Baroness, Pallbearer, TombsÂ @ Union Transfer Review by Morgan Y. Evans Photos by J.M. Baroness roared back at their life-affirming Union Transfer return show, proving you canât keep a great band down. After the August 2012 bus crash in England that nearly derailed the band, many wondered if John Baizley and company were finished right as they were about to really break even bigger with Yellow & Green. The awesome Baroness Relief campaign started by Rennie at Relapse and some friends saw many bands donate cool stuff for auction to help buffer medical bills for the beloved band, and the whole scene was rooting for this night to happen. The accident led to the sad departure of Allen Blickle and Matt Maggion, but the good news is the band is just as great as ever with former Trans Am drummer extraordinaire Sebastian Thomson and Billy Boyd as Pippin the Hobbit-esque bassist Nick Jost (a very smooth player who looked like he was having a blast). The night was …
By Morgan Y. Evans
“I am the first to leave when the party dies, and also did that with my own career. THAT’s one of the reasons we change a lot, but then again I don’t sit on message boards hammering away at Mikkey Dee and new Motorhead. For me it’s also about sound production,… But message board black metallers should instead maybe make a band or something. The global underground network had no forums back in the 80’s and it was perfect, I tell ya!”-Fenriz
If you are a fan of metal, Fenriz of Norway’s mighty Darkthrone should need no introduction. The esoteric musician was very gracious and took the time to discuss many things with New Noise, including hiking, bad influence relatives with good record collections, clean singing, evolving as an artist and, of course, Darkthrone’s latest future classic THE UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE (Peaceville Records). Oh, and Tina Fey for new Pope!
Take it or leave it, punk asses. This is metal!
MYE: I love the clean vocals. It is like you have made melodic singing in metal awesome again. In the 80’s, King Diamond and (some) Judas Priest were able to be powerful and sing. I love aggression, but sometimes i think people scream because they have no other ideas and forget about strong singing in metal.
Fenriz: There’s gotta be a helluvalot of others than me doing the castrato vocals. King Diamond just squeaks, though. Real castrato is a whole different method, and what it sounds like in metal is for instance early Queensryche, Agent Steel, Crimson Glory, etc. Many people made that King Diamond reference, but I am thinking it’s not cuz I sound like him at all. It’s cuz for these younger ones that maybe like the dark side a lot (since they might be younger and haven’t been there throughout the ages), maybe the only UP THERE voice they heard is King Diamond. He kinda snuck into the whole black metal thing cuz of the awesome albums he made with Mercyful Fate, you know. But back in the day, singing like I do on the verses in “Leave No Cross Unturned” and on the rest of the songs…it was commonplace. There were no growlers back then. Then the growling et al took over completely in the 90’s and so on (well almost) and now the last ten years it’s been more and more who try to sing like the old days. The reason a lot of vocalists could actually DO IT back then was that so many WERE doing it. Now it’s been so many of us trying to restore it, maybe it will never be back to the strengths of early 80’s but we are well on our way. Wolf from Sweden did it very good in 2000 with their debut album, btw.
When you mention Judas Priest, yes, then you are correct, on the right track. That’s the thing I’m doing. Agent Steel even covered them in ‘85. On record.
MYE: Agent Steel is sick. How did your life change when you discovered metal? I have always felt like I was so much better at music and writing than other normal activities and so it can be hard to be practical and adjust back to reality sometimes after playing gigs or writing songs for awhile. Do you feel like well balanced people, hahaha? Do you ever feel like you are really in an underground resistance? Any normal and boring things you like to do or are good at, like model trains or something?
F: It changed when I heard good music instead of children’s songs and Xmas carols. I think I was 1.5 years old in 1973 when my uncle played me Pink Floyd and he SAW ME CHANGE. He gave me the doors MORRISON HOTEL in late ‘73 and then a whole bunch of albums in late ’74 (among others the Easy Rider soundtrack, which has Steppenwolf “Born to be Wild” on it, and has the lyric where heavy metal is mentioned the first time). Then also I got SWEET FREEDOM with Uriah Heep, my first real heavy metal/heavy blues based rock album. I was never the same. But after that I went many years without getting more freaky stuff, as my parents didn’t want my junkie uncle around me so much…at least I think that was the reason. So then I had to discover Kiss, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath at school from ‘79 til ‘83 and then more and more stuff from then on like Metallica and Slayer. I am certainly not well balanced. I think I am bordering on manic depression. Some periods it’s better though. It’s just the cliché, fragile mind of the artist and all that yukky stuff, but it’s true with me, I reckon. In my next life I just wanna be a regular joe. I am definitely feeling like I’ve been in a war since so many people doesn’t get that the drums gotta sound right in metal too. In other music styles the drums usually sound right but metal just adopted an idiotic take on the whole drum thing. There have been times when there were only a few exceptions, and I gotta bring this subject up all the time and I am tired of me and of that war but I just soldier on anyway.
I am not good at normal things. I am good at knowing good camp sites in the woods around Oslo, 1600 square kilometres and camped on 108 different sites so far (yeah I write it up). And that’s hardly normal.
MYE: There seems to be even more excitement to the playing on your new album, from what I have heard ,than usual. I mean, metal is always exciting if it is in your blood. Were you feeling really good about these songs when they were being executed in the studio? Can you discuss writing THE UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE and maybe what this particular record means to you? Songwriting took several years but it was worth it. Seems a real extension of where you have been going but even more ‘heavy metal’, somehow.
F: Yeah well, its hard to discuss it when we ourselves don’t even discuss it. And on top of it all, we just continued where we left off. 2 of the songs were made and recorded and finished before the previous album came out, CIRCLE THE WAGONS. The title track there really pointed the way to material I would continue writing, I felt, but then with the latest track “Leave No Cross Unturned”…I once again let the Celtic Frost enter into my work. I just had to roll with that. We’ve been working with our portable studio like BABY STEPS since we got it in 2005. We aren’t whiz kids but we just try to record our stuff in a down to earth fashion, and Ted has a clean way of playing (I play sloppy on guitar) and I play RATHER clean on drums too, and so the difference on this new album might be that Ted finally has written ALL his own lyrics and I really feel that it’s stronger when vocalists sing their own lyrics. And then it’s Jack’s mastering, which could add some bass organic mesh to it all. We can only have effects on two of our recording tracks/channels. I think Jack gave us more and we benefited from it. He used to say he knew just what we needed. Yay, Jack!!
MYE: Any records from different “ages of metal” that you feel deserve more recognition?
F: The A side of the first Metal Church needs to be canonized. It’s perfect, just perfect. Drum sounds are great too. Second Griffin album is awesome, o.t.t. metal AND insane vocals! Then there’s sooo many obscure ones, but as a dj I tend to favor single tracks instead of full albums, man.
MYE: As a band, Darkthrone have always kept it true. I think some people listen to music like collecting baseball cards, a novelty. You guys are about spreading an understanding of the aesthetics and history and development of metal, like sociology. How does it feel to have carved your niche? Did you think when you started you would make so many albums as Darkthrone? Also, do you think earlier versions of yourselves in life would like all your albums equally? I love every era of the band. The Rolling Stones, for example, never thought they would stay together so long. Granted they make a shit ton of money, but if you love making music it is easy to keep doing it, right?
F: Well, I never pictured myself on stage. It seems and feels like I always just wanted to record albums. I am not sure we carved a place for us. I think the speciality is that we change naturally, like a slow version of what most go through in life when changing tastes in metal (or other musics). I feel people want us to change our name, but we the people do not change our name, not even after life altering changes. So we want to be as natural as possible, mirroring the metal we are most into at a moment, but – again – changing that takes longer time than just changing a record, you know. So it’s slow but natural. We don’t change for the same purposes as most other bands, it seems. I have jumped off so many careers I thought took the wrong turn, but it was often cuz they got a more polished sound, or took SAFE choices or bad taste choices – the bad taste choices you take cuz you don’t have your ear to the ground, you know? I think we change well, but many people that are young and single minded don’t agree to that, haha. They want us to change back to “old” Darkthrone. Many of them not knowing we kinda changed two times BEFORE the whole BM thing.
Heck, I don’t love the albums equally. I like parts or riffs mostly, sometimes whole songs, and also I move on always, I don’t listen much to what we’ve recorded before. But that’s what everyone in a band says, I guess.
When It came to planning, we never did it much. I mean the rest of the guys moved far away already in ‘92 and It looked like the end for Darkthrone. Its more work and hassle than I could ever understand, I mean, when I started the band I knew it would mean a lot of letter writing and networking and interviews, but I had done that already with my previous band. As a person too, I can’t look at Darkthrone like a thing outside myself, it’s like a 3rd arm. It all connects with everything even since the late 80’s for me…and it’s become a habit, but what it’s down to now is that it’s not a lot of music writing and a whole lot of COMPUTER. I got songs in me and freeing up Darkthrone slowly, that means I can do ‘em all in Darkthrone now. Sweet deal for me, at least.
MYE: What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you and how did you conquer the fear?
F: It was scary when Euronymous was killed cuz I figured I was on the killer’s short list. At first. So the first time I had a tape of BONDED BY BLOOD by Exodus constantly on my Walkman, it is still the most FIGHTING MODE album I know of.
MYE: Lemmy says it is a disservice to Motorhead’s career to only get into “Ace Of Spades”, but he says he also owes it to fans to play it because that song made him. Do you get mad when people only gravitate to your blackest black metal era or do you not really give a fuck either way?
F: If they’d just stick to that then that’s great. Now I know that Motorhead struggled with the antics of Philty “Animal” Taylor, but I already had Mercyful Fate destroyed by King Diamond and I think the Mercyful Fate drumming is soulful and that Mikkey Dee’s drumming is TOO tight already in King Diamond, so it was uncool for me that he could bump the sound of Motorhead. I still like songs from 1916 and stuff, it’s just I prefer BOMBER, OVERKILL, ANOTHER PERFECT DAY, ACE OF SPADES and a few songs from IRON FIST. I am the first to leave when the party dies, and also did that with my own career. THAT’s one of the reasons we change a lot, but then again I don’t sit on message boards hammering away at Mikkey Dee and new Motorhead. For me it’s also about sound production, I need it to sound like early 80’s (cuz that mirrors the 70’s it came out of), not the modern part of 80’s or modern sound. But message board black metallers should instead maybe make a band or something. The global underground network had no forums back in the 80’s and it was perfect, I tell ya!
It’s great when people buy our BM stuff, but they need to realize that UNDER A FUNERAL MOON is our most coherent BM album and inspirations came from the 80’s. In ‘91 and ‘92 when it was made there was pretty much only 80’s BM and we saw ourselves a lot like an arm out of that, traditionalists more than anything. I think BM 2nd wave came more after ‘93.
So to sum this up, it’s logical to say, “How can fenriz be mad when we only like the BM when he only likes ‘79-‘83 Motorhead”? But clever people can see the difference. Still a valid point, though. But I never cried like a baby about it. I just moved on.
MYE: Awesome. I love the 4:00 slow riff in “Leave No Cross Unturned”. Just the few notes say so much. Do people forget the power of basic riffs these days? Punk plus rock and metal in the band’s vocabulary adds more bite. At any speed you kill, where some bands are one trick pony poseur chickenshits.
F: Easy there. Well, that riff is pure Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, it’s an old tradition. Hellhammer was probably a bit inspired by Motorhead, but also did slow stuff (mostly mid paced and faster stuff ,though). The really slow stuff like that riff came more with Celtic Frost. I owe a lot to Tom G Warriors’ riff-mind - even why I started a band to begin with was partly cuz of his riffs. Seems I can’t and won’t escape them. The riff before is also Celtic Frost ‘85 era, btw.
MYE: “Launchpad To Nothingness” comes to mind as a song with a great title. Your records always evoke imagination. Your brain starts to fill in stories even before you hear or know what the songs are about. Can you tell us about “The Ones You Left Behind”. Also, In your country, do you think there is more or less censorship than other countries near you?
F: No more no less, Scandinavia and the Nordic are superb countries in that matter, only there were quite a bit of censorship here in Norway in the 80’s and before…but our generation took care of that, hehehhehhhehehehehehehe.
“The Ones You Left Behind” sounds like the title John Cyriis never wrote for Agent Steel. So more Agent Steel hints there. The song is about the people and soundscapes metal left behind when it started removing the bass from the bass drums, compressing the sound, triggering etc. etc. and all that modern soulless drivel. And that we should leave THOSE behind as well, hehehehehe.
MYE: So…the Pope is resigning? Anyone you would suggest as a new pope?
F: Tina Fey? She seems to be the coolest person ever.
MYE: In your BoTW blog (Band Of The Week), you recently said that “In the 80’s all styles weren’t styles yet but just a “bubbling cauldron of pure hell”’ when discussing what you liked about the band ZOM. That is a great description for your own music now as well. I think you embody everything Darkthrone has ever been. CIRCLE THE WAGONS was amazing. Whatever you do there is clearly enthusiasm for ass kicking plus real belief involved.
F: Possessed sounded hellish on their full lengths. Morbid Angel on “Abominations of Desolation” sounds like total hell. I think I just make beautiful lost heavy metal now, compared to that. I wanna sound like lost Swedish metal from ‘83-‘85, but I don’t wanna do just that either.
MYE: SOULSIDE JOURNEY is better than some death metal albums that many full time death bands ever make. Do you listen back to that and wonder what would’ve happened if you stuck with that style or do you think you kind of encapsulated all the death metal you wanted to on that release?
F: We did another album on the back of that, the even better GOATLORD…but I smeared it with my over emotional vocals some years later and THEN it was released. Wasn’t supposed to be released anyway, so for some it was a plus. We were supposed to record SOULSIDE JOURNEY properly with an organic sound, but the studio here cost THREE TIMES our studio budget so we had to go to Sunlight…and I wasn’t even allowed to bring my own bass drums. For shame!! This just strengthened my fight against the modern sound. But on our next album we got enough money to record at our homeplace Kolbotn (and we also recorded UNDER A FUNERAL MOON there at Kolbotn). It was a great, killer sound. Anyway, Soulside didn’t sound nearly as shitty as the first Nocturnus album or 3rd Death album and so on. BTW, I listened to the first Incantation album today again, I stopped buying death metal almost completely in 1990 so I never got that album back in the day, but it sounded real good now…blurry enough at least!
Don’t forget to listen to HOUR OF 13 !!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!
MYE: THANK YOU!
I have heard of them but haven’t heard a lot of music yet. I will check them out. I like a lot of current Victory artists like Blackguard and ADTR.
I recently spoke to KEN Mode vocalist Jesse Matthewson at their St. Vitus gig in Brooklyn opening for the venerated Orange Goblin. It was a crazy show and the noise rockers did not let the crowd down, slaughtering the room with unbridled fury. These talented Canadians cant be kept down. …
Texas Is The Reason
By Morgan Y. Evans
Some songs, composers and bands become part of our lives, a living and evolving soundtrack we grow with over the years or that vividly call back specific, colorful moments the second we hear them. I’m sure you have examples in your own life. Like many people, I always associate Beethoven with the first time I watched the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (though it was also the first summer I smoked pot, so the movie really made me paranoid). Hearing a certain Jimmy Eat World song makes me remember being picked up from a dreary hospital in 2002 by some girls I was friends with and the day transforming from tiring to a fun, summer drive with a poppy hook to sing along to.
For many people, the music of venerated post-hardcore and true emo pioneers Texas Is The Reason reminds them of what was best, adventurous and catchy about the 90’s. Great singalong memories and times spent growing up and sorting through different feelings. The band had a short lifespan but etched their songs into many people’s hearts and minds with energetic determination, catchy choruses with depth and guitars full of life.
Evolving out of the hardcore scene from bands like Shelter, Copper and the mighty 108, Texas Is The Reason married workmanlike compositions with a sense of poetic melody and a very human streak. It was feelings worn on the sleeve more than bottled up frustration, but nonetheless a cathartic release.
Texas Is The Reason disbanded in 1997 and only reunited a few times over the years. 2012/2013 saw a flurry of activity, however. I spoke to Garret Klahn about the history of the band, playing Revelation Records 25th anniversary shows last year, a recent microfilm the band made, their hopes for the future and, of course…the release of the definitive DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION.
MYE: Ok, where to begin? The obvious place to start is Revelation Records 25th Anniversary. Speaking to you a few months ago you were really looking forward to the shows. How did it feel to hit the stage in New York alongside other great bands and have the crowd singing along to your songs like happy lunatics?
Garret Klahn: The 2012 run in NYC was overwhelming, to say the least. But unlike the 10th Annivesary shows in ‘06 there was a lot less pressure this time around. The Revelation 25 shows were pretty much out of our hands. We were happily just one of the bands playing and helping celebrate a great lable run by great friends with a shit load of bands that we all grew up listening to when we were first active in the 90’s. Ultimately, we booked a show of our own the night before because our night with Rev sold out pretty quickly. It was a really fun and emotional couple of days for all of us. Getting to reconnect with old friends and make new ones at the same time, all under the banner of music. They had the first round of shows in Los Angeles the previous summer but for a slew of reasons we didn’t make it out there. When they asked us to play the NYC run it made sense and we jumped right in. The night after our own show in Brooklyn we ended up playing a 2 a.m. surprise set at a friend’s bar. Didn’t announce it until about midnight. When we showed up the place was packed, wall to wall. It was like a time warp back to when we started. People right up in our faces, basically on the stage with us. It almost brought me to tears. Hearing and watching people sing along to lyrics I wrote when I was 19 or 20 and looking me dead in the fucking eye when they’re doing it, there’s no way to describe that to someone. Very difficult to put into words.
MYE: That is fantastic. You guys reunited briefly for the tenth anniversary of DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE in 2006. That album has had an impact on so many kids. You are on the verge of releasing DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION in a few days. Can you talk about this “complete” version and how it has felt, as an individual and band member, to have grown with that record over time?
G: It’s an overused cliche but that record really did write itself. A lot of people either don’t know or don’t realize that we were only active as a band for just under 2 years. There wasn’t a lot of time spent in rehearsal rooms toiling over the songs for hours and hours. When we first started, sure, we put in the hours in Chris’s (Daly -drummer) basement in suburban New Jersey. I remember those days pretty well. Myself, Norman (guitar) and Scott (bass) all lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and would all pile in a car and make the trek down to his place for the weekend. We’d get to the house, his mother would have food waiting for us, let us do our laundry, really treated us like her own. Eventually we would get down to the basement and start up. The first batch of songs we wrote and demoed ended up being our first release, a 7” EP on Revelation Records. Basically once that was released we went straight out onto the road and didn’t stop. Looping around the US a couple times, then off to Europe. the rest of the songs were usually worked out on the road and on stage during soundcheck. If we had a few weeks off when we made it back home from a tour we would just repeat the Escape From NY process… pile in a car and head for the suburbs. Over the years I’ve always felt there was a certain momentum, or urgency to the songs that ended up on DYKWYA. And it makes sense. They were written mostly in haste, bouncing from one place to the other. They (the songs) are just as much a part of me as my arms or my legs. They’ve always been there, always will be.
MYE: How did the recent two part Microfilm you made with Steve Pedulla come about? It seems like a great way to sort of invite fans or people in general back into the band’s orbit! What were the goals of this work?
G: The microfilm idea was something we had been talking about since the 2006 shows. We knew even then that this thing had an expiration date and thought it would be good to document as much of it as possible, even if it only was seen by the 4 of us. But once we started gaining some steam after the Rev 25 shows we decided to let the fans, our friends and our families see it as well. The general idea is to let people “in”: into the rehearsal room, into backstage, into the studio, into the van, etc. We’re lucky enough to have friends in the film world who offered their services and their ideas. It’s been a lot of fun for us, because when we started, that kind of inside vantage point really wasn’t an option. So to be able to share those experiences with our fans makes it that much more special.
MYE: Your band was kind of ahead of your time with the melodic hardcore influenced alternative rock thing. How has it been seeing the development of “emo” and in what ways do you identify with or not identify with the idea of “post-hardcore” as a movement? You guys have catchy yet meaningful songs that aren’t just candy coated crap. It reminds me of bands like Jawbreaker or Failure who also had messages that you can apply to your daily life for inspiration.
I’ve always been a bit weary of the tag ‘ahead of their time’ and I’m not sure I’d put us in that category. In my book I think that stopped being a viable term after the first jazz or blues records came out in the 40’s and 50’s. Maybe even as far back as field recordings from the 30’s. That being said, I do think we happened to be around at an interesting time in music and definitely benefited from the world wide shift post- Nirvana. We were making music almost directly linked to what we were listening to at the time. Off the top of my head I can remember Lungfish, Drive Like Jehu, Lincoln, Sense Field and the like being played in the van while on tour. I guess all of those bands, and us, can be called an ‘emo’ band. But really, what music isn’t emotional?! I’ve always wondered why that tag stuck.
MYE: Without sounding patronizing, are there any points in the early era of Texas Is The Reason where you wish you had done something differently now or are you happy with the journey the band experienced? In the late 90’s and early 00’s, many hard rock bands became famous for doing bad cover songs and then getting people to pay attention to their own music afterwards. Do you regret not doing a cover of Loverboy’s “Working For The Weekend” and becoming millionaires but being otherwise irrelevant, or do you prefer the credibility and enduring, yet slightly more underground legacy your band has?
G: I can honestly say I wouldn’t change one thing from our past. This band wasn’t meant to last. Period. We were all young, on fire, full of piss and vinegar and ready to go. But I don’t think any of us thought it would last forever. The fact that we were able to come back in ‘06 and then again in 2012/2013 is just pure bliss on our end. There was obviously unfinished business and the timing was right and, thankfully, people still care so that’s makes us care even more and want to share it.
MYE: Seeing the recent microfilm footage and performance chemistry of the band, it is very apparent you guys have strong bonds and meaningful friendships. How does it feel looking around the practice room at the faces of the other guys and seeing how you all have evolved as people?
I’ve known Scott, Norman and Chris almost half my life. I’ve shared a lot of ‘firsts’ with them as a band and as friends. The first time I went to California and Europe was with them. The first time I was in a legit studio was with them. So these were some of the most beautiful experiences that I couldn’t share or explain with most of my other friends. At the same time we also experienced a lot of lows together as well. Towards the end of the band in ‘96/’97 we weren’t really talking to each other. It was 2 separate camps. Being on the road for almost 1 year straight can do that. But the more I think about it it seems like it had to end that way. I almost feel like we had to completely walk away from it to realize how special it really was/is.
MYE: Any plans to write new material or are you gonna be like Faith No More and not mess with the past but still play shows? Um…please write a new album, hahaha. Also, what way did or do you approach the headspace of Texas Is The Reason as opposed to how you may have written in other bands over the years?
G: There are no plans other than the shows we have booked. We fit the final piece of the puzzle right after the 2012 NYC shows by going back into the studio to record the last 2 songs we wrote in ‘96. It was a very interesting weekend. We made a point of going back to the same studio and using the same producer that we used when we recorded the LP. We’re a bit manic that way, everything has to be just right and luckily we’ve been able to pull it off so far. So many great records were made there: Girls vs Boys, Jawbox, Lungfish…the list just goes on and on. And to be back there almost 17 years later made it that much more intense. With those 2 songs finally recorded and the release of THE COMPLETE COLLECTION we really do feel as if our work is done. All that’s left to do is to play these songs a few more times in various locations throughout the world and then walk away again, this time for good. The songs won’t belong to us anymore. They’ll just be out there in the ether, floating around.
MYE: Well spoken. Ok, so…you have lived on and off in my neck of the woods in the Hudson Valley, Ny area. Can you talk a bit about your new project Zena Rd. with our mutual friend Acacia Fusco? Zena is a magical road near Woodstock, NY (for those who don’t know). I think I told you how when my cousin passed away they lit up that whole road with candles, so it has always been special for me. What made you name your new project after that road?
G: I made the move up north to the Catskills the summer of 2011. I had been visiting the area since the mid 90’s but the idea of actually living there was nothing more than a daydream. The stars aligned that summer and some friends and I dropped everything and rented a house outside of Woodstock. We built a studio in the basement and tried our best to shake off the city. It really was an idyllic time with a lot of creativity. I hadn’t been writing for a while but as soon as we got settled the songs started coming. My father’s favorite band when I was young was The Band so I grew up with those records in our house and remembering him telling stories about them. I knew that Rick Danko had lived on Zena, so when we found the house we rented I did a lot of wandering around our side of the valley. When I realized Zena Rd was so close to us it became a sort of beacon for me. All those twists and turns and old houses, can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked it. That part of NY state is so special and it will always be a part of me. So it just made sense to name the project Zena Rd. The Texas machine is keeping me busy as of late but we (Zena Rd.) will record our full length this spring and hope to tour soon after.
MYE: Any artists you currently admire? I was recently introduced to the music of Andrew Bird and after seeing him live I think he must be a genius. Anyone really impressing you lately?
G: I get trapped by certain records and listen to a cluster for months at a time, so I can tell you what I’ve been digging lately. The new Jim James record has some beautiful sounds on it. The new Low has been on repeat for a while as well. There is a song by Richard Swift called ‘Lady Luck’ that blew my mind. A band called I Break Horses released a stunning album a few years back that never seems to leave my head. Vetiver, a great band from San Francisco is another favorite. Other than that I tend to listen to a lot of old reggae, lovers rock mostly. I just love the harmonies and the simplicity of the arrangements and of course that heady pulsing bass.
Quicksand Webster Hall, NYC 2 Night Residency Words by Morgan Y. Evans Photos by J.M. Seeing Quicksand, especially in New York City at the former Ritz, is to witness the victory of the alternative rock underground. This is a band who profoundly helped shape the evolution of post-hardcore and alt-rock. Perhaps that is why their hypnotic blend of tempo shifts still sounds fresh. The crucial secret weapon of “what you don’t play” mattering as much as what you do always made Quicksand’s melodic snarl more captivating than most muscle-headed hardcore or more indulgent strains of post-hardcore and emo. The band’s recent two- night residency in New York City at Webster Hall was a triumph. People were beyond excited and the band was still full of mystique, power and grandeur. Back in the day they raised the bar for the already legendary New York scene and proved it could be something more. Well-earned enthusiasm permeated the room and both nights were great. …
http://www.divest.bandcamp.com So, a band I sang for for 7 years is doing a reunion show my bday week w/good friends also on bill.