On Stage


Instrumental success

Exterminate All Rational Thought has a growing fan base

By Bonnie Blackburn
The name — Exterminate All Rational Thought — comes from the existential classic novel by William S. Burroughs, “Naked Lunch” (or, rather, from the movie made from said book), and initially, band member Peter Lock wasn’t too thrilled with it.

“It is a pretty long name,” Lock said over lunch at his workplace, Sweetwater Sound. “It’s definitely grown on me.”

The band, henceforth to be referred to as EART, is comprised of Lock, who plays guitar, Cody DeMille, also a guitarist, Jamie DeVinney-Stoner on bass and Lucas Sigg on drums. The band plays only instrumentals: there’s no vocalist. Lock said in the beginning, they had a guy who sang with them, but he kind of just drifted away and the band decided to stay with the instrumental versions of their songs.

Lock described the band’s music as being influenced by The Mars Volta, a progressive and psychedelic rock band from Texas, as well as King Crimson and Frank Zappa. Their newest album “Lining The Streets,” was released on vinyl and as a digital download in June. It’s available at the band’s website, EART.bandcamp.com.

“It’s a name-your-own price thing,” Lock said. “We’ll see how that goes.”

The band’s music forms a sweeping soundscape that’s popular with many local venues. EART has played The Brass Rail (where they’ll be performing Aug. 17), O’Sullivan’s, Calhoun Street Soup, Salads and Spirits and the Emerson Theater in Indianapolis. The band’s fan base is growing, Lock said.

“I don’t know if it’s the area, but lately it’s been great. All these people are coming out to the shows,” he said. “It’s been looking up a lot lately.”

One particular crowd favorite is the extended version of the EART song “Battle,” Lock said.

“Most of our songs are pretty long,” he said. “There’s a lot of dynamics that builds to a climax. Our new stuff has more weird time signatures. They’re more constructed. There’s a lot of weird timing. It’s not easy to tap your feet to it. Our guitars will be harmonizing and then we’ll drift apart.”

Lock began playing music in middle school, learning the saxophone. He switched to guitar later. He hooked up with DeVinney-Stoner in middle school and later met DeMille at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Sigg joined the band about a year ago. The band’s members have meshed together well.

DeMille is the band’s main songwriter, Lock said.

“He’s the most creative. He’s the main force behind that,” said Lock. “He’s very free minded. He’ll come (to rehearsals) with some really crazy stuff that’s really cool. Messing around, that’s how a lot of our music comes about.”

As for Lock’s songwriting, he said, “I’ll hear somebody else’s part and something will come into my head. Usually you can hear the way it should go.”

That kind of freestyling song creation can sometimes lead into some interesting songs, and Lock said he tries to record band practices so their extended jam sessions can be written out later.

“The fun for me is the process of writing and recording,” he said.

Posted: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 10:25 am
Last updated: Thu, 09/27/2012 - 12:20 pm