School of Seven Bells is an institution for pickpockets, and it’s also the team of Ben Curtis and identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. Alpinisms, their debut, is part dream sequence, part inspirational sex techno. Curtis formed the group after leaving The Secret Machines, and SVIIB’s sound has been tagged as an offshoot of the C86 Movement, named after the cassette compilation released by venerated UK rag New Musical Express to chronicle the mid-’80s independent rock scene.
The Bells began work on their second album, Disconnect From Desire, this month, but an alternate version of Alpinisms is out now. Curtis chats by phone from New York.
LEO: Your blog mentions you’ve found the ingredients for the perfect key lime pie shot.
Ben Curtis: Yes! Stoli Vanilla, lime, Amaretto and milk. You have your calcium. You’ve got your citrus. You’ve got you alcohol, which is good for the mind, I hear.
LEO: What was the goal this time, after debut EP Face to Face In High Places?
BC: The first time is always figuring out not only what you like to do but what you can do well. The second time is really crucial because you’ve only found out what you like to do, and maybe there’s a chance that you don’t realize what it is that you do well. That’s definitely a trap. This time we know what that is. It’s less of an exploration and more fine-tuning.
LEO: Are you guys settling in, I guess?
BC: No, not at all. With that you become more intolerant of parts that aren’t as good. It’s harder than settling in.
LEO: Alpinisms is dedicated to Alejandro Elias Deheza-Herren. Who is he?
BC: Claudia’s son. He’s an awesome dude, and you can hear him in the background. He’s not a quiet kid. (laughs) He was too young to understand that when the mic’s on, we’re recording. The album is dedicated to him.
LEO: Any dish on the new record?
BC: It’s hard to say right now. It’s like having a little baby and saying, “You’re gonna be a doctor,” or “You’re gonna be a lawyer.” I’m gonna let it figure itself out first.
School of Seven Bells
You Are All Perceivers is the new album by The Mandelbrots (myspace.com/mandelbrotsmusic). Guitarist and singer Joseph Burchett stops in to talk about the new album. Listen at Bluegrass Catastrophe, bluecat.leoweekly.com.