COLLAPSING SCENERY IS THE MEETING OF TWO FERTILE AND FEBRILE MINDS, DON DEVORE AND REGGIE DEBRIS. TOGETHER THEY STRADDLE THE GAP BETWEEN MUSIC, ART, FILM AND POLITICS, SEAMLESSLY MOVING BETWEEN EACH WITH THE SAME EASE AT WHICH THEY TRAVERSE THE GLOBE, SOAKING UP EXPERIENCES AND IMMERSING THEMSELVES IN DIFFERENT CULTURES.
Since they formed in 2013 “under a pall of paranoia and disgust” they haven’t stopped moving. A conversation with them recalls stories of recently recording a ‘goth-dancehall’ track in Jamaica with Ninjaman, sailing their soundsystem into Britain for a series of shows, visiting occupied territories in Palestine on fact-finding missions, recording their debut album on a remote ranch in Texas and tracking vocals in a remote cave in Iceland – and that’s in the first five minutes
Collapsing Scenery’s inception can be traced back several years when New York-based artist/musician Don De Vore and musician friend and LA resident Reggie Debris collaborated in programming events with D’agostino and Fiore gallery on the Lower East Side, beginning with a video installation which lead to a month of music and visual programming called ‘Rebuild Babylon’ which in turn evolved into a travelling residency series.
Out of this came Collapsing Scenery, the musical wing of their collaboration. Don De Vore is a mainstay of some of the US’s most exciting and important contemporary bands, having played in Ink & Dagger, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby, Giant Drag, and Lilys. He is also curator of the Queens arts space Trans Pecos. Joining him on vocals is debuting vocalist and lyrical collaborator Reggie Debris, a veritable human riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. The pair exist to challenge and subvert perceptions in the worlds of outsider art and political protest. And have a great time while doing it.
A more recent 2016 artistic residency in New York saw Collapsing Scenery create a psychedelic immersive art installation that incorporated projections, layers of colourful plexi-glass, a reading from Genesis P-Orridge and a performances from De Vore and Debris (meanwhile in a clash of the old and new the gallery upstairs hosted a Picasso exhibition). While some bands claim to be exponents of the DIY ethic, Collapsing Scenery are entirely self-sufficient, sonic buccaneers sailing the seas with piratical intent.
Collapsing Scenery offer a new vision for how a modern band can be. They’re not even a band – they’re curators of a series of planet-planning events, expressions, exhibitions, albums, installations, journeys, adventures and parties, all operating outside of the confines of the tired traditional industry. “We both like to experience things first hand,” says Debris. “How can you truly comment on, say, the Israel- Palestine conflict unless you go out and talk to people there?”
We like to go to new places and put boots on the ground so to speak. “Travel makes the word smaller and is essential to expanding the creative mind,” adds De Vore. Collapsing Scenery are artistic explorers pushing into bold new futures, then. Join them.
Death Valley Girls
Think of Death Valley Girls as an acid-tripping science experiment that’s been buried alive, and resurrected as a sexually liberated dystopian chain-gang. A cosmic scar, if you will, on the hills of Echo Park, where the experiment began in 2013 by proto-punk Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel — who got lost in the desert, returned to their haunted garage in Echo Park, and pieced together their vision with shopworn images of sexploitation babes, a blood-soaked Iggy Pop, and Bloomgarden’s series of phantasms, the result of spending a year in a mental institution, where she planned her neon-glowing odyssey by listening to Black Sabbath and UFO, reading about alien conspiracy theories, and deriving her band’s moral compass from a line she saw in a movie:
“Everybody’s gotta be in a gang,” from campy sexploitation romp Switchblade Sisters (1975).
Free Tickets: http://lolipoprecords.dola.com/events/2018/5/7/collapsing-scenery-death-valley-girls-prissy-whip