Q&A: Parts & Labor On Remembering Whitney Houston, Their Indefinite Hiatus, And Possibly Reuniting At Coachella in 2020

Categories: Interviews

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Brooklyn's econo-electronics-mishmashing, art-rocking noisemakers Parts & Labor are calling it a day and throwing a farewell jamz bash to ring in the band's indefinite hiatus on Friday at 285 Kent. Conceived in the early aughts by electronic gnaw artists and dueling vocalists Dan Friel and (bassist) BJ Warshaw, Parts & Labor were an omnipresent and major force in Brooklyn's DIY spaces. P&L played a slew of gigs over the last decade and had a killer five-album stretch of noise-rock deconstructionist glory, crash 'n' burn sonic melodies, arena-wired anthemry and throbbing dissonance. And the alliance the band formed with the likes of local buds Oneida, Liars, Black Dice and Yeah Yeah Yeahs helped morph the borough from barren wasteland into choice music destination, for better or for worse.

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Cat, pizza box.
Village Voice scribe and drummer Christopher Weingarten, along with guitarist and Noveller mastermind Sarah Lipstate—both P & L alum—will take part in Friday's festivities. "I was a fan of Parts & Labor long before I joined the band as their guitarist in 2008," Lipstate writes via email. "Someone at my college radio station gave me a copy of the band's amazing instrumental debut album Groundswell, and I used to play the track 'Autopilot' regularly on my radio show. I even saw them perform two or three times while I was living in Austin and remember thinking that it was funny how each time I saw them they had a different drummer in the band.

"Needless to say, I was beyond surprised when I was contacted by BJ in late 2007 about possibly joining the band as their guitar player. After only a couple of rehearsals with the full band, the guys asked me to go on tour with them down to SXSW in Austin. I remember waking up on a sofa in this huge Baltimore loft space where I had played my second show with the band the night before and seeing this cat curled up asleep on an old pizza box right next to me on the coffee table. At that moment, I remember thinking, 'Yep, I'm definitely in a touring rock band now.'"

Sound of the City caught up with Friel, Warshaw and drummer Joe Wong (on, of all things, a conference call) to talk about Parts & Labor history, plans for the future and Whitney Houston. Some comical moments ensued.


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