By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Comparisons to post-rock bands like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky are easy to make when listening to This Will Destroy You's music, but don't let those comparisons fool you into thinking that this band is anything like, say, Ozma aping Weezer, for example.
"In the tour bus with us, you'll never hear a post-rock band being played while we're out driving an eight-hour drive," says Jeremy Galindo, guitarist for the four-piece instrumental act. He's not just pontificating, either; this is an act that knows all too well about the long drives through the state of Texas.
With some members of This Will Destroy You living in San Marcos and others in Dallas, this is a band that knows the various landscapes up and down Interstate 35 like the backs of their hands—from the metroplex to the farm country to the completely barren land in between.
Still, it's not like the band is unfamiliar with the tenets of post-rock. Yes, the band plays instrumental music with dips and dives from soft to piercing loud. Yes, the band has respect for the instrumental bands before them. Yet, as Galindo explains, there is a desire for this young band to really prove itself—and forge its own distinct sound—on its soon-to-be-recorded next album.
"It can be aggravating," Galindo says of the bands This Will Destroy You has been compared to. "I think after this new album comes out, a lot of that is gonna stop. Because this next album is definitely gonna be sounding more like the stuff that we do listen to."
Hip-hop, classical music and Animal Collective's most recent release, Merriweather Post Pavilion, are the big influences on what the band is working on at the moment, Galindo says before saying that the band hopes to have its next record out in mid-2010. For that release, the band will again work with renowned local producer John Congleton, who produced the band's self-titled 2007 release, as well as its follow-up, a split EP with Lymbyc Systym. But it won't be the same kind of sound, Galindo emphasizes. This Will Destroy You started writing the material that made up its first demo, which was later released as an EP called Young Mountain in 2006 by Magic Bullet Records, shortly after forming in 2005.
"There are songs on that record that we all really like, but I think it was not really the starting point that we would have wanted for the band," Galindo says. "I think it pushed it into categories—not that we didn't want to be a part of, but that we hadn't planned on being a part of."
Specifically, looking back at the songs on Young Mountain in 2009, Galindo says the record "definitely doesn't show much of what the future holds for us."
Maybe because they never expected this much to come out of their project: With four U.S. tours on This Will Destroy You's track record, as well as a recent round of festival dates in Europe and a U.K. tour this fall, the band is its members' full-time priority. With no real time to hold down steady jobs, the members are taking full advantage of their youth and desire to do this band to the fullest: "We all could probably use them," Galindo says of day jobs. "We're getting by barely on what we make, and it's a little tight. But I'd prefer to focus on writing and getting stuff done and getting everything organized business-wise."
A big part of how they're organizing their business matters these days is with licensing. Having recently signed with management that will hopefully get their music out to more places, the band is pretty fortunate: As far as licensing is concerned, instrumental music is almost always in demand. While tracks from Young Mountain have shown up in an episode of CSI: Miami, the soundtrack for the 2008 remake of Prom Night, and the trailer for the 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, the band hopes to see its music get into more commercials, video games and other films.
"We have no problem licensing our music out to various projects that they have, as long as we're OK with what the company stands for," Galindo says. "And we definitely wouldn't work with certain organizations and things based on religious or political views. But besides that, we're open to licensing to just about anything."
Of course, as it's become more and more common for indie bands like This Will Destroy You to see their music featured in various outlets, it's also become more and more common for bands like this one to come face-to-face with a seemingly inevitable fan backlash. Galindo's aware of this much, though. And he says his band is ready for it, should a backlash arrive.
"It's bound to happen eventually," Galindo says. "But we need to eat."