Although Alex and Adam are powerhouses when they perform, the boys of Kill Memory Crash are decidedly demure offstage, possibly the result of a self-imposed exile from the mainstream. They don’t much care though (calling themselves “enemies of corporate America”) as their main priority is to maintain a sound that is uniquely their own.
The ride started over a decade ago in techno-mecca Detroit when the duo was performing at raves and warehouse parties. “We do come from that whole rave-24-hours-a-day scene,” says Alex, “and that gluttonous lifestyle will always be a part of who we are.” While they are now based out of Chicago, their releases garner international praise and headlining gigs. Creating what they call “Frankenstein Electronic,” their tunes turn techno on its head with infusions of industrial, rock, IDM and ambient that make them hard to categorize. They don’t do this with the intention of being musical outcasts, but simply because, as Alex explains, “we have no allegiance to any genre and pick the bones of music history as we see fit.”
Though their early career only boasted limited vinyl runs, people started to catch on with 2003’s “When The Blood Turns Black,” their first major release with Ghostly International. Critics called the album everything from “[A] mind-control worm,” to “The glitchy sound of the machines gone bad,” making heads (and ears) turn. The success of the release prompted a slew of offers that tested and further defined KMC’s anti-mainstream standpoint, including a doomed gig DJing with iPods at an Apple store. The second store appearance was cancelled when the duo showed up the first day smelling of cigarettes and booze. Even with companies like Acura knocking, Alex and Adam are wary. As they say, “We don’t want our song in a tampon commercial with Kate Moss jumping around in an angel costume.”
All this puts KMC in a precarious position of wanting to spread their sound and still stick to an extreme anti-mainstream ethic. So where does the band who believes in staying underground go next? According to Adam: “nowhere fast.” (Dani Deahl)
Kill Memory Crash performs with The Hacker at Spy Bar, 646 North Franklin, (312)587-8779 on June 23 from 10pm-4am.