With M for Montreal one sleep away, many local musicians are gearing up for a new phase in their careers. This, however, is not a main concern for experimental duo Tonstartssbandht. For the brothers, the festival is mostly a chance to play together and work on new material while being in the same postal code.
Andy White lives in Montreal, while his counterpart, Edwin, shacks up in New York City. Most of their collaborative efforts take place through emails and telephone calls.
“Whenever we do meet, we almost always try to record our practices,” said Andy. “[Sometimes it’s] just for ideas, but, more often than not, we try to get a good recording so that we could possibly release it.” Such was the case for their latest LP, Sinkhole Storm and Sandwich, which was recorded live to tape with no overdubs. The album consists of two tracks that run at around 18 minutes each.
“That (album) was recorded during a new phase of jamming that we were in that was just guitar and drum long-form boogie kind of stuff,” White explained.
While the duo’s past had them experimenting with what White described as “guitar and drum psyched-out minimal long songs,” he revealed that Tonstartssbandht are experiencing a resurging interest in writing more structured, vocal-based tracks.
Being nine recordings deep, the band, which has only been releasing music since 2008, is not short on material. The brothers have been making music together since their high school days, which took place in their hometown of Orlando, Fla.
A long history of side projects and individual solo efforts has only solidified the brothers’ DIY attitude. While the last two albums were released through Arbutus, most of their solo and Tonstartssbandht material is released through White’s own N.Y.C.-based label, Does Are.
Skeptics may doubt the tightness of a band whose members reside in different countries, but White assures that the arrangement works and the collaboration is natural.
“We’re best friends and we’re brothers, so I don’t feel like there’s any real urgency or anxiety involved in trying to keep a band going,” he said. “It just sort of happens.”
For a band as unpredictable and whimsical as Tonstartssbandht, it’s hard to say what M-goers can expect from their showcase performance.
“We will be rehearsing some new stuff when Edwin gets to Montreal,” White hinted, adding that people can expect to hear some new material at the show. “I’m totally grateful to be involved [with M for Montreal] and I’m psyched for the show.”
Catch Tonstartssbandht on Friday, Nov. 18 at La Sala Rossa when they play with Parlovr, Hollerado and Uncle Bad Touch, starting at 8 p.m.