Frontman/guitarist Andrew Tschiltsch found a perfect aesthetic for his alt-rock trio Microcosms: “Rock music to question your beliefs to.” More than an esoteric philosophy, it came from a place of personal searching. “I was questioning my place in the world,” he says. “I wanted to spend my time doing what I felt would be valuable to society and make me happy.” He and bandmates Bryan Emer (bass) and Jered Piepenbrink (drums) have been making that happen every day since, starting with their 2017 debut EP Know My Body. Elevating their sound with crunchy guitar riffs and bombastic rhythms, you hear influences by modern rock artists like Arctic Monkeys, Bully, Cage the Elephant, The Strokes, and Wolf Alice.
Today Microcosms have released a video to their latest single “Scenes.” Here’s the band on the track:
Scenes is loosely about the idea of all the different moments in your life and how they can be separate yet intertwined at the same time. Things that can seem so important in the moment but fade away, only to flashback when you least expect it. The idea of a continuous journey that develops and changes over time as you piece things together.
We recently chatted with the band more about the single.
Your new track “Scenes” has a cool, angular, post-punk sound. Where do your influences come from, and specifically are you influenced by anything 80s?
I’d say our sound is heavily influenced by a lot of bands that have these cool riffs like The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, sounds that are both quirky and catchy at the same time. But I also love bands that can bring in atmospheric elements to tie it all together like Muse and Radiohead. I wouldn’t say I’m influenced by anything 80s specifically, but I know a lot of the bands I listen to draw their inspiration from 80s bands (especially a lot of British rock and new wave) so I bet it seeps into our sound that way.
Lyrically you talk about perspective, and how that changes as you grow and continue on your life’s journey. How has the band changed over the years and what part of the journey are you in right now (especially as the world changes so suddenly).
This band started with me making demos at home when I’d come home from work, mainly to blow off steam and practice guitar. After a few years, I decided to quit the job and pursue playing music in search of a life that felt more meaningful to me. Now after a few more years, I’m seeing all the power that can come from organizing within the artist community and am proud to be a part of it. I think we’re always trying to figure out what to do with our future, but we’re recognizing that as the world changes so suddenly we have to just do what we can in the moment to satisfy ourselves and our community.
Lastly, any shout outs to other Chicago bands? How does the city play a role in your music? And obviously you won’t be touring this summer, but do you have any plans in town?
Too many to name really! Among our favorites are Chinarose, Daisychain, Ester, Daymaker, FURY, Cold Beaches, Red Scarves, Free Snacks, 8-bit Creeps, Stardusk Encounter, Faux Furrs as well as Dead Lucid (I’m the drummer). The Chicago music community is so amazing and every time we play a show we’re joined by awesome musicians who care about the city and helping out any way we can. All band revenue from 2020 is going to be donated to racial justice groups in Chicago, and we’ll hopefully be joining some local livestreams to help raise money as well.