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Africastle is the first track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "That song stuck out for us as a good opener because, just the pacing of it and the way that everything kinda kicks in. It's just a good opening after a four-year hiatus since our last recorded piece. The pacing and the way that it kinda comes on strong was to us, I think the ideal opener for the album."

Afrislow is the iTunes bonus track for Gloss Drop. It is a slower remix of Africastle.

AM Gestalt is the b-side of My Machines.

Ambulance is the first track on Juice B Crypts.

Andrew Kuo is an American artist from New York known for brightly colored, graphic abstract paintings. The cover of Juice B Crypts was based off his older painting "Good Talk (3/16/14)". The painting was made on panel and laminated paper with acrylic paint and carbon transfer in 2014.

The Art of Repetition is a documentary made by Ableton about the recording of La Di Da Di. Ian (2015): "You have to pretend the cameras are not there. I encouraged it, they kept asking for more access and I said 'let them shoot more' - because in the end I figured if they had good stuff, the documentary might be good. I'm glad we let them in there a lot of times. Ableton's not in the business of being sensationalist - I didn't think they were going to do a 'gotcha'. I think we all had crazy personal years the year before - just a lot of personal reasons in our lives. At that point it was like 'I don't give a fuck. If you want to follow me around with a camera then go ahead'."

Artwork for Juice B Crypts was done by Andrew Kuo, based off his painting "Good Talk (3/16/14)". Artwork for Battles up to and including La Di Da Di was done by band member Dave Konopka, who is also a visual designer. He designed the covers for all the EPs and albums, as well as tour posters and merchandise. The EP covers are notable as minimalistic nature photos. Dave: "How the band formed, and even how all that music formed, it was very organic. So we were working with a lot of organic imagery." Dave (2016): "We were doing this slow dance for a while of just jamming out songs. Our friend Emery [Dobyns] recorded our first two EPs. We were sneaking into this studio Dubway overnight, and we would record from midnight when the studio was supposed to be closed until 7 in the morning. I asked the band, 'So, cover-wise, does anyone have anything they're trying to get across?' And Ian said, 'I really like the way a cassette tape looks when it's strewn across the highway, or someone throws a cassette out the window, and the tape takes on this new form.'... Ian and I drove to Scranton and found a couple locations and ran with that concept of cassette tape and conveying this weird organic nature of who we were as a band at the time. We were so conscious of not making this huge explosion and declaration that we were this band. We just wanted to do this soft release... The EP C/B EP artwork is all sourced from the original [B and C covers]... We wanted to have artwork that tied everything together. I couldn't just choose one of those images because they were both equal in importance, so I need to find something that was from the same batch but encompassed both." For Mirrored, they went in a different, more industrial direction. Dave: "We didn't really want to get pigeonholed as the band that has trees on their front cover all the time... So originally we were reacting to not having this organic imagery any more. And taking the idea a little bit further, we created this room that's made of two-way mirrors. So it was a completely mechanical environment void of all organic elements. It was just to create these long hallways of repetitive imagery that would kind-of be matching some of the audio elements that we have in our music. So the Atlas video spawned from the idea of creating the album cover and putting all of the tools that we use to make this music inside of this environment." The cover art for Mirrored was the mirrored set used in the Atlas video, production designed by Dave's brother and built by the band, with Dave as the art director. Dave (2016): "I really liked the concept of using the tools that we use to make our songs and trying to visually represent the elements of what we do as a band. The foundation of almost every Battles song is repetition. I wanted to try to visually represent that repetition, so my brothers and I built that cube." Dave also created the sculpture seen on Gloss Drop's cover. Dave (2011): "The artwork is a sculpture - I'm reluctant to even say a sculpture. It's a sculpture that I made during the making of the album. Essentially, it's a big pink blob of nothing. I wanted to represent a solid document that would be the album, and that is a controlled atmosphere, and then have something that is completely organic, that you can't control the way that things are gonna happen. And at the end of the day, it was more evident that we couldn't control anything other than just the way things were gonna happen when it came to making this album. So the actual artwork was just this blob. Cause I made a controlled square one that didn't look as great, but it was the organic blob that just fell into place and eventually congealed and solidified was the total proper way for us to go for the album." Dave (2016): "Everything about the Mirrored album cover was this sharp-edged, concave environment, and I wanted to go convex with no sharp corners. This blob of nothingness is really what I wanted. It turns out the non-representational imagery that happened during that album really coincided with the way the entire album came together, because we were really feeling around the dark. It took us a long time in the studio." Dave made the blob with Great Stuff insulating foam. Regarding the cover for Dross Glop, Dave (2016): "That was still using the original [concoction from the Gloss Drop cover art]. I broke up the entire blob, hacked it up with a machete and rebuilt smaller piles and started incorporating different colors." The artwork for La Di Da Di is some suggestively arranged breakfast food. Dave (2015): "I just wanted to work with a medium that was easily understandable. Chefs are the new rock stars. The Food Network is more popular than MTV. I wanted a medium to imitate our process in a weird way. There's a story that follows within the cover. Using something visually eye-catching, but also having the subtext of our process as a band." Dave (2015): "I did a few other food versions for the album cover, which may see the light of day eventually." Ian (2015): "You can read into it how you want. It's food porn - foodie culture has gone insane. The pornification of food. Dave has a certain sense of humour and it comes across in those photos." According to Ian, the city of London deemed the album cover art "inappropriate" for its subway walls. John (2015): "The elements on the front cover are an incongruous combination of foods that no normal one person would eat... It's this borderline grotesque combination of items that technically would be breakfast, but it's just items that you would never really combine together, which sort of represents the elements that go into a Battles song. Elements from left field, that we're just throwing it all together. It gets mixed together and consumed by the public... I think that's what Dave would say." Dave (2016): "I realized that was the epitome of what our creative process was: the difficulty to translate ideas to one another but still having this intuition of how to make music together. The gist of it was partially that I wanted it to be fairly humorous... The essence of what I was trying to get across was almost like if you had a potluck but no communication as to what anyone was bringing to this potluck or what time of day it was. It was this combination of all these bizarre foods and how you forced these relationships between them."

Atlas is the second track on Mirrored. It is the first single from the album. In 2007, it brought Battles a great deal of attention for the first time. Dave: "Conceptually it was like, 'Let's write a dancey song.'" Ian: "Our song Atlas was our take on the German take on the English rock shuffle." John (2007): "Atlas is our take on 'The Sound of Cologne', which is where I spend most of my downtime. A part of their sound (which is really the Kompakt and Trapez labels) used to have a shuffle rhythm to it, which ironically is their reaction from hanging out in rock clubs listening to Slade, Gary Glitter and other 70s 'boogie' bands... So it's our take on their take of a very infectious 70s boogie beat." Ian (2016): "It was an idea we had with a shuffle beat... We had had that idea for a couple of years... We would always jam on that until finally this melody popped up." Ian (2015): "That was a song that we actually had jammed on in our practice space for a couple of years... And then one day Ty came in with this vocal line for that and we all thought it was really cool." Ian: "When Battles made its first video, Atlas, I said, 'Well how much is it gonna cost?' And I forget what the budget was, but it seemed like way too much money to me... It's a good thing we did, because that Atlas video really did good things for us and music does live on the internet now and you kinda need a music video to go along with it, so they're important." The video's director, Timothy Saccenti, said: "They [Battles] were very involved in the shoot production as far as the set, with Dave's brother production designing and the band themselves actually putting it together." After Tyondai left the band, for the live shows, Battles had a children's choir in London record the vocals. Dave: "I don't think we were interested in using Tyondai's vocals. If we're a three-piece, we need to represent ourselves as a three-piece and move on. If we're gonna play old songs, it should be fresh. It should still be the same song that people would want to hear, but it's important for us to kind-of reinterpret them so it's more adaptable to what we're doing." Atlas was once used in a Superbowl commercial. Ian (2016): "Our songs sometimes get used in TV commercials, which is selling out, and we know that but it's OK... it is a way of getting your stuff out there when you are not a giant band."


B EP is Battles' second EP. It was released by Dim Mak Records on September 14, 2004. B EP stands for "beep" (see EP C entry).

B + T is the first track on EP C. The loops on it were very challenging to integrate into playing, according to John: "B + T took almost 2 to 3 months before we were able to even play it."

Bad Trails is the seventh track on Mirrored.

Battles is an experimental rock band from New York City currently composed of Ian Williams and John Stanier. Ian Williams knew the other eventual members from playing shows with their other bands. He formed the band initially with Tyondai Braxton, and they performed in several different incarnations before the other members were recruited. Ian soon ran into Dave and asked him to join. They performed as a three-piece called I Will for a show on September 19, 2002 at the Knitting Factory. Ian then ran into John and asked him to join. John (2016): "It was apparent that Battles had no rules whatsoever and I embraced that philosophy with vigorous ambition which is still resonating today." Initally the band names considered were I Will and Deep Cuts, before settling on Battles. Ian (2015): "An MIT student created an algorithm that generated all the potential band names that had never been used in the world... It was a huge list. And I only got through all the A's. It was alphabetical. And I started at the beginning of the B's, with like Battle - I think it said Battlefield - and I thought Battles!" Ian (2007): "The band name is really simple and stupid and basic. That's one reason I like it. At the same time, I think the name is connected to a point in history that this band exists in, both outside of music and within music." Ian (2016): "I liked it because it seems sort-of generic and almost like, 'Well there must be other bands called Battles, it's such a corny, obvious rock band name.' But there really had not been one." Ian (2019): "I like the name Battles because it's generic enough. You can read what you want in it and it can be different things. For better or for worse, Battles will always be fighting, conflict." Battles played their first show together at Northsix in Brooklyn, opening for Les Savy Fav on December 19, 2002. John (2007): "We started working together very slowly because what came out of it was really strange: we were totally different people, with absolutely different backgrounds and of different ages. We entered the studio without knowing what would come out of it... I feel very fortunate to have been involved in all this, especially at that point in my musical career: it was something absolutely new and fresh." Ian (2007): "The beauty of Battles is that it is not something I would like to or would be able to do on my own, it forces me into new situations. If I was left alone with my effects, 30 minute long songs would come out without any rules, so instead I always have John who keeps telling me: 'No! It must be shorter!' If we are here now it is because we are very different people, with different ideas that lead us to look at music in a different way. You know, we are not a group in which there is someone who says: 'This group is mine and this is what must be done.' This is not the case: Battles are a real group." Ian (2015): "We're a rock band of our time." Tyondai: "We are a modern band. We are a modern experimental band... We're a product of our time." Dave (2015): "Battles is essentially an electronic band through the medium and construct of a visceral rock band." John (2015): "We really are, at the end of the day, an indie-rock band." John: "The essence of Battles is we were so insular because we had no idea what we were doing, so basically it was like a laboratory, and we were created in a basement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for just such a long time, because we had to perfect what we were doing because there were so many different ingredients and it wasn't your typical rock band." Tyondai acknowledged jazz, world music, and rap comparisons. John (2007): "One of the great things about this band is that we don't take ourselves too seriously. Our music is fun to make and fun to play live too and I think it's important for that to come across." Dave (2015): "Our most valuable asset is our ability to be a really good live rock band. As generations become more self-reliant on making music exactly how they want, collaborations will dwindle. We've gone in the other direction. Being a rock band is the bare essence of who we are. Individually, we have our own ideas of how we want to technically make the music, but when we come together it's really just about being a unit. And I think that collaborating is valuable today. When you think about music today a lot of it has a very individualistic approach. For us, we find strength in being a trio." Ian (2015): "We're a band that physically couldn't have success in the 90s. This is mainly due to the maturation of the internet. So when we came out in 2006 we were able to find a small sect of respect in every country." Dave (2011): "The essential setup of our band is traditional, like with guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums, and I think that's where we leave it. And then just try to reinterpret that tradition in as many different ways as possible... I think we were a little more simple when we made the EPs, but now we have different ideas about the way we wanna do things, and the more technology that advances. There's different ways for us to do things, like synching loops and synching video and parts. I think we're a band that is consistently evolving. We always embrace change, when it's good change... We work with a lot of electronics and we do a lot of different things, strictly experimental, it comes from a place where it's just things that are interesting to us. I think one of the exciting parts about Battles is that there's the threshold of man vs. machine, and to us I think it's important that we're always controlling, and controlling the technology. I think when you lose track of that we're an actual band controlling the stuff, then it gets carried away. But I think that we're really good at maintaining that, like the visceral rock band part of being, through the eyes of people who are interested in electronic music." John (2011): "Some of us want Battles to be an instrumental band, and some of us want Battles to have vocals on it, so it's kind-of the best of both worlds. And I think that, unfortunately, being an instrumental band does kind-of limit you to a certain extent, as far as mass appeal. Simply because people like vocals." Dave: "I think it's good to have vocals... to not limit yourself, and you can reach other worlds that would not necessarily be interested in something that would be labeled instrumental rock." Battles is often called a math rock band, which they do not like, considerng the classification "too easy." Dave (2015): "None of us have ever uttered the phrase math rock in the history of this band." John: "We don't like that word. That's the M word... It's boring. It evokes images of boredom and nerds." Dave: "It's got negative vibes... It's essentially saying that we sit together and write our albums with this [points to head] and none of this [points to heart]. But it's a healthy combination of both." John: "Or this [points to crotch]." Dave: "Yeah, a little of that too." Dave: "Ian and I both come from math rock backgrounds, and it's like you're doomed to repeat your past in a way, but it's this weird unclassifiable thing... but it's not [math rock]... We're not instrumental, we're not math rock, we're not avant-garde, we're not even horny." John (2019, on what genre Battles is): "Now I don't know, but it's not math... Battles has some electronics and jazz, each composition leaves us thinking the same question always... [Battles is] free spirit music." Ian (2015): "The thing about this band, it is sort-of a ridiculous pairing of different kinds of people. I'm interested in complicated things. Like the truth is revealed through a sort-of mystical machine of chaos. John I think grew up in a hard-core music background, his drumming is very stripped-down. In some ways John and I seem to align in that we both like something that hits you over the head. Dave often has this perspective that that can be kind-of obnoxious. He is like a designer by training, with a minimal aesthetic, so there's this conflict of too much coming from me, and stripping everything down coming from them, I think. They're actually pretty opposite directions, and it's funny finding this middle ground." Seth Manchester (engineer/producer, Machines with Magnets) has this insight: "Dave and Ian start to hyper-focus on things when John's not around. John, kind-of similarly to the way he plays drums, is just like 'All right let's get this done.' So when John's around they kind-of get a little nervous and feel like they've got to do something really well really quickly." Dave (2015): "When we started, John and Ian had a lot of experience. John lived entrenched in the rock world since he was 20, touring, playing MTV, really big stuff. Ian was successful with his old band Storm & Stress. And then there was me who had only played in Lynx. So I think we thought we'd just see how it goes. Of course, the first couple of times we ate shit live. And even to this day when we step out on the stage there's always this risk it could all go wrong. It's such a visceral process for us that any given show may not be as great as we hoped for. And other times we unexpectedly have an incredible show. It's all based on how we're communicating together. There's a lot of tangibles, and intangibles, that play into us actually being a great band." Ian (2019, on Dave's departure): "I felt already for a moment that he didn't want to continue. So it didn't really surprise me. We talked about it for about five minutes then we quickly decided that we could still make a good album for two! We've always changed, and here again, Battles is different." John (2019): "I'm amazed that we've been around for this long, but we still are. And here's another record, and we've survived another obstacle. I don't really think about it... I think we're just gonna do our thing. And apparently there's people who are still interested in it."

Black Sundome is the b-side of Ice Cream.

Blonde Redhead is the band of Kazu Makino, singer on Sweetie & Shag.

Boredoms is the band of Yamantaka Eye, singer on Sundome.

Bring It On is a 2000 cheerleading comedy movie that Ian saw near the beginning of Battles' formation. Ian was inspired by cheerleader battles like in the movie. Ian (2015): "Bring It On featured in an early version of the band." He elaborated that early shows included female singers with cheering/chants in the background for the EP songs, but that it was very disorganized. Ian (2016): "As silly as it sounds, when we started as a group, Battles... I had seen the movie Bring It On... two cheerleader teams compete in a contest. So it was this, girls doing game chant, but in a rhythmic structure, I was like 'That's what I want to do!'"

BTTLS is the fourth track on B EP.


Cacio e Pepe is the fifth track on La Di Da Di. Cacio e Pepe is a Roman pasta dish. "Cacio e Pepe" means "cheese and pepper" in several central Italian languages. John, regarding Dave (2016): "He is half Italian, he cooks very well and therefore he instilled his vision of Mediterranean food. And it is also for this reason that one of the tracks on the record is titled Cacio e Pepe."

Closer Musik is the former duo of Matias Aguayo, singer on Ice Cream.


Dance is the fifth track on B EP.

Dave Konopka is a former member of Battles. He was with the band from its inception until the end of 2017, though his departure was not announced formally until mid-2019. He reportedly left the band for personal reasons. He played bass, guitar, and pedals. Dave (2015): "I'm at the analogue pedal end of the spectrum - the guitar guy, trying to bring stuff out of simple guitar lines." Ian (2015): "At this point, I'm Digital Dude, and Dave is Analog SoundWorld Pedal Dude... Dave is a bit of a minimalist, musically speaking, and I'm a bit of a maximalist." Dave, who is younger than his other bandmates, has stated that Don Caballero and Helmet (Ian's and John's former bands, respectively) were formative musical influences for him. Dave was born September 2, 1976 in Worcester, MA, where he grew up. He was a graphic design major in college at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and decided to become a musician in 1997. A former book designer, he also designs the band's record covers, tour posters, and much merchandise. His favorite band (2015) is Golden. Dave lives in Brooklyn with his wife Deb, a book designer. Ian (2019): "Being in a band is a long, strange, thankless journey, so I don't think Dave had it in him to make another record. He wanted to do other things with his life, but I can't really get too much into the soul of another person and say exactly why he didn't want to do it anymore." Ian (2019): "Battles is not the mafia, and if you wanna leave you're allowed to. Dave wanted to leave. It's hard to be in a band for a long time, you know? Bands are crazy... your life changes and you want to do different things with your life, and I think Dave had other goals, so, no big deal, no hard feelings." John (2019): "He made up his mind and told his wife a really long time ago that he was going to quit the band and just didn't tell us for like a year, basically. And then was like, 'Oh, by the way, you know, I just basically waited until we were ready to make the record.' And he was like, 'Oh, yeah. I don't want to do this.' That was kind of a problem for me. There's no story. He just didn't want to do [it] anymore. I mean, unfortunately, he didn't tell us when he should've told us." Ian (2019): "I saw the writing on the wall for a long, long time. His heart was not in it. Whatever, you know? It's not the mafia. You're allowed to leave." John (2019): "That second day where he literally walked away from me personally... He walked away when it was really obvious that he's just bailing. I was freaking out. There was no meeting. There wasn't a sit down. [It was] like, 'How are we going to do this as a duo now?' We walked into this supermarket to buy water or something. [I said to Ian], 'So I guess we're going to be a duo now.'"

David Bowie was one of the highest-profile fans of Battles. When reports surfaced that Bowie was into Battles, he responded on his own fan forum: "Battles good." Other celebrity fans of Battles include Björk and Thom Yorke.

DdiamondD is the third track on Mirrored.

Dominican Fade is the seventh track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "Dominican Fade was named after a haircut in the United States. A lot of barber shops have this like super super short and it just gets... That really just existed from a little jam that John and I had together that we kept working on in our rehearsal space. And just kept jamming that out. We were like, 'It would be cool to have this track, maybe it'll be this little bridge in between songs.' But then once we recorded it and he put his drums on it in the studio and all of this extra percussion, like he plays a cast iron skillet on this song. And just all of the percussion and stuff, we were like, 'This song is a lot doper than we thought it was gonna turn out to be.' It was a super-simple, almost like an EPs-type-of track. And I think it was important to us to harness some of that energy from our EPs, our first recordings. And so we just kinda went with it and then Ian added some more percussive elements and keyboard parts that was just like the icing on the cake then. I love that track."

Don Caballero is a former avant rock band of Ian Williams. Formed in Pittsburgh in 1991, the band relocated to Chicago in the late 90s. It is still active with other members. He was with the band from 1992 to 2000.

Dot Com is the seventh track on La Di Da Di. Dave (2015): "I envisioned it as a slow krautrock builder, but the more we tried making it that, it really wasn't conducive to it. What we learned from this was that when we were stuck, rather than go back to our room to fiddle and turn longer, we decided to jam for a bit and get it out of our systems. That yielded some interesting parts on this album."

Dot Net is the second track on La Di Da Di.

Dross Glop is the Gloss Drop remix album. It was released on CD and MP3 by Warp Records on April 16, 2012, though the songs on it (except for the "Sundome" remix) were released on 12" vinyls (Dross Glop 1-3) starting in February of that year. The vinyl for Dross Glop 4 actually came out on Record Store Day, April 21, a few days after the CD release. Dave (2012): "The first 12-inch is a banger. It comes out of the gate pretty strong with some awesome techno stuff. The second one has more of a hip-hoppy vibe to it. The third one has more of a super-minimal Berlin-style techno thing going on, and then the last one is totally out-there stuff." Ian: "We do not give artists direction. We generated a list of remixers along with a couple of people that work at Warp Records, of good remixers. We got lucky that a lot of good people were willing to work with us and do it." Remixes were done by Gui Boratto, The Field, The Alchemist, Shabazz Palaces, Kode9, Silent Servant, Kangding Ray, Qluster, Brian DeGraw of Gang Gang Dance, Hudson Mohawke, Patrick Mahoney and Dennis McNany, and Yamantaka Eye. Ian (2012): "Remixes can be tricky. A lot of them suck, so we're going about making a remix record knowing that. In some ways, they're cheap, but on the other hand, they can be good if you're patient about the process... We thought about it as something that would exist in the club and dance world, but we're also going for something that's weirder than that. There are so many different subcultures involved in this kind of thing. There's the dance world, which can be really cheesy, but then there's a cooler, more indie version of that. It's a matter of 'who are you making the music for?'" Dave (2012): "We wanted a scope of artists. In choosing the scope of the artists, you're also blueprinting the scope of the album as well." Ian (2012): "Gloss Drop had a lot of sonic stuff going on, so there were so many things for a remixer to focus on. Gloss Drop is sort of a maximal record, and you can do a minimal take on a maximal piece. It was interesting to see which little snapshots each remixer chose to focus on." Ian: "I guess you could say we remixed the title by flipping the G and the D so it became Dross Glop instead of Gloss Drop. And Dave tore up that sculpture, that pink pile that was the cover of Gloss Drop, he tore that apart and then took the chunks and restacked them and poured different colors of paint on top of that. So we remixed the picture."


Eclipse is the Twilight movie in which The Line appears.

EP is the format of Battles' first record releases. Ian (2016): "Instead of recording an album, which would be a statement that everybody could analyze, I wanted to divide it into separate records. And I asked three separate record labels to release it at the exact same time.... Dim Mak was out west, Monitor was on the east coast... East coast/west coast kids would find out about us at different ratios, like different speeds, and nobody could actually create a clear understanding of what we were. Because we didn't want to come out with a focused record." John (2016): "Originally we wanted to capture the mojo of releasing one side each [of our record] on two different labels with two different vibes... Both releases were to represent the two different scenes that were happening at the same time... We could have very easily released one single album, but we decided to have fun and split it in two... for LA and the East Coast. We were introduced to WARP by Prefuse 73... he took us on tour all over the world and we are eternally grateful to him for that... During the EPs most of us had day jobs. After we got signed we had to step it up and really take this seriously... and we did (it took a minute though)." Dave (2012): "Back in the day, the idea of the EP was to leak out music and break it up a little bit. I love smaller doses of music, rather than making this one grand statement." Dave (2015): "It was like this little test of trying out smaller markets... it's like a soft release of Battles into the world." Ian (2015): "We were sort-of trying to come into focus into the world slowly, rather than making a big statement like 'Here is an album.' We didn't want it to come across that way because we wanted time to find our own voice. And we wanted people to come to us if they wanted to listen to us rather than us going to them." Ian (2019): "I didn't want anyone to know about us at first, because we didn't really know what we were doing. So we had to figure out our style... We bounced around for a few years and kind of got our sound. And then Warp Records asked us to make a record... We had our act together more then. 'Cause I didn't want to be judged right away, with a record." Ian: "Bands often start with an obscure sound. And I think our EPs kinda had that sort of quality. Just because I don't think we had formulated ourselves beyond this abstract stage. And then when we made Mirrored it became a bit more clear what we were trying to do, and I think that made our sound a little more accessible. So I think our audience grew with that." John (2015): "We recorded those songs at different studios at various different times of the night. We would record after hours at a studio from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. We would get in where we could. It was so random. We didn't have the luxury of going to the compound that is Machines with Magnets. You're up in this compound, and you can get so much work done. It's like Andy Warhol's factory. There's nothing to do there, you sleep up there, and you're so focused and productive. The EPs were more randomly recorded at different studios. We had to live with what we got, so they're super punk in that sense. There's some one-takes in there. We didn't have the luxury of perfecting stuff. Of course, this was back when we recorded live onto 2-inch tapes and no correcting on ProTools."

EP C is Battles' first EP. It was released by Monitor Records on June 8, 2004. Dave (2015): "We operated with a lot of silent codes, like our own internal codes back then. We like the idea of 'epic', if you add the vowels that are missing, 'EP C'." Ian (2015): "We had full words behind them but we just reduced it to a code. So the titles, EP C was 'Epic Battles'... So we were playing with these code variations of words. So EP C was 'Epic Battles', and then B EP was like 'Beep', because we made the sound 'beep' a lot."

EP C/B EP is Battles' first full-length release, comprised of EP C, B EP, and the Tras single. It was released by Warp Records on February 6, 2006.


Fantasy is the second track on Tras.

FF Bada is the third track on La Di Da Di. Dave (2015): "There's like, somewhat of an afrobeat song in FF Bada."

FF Reprise is the Japanese bonus track for La Di Da Di.

Flora > Fauna is the eleventh track on La Di Da Di.

Fort Greene Park is the fifth track on Juice B Crypts. Ian (2019): "It just a love letter to the place we live. New York City."

Futura is the third track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "Futura is personally one of my favorite tracks on the album. There was this minimal thing that was going on there, and there was this pacing and it was about taking turns and, you know a lot of Battles songs can be like a leap-frog process of just playing on top of each other and it creates this overall texture, but this song was really more about the entrances and it was almost like a tide. For me it was like a semi-hip-hop tide, which I really liked about it. I just think it's a perfect follow-up to Ice Cream."


Gary Numan is the singer and lyricist on My Machines. Dave: "Asking Gary Numan to collaborate on a song was total... It was strictly like a fantasy choice, it was like, 'There's no way that he would do it.' And he showed interest and he's totally awesome and he totally rules. It's just an honor to have him on the song." Ian: "Gary Numan was the fantasy guest... I can't believe Gary Numan sings on our record, it's so amazing." Ian (2015): "Gary Numan was great - he completely came up with a different sort of song and then we had a talk about it and described what we wanted. So he came back and wrote a totally vocal section. The structure of the song was already set - we had the drum and bassline and he created a different reality on top of that. I was impressed with how good he was at dropping different realities on top of that. He could have just told us 'fuck off' right then - but he's totally no ego."

Girls have had a small presence in Battles' music from the beginning, even though the band is all male. Battles employed female back-up singers early on. Ian (2015): "If you listen, there's actually female voices, there's like 'ah ah ah ah', I think that's on the song B + T. There's some of that, and there's a little 'hey! uh! uh!'" Ian (2016), regarding the early days of Battles and being inspired by the movie Bring It On: "I need to start working with bunches of female singers. And the ambition of what I was trying to do didn't occur to me until I actually got 12 people in a room together... 'How do I get these people to do anything worthwhile right now?' It was really hard, and that was when Battles was beginning. We actually did a few shows with groups of women singing. And I felt it was not its full potential... This was 2002, 2003, when we were starting as a band, and we were making no money, New York City, everybody's busy... It's really impossible to get 15 people to show up. So I retreated back to mostly instrumental kind of music. 'Let's just focus on drums, bass, guitar, electronic things.' Although if you listen to the first EPs, the first batch of music we released, there is buried in the mix, you can hear like 'ah ah ah ah ah', a group of people doing that kind of stuff, and that was just groups of friends." One of the early back-up singers was Arone Dyer, who later formed the band Buke and Gase (which opened for Battles on the La Di Da Di tour). Women are one of the only reasons Ian Williams wanted to play music again after the demise of his first two bands. Ian (2007): "When Ty and I started talking about playing, I was burned out and not sure I wanted to do a band. But I did want to do this thing with screaming girls, like 12 [female] Iggy Pops all in one band, just vicious bulldogs. That was the only inspiration I had to strap on a guitar and play music again. Bizarrely, now I'm in a band with four dudes. I don't know how it all went so wrong." Battles notably employed a female singer, Kazu Makino, for a song on Gloss Drop. Female singer Xenia Rubinos performed a song on Juice B Crypts. And in the beginning, most of Battles' fans were male, and to see female fans was a rare exception. That has changed over the years.

Gloss Drop is the second studio album by Battles. It was released by Warp Records on June 6, 2011. Dave: "It's a new beginning for us... It's been in the making for a long time and it's definitely an accomplishment in our eyes to be able to release an album as well as that album came out... There's a lot of new elements to it, including guest vocalists, but I also feel that we have managed to pull in some parts of us from the past that we've neglected on our previous album, and tied it all together." Ian: "The way we made the record was different in the first place. We generated a lot of riffs and sonic material, rhythms, melodies, textures. The record may be a dream of what we wanted." For the recording of Gloss Drop, each musician occupied a separate room annexed to the main studio, recorded their parts individually, and then handed the results over to the producers for recombination. Dave: "It was more about taking it from an individual perspective, recording our parts on our own and being more analytical of the way that we work together." Ian: "Because we would be in different rooms, there would be different versions of the same song floating around. So then we end up inevitably having conflicts over how different pieces fit together, so we have to resolve the conflicts - and that would lead to arguments - but somehow out of those arguments came the final record." John: "It's the combination of those three of our own individual personalities coming together, pushing and pulling each other up. Pulling somebody back in." Ian: "When we made this record we were really, just, different." John: "For a couple of reasons it took a very long time. Personal things happened to us. We lost a member. We had to go back and basically rewrite the entire record. There were many, many obstacles to overcome, but we managed to overcome all of them. So we're very grateful that that happened and that we have a record now. So it's a relief and a blessing that we finished the record." Ian: "The writing was kind-of slow at first, cause you have to change your mindframe from playing already-written music on stage every day to creating a new statement. And it's kind-of less inspiring 'cause you're locked away. You don't have an audience any more, which scares you into performing every day, and trying to be good, whereas when you're in a practice space by yourself it's a little more like going to the office and just putting in your day's work and trying to get through it. At least it felt like that at first. And that was maybe the problem we had. As we went, we forced ourselves to go in the studio because the label wanted us to make the record, and eventually we lost a member, so actually when we had to retool and redefine the statement of what we were as a band, only on the level of membership and how we were now a three-piece, not a four-piece. So I'd say that us becoming a three-piece is sort-of what saved it. We had to reorient on this record too because we had to step outside of our own membership and we had to bring in guest singers actually. So that's also something that maybe played with the balance of what the band was. But these challenges in some ways are exercises that make you connect a little deeper to why you're trying to make music in the first place, so it's a healthy thing in a strange way." John said they didn't intentionally make a happy record on purpose because they were depressed, but it just naturally came out that way. "But it did happen, and I think we're all very proud of it." Gloss Drop features several guest artists on vocals. Ian (2016): "We went in to making Gloss Drop in the studio and he [Ty] was with us, he was in the studio. And he was trying to sing on a lot of songs. And for various reasons it wasn't working, so he left... So the three of us as a band were like, 'Well, we've made this music, and let's try to recontextualize...' We took some of the songs in an instrumental direction from that point, but we still had a few songs and we said 'Let's try to recontextualize this and see if some guests would want to come and sing.'" John: "We turned into a three-piece making the record, and there were four songs that we knew needed vocals on them." Dave: "Some songs we had that were a little bit not as information-overload, as far as the instrumentation, and we wanted to leave some space for vocals. For the most part each song was completed, and we had these songs that we wanted to apply vocals to. We just considered a song by song basis of like, 'Who would be the right fit for this song?'" Ian: "It was nice to be able to be in the position where you could ask people that you respect and talented singers to guest-appear on your record and have them do it. So it opens up a lot of new freedoms for us." Dave: "Once you start to see people coming in with demos of how they interpret the songs, it was a really exciting part of the process that I didn't anticipate, so it was nice. It was fun working in that way and being able to collaborate with other vocalists as well." Only Kazu Makino was with them in the studio. The others recorded their vocals separately. Ian: "They're songs where we sort of pulled back instrumentally and imagined singing. We created a list of singers that came from different places, so it wasn't a matter of one focus pulling us and defining us." There was a rumor that vocals had to be dropped from some tracks after Ty left, which Dave dispelled in 2015: "The tracks that had vocals were the tracks that were carved out for vocals. Everything else was rewritten. Even the tracks that had vocals were rewritten. It just wasn't good. We needed to start from scratch with that whole thing... That album was going to be 3/4 instrumental anyways."


Helmet is a former hardcore metal band of John Stanier. At the time it was based in New York. He was their drummer from 1989 to 1998.

Hi/Lo is the third track on EP C.

High Fidelity is the 2000 comedy-drama film in which Ian Williams has a small non-speaking cameo. Ian (2016): "In the second half of the 90s I lived in Chicago, so when they adapted the book from a London setting to a Chicago setting... I was living in Chicago at the time and I would sometimes do some freelance work at odd jobs at Direct City Records, a label there. And one day they come in and they just sort-of grab - I think part of the deal was just to get authentic music scene people in the movie, so it was through that."

Hiro 3 is the seventh track on Juice B Crypts.


Ian Williams is a member of Battles. He plays guitar, keyboards, and electronics. Ian: "For some reason I like making my guitar sound like a keyboard or a synthesizer as much as I can, and I like making my keyboard sound like a guitar sometimes." Ian (2019): "I started out as a guitarist, and ultimately I still think of myself as a guitarist, more than other things." Dave (2015): "Ian has more and more, throughout the development of the band, become entrenched in using Ableton, and he's done some incredible things. It allows him to go in to a mad scientist's lab and come out with some mutant form of what really is a simple, original line." Though Ian started the band, he said (2015): "For us, there's no bandleader. It's a committee where the three of us have to agree that something is good. But sometimes it's hard to get us all to agree." Ian was born August 31, 1970 in Pittsburgh, PA. He also spent part of his childhood in Malawi because his father was an anthropologist. He took piano lessons as a child and started playing guitar, bass, and drums as a teenager. "I learned how to play guitar in the 80s by imitating punk rock records like Black Flag or Descendents." He was a history and political science major in college at the University of Pittsburgh. His favorite band (2015) is Dawn of Midi. Ian lives in Brooklyn with his wife Kate, a video journalist, and his two children. Regarding possible solo work, when questioned in 2015 Ian stated: "I'm taking my time on doing these alternative musical outlets and by the time there's anything worthwhile deemed releasable I'll put things out." Ian has composed orchestral work. In 2018, he became involved in gospel music. John (2019): "Ian is part of a gospel choir, because he's really fascinated with gospel music. He took these courses last year and now he's part of a gospel choir... It's music all day and night."

Ice Cream is the second track on Gloss Drop. Matias Aguayo sings on it. It is the first single from the album. Dave: "Playful, summertime, kinda light-hearted type of a song." John: "The song is about eating ice cream in the summertime in the sun. That's pretty much all I know." Dave (2011): "We asked Matias Aguayo to guest as a vocalist on this particular track. He really matched the level of sexiness that I think that the song required, and actually had an underlying sexiness that I feel like he brought out a little bit more." "That song has a super-good vibe to play."

Inchworm is the fourth track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "Inchworm is a personal favorite of mine as well. We were in the studio for the first half of the year, then we had some setbacks, we lost a member, and we went home for a little bit. But when we went home we made sure that we weren't gonna be complacent. So I recorded this. I just set up and played this one riff, just altering the source material of that same riff and working with this loop. It was really like a two-hour jam of just playing with this and more of a dance-y type vibe. I was really pumped when that was going down, but the key to it was to translate that as a band. Really John added that reggae-tone beat and Ian brought in all his basslines and stuff. That song to me was a really successful under-pressure type of song that we put together and that I think is really important for the scope of the album."

Instrumentals are a key output of Battles' music. All the tracks on their EPs were instrumental, as were many tracks on Mirrored and Gloss Drop. On La Di Da Di, Battles has returned to being a purely instrumental band. Dave (2015): "It started off as working within the elements we can control and what we can do between the three of us. We started writing songs we felt were interesting in an instrumental format. It was a different story when we were writing Gloss Drop, and we had guest vocalists because, as you're writing, you can easily layer and layer and layer. As you're writing, you have to leave a little space for vocals. I think that as we started churning out more material, we found that we were most interested in writing an instrumental album, not predictably repeating what we did on Gloss Drop or Mirrored. It's working with the elements that we have control over. Generally speaking, we've always been mostly instrumental, so it wasn't too much of a leap for us."

IPT2 is the third track on B EP.

IPT-2 is the fourth track on EP C.

IZM is the eighth track on Juice B Crypts, featuring Shabazz Palaces.


John Stanier is a member of Battles. He plays drums. In fact, he is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world, in particular by other drummers. Ian (2015): "As the drummer, John has always done kick drum, snare, hi-hat, and crash, and that's what he does. He's the acoustic traceable element of the band." Dave (2015): "Once you incorporate John, who is 100% analogue and hasn't changed his drum setup since the early EPs, it becomes awesome alliance. John is the constant and we are the variables." In an interview, John referred to the other members of Battles as his best friends. John (2016): "As annoyed as I get with these guys, they are my brothers and I love them both very much. They have changed my life in ways that words cannot describe and I respect that and hope that I can give that back somehow." John was born August 2, 1968 in Baltimore, MD and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and in Florida, where he performed in drum corps and school marching bands. He was an orchestral percussion major in college at the University of South Florida before he "took a year off" and never went back, instead opting to become a professional drummer. His favorite band (2015) is Rush and he enjoys running and collecting vinyl. John lives in Brooklyn and in Berlin, Germany with his wife Ryo, a tattoo artist. He is active with a variety of bands, both in recording and touring. John (2016): "I like all the projects in which I am involved. But then I say that Battles are my main group, the one that takes up most of my time. I'm a musician, though. I really like to move between genres, varying habits." Why is his cymbal so remarkably high? John (2015): "You've probably heard a rumour. Like I was in a snowboarding accident and I ripped the rotator cuff of my shoulder? That was a good one. But to be honest it started out as a joke at our very first show. I was like, hey, look, isn't this funny? And everyone was like, 'Leave it! Leave it!'... At first I wasn't going to have any cymbals. When I decided I was going to have one I thought, right, when I hit it it's going to be a really big deal. So I put the cymbal way out of the way. There are songs where I'll just hit it once. But after a while, it was like, wow, it really does look like a flag. It's been up there for too long now to break it."

Jon Anderson is an English singer-songwriter featured on Sugar Foot. He is best-known as the frontman of progressive rock band Yes. Ian and John (2019): "Jon Anderson is a barrel of laughs." John (2019): "About eight or nine years ago, his management contacted us or me: 'Jon Anderson from Yes wants you to play drums on one of these songs on his solo record. He is really into Battles.' It didn't work out timing-wise or whatever. Then Jon Anderson emailed me back and was like, 'Love Battles. By the way, anytime you guys want to do a collabo, let me know. I'll do vocals."

Juice B Crypts (1) is the long-awaited fourth studio album of Battles, released in October 18, 2019. Ian (2019, after announcing Dave's departure from the band): "At first, I think John and I thought maybe we wouldn't do another Battles record. I knew it would be different, but I was like, 'I think we can make a good record' - and to me, that's the only reason to try it - so we've been moving forward together and part of that is us playing some shows again." John (2019): "We lost a member so out of the blue and it was so definite that we didn't even have time to sit down and discuss whether or not we're going to be able to pull this off. The next day literally it was, 'Let's just start writing and worry about how to play this stuff live later.' It was about never really looking back... I feel like the ideas flowed a thousand times faster. Also, there's only two of us, so there wasn't many arguments or doubtfulness. It's either going to work or it's not going to work." The recording process was very different this time around, with only two members of the band. Ian (2019): "It was more work on my end to finish the record, just because there was more sonic ground for me to cover. I spent a lot of time alone in our rehearsal studio and played with sound toys... I wasn't afraid of the challenge to make music in a pop format, but I wanted to make it as extreme and crazy as possible at the same time." Ian (2019): "By saying that I'm a perfectionist, it implies that I end up making things perfect - which I think is probably not the case - but I am a weirdo who will seriously spend a week doing a little part, working on a particular sound or something. I'll tell John - who is a 'first take, best take' kind of guy - and he'll be like, 'What the fuck is wrong with you?' so I know that, for better or worse, I can be kind of ridiculous about things like that." The recording process was lighter than their previously more oppressive routine, living and breathing each album during the recording process. Ian (2019): "The previous records we've made, we actually lived in the recording studios out of town... You wake up in the morning and your stuff is staring at you... It took a psychological toll, in a certain way. Whereas this, it felt like we could just breathe and live, which actually probably made us happier in the end." John (2019): "The album's probably more positive and light-sounding because we got to go and sleep in our own beds every night." Ian (2019): "There was an aspect of comfort making Juice B Crypts, like, commuting to work on the train, making music, and then going home at the end of the day. It actually sort of let us remain a little bit more sane. Waking up with a guitar next to you adds a... certain level of disruption to your life." Juice B Crypts features collaborations with singer-songwriter Xenia Rubinos, Jon Anderson (of Yes) and Taiwanese psych band Prairie WWWW, Sal Principato (of Liquid Liquid), hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces, and art pop duo Tune-Yards. John (2019): "All of the vocalists, we had some sort of connection to. It was a phone call away from us." Ian (2019): "[The album is] about chord progressions, resolutions, returning home. Take that and throw it into a blender of modern electronic tools like glitching devices, or use melodic lines and take them and regurgitate them and pulverize the traditional stuff but at the same time try and retain harmonic relationships while completely smashing them up." John (2019): "I think that this new record has a lot of New York in it, in all kinds of different ways, most of them totally subliminal." Ian (2019): "Dave, the one who left, worked a lot on the guitar loops. And these loops remained the same in our pieces which gave a monochromatic appearance. Now that it's over, the music can evolve. We could be more random, more player, the identity of our music can change...It [Dave leaving] was an opportunity, if not a reason, to make another record... I must admit that it [the creation of Juice B Crypts] was easier. Sonically, we had less to worry about the space to be left to each other. We have always been an anti-hierarchy group. There has never been a 'lead guitar', a 'lead singer'. Battles is above all a collective sound as when we were still four, we played the melody in ping pong between us, bringing it in and out. The challenge was still to integrate everything well and it was efficient to have this space. Yes, it was cool to just have to worry about the rest and be able to do what I wanted." Ian (2019): "It was John and me in a room, listening back to things and making little demos and trying things - and, of course, the classic happy accidents where things happened that you didn't think would happen... It felt like it was an easier, lighter process this time. It was more playful, and it felt more quick to be honest. Although there's always a four-year gap between our records, unfortunately, which in the lifespan of a music fan is like, forever. By the time John and I actually sat down to make the record, it was pretty light and fast." John (2019): "We recorded it in New York in a totally different place. Then we had a producer, Chris Tabron, who also mixed the record, telling us what to do and 'hurry up' and 'stop' and 'make a decision and move on.' So he was absolutely super-duper involved in it. It was all of these things that don't exist in the world of Battles. Before it was like, 'We can spend 15 months on one record.' Like, there's no limit. But there was a limit with him. And to me, it absolutely works exactly where we need it."

Juice B Crypts (2) is the ninth track on Juice B Crypts. Ian (2019): "My daughter called her little brother Juice B Crypts when he was born. I didn't know what that meant."


Katoman is the Japanese bonus track for Mirrored. It is named after the Tokyo-based DJ and producer Katoman, a friend of the band.

Kazu Makino is the singer and lyricist on Sweetie & Shag. She is from the band Blonde Redhead and the only guest vocalist on Gloss Drop who actually recorded with the band. Ian: "I think the idea was enticing that we would try to work with a woman, 'cause in some ways we have these characteristics of a guy band, so the challenge was to step into the female. 'Can we do that?'" Ian: "We have a bit of a reputation as a guy band..." Stanier: "...So we wanted to show our feminine side." Makino joined Battles on stage to perform Sweetie & Shag at La Route du Rock 2011. All other live versions have had her vocals pre-recorded.


La Di Da Di is the third studio album by Battles. It was released by Warp Records on September 18, 2015. According to Warp (2015), the album "is a mushrooming monolith of repetition. Here is an organic techno thrum of nearly infinite loops that refuse to remain consistent. The rhythmic genus of Battles is here as ever; full frontal, heightened and unforgiving." As with their first and second album, there was a four-year gap between their second and third albums. John: "It took four years. Big deal. Our marketing aspect doesn't have to rely on the 'comeback record' angle. We're not back, we never left. We'd work for a while and then take a break from it, and then we'd repeat the process over a block of time before the blocks got more intense. Personal things happened over the years but it's not like we rely on that to make an album interesting. We don't rely on tragedy to sell a record." Dave: "When we recorded Gloss Drop we spent seven months sleeping and living in the studio. It became this ridiculous, out-of-control project. This time we've tried to do a lot of stuff beforehand and come in here a little bit more prepared and have ideas to work together." John: "This record, we had the ability to live with for a long time and we were super comfortable making it. This is a truer record for us." Dave (2015): "We've gone beyond being classifiable to even ourselves on this album. All I'll say is that this is our next level shit... In the end, there's something intangible about what we do, but simply speaking this album stands as an excellent display of how the three of us communicate musically. How we work as an organism." Ian (2015): "The one idea behind it was that it's an instrumental record, so what words describe instrumental music? Using 'la la la' - like generic voicings for singing - using this to describe instrumental music. It's sort of a playful, whimsical thing that takes pressure off of us by saying, 'We're not overwhelming you with heaviness or anything.'" Unlike Battles' first two albums, La Di Da Di is all instrumental. John (2015): "We never said, 'This record, we're gonna go out and make it, and there will be no vocals whatsoever.' It was more like, 'There might be; there might not be. Let's just see what happens - let's not worry about it right now.' Then, the next thing you know it's like, 'Well, I guess there aren't any vocals on this record.' It didn't seem that important." Dave (2015): "When you consider the trajectory of our albums, including guest vocalists on this album didn't make sense because it would be going down the same road as our previous album. It was more like, 'What's the next step to figure out something less predictable than getting four guest vocalists to sing on a couple songs?' ... I also think the world has changed enough that people are willing to accept instrumental music more than they were in the past." Dave (2015): "There was no huge, deeply seated reason for having instrumentals." John (2015): "When we were writing, there might have been some stuff that didn't make the record that we thought there possibly should be vocals over, but maybe not... We were just more concerned with seeing what happens." Dave (2015): "This time around, there're still a lot of hooks on the album, but it's not vocal hooks. When we were making this album it was just more about the integrity of the interaction between the three of us. And even from, like, when we first wrote our EPs, all of the melodies and the interactions between what we were doing musically sufficed as vocal hooks. Throughout the course of the album, each song is something that we were trying to get out of our system... We're almost like this bizarre mixtape band. We can't commit to anything, but that allows us to try out a little bit of everything." John: "The vibe behind this record is, it's the three of us completely writing this record after already being completely comfortable with being a three-piece, so it's coming from a different, more genuine area. Also I feel like those guys, even more than me, the responsibilty was more on them because all of a sudden now there's way more real estate that's opened up now and there's less you can hide. It used to always be about fighting for real estate, everybody had to have their little line, in and out and it was really manic. Now there's all this open space. The spotlight is more on them as writers."

The Last Supper on Shasta Pt. 1 is the tenth track on Juice B Crypts, featuring Tune-Yards.

The Last Supper on Shasta Pt. 2 is the eleventh track on Juice B Crypts, featuring Tune-Yards.

Leyendecker is the fifth track on Mirrored.

The Line is Battles' song on the sountrack for Twilight: Eclipse (apparently barely featured in the actual film). The film's producers reportedly didn't like Battles' initial submission to the soundtrack because they wanted singing in it (and the original version was all instrumental). John: "Here's the condensed story. We gave them a song, they didn't like it. But they were like, 'We still want you to be in the movie'. So they sent us a specific scene, a major fight scene, to compose to the scene. We did that, and they were like, 'It's too composed'. They didn't like that either. And then at the very last minute they were like, 'All right, if you can do one more song, we'll put it in there'. They were nice to us. So we wrote another song, and apparently some people say they heard it for 1.2 seconds, other people own it and they still have not heard it. So, apparently it's in there." Ian stated that the second version was very cinematic, but the producers came back wanting a pop song. He also stated that the version used in the soundtrack was the original version of The Line, contradicting what John had said in another interview! To further complicate matters, Dave revealed in 2015 that he reused his bass line from the original version of The Line and adapted it for My Machines.

Liquid Liquid is the dance-punk band of Sal Principato, who is featured on Titanium 2 Step.

A Loop So Nice... is the second track on Juice B Crypts. It is followed by They Played It Twice. John (2019): "It was one song that we cut in half, but they each have their own totally separate lives. We wanted people to know that it's not necessarily part one and part two. There is a tiny correlation, but I didn't want them to be like the second song sounds exactly like the first one. You have to hint it's a repetition."

Loops are the foundation of Battles' music, particularly in live shows. John (2015): "Looping is the backbone of this band, for sure." Dave (2015): "There's no deep philosophical meaning, it's just like, repetition is something that's really interesting to us." Ian (2015): "We've always had loops. Loops are a cool thing but they can become a prison, 'cause you fucking hear that thing coming back at you every two seconds. Trying to find ways of making loops shift organically is something I was working on, so that they evolve throughout the song. Embedding more melodic information in the loops so that sometimes really all I'd be doing is the loop but I'd be playing it live and you wouldn't need to overdub a melody on top. You'd just be experiencing the texture - it has rhythmic and melodic information at the same time." Ian (2015): "We've always made loops as a band. And when you talk about doing it live, there's the immediacy of it being an instant photograph. It's already a little removed from you actually 'playing' it, and it becomes something that's a little more un-human. It creates a lot of possibilities - manipulation, and taking the music to a different place than you could if you were actually playing it. It's a blessing and a curse. It has its limitations and its downsides. One is this monolithic thing that keep repeating throughout the song. But then that's the thing we've always struggled with within this group - how to keep it interesting, and how to shift it. Can we actually change the key of the song? Can we give your ears a break so you don't have to hear the same thing again? It's one of the things that we work with that harnesses us in too tightly, but sometimes it lets us go more places than we could by playing." Ian (2015): "Loops can help you but they can hurt you too; they get boring if you hear the same thing played back forever so it creates an extra burden to keep things interesting. You have to make all these other things happen to keep it captivating, but you still get a sense of when things are over." Loops have also become a key part of Battles' songwriting process. Ian: "We usually start with a loop that originated by me or Dave Konopka and we sort of pass them around - each with its own texture and rhythm and melodic suggestion built in. We would all read different vibes off of them, like, 'this means this, this means that.' And then we'd discuss, 'okay let's turn this into a song or let's turn this one into a song.' We try to get everybody to agree that they're into the song. If someone doesn't like it, it doesn't become a song - it's sort of a collective songwriting style." John: "Battles is all about loops, so in a really weird way I'm not even really the drummer. The master loop is really running the show. It's like I'm playing along to something else, whereas every other kind of music the drums are keeping the tempo." Ian (2019, regarding Dave's departure): "It was a much simpler process because there was less co-ordination, I guess. It used to be sort of a mass co-ordination going on before... Dave had got his own loop pedals and was building these big, central loops, that no matter what else happened, he was just playing this loop by himself, and that shifted the weight of the song. It's like, you know the old joke about being in a band with the person with a looper pedal? It kind of takes over the song, no matter what, so it became this big [loop] co-ordinating effort. With Dave gone, I was able be a bit more light-footed about the way that I could arrange loops... I'm still making loops, it's just a little easier to juggle them, I guess." Ian (2019) "We're somewhat of an organic rock band, but at the same time, we're an electronic duo. It's a lot easier to get tight coordination over when I can control all the different loops going on. If you go back to when I lived in Chicago in the '90s, in my old band the other guitarists quit and I became the only guitarist. I got a loop pedal where you can play a riff and then you add a riff on top of that and stack all these riffs, but it still sounds like it was coming out of one guitar amplifier. I still have this inspiration of what would happen if you took apart those layers of one loop and spread out the lines among multiple guitarists and musicians. If you look back in the early days, that's what we were doing: You'e trading lines, unpacking a loop. Eventually everybody just got their own loop pedal and started building their own loops. It became this traffic jam of loops, which was sort of antithetical to how the band began."

Luu Le is the twelfth track on La Di Da Di. Ian (2015): "The final track started with a working title of 'Winter Wonderland' because it reminded me of ice skating, like a choreographed ice skating team. But then it started to get this South Asian guitar solo thing, and towards the end there's a helicopter sound, so it all started to turn partly Vietnam or something. Basically, in the last few years, my parents died, and I started thinking about my family. We adopted a girl named Luu Le from the Vietnam war. This is a true story. Her plane crashed coming over to the United States, and so she died. I actually just found out that she had a twin brother on that plane who survived, which is kind of crazy, but I was thinking about how to talk about that American to Vietnam relationship in a song, so I thought it would be good to honor her name."

Lynx is the former math rock band of Dave Konopka. Based originally in Boston and then Chicago, it released an EP in 1998 and an album in 2000.


Machines With Magnets is where Battles has recorded the majority of their material. Though the band was formed in New York and rehearses in New York, they prefer to save money and be able to spend more time in a studio where they can make sure everything is exactly the way they want it. John: "We had to write a lot of the record [Gloss Drop] in the studio. It's called Machines With Magnets. It's outside of Providence, Rhode Island. We kind-of barricaded and isolated ourselves, it's kind-of half underground, and it's literally in the middle of nowhere." Dave: "The main reason we record our albums at Machines with Magnets is because of the people, and the studio itself." John: "It's the whole 'log cabin in the middle of the woods' studio routine. Pawtucket, Rhode Island, there's nothing to do there, and it's this compound where you stay there, and it's super super intense, but it's also, you just get a lot more done. And it's always worth it."

The Mark of Cain is the hard rock/alternative metal band that John Stanier plays with in addition to Battles. Based in Australia since 1984, the band recruited John in 1999.

Matias Aguayo is the singer and lyricist on Ice Cream. He is a Kompakt artist, formerly of the duo Closer Musik, and a DJ. Dave: "We're big fans of a lot of Kompakt things. Just the way that he treats vocals, how he works vocally... We had a lot in common as far as the way we like to incorporate vocals into our music and create more of a seamless integration rather than have a lead singer. So we asked him to sing on Ice Cream and he just totally added to the summertime playfulness sexiness of that song. Especialy 'cause it's in some made-up Spanish too." Ian: "John brought in the idea for Matias... He ended up having a good approach, just the right light-hearted approach for a goofy song like Ice Cream." Near the end of finishing Gloss Drop, the band had a lot of shows booked and needed to figure out what to do about a singer on tour. They asked Aguayo - whom they did not know very well - to tour with them for a couple of years. He agreed, but later at the last second he backed out. Ian quickly came up with the idea for all the album's guest vocalists to make videos of themselves singing, to be used as backdrops during the live show. Aguayo joined Battles on stage to perform Ice Cream a couple of times, including at Glastonbury 2011. All other live versions have had his vocals pre-recorded.

Megatouch is the tenth track on La Di Da Di. Dave (2015): "Megatouch was difficult... but we jammed a lot on that one and found stuff that became a huge part of the song." John (2015): "That started with a Dave loop. Dave was like, 'This reminds me of...' And the first time I heard it, I was like, 'Wow, yeah, it really does. Let's totally roll with this, but let's be kinda careful. Don't go over the deep end with it.' But we were that tasteful with it that we actually pulled it off." Dave (2015): "None of us are big reggae fans, but I wanted Battles to try and re-create a weird version of how we envision reggae. Even if we tried to do it properly, we probably wouldn't be able to do it. Our last album was so insular. We were broken up in separate rooms, and we were writing singularly. Megatouch was one of the songs where the noodles weren't totally sticking to the wall yet, and then we went into the live room and jammed for hours." Dave (2015): "I'm fully aware of the fact that reggae coming from three dudes like us could sound really weird, but that's the interesting part of it too. I know it's disgusting but let's get it out of our systems and see what happens." Ian: "The loop gets set and then there's the intro melody, and then it goes into this middle section. That was supposedly supposed to be a trance section, but I added the melody thing overtop and turned it into a totally different thing. You're always upsetting somebody else's expectation for what something is going to be."

Mirrored is the first studio album by Battles. It was released by Warp Records on May 14, 2007. Tyondai: "The EPs were an example of this band searching for our sound. And this new record is an example of a band who has found their sound and is distorting it and can play with it more, hence we're more relaxed as a band because we know each other better but also because we're more comfortable with the unified sound so we can play with it and distort it, add to it, deconstruct it, and add new things in it, as lyrical vocals." Ian (2007): "Recording this album was harder than recording the EPs in some ways. We did have more resources this time, which I admit can help, but we also set ourselves goals. This new stuff had some specific ideas in terms of wanting to try some singing, Dave playing bass rather than being another guitar in the mix. And by now, everyone is writing and contributing, so the process is more strenuous." John: "You could hear that it was us, setting up our stuff in a giant live room, playing songs that we had rehearsed a million times, recording to analogue tape with vintage amps and all that stuff." Tyondai explains what held up the album: "We toured like crazy on those EPs. We just kinda jumped at the opportunity to get out on the road. Not only for exposure, but also to refine the songs... but we did wait a long time." John: "We definitely work really really hard before we go into the studio. We know what we're doing." Tyondai: "There's no such thing as one take in the studio for a band like this, though, because we experiment but a lot of the results you get on the record, we reserve the right to experiment a lot with the studio recordings as opposed to the live. The way I see it is, the live influences the studio, which we then take liberties we maybe wouldn't have done live just to make it a cool record, and then the studio reinforms the live after it's done. Then we kinda relearn it, reassess the way we approach it." Dave: "Sometimes after a tour we take maybe a week off, just to chill and have some down time, but... it's busy. Ya gotta keep rollin', you don't want to drop the ball. Actually on tour, in the United States when we stop at truck stops sometimes we'll play catch." Ian (2019): "It was a great record - I felt like we had fired on all cylinders. It was a good time for us, but I could never put myself through making another Mirrored again because it would be torture. When it came to collective decisions, we used to work as a 'democracy' and it was always really messy to get everybody to agree on anything. It was a nice adventure to make such a statement with the album, but I couldn't do it again. Now it's only two of us, maybe we'll be a little lighter on our feet and be able to make quicker decisions."

My Machines is the sixth track on Gloss Drop. Gary Numan sings on it. It is the second single from the album. It was written and performed (a different version) while Tyondai Braxton was still with the band. Dave (2011): "The title of this was taken from the lyrics of Gary Numan, who we asked to collaborate with us on the song. I remember John saying, 'We should totally ask Gary Numan to sing on the album.' Which was like, a total shot in the dark, like 'There is no way Gary Numan's gonna sing on this album.' We drove up to Boston and saw him play at the Paradise. And he was playing Pleasure Principle. And we got to meet him after the show and it was really awesome. It was one of those bizarre, like the three of us standing outside his dressing room and his manager was like, 'Ok, you guys wanna come in and meet Gary?' And we were like 'Yeah, that'd be great.' We had a CD for him and we went in and he was like, 'Hey how's it going, nice to meet you, I'm Gary." And we were like, 'Hey, nice to meet you.' And he was like, 'Yeah I heard your track, I like it a lot. It's really fucking weird.' And I was like, 'Gary Numan is telling us that we're weird. This is awesome. This'll be a moment I will never forget.' He was totally like, 'Yeah, I'm into it, let me see what I can do.' He was going into the studio and I think it worked out at the time. Really it kinda came together at the end. But he was awesome to work with, just total charm." Ian: "I think that song actually sounds like a real Battles song, and it also sounds like a real Gary Numan song. It's such an interesting thing that they both coexist, I like that. That was just a case of 'Let's go ask a pop star from our youth, when we were kids, that we used to really like.'" Ian: "Gary... came in with an entire lyrical theme and kind-of wrote like an entirely different song the first time... We gave him this bassline drumbeat to work with and a few little musical flourishes, but he came up with this entirely different thing. It was actually a very good song. It was well-done and well-crafted in this way that Battles never is, but actually we decided it was not a Battles flavor that he came up with. We were a little nervous because Gary Numan was definitely the collaborator on the record that we didn't know at all personally, and we kind-of felt privileged that he was even giving us the time of day to come and work on our record. I remember trying to say 'Good job, but maybe try something else.' And thinking he's just gonna say 'Go to hell, get lost.' But he actually had no ego about it and he said 'Oh ok, fine.' And he just very simply went and did something else, he didn't really care. And he said he was actually really happy that we wanted something that we really liked, as opposed to just getting to say Gary Numan was on our record or something like that." Numan also appeared in the music video for My Machines, which took place at a Los Angeles mall's escalator. Years later, Queens of the Stone Age made a music video on that same escalator.

The Music Building is a historic music rehearsal facility where Battles rehearsed in Manhattan for 10 years. It is the largest music rehearsal facility in Manhattan, with studios that are leased to musicians. Notable musicians such as Madonna, Interpol, Billy Idol, and Joey Ramone have been tenants at The Music Building. Ian: "It is a music rehearsal space, but whenever we do that, our neighbors just don't understand. Guys who are like piano players above us, they're like, 'what the hell is going on? I've heard that loop for the past three hours!' We've made people irate. I once recorded a guy. He stormed into our room. It was like a 10-minute screamer."


Nightmare Before Christmas is the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that was curated by Battles in December 2011. Ian (2016): "The idea there is that a band curates and picks the lineup and other bands for the festival. We curated an All Tomorrow's Parties and we had Gary Numan play." Numan was originally also planned to sing My Machines live during Battles' set, but backed out at the last minute due to feeling he couldn't hit the high note in the song that night.

Non-Violence is the sixth track on La Di Da Di.


OK Go, the band, has a connection with Battles. In addition to their drummer Dan sharing a last name with Dave (Konopka, not related), Ian Williams and Timothy Nordwind were roommates back in the day in Chicago.


Prairie WWWW (with an official name that is not supported by HTML characters for this website) is a Taiwanese psych/folk band featured on Sugar Foot. Prairie WWWW (2019): "It's such an honor to be featured on 'Sugar Foot'"! John (2019): "I really like Prairie WWWW, who's on our record. They played with us twice in Taipei and they're really cool. I am really happy that they were able to be a part of our record. In a really weird way, I seriously had that feeling, 'Here's something super '90s,' where you would discover this band and you totally did not want them to become popular. I literally felt like that with them. I didn't want to spread the gospel of Prairie."

Prismism is the eighth track on Mirrored.



Race: In is the first track on Mirrored.

Race: Out is the eleventh and final track on Mirrored.

Rainbow is the sixth track on Mirrored.

Rolls Bayce is the tenth track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "I was running all of John's beats that he recorded through all of my guitar pedals... I wrote a bassline to it, and that's what that bassline was called Rolls Bayce because it was constantly like a rock rolling down a hill type thing. And then Ian had this awesome line that was all about Ethiopian ice hockey during the break. So it was just those things that we were like, if we could just get away with making a song out of the beats and the bassline and the tiny little icicle parts, it could be a good one."


Sal Principato is the American musician featured on Titanium 2 Step. He is from the band Liquid Liquid. John (2019): "It was so simple and it was basically we wrote the song first... 'It would be amazing if the guy from Liquid Liquid could be on this song, it would be perfect.' And it was a phone call away... But it's like we're doing our own thing but we wanted a tiny, tiny sprinkle of that early 80s magic." Principato joined Battles on stage to perform Titanium 2 Step in New York in 2019. All other live versions have had his vocals pre-recorded.

Shabazz Palaces is a hip hop duo from Seattle. They did the remix of White Electric for the Dross Glop album and later performed the song with Battles live in 2015. John (2015): "We asked them to do a remix for us, and then we met them... And then we asked them to perform the song they did with us live in Seattle, and it was great." Shabazz Palaces is also featured on IZM, a track off Juice B Crypts.

Sludgehammer was Ian Williams' first band when he was a teenager in Pittsburgh, PA.

Snare Hangar is the ninth track on Mirrored.

Songwriting is a complicated process for Battles, as evidenced by the length of time between their record releases. Ian (2007): "There is not one way in which it happens. Sometimes you bring two microphones, put them in the room and record while you play for a couple of hours, then play back the recording and see if you like something. Obviously you must also remember how you played it! Other times, instead, you arrive with a loop and you know that that will be the structure around which you will then build the song. In this way we are always open to new experiences and new results." They also described the process in 2015. John: "The basic process of recording a record for us is, people individually coming up with stuff, everyone will work by themselves, they'll come up with these tiny seed ideas, we'll send them to each other, and then we kind-of just take it from there. The three of us really only get into the same room together when we're all really reacting to a specific idea that seems to be working." Ian: "We get more done when we're by ourselves. Then, we figure out a way to bring it to the other guys. I feel like a lot of our productive time is alone." Ian: "Well the way we work is that we bounce ideas around before we go into the studio. We'll record rhythmic loop information and pass that around. Then we'll see who gets inspired by what. We work as a collective, so everyone has to be into a song enough to work on it as a full band. We agree on the ones we're going to try and flesh out into songs. So a lot of that happens before we go into the studio, then when we're in the studio we're tracking and working on overdubs and the drums and things you can't really record at home in your practice space." Dave: "If we compare loops or something, or send each other ideas, or a beat, it's totally subjective. It's like looking through a glass house and not knowing which way the doorway is." John: "Ian will write stuff, and he'll give it to us, and I'll spend all this time living with it and doing this stuff and then play it for him and he'll just be like 'What the, that's not even close to what I had in mind.'" Dave: "Sometimes John can be like 'The one is here' but Ian and I can be like 'No that's the three'". John: "Sometimes people get bummed out by that, and sometimes it's a beautiful accident and it turns into this amazing monster that everybody loves. So that process is very very important to us and I think that you wouldn't be able to achieve that if you were constantly together." John (2015): "Maybe we are a bit of perfectionists, possibly. I think that we tend to think things out in a major, major way. 'When is this song done, when does it need more, what does it need more of?' These are questions why it takes us so long to make a record." Dave: "We get pretty heated throughout the process of making an album, but I wouldn't expect any less. It's intense and everybody cares and everybody is fighting for what they think it should be and I think that's a great thing." Ian: "Everybody has a different idea for what the song should be. That's probably the heart of the Battles issue, when we collaborate and come up with solutions for what a song is, there are often wildly different ideas. And sometimes, those car crashes work. Like, 'there's a ballerina in the middle of a football game. What's going on?' Sometimes, it makes sense and sometimes it doesn't, but those are the kind of calls we need to make." Dave (2015): "Sometimes we're not on the same page. It's like a Venn diagram with three overlapping circles and the songs are somewhere in the center. Sometimes a song can be redirected but that's naturally part of the weird process we've developed." John: "There's a lot of pushing and pulling and really opinionated things going on in this band, which I think is really good. It takes twice as long and it's kind-of a bummer sometimes, but I feel like if that tension didn't exist within this band we would not have been around for over ten years, I mean there's a reason for that, and it's because we love doing what we do and we love this band. And I will go completely out of my way to keep this thing happening, and I want to continue to do records, and I know that both these guys do as well. So we really really care a lot. It's our life. So I think that that's worth fighting for." Dave (2015): "Given the nature of three grown men trying to sculpt the same stone, it's difficult. Once you get to that point where you realize that you all have the same vision, then it becomes this really rewarding thing. The differences between the three of us in that process is what makes for really interesting music." Ian (2015): "There's really no correlation between titles and sound. We're not a band that has a lead vocalist or has anything to say, per se; we're purely working with music as form... Usually the song titles get applied to make a little more sense to the way we're reacting to what we've made... The meaning is in the sound. The meaning isn't always necessarily a deeper thing than that." John also said (2011): "When we're writing songs, no one in this group has ever said 'Wait, we've gone too far. This isn't a Battles song.' Because what is a Battles song? We don't know. All I know is that there are no parameters and no boundaries. That is the whole point and has been since day one." John stated, of Battles' beginnings: "We were throwing anything and everything against the wall to see if it sticks. So, it might start out as a slow, epic, plodding, movie soundtrack kind of song, but then there's always someone in the group who'll throw the complete opposite sound against that and see if it does or doesn't work. Nine times out of ten, it does work." Ian, of Gloss Drop: "I think maybe we were a little more confident about making the songs simpler and a little more clear, and making a little more focus on them. That partly came up as a result of just three of us making the record and not four. Simple mathematics means one less: you get more space and you get more focus out of that, it's more clear. So we were more able to strip it down to the essence of a song." Ian (2015): "John and I always have this classic disagreement where I'll make a riff or a line or a loop and he'll hear the one [beat] on a different beat than I do. We get into these arguments, like, 'No, I need you to go ba-da-ba ba-da-ba.' And he'll start on 'ba-da-ba.' We always go back and forth on those. It completely changes the meaning of the line when that kind of thing happens. It's the nature of the collab." Regarding song titles, Ian (2007): "The titles... mean something, but only vaguely: they don't have a story behind them, the songs don't talk about girls who leave us or contain a particular message... I can't tell you what they really talk about, they are very vague texts." Ian (2016): "I guess you just write down a list of names that sound kinda cool, and then you have to do the match. 'Well, I guess that sounds like it could be The Yabba.'" Ian (2019): "Everything is easy. We have a common ground on which we build our music even if he considers it differently than me. I approach it as shades of gray, he rather like... black and white. Even if it's not exactly that! I always see several possible ways to go after our ideas. He knows it will be that or that. Since there are many ways to look at life... Some notes have emotional colors, even if for me, experience and emotions are connected! It's funny because I find the idea of anti-emotion captivating - though I guess it's still an emotion - and I try to explore it in the brutality of hammered rhythms. I never liked the math rock etiquette , but the 'clinical' connotation of the term says something real. I will add that there is something sexy in these anti-emotions... Sometimes people ask us about the meanings of our songs, but in general, my instinct is that a song is only the notes, the sounds, the materials that make it up. This can be considered in parallel with a modernist approach to painting and the specificity of the medium... Approaches and our uses of materials are always different when we approach a new album. So I think so, we evolve a little on the concept side." Ian (2019, on recording Juice B Crypts): "There was less fight for real estate. It was easier for me to put down the things I wanted to put down [to record]. Sometimes, too many cooks in the kitchen happen, and fewer cooks in the kitchen can be a little more focused, [provide] a little more clarity and focus." Ian (2019, regarding recording Juice B Crypts): "I got to use a lot of different instruments. And in a way I was freed up because I was the only soundmaker, besides the drum set. It was easier just to move the sonic spectrum, song to song... [John] and I are very opposite people. He's a very metronomic, precise person... Whereas I'm [not]... That comes across in the way we make music too, so he's very black and white about 'This is this, that.' To me there's like a million variations like 'It could be this, it could be that, I don't know!'... Working with John, he's sort-of the opposite of me, so it helps me have to sort things out and make hard decisions."

Storm & Stress is a former avant rock band of Ian Williams. Formed in Pittsburgh, it was active from 1994 to 2000.

Sugar Foot is the fourth track on Juice B Crypts, featuring Jon Anderson (frontman of Yes) and Taiwanese band Prairie WWWW. Ian (2019): "That was like, 'We can't get the guy from Yes, can we?' But we did... We'd heard through the grapevine a long time ago that he liked us. And we had a song, and it was instrumental... 'Let's see if we can get Jon Anderson.' And so he was the fantasy pick. But then we also had these friends from Taipei, called Prairie WWWW. They had opened for us in Taipei... [Their show] was so bizarre, but it was awesome. So we always remained in touch with them, so we asked those guys to do the same song. And then both Jon Anderson and Prairie did the same song... We creatively made room for Jon Anderson's parts and Prairie's parts." According to Ian in 2019, Anderson got the song right away (as opposed to some singers that have had to redo their guest vocals).

Summer Simmer is the fourth track on La Di Da Di. Ian (2015): "On that song, I used the Ableton Push to get to that repeated 16th-note setting, on the intro. The Push made that song possible."

Sundome is the twelfth and final track on Gloss Drop. Yamantaka Eye sings on it. Dave (2011): "Sundome is also another one of my favorites, I love that song... It's named after a basketball league in Brooklyn... During the weekends or something they had these leagues that were called Sundome. The whole beginning of it is very organic and trying to find its shape and then it kinda starts to slowly evlove, but at the other end of the spectrum has really experimental bizarre vocals-as-instrument incorporated into the whole track. And who better to do that than Yamantaka Eye from the Boredoms? He was awesome. He just sent us this raw track and he was like, 'Do whatever you want to it.' I mean the vocals themselves, it's just stuff that... It was bizarre to us, because we thought he was speaking Japanese, but he was just making up his own stuff but he was repeating the things that he making up which seems like it would be so hard to do. But I love what he came through for that song. It just brought it to another level."

Sweetie & Shag is the eighth track on Gloss Drop. Kazu Makino sings on it. Dave (2011): "For Sweetie & Shag we asked Kazu Makino from Blonde Redhead, because she lives in New York and she has an amazing voice, and just delivery. We've all been Blonde Redhead fans for years. So that really came together. She was awesome. She was kinda like, 'This is part of your life document and I'm totally into helping you do whatever it is that you want me,' you know and we were just kinda like, 'That's awesome.' So she came up to the studio, we drove up with her, and she was great. She just worked all day. She was totally like, I think she had a little bit of a cold, but still just totally made it, was just working so hard to come up with the lyrics and the melody, and she was awesome. She was great." Ian (2016): "Named after two DJs in Australia, in Melbourne, who had a show called Sweetie and Shag. And then we named this song after them. Just 'cause we thought their names were cute... And then we went back on the Gloss Drop tour and they interviewed us, but they had this kinda shell-shocked look like, 'You named a song after us?'" [N.B. I asked Ian about the lyrics but he doesn't really know them, he said to ask Kazu! According to John, Kazu loves horses and owns a horse; Dave said the lyrics are about guys and girls falling in love at a horse stable. Dave: "When the song was done, we were like 'What were you talking about?' She was like, 'Oh my horse stable, these kids falling in love.'" John: "Yeah, it was super vague. Then she left."]

SZ2 is the first track on B EP.


They Played It Twice is the third track on Juice B Crypts, featuring singer-songwriter Xenia Rubinos. It is preceded by A Loop So Nice... Ian (2019): "The background of that song is that it is the exact same bed, but the interesting thing was creating an entirely different song using the same bed."

Tij is the tenth track on Mirrored.

Titanium 2 Step is the sixth track on Juice B Crypts, featuring Sal Principato. John (2019): "We had a cool drum beat. We had this drum machine sample that he [Ian] did, but we couldn't figure out a chorus or something else and it wasn't working and we were really trying and it's like 'I really wanna use this riff'. And we just looked at the pieces of paper [songwriting notes] and it's just like 'Oh yeah! That idea we couldn't figure out for that, what would happen if we take that and throw it into this, and change the BPM a little bit?' and it was like the song wrote itself... It was such a simple song to write." Ian (2019): "The process to get there was complicated, but once the puzzle was solved... to us that's actually a pretty simple song."

Toddler is the ninth track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "Toddler was just this little ditty that Ian did, that was maybe gonna be the beginning of White Electric or something but we just thought it was like, just that little kiss of, just space in the album, would be really nice to have it somewhere placed strategically. We didn't have a title for it and I thought Toddler would be a really cute name for that track."

Tomahawk is the alternative metal/rock supergroup that John Stanier plays with in addition to Battles. The band formed in 1999.

Tonto is the fourth track on Mirrored. It is the second single from the album.

Tras is the first track on the eponymous release, Battles' first release, released by Cold Sweat Records.

Tras 2 is the fifth track on EP C.

Tras 3 is the second track on B EP.

Tricentennial is the ninth track on La Di Da Di.

Tune-Yards is the project of American musicians Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner. The duo is featured on The Last Supper on Shasta Pt. 1 and The Last Supper on Shasta Pt. 2. Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards performed live with Battles at their San Francisco show in 2019.

Twilight is the vampire movie franchise in which The Line appears.

Tyne Wear is the eighth track on La Di Da Di. The title likely refers to Tyne and Wear, a metropolitan county in northeast England around the mouths of the rivers Tyne and Wear.

Tyondai Braxton is a former member of Battles. He played guitar, keyboards, and performed vocals. He departed the band in August 2010, citing a desire to focus on solo work rather than a new Battles album and world tour. John (2007): "After seeing Tyondai doing his solo stuff, I think we realized what an amazing voice he has and that we should incorporate that more into the music." Tyondai (2007): "Solo music is like you in your purest form. That has its benefits and that has its cons. I feel like it's good to have a balance, in a way. I still like doing solo music and still want to work on that front. I can tell you this though, band-wise I'm definitely not looking to play with another band, like this is definitely my band... I think it's necessary to keep balance, because then it will let the project exist for longer." Dave (2011): "Getting going again, playing as a live band and learning to be a three-piece... We were so enveloped in being a recording band that we needed to learn to be a live band again. We made a conscious decision to play only new songs so that we get better at playing these songs." The official website announcement called his daparture "a sad but amicable split." However, interviewed in 2015, John acknowledged animosity at the departure: "You were in this together... this was like this baby that we've all raised and now it's like this monster and we're finally making money and we're making a living and everything's great and this is gonna be the second record it's gonna be awesome and then one of the guys out of nowhere - while we're recording the record, mind you - literally leaves. Just, really, like you're not gonna give us...? It was just nothing, like 'I don't wanna do this any more, bye.' And he just left... It put is in an exremely compromising position where we absolutely freaked out because we're like 'Oh my god, now what are we gonna do?' But I think it was a blessing in disguise that we couldn't see right off the bat... In the fact that if we would've kept going the way we were going, it [Gloss Drop] would've been a terrible, terrible record." Ian: "He did what he had to do and we did what we had to do - to continue with the band. We wanted to do justice to the record. If you go to the trouble of making a record that's a lot of work to make in the first place, then you should at least be able to go out and play it and be as much of a band behind it as you can be. We wanted to do it right." Ian (2015): "It was the only way the band could have survived. Because the record that we were making did not sound like Battles at all... The record that would've been made with Ty, I think was so off the map of what anybody would identify as Battles songs."


UVA (United Visual Artists) is the British group that Battles and Warp Films collaborated with in the video for Tonto. Ian: "They put the whole thing together really. It was good for us because... we don't have time to think about making music videos... They set the whole thing up. In a lot of ways we just had to show up. I mean, they consulted with us." The video was shot in a stone quarry in Wales, England. UVA also designed the vocalist video screens on the Gloss Drop tour.

UW is the second track on EP C.


Vocals, a staple of rock music, are absent on most of Battles' songs, including the entirety of the EPs and La Di Da Di. (Technically, the EPs have some voices in them, but Ian stated in 2007 "we 'buried' them.") Ian (2015): "Ty used to beatbox, and I was always into the idea of him trying to beatbox into the music. And then I think the beatbox thing evolved a little bit more into a singing thing." Dave: "I think that when we first started, in coming out of bands like Ian and I, we came from instrumental bands and were really math rock bands, and I think we were trying to shed some of that a little bit and trying to play a little bit more lively danceable fun music, and not so serious and chin-stroking. But somehow none of us suddenly decided to have vocals ever, it just started happening. It just became part of who we were." Tyondai (2007): "I think the way the vocals are presented are with the same character as the other instruments. They are able to sit in the music as another voice or come out as a lead line - just like another instrument." Ian (2015): "The idea of a vocalist in pop is such a heavy concept. We treat [vocals] more lightly, like it's just another instrument. As opposed to, 'The instruments are the bread and the vocals are the piece of meat on the bread.' To us, it was never that ratio. It's maybe a salad, and it's just another chopped bit. It's just another instrument, just another part of the texture. Always, the vocals came after the music. It's natural for us to make instrumental music. If you look at our records in the past, our first three EPs were all instrumental and then Mirrored had a couple of songs with vocals and then the rest of it was instrumental with some beatbox-y sounds mixed in. Even the last album had four songs with vocals but [eight] songs without. It's riffs and beats and melodies, textures and tones and whether there's singing or not, that's just like whether or not you're gonna play your Fender Stratocaster on this song." Dave (2012): "I like the ratio of vocals-to-instrumentals that we had on the past albums. I would be okay with leaning either way; I just don't want an album full of guest vocalists. We were really reluctant to go full-on instrumental after Ty left. I think we can exist in both worlds." John (2019): "We write all of the music first and then we sit down and we decide which songs we think there are going to be vocals on. And half the time it's songs we definitely thought from the beginning were going to have vocals, it turns out they... sound better as an instrumental. And vice versa." John (2019; on the process of selecting collaborators): "Common interest is the main factor, we look for something that adds to what we already do. Juice B Crypts is a record that has voices and we don't think anyone could have done better than Tune Yards and Shabazz Palaces." John (2019): "80 percent of our vocalists we have a direct connection to. The remaining 20 percent were like a phone call away."


Wall Street is the fifth track on Gloss Drop. Dave (2011): "That song I think was one of Ian's babies. We recorded in the same studio, Machines with Magnets, with the same engineers as Mirrored, but this time because we were kinda under pressure a little bit to get the album done, we separated into three different rooms and would record our parts direct, like through all of our effects, but then record direct and then turn it into the live room. And the engineers took on more of a production role, to find the sounds for us and ring in stuff as we just kept cranking out more material. Really Ian was like, 'I keep envisioning these 80s stockbrokers at the pinnacle of their success, partying on a yacht... Yeah, this song is all about success. It's gotta be about success.' And he just kept really pushing that visualization, so we decided to call it Wall Street." Ian (2011): "The first section makes me think of the sound that rich people make when partying on a yacht in the 1980s. We called it the 'Sound Of Success' when we were making that song. I even played YouTube clips from the movies 'American Psycho' and 'Wall Street' in the studio to get the vibe right."

Warp is the British record label that has released all of Battles' studio albums. Dave: "How did we get signed to Warp Records? We signed to Warp Records via an introduction through Prefuse 73 [Guillermo Scott Herren], a friend of ours, and he took us on tour and we did some shows opening for him. And Warp was interested in signing us. They, we started by putting together EPs that we had released in the United States. So they courted us for a little while, and we did the EP thing and then there was an official signing. It was just a right place at the right time, both things worked out really well and they were a perfect label for us. Still are." John (2016): "Many years ago, a friend of ours who produces under the pseudonym Prefuse 73 was under contract with Warp... It was really easy to enter their roster: they saw us play and shortly after they presented themselves with a contract to sign. It was all incredibly quick and easy."

White Electric is the eleventh track on Gloss Drop. It was written and performed while Tyondai Braxton was still with the band. Dave (2011): "White Electric was actually the first song that we worked on for this album and I think that we were so trying to get into the mode of writing again, that when we were first done with this track it was like sixteen, seventeen minutes long and we were like, 'Yeah, for the first track on the album I think we're gonna need to shorten it down a little bit.' So that was just kinda like a constant work in progress. It was funny because it was the first thing that we worked on, but then all the way at the end of the process there was this rewriting of it that totally, cause I think we felt like there was maybe a little bit of like, we weren't flexing enough like... Whereas the album rocks, I don't think we were flexing the riffing rock enough, so that song I think we just really wanted to get across this semi-metal-type thing. It's also named after one of our favorite coffee shops in Providence, Rhode Island, where we were recording."


Xenia Rubinos is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist featured on They Played It Twice. She also opened for Battles on some of their 2015 tour dates. Xenia (2019): "It was an honor to sing and collab on this [Juice B Crypts]. Thank you to Ian Williams for inviting me in. I spent so long idolizing this band so to hear myself on a track of theirs is still surreal to me." Xenia (2019): "It was an honor to have sung and collaborated on a track for the new Battles LP. It's pretty wild to get to listen to your own voice on the record of a band you spent so much time idolizing."


The Yabba is the first track, and first single, on La Di Da Di. Ian: "It's a song about the desert." John (2015): "It's from a recently-found lost Australian movie from the 70s called Wake in Fright. It was re-released about a year ago, I think. And The Yabba is the abbreviation of the fictional town somewhere in the outback."

Yamantaka Eye is the singer and lyricist on Sundome. He is from the band Boredoms. Ian: "You never know what you're going to get with Eye. That's why we wanted to ask him to do it. He works in mysterious ways that we don't understand."

Yes is the band of Jon Anderson, who is featured on on Sugar Foot.