Volume up from down under: Love of Diagrams explore aesthetics, glorious noise

“If it doesn’t come naturally – it’s forced,” says Luke Horton, guitarist, vocalist and complimentary angle to Monika Fikerle and Antonia Sellbach, whom together form the inevitable triangle that is Melbourne-based Love of Diagrams. After opening for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the 930 Club last Thursday, Luke spoke with The Hatchet about the band’s most recent effort, Mosaic (set for release this month), a recent signing with indie-ultimate Matador Records, and the origin of Love of Diagrams.

Figuratively, of course.

“The name comes from Antonia,” Luke said of the band’s geometrically-loaded moniker. An abstract artist, Love of Diagrams bass player and vocalist Antonia Sellbach designs posters for the trio, some influenced by Russian constructionist designs. “[The name] was actually on one of her works,” says Luke.

Formed in 2001in Melbourne, Australia, Love of Diagrams attained popularity in what Luke characterizes as the hub of the Australian music scene. “In America, you have all these different scenes,” he said, noting a fundamental difference between performing in Australia and the United States, having toured in the States a few times.

It didn’t all start in Melbourne, though. According to Luke, band members met through the Tasmania music scene. Luke was a fan of percussionist Monika Fikerle’s work with Tasmania-based noise rockers Sea Scouts, noting her highly stylized minimalism-she then played without a snare drum. Vocalist and bass player Antonia Sellbach learned bass purely for Love of Diagrams. Originally, she was a classical violinist.

With an evident post-punk influence, the trio opened for Ted Leo with a roughly thirty minute set emphasizing rapid percussion beats – substantiated by disoriented guitar, bass and Luke and Antonia’s call-and-response vocals.

Paying homage to structure not only by name, Love of Diagrams is simultaneously compartmentalized, formulized and inflammatory – most evident in “Pace of the Patience,” an overloaded testament to the trio’s contained, chaotic brand of musicality.

Love of Diagrams’ most recent effort, Mosaic, stands as a departure from 2003’s The Target is You (Unstable Ape Records), in that each track includes vocals. Recorded in Chicago with Bob Weston, Mosaic will be Love of Diagrams’ first release on Matador Records. “It represents all the instruments well,” said Luke, inviting discussion of his Fender Jaguar.

“I guess when you do a tour like this it starts sinking in,” he said.

Mosaic is set to be released April 10.

Love of Diagrams will be touring again in September with Electrelane.

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