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The Library Is On Fire: The Lo-Fi EP Still Rocks Live

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The Library Is On Fire: The Lo-Fi EP Still Rocks Live

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 When we first heard the name of Steve Five's Brooklyn-based band The Library Is On Fire, our curiosity ran wild. With so many absurd band names out there, this one just reeled us in. 

Apparently the name didn't stem from a psychotic boy who went postal on the streets of his hometown. The band's name was taken from the title of a poem written by an obscure war poet named Rene Char, and it's also the title of a manifesto that Five wrote which propelled the start of the band. This intrigued us even more.

The alt-rock band, made up of drummer Pete Sustarsic and bassist Mark Shue, released their debut Cassette in 2008, and have been touring nonstop. Exposé is the bands most recent recording which Five calls a demo-style production and “very intimate.” 
 
We caught up with Five recently before his show at Death By Audio on Sunday, in hopes of diving deeper into his brain. 
 
How was the recording of Exposé compared to past albums?
 
Exposé is an EP that I recorded myself, on my laptop with Garageband. It's about the beach and heartbreak. It's more lo-fi, demo style. It's very intimate. There are no drums or bass on it. There’s an effect called “punk bass” in Garageband, but it makes any instrument sound cool. I ran most all of the tracks through the “punk bass” effect for Exposé. It sounds sort of like an over-driven old tape recorder, which I like. 
 
We have a new full-length studio album called Works On Paper, produced by Perry Margouleff (Rolling Stones, Soundgarden) coming out November 1st. It's sort of the opposite end of the spectrum to Exposé. Huge production value. It sounds like a ‘70s headphones record. We finished it last Spring.
 
We are also writing songs for another record as well. Its called Opiate Moon and will probably be the saddest thing you have ever heard. It will come out next winter.
 
For someone who isn't familiar with your band live, how would you describe your shows?
 
I don’t mean to gloat, but its true...we rock. It's actually markedly heavier than on our records. We are considering mixing in the quieter, more folk songs to our set, but for now, we shred hard. For me, it’s the funnest thing in the world to play with Pete (Sustarsic, drums/vocals) and Travis (Tonn, bass). Travis just joined. He slams.
 
Who are currently listening to? 
 
-That’s Justin Broderick, a Welshman who writes the saddest, heaviest songs the world has ever heard. 
 
Smoke Ring For My Halo
Kurt Vile’s new record. I go to put other records on, and just end up playing this one again. 
 
Guided by Voices
Revisiting them again after taking a break for a few hours.
 
Fleetwood Mac
They’re really good boombox beach music.
 
Nick Drake 
Fall’s coming. Anticipating sweaters and listening to Bryter Layter in the park.
 
If you could open up for any band/artist who would it be?
 
That’s a tough one. Living: A bill with Queens of The Stone Age and Jesu, maybe Foo Fighters. Dead: A bill with John Lennon, Nirvana, and Jay Reatard.
 
We recently saw the Pearl Jam documentary in which Chris Cornell stated the music scene in Seattle was different than in other cities in the sense that their wasn't rivalries between bands, like say in Los Angeles, but instead they all supported each other. How would you describe the dynamic between bands in Brooklyn? 
 
I think a lot of bands support each other, if they can actively find other bands they like, and reach out. A lot of the Brooklyn music scene seems pretty disjointed, though. That’s not to say there is or isn’t rivalry, I just haven’t experienced it so much. Usually rivalries stem from ego, so if that happens it's one or two peoples problems, not a whole scene. There’s just so much going on in Brooklyn, almost every night. It can be sort of niche and sometimes I feel like my scene here is so small. Then I go out randomly and see three great bands I’ve never seen or heard of before, and my faith in music is restored. Newer indie bands don’t really play in Manhattan anymore, unless its Mercury Lounge or Bowery Ballroom. Williamsburg and Bushwick are the place to see shows. That seems like a big shift from ten years ago.
 
If you're weren't a musician what other profession could you see yourself doing?
I can’t imagine not being able to play guitar. I guess maybe I’d be a doctor/poet, like William Carlos Williams. Or an insurance executive/poet like Wallace Stevens.
 

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