For more than a decade, industrial electro/rock band The Strand have increasingly become known for an electrifying stage presence, undeniable talent, and enigmatic sexual energy. They've been known to frequent the Valley's fetish balls and favored intimate venues. And they have a knack for seducing the crowd -- not just with riff-driven synth-lines and a mix of severe and melodic co-ed vocals, but with their live show. Think Wes Borland's Black Light Burns meets Ikonoklast, with jam sessions between four keyboardists thrown in.
But there's always a method to the madness, and The Strand's six members aren't as on constant guard for the Apocalypse as they may seem--on any given night you can find them throwing lavish dinners, costume parties or game nights, full of friends and fans. In truth, they just want to have a damn good time. And in anticipation of their upcoming fourth album, Combat Advantage, that's exactly what's in store at their Pirate Vs. Ninjas party this Saturday.
And yes, you read that right.
"The Pirate Party is our first time playing this year, other than a recording session we had awhile back for MCC's audio engineering studio class," says Scott Levy, one of The Strand's keyboardists and a member for 13 years. "We're the only band performing at the Pirate Party, but we'll have a Pirate DJ and a Ninja DJ battling off, contests, a photo booth and Sam Nelson's interactive art, too."
The Strand has become more intriguing in their concept and technique over the years -- they've seen musicians come and go, toured cross-country and performed on the main stages at such festivals as Salt Lake City's Dark Arts Festival in Salt Lake City and New Mexico's Oscillation Festival.
After The Strand's last album, released close to five years ago, the band spent funds on music software and new microphones before turning to Kickstarter to help fund their fourth CD release.
"Kickstarter -- it's revolutionary," says Levy. "I'd recommend it for anyone trying to start up anything, whether it's a band, a product, an idea. It's gonna change the game in next five years."
But don't think for a second that The Strand's little hiatus took a toll on their skills. If anything, it helped them to see what the future may hold for industrial music.
"This new CD releasing in May, it's riff driven and catchy, and not as melancholy or pretentious as a lot of what's out there now," admits Levy. "I think it's refreshing. It's an updated version of industrial dance.
The Strand is scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 21, at Chasers in Scottsdale.