Boy In Static is the San Francisco-based duo of Alexander Chen (b. 1981) and Kenji Ross (b. 1980). The product of Taiwanese parents, Chen got an early start in their New Jersey home, from practicing viola excercises in elementary school, to hijacking the family VCR and karaoke machine in middle school, to programming melodies on the family PC in junior high.
In 2003, a three-song demo made its way overseas to Markus Acher of The Notwist. The two met at a Notwist show in Boston where they discussed their mutual love of harmoniums and Acher's newly founded label Alien Transistor. Acher personally signed Boy In Static and released Newborn in 2004, a debut album characterized by dead-of-night recording sessions, lush string ensembles, thunderous synths, and yearning vocals.
The following year, Chen and Ross formed a live band to introduce Boy In Static to worldwide audiences, supporting 13 & God (the collective of The Notwist and Anticon's Themselves) on their US and European tours. 2006 saw the completion of sophomore album Violet (Mush Records). Showcasing a stage show of combining Chen's viola and Ross's live electronic drumming, Boy In Static embarked on a tour of Japan with Lymbyc Systym, and two US tours supporting Freezepop.
In 2008, Chen and Ross returned to the studio with invigorated stage-trained vocal cords and a floor-stomping adrenaline born from months of touring. Recording was a variety show. Rickety 1960's toy pianos danced alongside 1980's synthesized drum machines. Precise viola arrangements swept over one-mic improvised drum takes. Intimate 1940's crooning floated over grand orchestral layers. Studio guests included Marc Bianchi (Her Space Holiday), Liz Enthusiasm (Freezepop), and Ulrich Schnauss. The result was 10 new songs flaunting an equal love for sonic experimentation and the verse-chorus pop structure. Candy Cigarette is slated for release in March 2009 (Fake Four Inc & Circle Into Square).
Chen has also shown interactive and sound art in various galleries around the world, including 2002's Sonata for the Unaware, a piece which generated music from video footage of Philadelphia subway commuters, "finding beauty in maddening situations" (The Guardian).
Boy In Static has shared the stage with artists such as 13 & God, Freezepop, Lymbyc Systym, Stereo Total, and Why?. Boy In Static has collaborated and been remixed by artists such as Her Space Holiday, Alias, Styrofoam, Montag, Helios, and Future Bible Heroes.