PREMIERE: Strategies (The Ghost, The Lawrence Arms) share debut single 'Silent Count'
PREMIERE: Strategies (The Ghost, The Lawrence Arms) share debut single 'Silent Count'
Wednesday, July 13, 2022 - 08:18
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We are very excited to premiere ‘Silent Count,’ the debut single by Strategies. Formed remotely in 2020, Strategies is a long-distance collaboration between old friends from the early 2000s Chicago punk and indie rock scenes. Guitarist Paul Lask (The Ghost, Tight Phantomz) sent demos to Neil Hennessy (Lawrence Arms, Joyce Manor) and Brian Moss (Great Apes, Hanalei, The Ghost). ‘Silent Count’ is taken off the band’s self-titled debut EP, out August 26th (pre-order).

I wrote the lyrics about friends and family from the Midwest that have moved to the West Coast,” says Lask about the single. For some it was about being closer to mountains and the ocean. Being outdoors we could let go of ourselves in a way that reminded us of how we let go while listening to music. That's what the lyric "Give into the's what they're meant for" is about.

Arpeggiated riffs, cascading guitar delays, and odd time signatures are bound by a straightforward drumming sensibility that should please even the most die-hard fans of American Football, Jets to Brazil and Tycho. Scroll down to hear the single or read on for a short interview with Paul about the origins of the band and their self-titled debut. 


PRT: Would Strategies still have happened if it hadn’t been for the pandemic?

Paul: Not likely.


PRT: When and how did the idea of Strategies take shape?

Paul: The project grew out of demos I sent to Neil. We've been sending each other snippets of music over the years, but during the early phase of the pandemic we started working on these songs. My vocals weren't really working out, so we asked Brian if he would be into singing, and he was game.


PRT: The songs on the EP sound a bit different from your other projects. Was the sound born out of a mutual appreciation of bands like Jets To Brazil, American Football and maybe Death Cab For Cutie?

Paul: I can't speak for the others, but I am pretty sure we share a lot of influences. Where I might drift musically is my interest in electronic and atmospheric songs by projects like Clark, the Range, and Stars of the Lid. 


PRT: There was one The Ghost song that came to mind though while listening to the EP and that was ‘…And Now For My Disappearing Act’. If The Ghost was still a band today, do you think it would have sounded like Strategies with the urgency of your younger years replaced by melancholy?

Paul: That connection makes sense. The main "Disappearing Act" riff is one of my favorites on that record. I don't know which way we would have gone musically, but I like the melodic, arpeggiated, delayed (even dub) vibes.


PRT: You recorded the EP in different places out of necessity. I’m guessing that working that way is not your preferred way of doing things, but is it a comfortable way to go about it? I can imagine that being in a studio and having x amount of time to record everything adds some pressure?

Paul: Much of these guitars were re-tracked in a studio session that Neil engineered. We had a short timeline. I think the pressure of deadlines and timelines can help with productivity and focus. I also like the way we're working on our second EP, which is how we did this first one—sending each other pieces as we go, with no outside pressure. 


PRT: What’s up next for Strategies once the EP is out? Will there be a ‘next’?

Paul: Continue making music. We have another EP in the works that will be out next year. I'd also like to start playing shows at some point.