Proximity Crush – Thanks for Asking

Written by on September 30, 2023

We reached out to the band Proximity Crush with burning questions and a spirit of exploration. These are those questions.

RRX: Every comic book hero has an origin story. What is the origin story for the band? (points if you tell it like a comic book origin.)

PC: The comic analogy is funny because our band has been through many lineups in its short life, which is similar to a comic book cast I suppose. Proximity Crush was formed when my girlfriend invited Adam to meet up with us at a Built To Spill show in Albany. Adam was already the bandleader of a music project that was then called Delphino, and he expressed interest in being “used” in another band with a heavier direction. I then met our drummer Emanuel through UAlbany’s radio station and the three of us have been the crux of the band since then. Emanuel no longer lives in the country, so we have our friend AJ playing drums and we’re incredibly lucky to have him. We’ve had five separate lead guitarists at this point and numerous other folks in the scene help out as one offs. Joe Taurone in particular is probably secretly a superhero.

RRX: Every band’s first song is a milestone. But so is the latest song. Describe the first song/album you recorded, and also the latest song/album you recorded; what are the differences?

PC: I came to the band with four song ideas – essentially just a collection of riffs with some chords attached. “Boris” we wrote randomly one day. The first full song we completed was “Face/Back” which is meant to be an amalgam of some of our favorite genres, though it lands mostly in post-punk territory. I’d bring the core essence of the song, then Adam and Emanuel would bicker about where to put what and the two of them would write everything in between my parts. Emanuel in particular was helpful for his background in music theory; he’d easily pinpoint where a progression could move to give a desired effect. Adam is extremely good at naturally coming up with hooky melodies. We’re currently writing a debut LP, with Adam and I convening once a week to come up with parts or to record demos. The new songs are much more melodic and intricate, and I’d like to think we’ve both grown as musicians. There will be a signature level of weirdness to these songs as well, I hope.

RRX: Like songs, every band has a unique feeling about their first show. What was your first show like? Was it your best show? If not, what was your best show like?

PC: Our first show was a disaster. It was an open-mic night at the Byrdhouse – which was run by people we knew. It’s all on YouTube somewhere, but Emanuel’s hi-hat got loose and looked like a giant clam opening and closing. During the crescendo of “Face/Back” my fuzz pedal came unplugged and I lost signal unbeknownst to me, leaving Adam to awkwardly plug it back in mid-set. I’m sure there are worse debuts, and everyone was supportive, but I’m proud of how far we’ve come lately. Our best show might have been our latest in Brooklyn, as we finally implemented ambient backing tracks (thanks to Adam) to elevate the overall atmosphere and help with transitions. We’ve done some really fun gigs at No Fun in Troy as well.

RRX: Music genres are difficult for some bands. Some strictly adhere; others not so much. What is your perspective on the genre you play, or the genres you hover around?

PC: We try to mix a lot of different genres together. My main goal is to have each song on a record feel very distinct, like each track is a portal into a different world. I think we achieve that to a certain degree on our EP but the genre we usually get slapped with is post-punk, which makes sense. We aren’t abrasive enough to fully be noise-rock or shoegaze and not melodic enough to really fit pure indie-rock. My voice isn’t great at carrying pitch either so I mostly go for a post-punky growl/shout. Interpol really influenced me growing up but now I seek to land somewhere between Unwound, Swell Maps, Swirlies and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. That’s a pretty broad palette but mixing the best elements of those bands is the main goal.

RRX: It’s a lot of fun living in the present, but we all collect memories and give birth to dreams. We’re talking dreams here. Where you see yourself next year? In the next five years?

PC: Next year? Hopefully deep into the recording process of our debut full-length. I want to take it nice and slow; give time for each song to fully develop with a wide array of differing instruments. I want this record to go more into a post-rock direction while still maintaining cohesive, tight melodies. I’m all for bands just going hard and nonstop working, but a lot of bands around here put out release after release without really taking time to grow. If I’m going to put out a full album, I want to make damn sure I’m proud of it, and that it sounds leaps and bounds above the last release. That said, in five years I hope the album will gain maybe a little traction and hopefully we’ll be working on something radically different if we’re all still around.

RRX: We all get a little support from those around us. And we also can be impressed by our fellow bands. Who do you admire in your community, and why?

PC: There are a lot of cool folks around here. I want to shout out our original lead guitarist Gavin, who is super skilled. I mentioned Joe Taurone as someone that’s filled in for us before, and the guy is basically a celebrity in the Albany scene. His band Laveda recently opened for The Brian Jonestown Massacre which is huge. He’s in plenty of very talented groups that are putting out solid material. I have to give praise to our current drummer AJ and his band Glittr Xr, which is a showcase of his utterly insane drum skills along with crazy guitar/noise fun from our friend Ben – they’re basically Hella but evil. Big love as well to Joe Restivo who plays lead guitar for us when he can, his band The Classical blew me away with their debut and it’s some of the best trip-hop/pysch/post-punk stuff i’ve heard around here. Justin, who’s going to be helping out with lead guitar, is in an awesome band called Otobo that most people around here don’t even know how to classify. Justin gave me a preview of their new record and it is absolutely amazing. Zac from Senior Living is an awesome fellow, as are the rest of the band. Galene are great dudes. I could spend too much time name dropping, and if I missed someone it’s nothing personal, so lastly I’ll say thanks to the No Fun crew, and to the Superdark people for at least somewhat believing in us.

Interview by Liam Sweeny.

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