The band started out in Austin, TX, and have been together for nearly fifteen years. They seek to save the listener from “boring music” and it’s safe to say that the band has succeeded through both their visual and audio components.
Americans UK prides themselves on creating music that combines rock ’n’ roll with original science fiction stories. The band’s high-energy sound has developed with additional post punk and dance elements. To add more of a science fiction flair, their music also references soundtracks both in their live performances and in recordings.
What makes the band so special is that they’ve gone the extra step in creating a new world for their fans.
Lead vocalist Jeff Burandt moved to Brooklyn in 2003 in order to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction writing. While he first sought out a career in prose writing, he fell into writing for comics and hasn’t moved on since. He was inspired by musicians such as the Gorillaz, a band of four animated characters.
“I wish the Gorillaz had done more with the characters that they created,” Burandt said. “I wanted to see more different types of media surrounding these worlds.”
The band has used
Burandt and Peter Boiko produced this particular soundtrack for the graphic novel. Boiko plays keyboard for Americans UK. He also works on engineering for the band.
Burandt and Dennis Culver created the graphic novel to accompany their upcoming album. Culver illustrated the graphic novel while Ramon Villalobos created the bold cover art, which definitely represents the storyline well.
The album and graphic novel follows a particularly interesting Battle of the Bands competition. While members of the Odd Schnozz and the Odd Squad
band believe they are going to win this year’s contest, they are shocked to find a much bigger issue knocking at their door. A talking chimp escaped from a mysterious organization and the band needs to save him when special agents come looking for him.
“We tell original stories and narratives through our album,” Burandt said. “We’re not trying to latch on to established TV shows, movies or other comics.”
It isn’t the first time Burandt has used graphic novels to work alongside music played by his band. American UK’s past songs such as “I, Ape-Man,” “Rocktronic” and “John Loves Wayne” each consisted of “musical comics” where one could read along while listening to the songs.
The publisher of the graphic novel, Oni Press, also produced hit comics like Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Like Scott Pilgrim, Odd Schnozz and the Odd Squad is written for readers aged 12 and up.The digital graphic novel has been released chapter-by-chapter weekly on ComiXology.com and will continue to do so until June 23 when the entire book is released. The EP album will be released on June 23 at OddSchnozz.com. The print copies will be released on June 24 at comic bookstores around the country.
Photo credit: Darin Murano Graphic credits: Ramon Villalobos and Dennis Culver