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Already being compared to Frank Zappa, Steely Dan and Peter Gabriel, the “chop-pop” of Austin’s Mount Pressmore is just that: addictive earworms played with the utmost technical proficiency. Talking Heads is another touchstone, and that band’s more intricate moments and visual style can be felt in the video for “Trampoline” from the just-released Mount Pressmore debut album Enjoy.
“Music was his religion,” says band leader Thomas Shaw of his father Robert Shaw, the 14-time Grammy winning conductor who brought his son up amid technical exercises, music theory, and classical recitals. “Then I heard Oscar Peterson and I was blown away,” Shaw remembers. He soon found B.B. King, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, and Fela Kuti.▼ Article continues below ▼
Shaw’s unique musical education colors all of his work with Mount Pressmore. All compositions are charted and performed live by this schooled quartet, which in addition toShaw, includes fellow New York Collective School of Music classmate, Kris Studebaker, along with bassist Alexei Sefchick and guitarist Danny Anderson, both graduates of Boston’s Berklee School of Music.
The video for “Trampoline” was shot over a couple of days in and around Austin by director André Costantini, whose recent film credits include “Bel Borba Aqui,” a documentary about the life and work of Brazilian artist Bel Borba. “Inspiration came from many places,” says Shaw. “In addition to the Talking Heads, we share an enduring reverence for Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer.’“
And what of Sasquatch, the star of the piece? “We’ve been playing with this idea of a Bigfoot creature as one of the primary residents of Mount Pressmore,” Shaw explains. “He’s a character wholly aware, but societally unencumbered. If Bigfoot exists within a mythical state, then man must be his avatar, and nowhere does this dualism approaches a fusion more so than in dance.”
Essentially, Mount Pressmore fulfills all of your dancing Sasquatch needs right here. Enjoy by Mount Pressmore is out now on the band’s own Pressmore Records.