Ahead of Ex Eye’s performance on the Friday at Rewire 2020, we spotlight the band’s leader and captivating sax player Colin Stetson.
You may know him for his role in Arcade Fire and Bon Iver, or from one of his many varied collaborations (with Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, Sinéad O’Connor, LCD Soundsystem, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, to name a few). Since releasing his debut album in 2003, the American multi-instrumentalist and composer has developed an impressive solo career, melding jazz, rock, classical music and noise with electronic components to create an evocative signature on a slew of records.
Perhaps lesser known is Stetson’s work for film. He scored his first in 2013 with (then) wife and fellow Arcade Fire member Sarah Neufeld, in between tours. He’s completed 15 projects for film and television since, including the sublime – and harrowing – score for Ari Aster’s 2018 horror flick ‘Hereditary’. More recently, Stetson’s knack for haunted and haunting aural storytelling can be heard on the cosmic horror sci fi ‘Color Out of Space’, based on a classic H.P. Lovecraft short story and featuring Nicolas Cage.
As a performer, Stetson is one of the finest and technically impressive sax players of our times. He is also a Rewire veteran, having played at the festival back in 2014, and at the second edition of our Rewire x Korzo series. The latter was together with Sarah Neufeld after releasing their live-recorded studio album ‘Never Were the Way She Was’ together. Now Stetson returns to Rewire with his new metal via jazz and noise band, Ex Eye.
Ex Eye formed fairly quickly after conversations between Stetson and Liturgy drummer Greg Fox in 2015. They were interested in exploring the heavier, denser side of their respective projects as a quasi-metal group, focused on melodic and harmonic noise. Guitar player Toby Summerfield, a friend of Stetson’s since college, was quickly brought into the fold. Secret Chiefs 3 and Ceramic Dog’s Shahzad Ismaily completed the band on synths.
Ex Eye’s eponymous debut album, released in 2017, was recorded during rehearsal sessions and is very much an expression of four technical musicians in dialogue with each other. Experience their powerful, cathartic take on dark metal and avant jazz live on Friday 3 April at Rewire 2020.