“We’re heading home for a couple of days (in the middle) of our tour,” said Maps & Atlases guitarist Erin Elders in a recent interview with the Daily. The band will return to form for an Aug. 5 show at the Blind Pig with Cults and Laura Stevenson & the Cans.
Maps & Atlases
Thursday at 9 p.m.
The Blind Pig
“I might just kind of do normal stuff,” he added, “Catch up with friends. Not be at a rock show.”
This low-key mien is reflective of the band’s minimalist aesthetic. Maps & Atlases, often filed under the “math rock” genre because of its rhythmically complex guitar-based sound, is starting to branch out into mainstream conscience with Perch Patchwork, the group’s latest record. And consequently, the math rock label is finally beginning to shed off.
“We never really consider ourselves a math rock band,” Elders said. “But we’re not opposed to that. We wanted to write songs that are pop songs, but use experimentation as a way to make (them) exciting. (We’re) maybe ‘pop,’ ‘progressive retro pop.’ ”
“With Perch Patchwork, this was the first time we’d gotten to experiment with different instrumentation,” he continued. “That was really exciting for us.”
Maps & Atlases’s sound, according to Elders, has always carefully bridged the past and future, with influences both retro and experimental.
“Our influences are all over the place,” Elders said. “The longer we’re a band and the more music we’re making, we try to have a balance between the two things.”
Elders’s personal tastes seem to veer more toward the retro end.
“I listen to a lot of classic rock,” he said. “When we first started the band, we were influenced by ’70s progressive rock, à la King Crimson. Really into old soul, like Otis Redding. Motown records. It would be really exciting to be in a band like Buddy Holly’s band … the Crickets. The Zombies. An earlier rock‘n’roll band.”
Elders’s pre-show rituals tend to be more laid-back than your average indie rocker’s.
“Both Dave (Davison, guitars/vocals) and I like to walk around a little bit. You get to a venue and then you’re kind of stuck at a venue. See what the town has going on. Maybe have a coffee. Lot of coffee drinking,” Elders added.
He expressed palpable eagerness at the fact that because of the band’s emerging mainstream success, its concert crowds have become more varied.
“With this record, the crowd at all the shows has been really diverse,” Elders said. “You had to kind of be really into music to get into our previous EPs. This record has really diversified our crowd.”