String Smasher is a noise metal band from somewhere in Nepleslia that emerged shortly after the rise and rise again of Aethersperm. While the two man band didn't reach the prominence, they were frequent collaborators with other artists and songwriters when called upon, including Aoi Tanaka from Yamatai.
Nowadays they enjoy a good partnership with Tanaka, stating that they learn from each other. Softer subdued Yamataian rhythm mixed with brain squishing drum tornadoes and knee exploding overdriven bass hammerings. Or, it could simply be because Aoi Tanaka enjoys the novelty of them. She does what she wants, really.
One fine day in YE30, Richard Gibson and Richter Chippendale were attending a concert of an up-and-coming band, Hyperpower Nepleslia. Hyperpower Nepleslia was unable to strike it big and promptly ragequit the business in the middle of a failing concert, threw their equipment away and stormed offstage.
Gibson and Chippendale, realising that to leap on the coattails of Aethersperm was to slip and fall over, making a colossal asshat of yourself, much like Hyperpower Nepleslia did. In the ensuing scramble and underattended melee for equipment and instruments, Gibson and Chippendale were able to 'procure' a drum kit and a bass guitar, pedals and amps included.
They then realised that between either of them, they had no music skill as they were driving home with the instruments and equipment in the back of the truck. Once home and figuring out how everything worked (with a couple of electric shocks), they realised they didn't snatch a microphone. Chippendale, being an electric engineer, decided to improvise a solution using a landline telephone. This gave all of the lyrics this distinctly radioed and frenzied feel.
Once everything was set up and ready to go, the two played scissors paper rock over who learned how to drum, and who had to learn to play bass. Chippendale ended up losing and was forced by Gibson to play bass. The next problem was who got to do vocals, and shortly after figuring out that neither of them could hold tone with both hands and a map, Gibson volunteered as long as they never picked up a real microphone and kept the vocals downsampled enough to hide his lack of skill.
Another problem arose - Gibson could not hold the telephone receiver and drum at the same time. Chippendale improvised and built a colourful full face mask out of the receiver. Inadvertently, this helped overcome initial stage fright too, and soon Chippendale built his own mask too. After getting some modicum of skill, some basic songs written, and enough cajones to perform on stage, they made their first performance in YE32 in the very same place Hyperpower Nepleslia met their end.
When asked about their name, they realised that they had no name yet. Chippendale stated that he pulls the strings, figurative and literal; and Gibson smashes the drums. Strings, smashing, string smashing. The two statements blended together to form String Smasher. A name was born, they were announced and they went on stage.
Someone in the audience recognised them because Gibson and Chippendale took their sound equipment a couple of years ago. Between songs, Thomas Brinkman snuck backstage to verify if these were the guys who stole the equipment - and indeed did discover that it was his - kind of - it was on loan from a rental place, which had lost all knowledge of the equipment after the melee a couple of years back. Deciding to play havoc, Brinkman started messing with the controls, and gave String Smasher the sound it needed by mistake and whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
When the whole set was finished, the roses and panties were brushed off stage; Gibson and Chippendale came to investigate who was responsible for the modulation. They mistook Brinkman for a guy who worked at the venue and gave him a cut of the night's profits without question. Brinkman rolled with this and offered to be their 'sound guy' and roadie since the cash was much more generous than Hyperpower Nepleslia's ever could be.
With the three cemented together, they continued musicking their way through life, collaborating with local artists, and releasing album compilations and 'offcuts' of their sound to the public. Through this, they got the attention of the enigmatic songstress Aoi Tanaka and her band through Yamatai. Initially confused and puzzled, the trio were confused further when Tanaka came to them instead of having to fly themselves to Yamatai - explaining that she wanted to live Nepleslia to get a feel for its sound.
Gibson, Chippendale and Brinkman were none the wiser, and having Tanaka around felt like having a musical housecat who kept on helping them write songs without pushing the band in any direction she had.
Here are the current members of String Smasher.
The drummer and 'vocalist' of the band, a former burger flipper for the local neppies with few prospects, few ambitions, and little hope for upward growth. He and Chippendale attended the same college, but Gibson was never able to get ahead in his degree, now left so far behind he doesn't even remember what he tried and failed to do.
Shy, but heartfelt, the design of his mask hooks the telephone receiver to one side, looking similar to a gas mask with space on the sides for ear protection while the mask's lenses are removed to show his eyes so he can see what he's doing, and see the audience get bowled over by his drumming. Only a handful of people know what his face looks like since he's always wearing the mask during performances and interviews. All we know is that he shaves his head and he's a brunette with blue eyes.
The primary bass player and secondary 'vocalist' who dials lyrics in through a ham radio stand strapped to his chest when called upon to provide vocals. Chippendale worked through college and earned himself a degree in electrical engineering, hoping to be a tradesman. His friendship with Gibson was expressed as going to concerts and taking Gibson with him regardless of what Gibson was doing.
His mask looks like his head was mummified with stage hand's gaffer tape, with holes for the eyes, nose and some breathing holes. More outgoing and forward than his peer, he does most of the talking. (and he was responsible for most of the looting when he invaded Hyperpower Nepleslia's stage)
A former member of Hyperpower Nepleslia, Thomas Brinkman was their sound engineer, and recognised some of the equipment String Smasher were using in their first concert when he snuck backstage, and even recognised the piece of chewing gum he put under a mixing board which Gibson and Chippendale never removed. He volunteered to be String Smasher's sound engineer to make their already raw sounds even rawer, and conceded that Hyperpower Nepleslia were fame hungry jerkasses anyway.
Luca created this article on 2015/05/15 19:56.
Listen to these bands and their songs if you want to get an idea of how String Smasher sounds.