poster by Maus Haus’ own Joshua Rampage
New San Francisco band Maus Haus hasnâ€™t even played their first show yet and theyâ€™re already creating buzz around the local music scene. Perhaps one can attribute this to the familiarity of two of their members â€“ Jason Kick of The Lovely Public and Aaron Weiss of Social Studies. But the sound of Maus Haus definitely fills a void that many in the San Francisco scene have been waiting for.
What is that void? With the pervasiveness of the rock-band-plus-synth in the Bay, Maus Haus takes it a step further, making the absence of guitars the first rule. And as the four founding members (Kick, Weiss, Joseph Genden and Joshua Rampage) began the project, they found that the conversation meant more than the actual instrumental experimentation.
â€œWe talked about it for days before we even picked up instruments,â€ Kick said.
And when the creation of music began, the band made it a point to leave the role of each member open, and allowed each person to play or write whatever he was inspired by at the time. Genden described the format as â€œliberatingâ€ and Rampage emphasized that it allowed creativity to run riot.
â€œWe have enough ability among us that we can go in any direction,â€ Rampage said. â€œI think the sound is all-encompassing, and we can really pursue whatever we want.â€
But add three more members â€“ Sean Mabry, Tom Hurlbut and Allen Price filling in key wind, percussion and auxiliary parts â€“ and it can become complicated (â€œIt can be a circus,â€ Genden said), particularly in preparation for the stage.
â€œItâ€™s almost like re-composing the songs for the live show,â€ said Genden. â€œWe just try to make sure the idea gets across.â€
The five-song demo that made it into the hands of the lucky few in the past couple of months is layered with vintage electronic drum sounds, synths, bass, winds and many other “noises” that creep through. The album as a whole is a well-timed collection of songs that makes the local SF ear perk up and do a dance. A highlight, which can be heard via the bandâ€™s MySpace page, is â€œWe Used Technology (But Technology Let us Down),â€ a song that demonstrates the complete collaboration between all members of the band, even for writing the lyrics.
Genden explained, â€œ
Later, Kick added the idea of insomnia and waking up to the sound of a humming computer (â€œItâ€™s so inhuman,â€ he said) and the song was born. With the complexities of the songs both lyrically and musically, itâ€™s hard to imagine seven people in a small studio putting it all together, but that only builds the suspense and curiosity of what the live performance will bring.
The band will play their first show tomorrow night (Thursday) at the Hemlock Tavern, opening for Battlehooch and Tempo No Tempo. Expect to hear more from this innovative new group as they do more recording and hope to put out an album in the near future. 9:30pm, $6.