Interview: Oliver Ackermann

Oliver Ackermann: “I try to play things that are gonna potentially get me kicked out from a dj set”

On June 30, the vocalist and guitarist of the noise rock band A Place To Bury Strangers performed a dj set at the famous Rough Trade record store. Data.Wave spoke to the artist about his most memorable record and the relationship with the band Slowdive.


1. Hi Oliver! What kind of music did you play for a dj set at Rough Trade?

I try to play things that are gonna potentially get me kicked out from a dj set. A lot of strange deep cuts of strange things that friends have sent me. I just love to have a good time.  I try to gear towards things which motivate me to have fun.

2. What is the record that you played all over the place and that started your musical journey?

There were a lot of records, but one that really blew my mind was Psychocandy from The Jesus and Mary Chain. I found that record in a church yard sale. I think because it had Jesus in it. I used to listen to it all the time thinking: Oh! That’s so sick! That sound was in complete harmony with my body. 

3. In your opinion, is there a notion of a "music scene" in New York, or has everything become as divided as possible?

It’s a combination of both. New York is a combination of different scenes. But it’s very divided, because of many neighborhoods. If you want to feel alienated, you are going to feel alienated. But people want to collaborate, work on stuff. You need to always ask people. That’s what I realized over time. 

4. Tell me, why should people go to record stores instead of buying music online?

Because you will feel a true connection with the artist, it’s like going to a show instead of playing music on Spotify. It’s not so much of a journey. The physicality is always good. Everything that I played today in my dj set was something that I have on the LP. And that is something that is going to separate people that love the virtual world and people that love to get their paper cuts (laughs).

5. Do you like to read? Which music literature do you think is the most interesting? 

I didn’t read many music literature books, I mostly like some really weird fucked up stories. I like some scientific stuff, because you actually learn something. I like to explore.

6. Are you friends with Slowdive? You released music on the same label...

We played a couple of shows together. I just can’t imagine being friends with Slowdive. It’s like you come back to your childhood thinking it's such a weird dream. It’s like going to Antarctica. Never going to happen. But everybody from Slowdive is super nice. Music is something that you can’t touch. When something that you can’t see and touch it’s associated with a person it starts to change. I prefer it to be my imagination.

7. Continue the phrase - my life wouldn't be complete without…

My family and friends.

Questions: Ilya Kudrin