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Static Dress

Static Dress began with an idea. Creative conduit Olli Appleyard (vocals) was shooting photography
for bands and building them up as brands until the point that they got signed by a label. After
countless projects, he wanted to start his own project that could act as a portfolio to work with
artists/labels in any creative capacity: providing visual art, shooting them and working with new
people. The band name was one of hundreds of alternative options on his phone notes. “I wanted a
name that could be a brand – if the band didn’t work I could end up making it a fashion brand or a
creative company,” he explains, adding that it had to be like ‘Prada’ or ‘Nike’, something singular that
doesn’t sound like anything else and certainly nothing trying to sound like a sinister or heavy band.
Within a few months of working on Static Dress around full-time hours of photography, Olli wiped his
entire online catalog and social accounts full of years of work. His old portfolio was gone. Everyone
thought he had quit the industry or assumed he was struggling mentally or emotionally. Then he
uploaded their first track and fan favourite, the exhilarating post-hardcore scream-a-long hit, ‘clean.’. It
blew up immediately, making it clear that this was never going to be a temporary project. The
members had met in the north of England, and after some line-up changes, quickly settled on it’s solid
final formation.
Following those unusual beginnings in 2019, Static Dress continued to be far from the average rock
band. Olli looked to fashion and the interiors world for inspiration, combining all his areas of interest to
build mood boards and branding. They sent out postcards every other week, made a comic book, built
a loyal email list of fans and kept excitable followers engaged with clues and puzzles. “As soon as you
put everything on a plate, you entertain the stupid people as much as they’re going to be entertained
but the people who actually want to be involved already know too much so they get bored,” Olli
explains of their philosophy. “I want people to find more meaning - there’s so much more meaning in
music than just pressing play on Spotify.”
In the first coronavirus lockdown, Static Dress jumped on the new possibility for live streamed gigs,
determined to stay agile and relevant without the ability to tour. The unfailingly hardworking and
multi-talented band shot and curated special Static Dress photographs for press pieces and put
maximum effort into everything visual so that fans and potential followers had something to talk about.
Watch their early impressive self-made videos or flip through their early press pieces and you’ll see
striking uniqueness across the Static Dress brand: the characteristic fish-eye lens, a pantone
explosion of blues and reds and dream-like weirdness that doesn’t allow your mind to settle. “We’re
now going on arena tours because of videos we made for 300 pounds,” Olli says proudly. “This is the
whole message behind this band: I want to inspire people to know they can do anything on their own.”
The illusory music videos were unique not in spite of but because of the limitations of a shoe-string
budget, Olli pulling the creativity out of the challenge like a rabbit from Houdini’s hat. No shoot pool for
the ‘for the attention of…’ video? He’d find a kids paddling pool and staple reflective sheet on the
bottom and lay in it for long enough that his lips went blue. “I have to direct in a way that people see
things but don’t see them,” says Olli. “A lot of our videos got referenced to David Lynch and at that
point I’d never seen anything by David Lynch.”
Their winning musical formula was ready-made screamo cult classics that complimented Olli’s vocals
with melodic choruses that were impossible not to sing along to. Debut album, Rogue Carpet
Disaster, was a labour of DIY love that was completely self-funded, done independently and turned
around in just one month. Seven tracks of vocals were recorded in Olli’s sectioned-off parents’
conservatory at night during the height of Covid with a part-time producer who worked a day job for
the NHS. “We realised we can do everything on our own,” Olli says of this challenging experience.
The record itself is an anxious masterpiece of breakdowns, sonic contradictions and thrilling waves of
melody. From the addictively catchy album high-point ‘sweet.’ to the gentle emo beauty of
‘such.a.shame.’ to the touching five minutes of shoegazey contemplation on ‘Marisol’, this is an
uncompromising execution of guitar-led music that evokes The Bled, Underoath, MCR and Deftones.
The concept is centred around a hotel that’s “almost like a Cluedo” of different characters taking you
through various rooms (expanding more in the accompanying comic book and album inlay). Reluctant
to explain specifics, Olli insists at this point fans should find their own stories across the breadth of the
record. The idea started with the idea of a Natural Born Killers meets Bonnie and Clyde pairing.
“You’ve got two absolute wreckheads being hopeless romantics and extremely self-destructive. I
wanted to show that if your entire relationship is around substances and having a good time, when the
good times stop, what you’ve got is terrible,” says Olli, who himself is sober.
Now signed to Roadrunner – the only label they confidently felt wanted to facilitate and amplify the
band’s genius – they’re releasing a redux edition of Rouge Carpet Disaster. The four ambitiously
creative redux songs will build this cinematic universe along with brand new videos for every single
song. ‘Courtney, Just relax (ft. World Of Pleasure)’ feels at least twice as explosive and heavy while
the crystal clear production on ‘Di-sinTer (Glitter Redux)’ elevates it to a seminal 00s mainstream emo
staple you miraculously missed. ‘Such.a.shame (Smoking Lounge Redux)’ sounds like Static Dress
transported to a 50s piano bar and alt bedroom pop sensation Sophie Meiers adds tastefully delicate
vocals to a longing rendition of ‘Attempt 8’. “Static Dress: that name is no longer just an idea in my
head – it means something,” he says of where the band is today.
News of their live shows travelled fast. Static Dress had a packed-out tent for 2022 Reading and
Leeds both days and were the most hyped artist at Slam Dunk 2023. Olli remembers that in America,
“people were front-flipping off the stage before we’d gone on.” When the band supported UK rock
giants Bring Me The Horizon on their EU tour, the frontman self-assuredly learnt how to command and
win over arena stadiums full of people who may or may not have been familiar with who they were.
Unlike most bands with predictable live shout-outs and speeches, no two Static Dress shows are ever
the same – but that’s the unique type of artists they are. “We never want to fall into the structured
formulaic band way. As soon as you’re comfortable it’s done – you’re in the 9-5 band life,” Olli says
boldly. “We just want to captivate by being the quietest heavy band you know, enter the mainstream
and pull more people into this growing universe.” As MCR’s Gerard Way once wrote of music, “It is
bigger than you and me put together.” The only thing bigger than music itself is music that draws
people to it with the forcefield of what it proposes: a simple but magnetic idea.

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