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Biography

  • Years Active

    1999 – present (25 years)

  • Founded In

    Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States

  • Members

    • Christopher Hrasky
    • Mark Smith
    • Michael James
    • Munaf Rayani

Explosions In The Sky is an American band, which formed in Austin, Texas in 1999. Munaf Rayani, Mark Smith, and Michael James had just moved to Austin from Midland, Texas, and drummer Chris Hrasky had just moved to Austin from Rockford, Illinois.

The band quickly gained a reputation for their live shows even amongst other established local bands such as Lift To Experience. They also garnered a small amount of media attention as a result of their second album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, due to rumors linking it to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks - The album was released in late August 2001, with liner notes containing a picture of an airplane and the text "This Plane Will Crash Tomorrow".

"The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" is their third full-length album (counting "How Strange, Innocence" as their debut, see below). It shows the band has developed their characteristic sound to its full potential and the album has been critically acclaimed.

Friday Night Lights, the football movie based on the book of the same name, featured a soundtrack consisting mostly of songs by Explosions in the Sky, both original (as found on the Friday Night Lights soundtrack ) and from earlier releases. They are also frequently played in the TV-series sharing the name.

21: The Rescue, an work for which the band sat down for eight days creating a song for each. The clapping and finger snapping on "Day Eight" is a good example of a harmonic restructuring of their old sound.

How Strange, Innocence, the band's debut album, was finally remastered and re-released, making it accessible to a much larger audience. The first pressing consisted of only 300 CD-Rs that the band would later regret handing out as they felt the work to be naive, musically simple and not up to their standards. They have since learned to love, as well as hate, their debut as a showcase of their emotional range and emerging talent.

They recorded a live session in 1999 at KVRX Radio in Austin, Texas when they were still called 'Breaker Morant'. Early rawer versions of some How Strange songs were played plus the version of 'Remind Me as a Time of Day' they used for that record. The performance is also noted for featuring several songs whose original titles have been lost in time's memory hole that remain unreleased to this day. The band probably felt the songs were too juvenile and abandoned them for good, considering the way they felt about How Strange as a record itself. After exiting that live session, they saw fireworks in the sky and that is where the name 'Explosions in the Sky' came from.

On 20 Feb 2007, the band released, 'All Of A Sudden, I Miss Everyone'. The band's next album "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care" was released in April 2011. Their latest and most polarising record to date was called 'The Wilderness' from 2016. It marked their complete departure from their usual sound.

The band is considered nowadays as an entry-level point to post-rock for many people and they are often held responsible for the popularisation of (modern) post-rock and its subsequent flood of 'copycats' of a sound that has been done to 'exhaustion'. They are post-rock's poster boy band, perhaps even more so than Mogwai themselves. However, this should not remove the intrinsic value in their music or what they did for post-rock many years ago even though the quiet-loud-quiet structure/dynamic is anything they even hardly pioneered.

Their music simply added a then unseen emotional dimension to post-rock with exclusively instrumental songs. Although as with most of the original 'crescendocore' bands of yore, they have since abandoned this approach in favour of a more 'experimental' sound even bordering electronic.

Munaf Rayani - guitar
Mark Smith - guitar
Michael James - electric guitar/bass
Chris Hrasky - drums

Bandcamp | Official Website

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