In February 1999, three longtime friends from West Texas went to a pizza place in Austin, Texas, for a prearranged meeting with a young man from Illinois. The Illinoisan had just moved to Austin, and he had put up a flyer that caught the interest of the others. They ate pizza and discussed movies and arcana. They also decided to meet the next day with their various instruments (two guitars, bass, and drums). This happened, and over the coming months they picked a band name, then picked a better band name, then wrote and recorded an album. That album, called How Strange, Innocence, was largely out of tune, but the band members didn’t really notice at the time. They optimistically printed 300 copies, and gave most of them away. It turned out they really liked playing together, so they kept doing so.
EITS drummer Chris Hrasky says of one of their first live performances: “In the summer of 1999, Michael (James, bass player) and I were working for the Gallup poll, manning the phones. They announced an employee talent show. We signed up. We shared the stage with a Michael Jackson impersonator, an interpretive dancer and, I think, a magician. I remember that my drumset sort of fell apart about halfway through our show. After it was over, someone came up to us and said ‘that was the best heavy metal I’ve ever heard.’”
A friend of theirs (in the American Analog Set) sent a recording of one of their live shows to a record label in Baltimore (Temporary Residence, Ltd.), and that label offered to put out albums for the band. The band agreed. A year later they put out a second album (2001’s Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever). They began to tour often, all over the world. In 2003 another album came (The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place), and in 2007 they put out their most recent, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone. They are shocked to see their 10-year anniversary on the horizon.
To celebrate this anniversary, Explosions In The Sky will be playing three special shows this summer, followed by a show in Belgium on 9/9 and a headline appearance at the End of the Road Festival in England on 9/11.
The band is playing here:
6/27 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium (tickets on sale Saturday, 3/14)
6/30 New York, NY @ Central Park Summer Stage (tickets on sale Saturday, 3/14)
7/2 Chicago, IL @ Congress Theatre (tickets on sale Saturday, 3/14)
9/9 Antwerp, Belgium @ Ampitheatre Riviernhof
9/11 Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival