one more time? The dreamy pop trio first met when Benjamin Curtis (Secret Machines) and twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (both of On! Air! Library!) met while their respective bands were opening for Interpol in 2007. Soon after, they left their previous bands and started School Of Seven Bells.
See? Easy story.
Secret Machines fans in particular weren’t initially enthused, but SVIIB (as it is frequently abbreviated) and their ne’er modulating layered psychedelic sounds on Alpinisms have attracted all kinds of attention, most notably from U2’s The Edge, whose generous nod put a brighter spotlight on the New York-based act.
Now swinging back through the States after tours through Europe, the UK and Australia, the Deheza sisters and Curtis are about to take a well-deserved rest to write more material. Alejandra took some time to talk about plans for the band in the future, the dizzying video recently released for “My Cabal,” her adoration for Justin Broadrick and the curious lists she composes on the band’s online tour diary.
How’s the tour been?
Really good. Really good actually. I think the past few days have been sold out, which is pretty awesome.
After your New York date, you’re essentially done?
It’s cool because this has been a really productive time for us writing wise. We have a bunch of sketches for songs. I think the summer is just going to be about playing them and seeing where they go, and getting as much recorded as possible.
You’ve been tinkering with ideas on the road? What are you using?
As far as getting sketches done and stuff, laptops. We have all our instruments here, but it starts with the programming just to get ideas down. Then we go home and play and do whatever. We obviously can’t set anything up here, in the van.
So you still need that—you need the room space to sit in and hash things out?
Yes and no. It’s mainly getting the three of us together. I know we’re in the van and stuff like that, but you’re driving and you’re tired. Also, for instance, Benjamin and I can write on the road really easily, Claudia doesn’t really do that. She likes to be at home to write. It’s gonna be at home where we’ll have all our heads working at the same time in that kind of creative space.
It happens when it happens. I think it happens for me on the road just cause we’re moving around so much and there’s a lot of new things that I’m seeing and just being in a different spot I think just gets my brain working.
There’s a lovely version of ‘White Elephant Coat’ on your MySpace. Are you doing any songs acoustic on tour?
On tour? No. That’s for radio stations and stuff. It’s just a lot of fun to hear them acoustic I think.
Do you feel that there’s a perception of acts such as yourself that there’s such of reliance on programmed drums and such, that the live performance is somehow diminished?
As far as we’re concerned, I don’t really think so. We’ve been doing those acoustic versions for a while now, so if there was that, I’m not really aware of it.