Q and Not U

Q and Not U

Infobox musical artist
Name = Q and Not U

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Origin = Washington, D.C.
Genre = Post-hardcore
Years_active = 1998-2005
Label = Dischord Records
Associated_acts = Georgie James
Current_members = John Davis
Harris Klahr
Christopher Richards
Past_members = Matt Borlik
Notable_instruments =

Q and Not U was a post-hardcore band from Washington, D.C., signed with Dischord Records. Members John Davis, Harris Klahr, Christopher Richards, and Matt Borlik formed the band in 1998. After Borlik's departure following the release of their first album, the band went on to record two more critically lauded LPs as a three-piece, exploring aspects of emocore, dance-punk, and other disparate musical styles. Q and Not U disbanded in September 2005 after completing their touring commitments and a short farewell stand in Washington, D.C.


John Davis, Harris Klahr, Christopher Richards, and Matt Borlik formed Q and Not U in the summer of 1998 and began playing shows in the D.C. area later that November. They released their first album, "No Kill No Beep Beep", in late 2000. It was marked by strongly rhythmic compositions with dissonant guitar and bass, though each song was built around unique melodies and danceable beats that cut through and rode on top of the swells of noise. Several reviewers described the music as "catchy", and this quality of oblique yet upbeat and endearing musicality would be a trademark of the band's future work, setting them apart from their aurally less forgiving D.C. hardcore peers and bringing them more into line with the budding dance-punk scene. [ [http://crawdaddy.wolfgangsvault.com/article.aspx?id=1820 Review of "Power"] at Crawdaddy!]

Following extensive touring in 2000 and 2001, alongside bands like Engine Down, Milemarker, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, and El Guapo, bassist Borlik was dismissed in November 2001. His absence prompted a more slimmed-down sound as reflected in 2002's "Different Damage". Guitarist Richards occasionally took a turn on bass guitar or keyboard and Klahr also incorporated keyboards, as well as a baritone guitar, though they left bass instruments out of some songs altogether, and the album is instead driven by ever-more complex and propulsive dance beats, razor sharp guitar licks ("So Many Animal Calls", "When the Lines Go Down"), and pronounced use of multiple overlapping vocals from each member of the band ("Snow Patterns", "No Damage Nocturne"). The album also expanded upon the small patches of hushed tapping cultivated on "No Kill..." ("We Heart Our Hive") into fully grown bodies of delicate rhythm ("Soft Pyramids"). The band toured extensively following the release, making their way through the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Japan.

While "Different Damage" pulled a lot of sound out of very little equipment, the band put together "Power" (2004) using a greater variety of instruments, most notably synths, melodicas and recorders and integrated these new sounds into more delicate, multi-faceted, and ever-more variegated songs. The use of guttural and aggressive bass synth rafts on "Wonderful People" and other songs is especially prominent and adds greater depth to the songs, as well as giving heightened value to the bass-less, jangly interludes throughout the album. The tensed and urgent vocal delivery that had been part of each previous release was also pushed to new limits, now developing into falsetto ("Throw Back Your Head") and startling choral arrangements ("District Night Prayer") that had been previously unexplored.

Miscellaneous details

* Q and Not U released almost no non-album material; all of the band's songs have been included on one of their three LPs, except for three tracks: "Busy Lights, Busy Carpet," from their debut single, 'Hot and Informed', "Ten Thousand Animal Calls," from On Play Patterns, and a cover of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down" from the compilation "Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again".

*On Play Patterns and the Book of Flags/X-Polynation single contain different recordings of tracks that also appeared on full-lengths.

"After seven years, hundreds of shows, thousands of miles, 46 states, four continents, three albums, only one flat-tire and countless nicknames for Shawn Brackbill, Q and Not U is disbanding," wrote band member Chris Richards."With all of your support, we feel that we've reached all of our shared goals as Q and Not U and we're ready to move on to other projects in life. We all hope to play music together again someday, but we feel that it's a beautiful and natural time to bring this band to a close."

Final band members

* Harris Klahr - guitar, vocals, synths, etc.
* Christopher Richards - guitar, vocals, synths, etc.
* John Davis - drums, percussion, vocals, etc.

Richards continues to play under the moniker Ris Paul Ric, a solo project he started in January 2005, and released "Purple Blaze" in November 2005 on Brooklyn-based label Academy Fight Song, followed by an 180 gram LP version of "Purple Blaze" in May 2007 co-released by Academy Fight Song and Mightier Than Sword Records. Davis continues to play in Georgie James, whose debut album Places was released in September 2007. Klahr contributed a remix of "Wonderful People" on the 2005 remix EP available at their last shows under the name President, and is currently playing in a band called Chantees in New York City. The first President full length is due out on Friends in September.

In 2006 Richards announced he and Dave Nada are starting a band, and DJing in the interim. Their first release was a Mix Tape released under the name Rubber Bullets.



* "No Kill No Beep Beep" (Dischord, October 2000)
* "Different Damage" (Dischord, October 2002)
* "Power" (Dischord, October 2004)


* "Hot and Informed" (Dischord/Desoto, April 2000)
* "On Play Patterns" (Dischord, April 2002)
* "X-Polynation/Book of Flags" (Dischord, September 2003)
* "Wonderful People Remix EP" (Dischord, September 2005)

External links

* [http://www.dischord.com/band/qandnotu Dischord Records Band Site]
* [http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/interviews/q/q-and-not-u-05/ Pitchfork Media] , interview with the band (January 2005)
* [http://dissonance.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=255119 DISSONANCE Radio interview with guest DJ Chris Richards]
* [http://www.prefixmag.com/features/Q/q-and-not-u/85 Prefix] , interview with the band (June 2004)


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