On Sunday, Baltimore-based rock outfit Multicult returns to Champaign-Urbana with a show at The HighDive. The last time they were in the area was in 2014 when they played a show at Error Records with Withershins. Since then, they released an LP on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia Records entitled Variable Impulse. Variable Impulse is Multicult’s third LP, and on it the group continues to develop their sound – a mix of post-punk and noise-rock played loud and hard, characterized by an aggressive bass line and brash vocals.
This time, Multicult is making their way to The HighDive in Champaign as part of their summer tour with Nashville math rockers Gnarwhal, joined also by Chicago shoegaze outfit Great Deceivers and local alternative/space rock band The Autocorrect. Ahead of Sunday’s show, we caught up with guitarist and vocalist Nick Skrobisz, who originally began Multicult as a solo project before recruiting bassist Rebecca Burchette and drummer Jake Cregger.
»buzz: It’s been over a year since you guys have been in the Champaign-Urbana area. What has the band been up to?
»Nick Skrobisz: We’ve done a couple tours since then, along with tons of writing and recording for our next LP.
»buzz: You guys are heading out on tour again. What are you most excited for?
»NS: Really looking forward to going through the desert again this time around. Such incredible vistas!
»buzz: What would you say makes a Multicult performance unique and fun?
»NS: Not sure if I’m the one to answer that [laughs]. They definitely vary from show to show. We try to be ourselves and not get distracted by background noise.
»buzz: On the topic of musical performances, does the band (or each of you individually) have a pivotal experience that changed everything in terms of perspective?
»NS: Can’t speak for the other two, but it’s been a while since I’ve undergone any sort of massive shift recently that affects my understanding or relationship with live shows. Definitely seems that things are better all around when there’s a comfort level with the people watching our set. Even when things start cold, people generally warm up to us, and that feels good.
»buzz: I wanted to touch on your musical backgrounds. What were you guys doing before Multicult? How does it compare to the experience you’re having now?
»NS: We have all been in a lot of bands. Rebecca used to play in Fight Amp, while Jake and I play in Triac and The Wayward, respectively. Lots of other bands in between all of those as well. Of course, you find what you like more and more the longer you do something. Every band is its own thing, and that’s part of what makes this stuff so worthwhile. The musical output is an incarnation of those real relationships, and there is so much robustness in that.
»buzz: Sticking to the subject of your music background, where are you guys from?
»NS: Rebecca and I both are from Baltimore, although I grew up in Northern Virginia, where Jake currently resides.
»buzz: Multicult is one of the coolest band names I have heard. What does it mean, and what’s its origin?
»NS: No strict meaning there. It’s a name that can be interpreted any number of ways. The beauty of language, I guess.
»buzz: Multicult’s music has a cool, unique sound. How would you describe it? How would you describe Multicult’s take on music genre?
»NS: Thanks! It’s so easy to click something and make your own assessment with your own vocabulary, but I’ll indulge: minimal structure with lots of volume.
»buzz: You guys started off with the self-titled album in 2010, and your most recent release was Variable Impulse last September. How would you describe that four-year experience in terms of growth?
»NS: Pretty vast difference there. The self-titled release is all solo arrangements, which were eventually adapted to a live set. Fast-forwarding to now, the arrangements are very collaborative and start from any instrument, at very random times throughout the process. There’s a lot of back-and-forth between editing demos and live-jamming new ideas. Eventually songs come out the other end, but only the ones that everyone’s happy with.
»buzz: Lastly, are there any projects you guys are currently working on? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
»NS: Rebecca recently recorded some guest vocals on the newest Fight Amp record, which came out great. Jake is still doing Triac, and I still play in The Wayward, who also have a lot of new material recorded. Having open access to a studio, we all are tinkering with something at any given time.
Multicult will perform this Sunday, August 30th at The Highdive with Gnarwhal, Great Deceivers and The Autocorrect. Show at 7:30 p.m. $8 at the door. Ages 19+.