Photography: David Lekach
Videography: Carly Foulkes
Listening to Collapsing Scenery isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. With thrashing synths and pounding beats, Don De Vore and Reggie Debris’ experimental industrial outfit is equal parts abrasive and haunting—but it always leaves you wanting more. Their coked out brand of electronic hardcore may not be totally enjoyable, but it’s definitely addicting.
With their debut EP, God’s Least Favorite, and a handful of singles, Collapsing Scenery is one of LA’s most exciting bands. A radical contrast to the mediocrity of commercial pop, Debris spits hyper-political lyrics atop De Vore’s aggressive production. But the band still knows how to write a hit. “Metaphysical Cops” blends heavy distortion with saccharine hooks, part Nine Inch Nails, part Blur. On “The Cat Looks At The King,” the duo showcases its ability to transcend genre, joining sleazy hip-hop with an new wave feel. Tracks like “Theme From Fellow Travelers” and “Common Cause” are strangely melodic in their dissonance, fusing the band’s punk rock roots with an undeniable pop sensibility.
Without ever compromising their own sound, Collapsing Scenery always changes it up, and always keeps you guessing—in part, a testament to both De Vore and Debris’ unrivaled musical ability. As a fairly new project for both members, Collapsing Scenery is emblematic of the way the boys are able to give themselves completely to their art. As a hardcore electronic band that doesn’t give a fuck, Collapsing Scenery is both a refreshing voice in a highly curated industry, and a political call-to-arms.
Watch our exclusive video, and learn more about the band, below.
Reggie: Was there a calculated moment during your youth that lead you to pursue art?
Don: In my 12th or 13th year of life, I realized the solace and therapy that accompanies creative output in my chemical make up. This is my brain on music? I’ll keep it—I’m always shifting and evolving, always pushing to understand, creating personal mantras that skip the line but refuse to finish. Talk about what inspired the origins of our band.
Reggie: We had wanted to work together for some time, and we both were interested in doing something electronic. Before the band took any concrete shape, all we knew is that we wanted to make something sonically driven by analog electronics and political lyrics.
Don: What’s the hardest part about collaborating with me?
Reggie: This working relationship is actually the most symbiotic I’ve ever been involved in. I think each of us has carved out a very specific set of roles in the creative process, and they seem to fit together pretty seamlessly. But I suppose living mostly in different cities can be a pain in the ass—and your vampire studio hours.
Don: How would you describe our sound?
Reggie: Diverse, heavy, fragile, thick, angry, sad, and joyous. You?
Don: BIG. Committed, sensual, weighty. Who would you say are our biggest musical influences?
Reggie: Anything interesting. What do you think?
Don: Visual sacraments, audio conflict ions, motivating forces, dead relationships, stress positions, sleep and speed. Do you think our punk background has an effect?
Reggie: Both of us cut our teeth in hardcore from a young age. It definitely shaped an ethos, worldview and sense of community—and our political responsibility.
Don: What draws you to electronic music, then?
Reggie: Energy, sonics, patience, meditation, dynamics.
Don: If we were a movie what would it be?
Reggie: A smash cut edit of Daisies, Holy Motors, and The Act of Killing.
Don: Act of Killing will fuck you up. Also, Death Note. Fortunately though, we will not be leaving this physical world and entering a dormant, yet physical nothingness—unless we get lucky.