The Omecs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “My Mask” by The Omecs, a garage/psych band from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Normally for these posts I email back and forth over a couple of days but I’ve been corresponding with the Omecs for several months now since I first found them on Bandcamp. Their lineup has changed a little since then, but unchanged are the two principal members Luke Bonczyk on vocals and guitar and Mike McFarlane on drums. The Omecs have a great raw sounding garage groove, and I included their track “Can’t Get a Ride” on the Turn Me On, Dead Man mix of the best tracks of 2013.
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Crisis Warning on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/punk/psych. The featured track this week is “I Don’t Wanna Go” by Crisis Warning, based in Brighton, England, from their 2013 EP Technical Difficulties. Though Crisis Warning draws on a variety of influences, their most obvious point of reference is 1977-era punk. Reaching back 37 years (Jesus, has it been that long?) is extraordinary given that all of Crisis Warning’s members are 16 and 17 years old. They play like the seasoned band they are, though. A quick glance at their Facebook, tumblr and Twitter pages reveal them to be a hardworking band that’s already had a number of noteworthy gigs. I recently corresponded with guitarist Jack Goring (I think). Or it might have been bassist Scott Holder–the name on the email account is Jack Holder, and he signed his emails “Jack”. On drums is Arthur James, and Oshen Dee is the vocalist.
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The Best Tracks of 2013

Following up on my previous post where listed the best LPs, EPs & 7″ releases of 2013, here is a Mixcloud compilation of my favorite tracks released in 2013. As I said last year, there is an ever-growing wave of excellent garage and psychedelic releases. I would go so far as to say we are living in a golden age. Bandcamp in particular has made it easy for bands to release their own material in a way that is relatively easy for fans to find. I just hope this run of great material continues. The tracks are roughly in order of preference with the obvious #1 being “Cannonball” by the People’s Temple. Just a great, great track.
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Dead Drugs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Downer” by Dead Drugs, a two-piece garage/psych/noise/punk band from Lake in the Hills, Illinois. A few days ago I was doing my usual visit to Bandcamp and I downloaded a two-song EP called Grass E.P. by Dead Drugs. I really liked “I Watch Grass Grow” so I uploaded it to the Turn Me On, Dead Man rotation. I needed to attach the cover art so I went back to Bandcamp the next morning only to find that it was gone. BUT there was a new Dead Drugs release, Dead Drugs 1! Upon listening to the new download, I discovered that it was the same two songs I had downloaded the day before with more concise titles. I contacted Dead Drugs to find out what was going on and I had an entertaining correspondence with Jeffrey Piatkowski, guitar/vocals for Dead Drugs. Since we corresponded Dead Drugs has released several more songs, all of which are available as “name your price” downloads on Bandcamp.
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Paul Jacobs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Drug Theaters” by Paul Jacobs, a prolific and multi-talented artist from Windsor, Ontario. In the last 12 months Paul Jacobs has had four full-length releases, all well worth checking out. Starting with Demos From The Basement, which collected some recordings from late 2012, he released a self-titled album in March, followed by Coffin Ride in June and Drug Theaters in November. Paul Jacobs is a one-man show. In addition to writing and solely performing all of his material, all of his albums feature his own cover art.
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Nazi Drugs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Makin Me Gruesome” by the band Nazi Drugs from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Nazi Drugs is not about the Third Reich or their medical experiments, but rather is influenced more by the sort of retro horror movie garage punk of bands like the Cramps. The image from their first release, for example, comes from the the 1971 exploitation movie Simon, King of the Witches (I hadn’t seen this delightful film before but it is available on YouTube). “Makin Me Gruesome” is the lead off track on Academia, which will be released on cassette on the Godless America label on or around November 13, 2013. Nazi Drugs is a two-piece band and recently I spoke with the band’s members, Adam (guitar, bass) and Jovi (vocals, lyrics). They explained to me that Academia is a place in Pennsylvania with an eerie, haunted old school building where legend has it that terrible things took place. All is explained on the insert card in the cassette (which also contains the download code).

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I see on the credits that Adam plays guitar and bass and Jovi does the vocals and lyrics. Who plays the drums or was I imagining things?

Jovi: I do the percussion, but I’m not especially talented so I don’t give myself credit for it. so nobody can give me shit about how bad it is.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Who does your album artwork?

Jovi: I usually do the artwork.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I looked at the list of your influences. A couple stood out. I had never heard of Abner Jay so your list got me to fire up Wikipedia. The other one that stuck out was Wizzard–is that musically or visually?

Jovi: I just like the whole idea of that dude. I’m just a big fan. I like his approach to that thing.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: If you had to pick two or three who would those be?

Adam and Jovi: Cramps, I guess. The Mummies. Suicide. The first Link Wray album from like ’71. That one’s bluesy but it has a groove but it’s not all blues and it’s not all psychedelic. It’s not all one thing but it’s a bunch of different stuff.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: What kinds of experiences did you have in bands that turned you away from playing in bands?

Jovi: We went to high school together and we’re not from the area we live in now. We just have our own stuff that we grew up on, that we like to play and like to listen to. Our bands were a good time and we really enjoyed our bands. But too many personalities and everybody’s got different plans for stuff. We just wanted to do something where we could just do all on our own. Make it the way we want to make it without anybody else’s input.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: So it was pretty much a no-brainer to form a two-piece then?

Jovi: We’re going to be doing some shows and we have a bunch of people who want to play with us, but Adam and me are the only permanent members. Everybody else is just fill-in for shows. The good thing about this band is like, our other band we had so much equipment. This band we can pretty much rent a car, pack the trunk and be ready to go.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: It took you three years to put out Swastifari and then only about three months for I Got a Rite. And now you’ve got a new one coming out. How long can you keep up this pace?

Jovi: I don’t know, man. The well is deep, man.

Adam: Yeah, luckily. The first one was done randomly. I was living in North Carolina.

Jovi: Yeah, that one we did pretty much with him sending me files and editing them. But then he moved back and we started this band that we’re in, Jaw Horse. And then we just lost kinda time and didn’t have time to do it. Then we just got a spurt in between doing stuff with Jaw Horse and we finished Swastafari finally. Then we just got on pace and made an entire record.

Adam: Yeah, got lucky.

Jovi: Then this EP opportunity [Academia] came up and we did those songs in just a few days.

Adam: Less than a week. Which is awesome.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Who is Martian Ambassador Records. Is that your own label?

Jovi: Yeah, we put that on there. We press our own CDs. The first Jaw Horse CD we were on we decide we should put a label on it since we were pressing it, so we made that. There’s actually another band called D-Grade Monsters that we’re going to put out, too. The drummer [in Jaw Horse] is also in that band. So the Nazi Drugs records and maybe a couple other ones from our friends.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Your new one, Academia, is coming out on cassette. Is the cassette your format of choice?

Jovi: I wanted to do a cassette forever. Nobody around here ever got into that. We’re in a pretty rural community [Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania].

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I looked up Selinsgrove on Google Maps. The closest city is Scranton or what?

Jovi: We’re about two hours south of Scranton. We’re closer to Harrisburg.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: You’re in the mountains, aren’t you?

Jovi: Oh yeah, man. We’re in Appalachia. [laughs]

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Where do you record?

Jovi: We record in my house—the attic or wherever we can set up our shit. We record into computer programs from our amps and stuff.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Do you have any plans to tour now?

Jovi: I don’t know, man. Yeah, this cassette–seems like people are actually looking forward to it. I got a bunch of messages asking us to play, especially since we joined garagepunk.com. In our area people don’t give a shit really, honestly. They’re all into like hardcore and stuff. That’s what we grew up on, too, but like, nobody really has time for what we’re doing.

Adam: They only like our stuff because we’re friends with them, but the people on [garagepunk.com] actually dig that stuff, so it’s really cool to get feedback from them.

Jovi: We weren’t sure it would translate to the people who actually listen to the kinds of records we listen to, but it seems to, so we’re definitely looking to play some shows, for sure. We’re going to try to do this full time, if we can.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: One thing I wanted to ask you about is your name. You’ve hit a couple of taboos in your band name. What kind of reaction do you get to Nazi Drugs?

Jovi: Oh man! People think it’s a cool name, they do, but a lot of our friends won’t friend us on Facebook. [laughs] Like, “I don’t know, man. I’m not really into racism and drugs, so…” They don’t seem to really get the whole thing. Some of them do. But yeah, we get the occasional message from skinheads. But for the most part, the name, the art that’s what draws people in.

You can pre-order a hand-numbered cassette copy of Academia by Nazi Drugs on Godless America Records for $5.

The Orange Drop on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Electric Sitar Beat” by the Orange Drop. You can view a couple of different mixes of “Electric Sitar Beat” on YouTube. The Orange Drop has been on hiatus but Marc-Andre Basile says they’re back now and more focused than ever.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I see one of your tags is Phladelphia. Where are you are located? Play often?

Marc-Andre Basile: Yes we are located in Philadelphia. We practice and record in our own Cat Vomit Studio – named after our cat that likes to vomit in the studio. Most of the members of the band live in the area, with the exception of our drummer Mike who comes from Delaware. We have just gotten the band back together with most of the original lineup after a long 2 year hiatus. I was busy playing bass for House of Fire during our break and had a great time playing with those guys. We are about ready to start gigging again (our last show I think was in 2011 with the Sky Drops in Philadelphia).

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I wanted to ask about your hiatus. I was looking at your Facebook page and noticed that many months have passed since your latest event. Glad to hear that the original lineup is back together. What caused the hiatus (if I may ask)?

Marc-Andre Basile: Sure, I don’t mind talking about it since there isn’t much to it. I started focusing on another project (House of Fire) and some of the other band members were busy with their own things. About two months ago, we all decided it was time to focus on The Orange Drop again because we realized it was pretty much the most fun any of us have had playing music. We are super happy to be back in action, with way more focus than we ever had before.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I love the trippy visual images you use, not to mention the music. Who are your biggest influences?

Marc-Andre Basile: Well, I would say Pink Floyd is probably the biggest influence for us. I am personally obsessed with Live at Pompeii, I think it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever recorded. Also, being from France originally, I am big into Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronc. Our new song Electric Sitar Beat is a sort of tribute to Serge Gainsbourg’s sitar freakbeat era. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spacemen 3, and the Dead Skeletons are other long time favorites.

As far as newer bands go, I would like to give a nod to: The Red Plastic Buddha from Chicago, Francois Sky from Berlin, Chatham Rise from Minneapolis, and the Spiral Electric from San Francisco… if you haven’t listened to these bands yet, do it now, these guys all have the potential to be the next “it” psych rock band.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: I also wanted to ask about your French connection (to coin a phrase). What path led you from France to Philadelphia?

Marc-Andre Basile: I moved from France to New Jersey when I was 12. I went to high school and then college in Jersey (the band met at Rutgers in New Brunswick). Our lead guitar player, Blaze, was the first one to make the move to Philadelphia about 3 years ago and a year later I also made the move. Our bass player, Matt, is the latest to have made the move – he just got here very recently.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Some time ago I put together a mix of tracks that use an electric sitar (“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” by Van Halen was the biggest surprise) and I wanted to ask if you use a traditional sitar or an electric sitar for “Electric Sitar Beat”?

Marc-Andre Basile: That is top-secret information that we cannot reveal. It may or may not be a Jerry Jones Electric Sitar.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: What are your plans for the future?

Marc-Andre Basile: We are currently recording an album that we hope to have ready in the next 2 months. We have always been into DIY so we are recording, mixing and mastering everything ourselves – we love working this way because it allows us to spend as much time as we please with each song. I like to play tricks on people’s ears, so you can expect some very trippy production for the album. After this we plan to have a record release party in Philadelphia and spend the next year playing shows on the East Coast. I’d like to do SXSW again next year if possible (we came and played in 2009).

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Glad to hear it. I hope you come to DC soon.

Marc-Andre Basile: You can definitely expect us to come to DC at some point soon, we plan on playing the major East Coast cities regularly.

Drive-Thru Mystics on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Just Like Before” by the Drive-Thru Mystics from Sacramento. “Just Like Before” is on A Thousand Years of Oblivion, released earlier this year, and is available on Bandcamp.

Recently I corresponded with Aaron Hutto of Drive-Thru Mystics.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Let’s start off by talking about your influences. What are some of the strongest influences on your music?

Aaron: Hmmm… that is a big one. I would say music from various genres and movies. 60’s Psych Rock, 60’s Garage Punk and Surf, 70’s Proto-Punk/Metal, 70’s Glam, Late 70’s Punk, Early 80’s Post Punk, Early 80’s Psych Punk and Garage Rock, Late 80’s and Early Mid 90’s Indie Punk, and contemporary psych rock and garage punk mostly Burger Records bands. Pierced Arrows, Chesterfield Kings, Love, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett), Beatles, Stones, Sonics, Sloths, Spaceman 3, Jesus and Mary Chain, Velvet Underground, Stooges, MC5, Thin Lizzy, Wire, Echo and the Bunnymen, Guided By Voices, 13th Floor Elevators, Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Guitar Wolf, Dirt Bombs, The Gories, Detroit Cobras and so on!! I love drone and feedback driven melodies as well as crunchy primitive beats.

I love 60’s B Movies like Wild Angels and Psych Out and The Trip. I also love Easy Rider and all the New Hollywood stuff from the 70’s. David Lynch and strange new wave stuff. Andy Warhol and Pop Art has always been an inspiration as well. My own experiences in life. Living and dealing with bi-polar disorder and drug addiction has also played a part in my song writing. I have been off drugs for 8 years and have been living that wild roller coaster ride that comes with it.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Hey, I’m really sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve had. Sometimes I wonder why the cool people have to go through so much shit. Do you think there’s a connection between mental illness and creativity?

Aaron: Yes there is a connection but it’s not necessary to be creative. However, people who are mentally ill sometimes channel their illness into art, music, literature, and science/math. The mentally ill mind works differently than a normal mind. There are times when we simply have so much mental energy that if you are the creative type you create with abandon. Couple that with the frustration and pain one feels have little or no control over their mind and emotions and that can be a wellspring of creativity in itself.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Have you always been a fan of garage and psychedelic music? When did those influences come into your music?

Aaron: I have been a fan of Psych rock since I was in junior high. The Beatles were my first introduction. Songs like Strawberry Fields and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. From there on I have explored pretty much the entire genre of psych rock and all its sub-genres. As for Garage, it was probably 9 years ago I got into some local garage punk bands here in Sacramento. So I then started going backwards and exploring garage rock. I think it was when I first heard the Dirtbombs and Detroit Cobras that I really became super interested in garage. the Detroit Garage rock scene was one of the best. But it made me go back to the 60’s and start looking at all these bands that influenced them.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Do you use any vintage gear? Is playing Garage/psych about recreating the past or do you see garage/psych as changing?

Aaron: I say it’s about celebrating the past while looking into the future at least from where I am sitting. My music is what I like to call post-modern garage rock. It pulls from many different genres in an attempt to create something new. I have a friend who is a vinyl DJ and plays almost 100% vintage garage rock records on his show and he loves us because we are not too retro, as he puts it. He loves collecting vintage records but he likes his new bands to be more modern and he loves us.

I do use some vintage gear. I use a 1965 Sears Silvertone Bass Amp and cab and a 1970’s Fender Bassman Silverface to play through. But I also have a 65 Reissue Fender Twin as well. I use a lot of modern type pedals so my sound is part vintage part modern.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: So where do you see things going? I mean for Drive-Thru Mystics specifically, as well as for garage/psych generally? What are your plans for the coming months and for the longer term?

Aaron: Well as far as DTM is concerned we are touring at the end of Aug. Going up to play shows in Portland and Seattle. Eventually we plan on not only touring in So Cal but the SW to Texas and up to the Midweest back across the Rockies into Utah and Nevada then back home. We are also going to release either a cassette or a 7-inch in the next couple of months. I want to get us on a label as soon as possible, too. Preferably one that works with Burger Records.

I also want DTM to continue to grow and change. I would like to avoid repeating myself songwriting-wise and continue to cover new ground musically. I see Garage Psych Rock coming to a place of greatness here in the present. Bands are taking it to more sophisticated levels but it’s also becoming redundant. You have so many bands who use the same riffing with lots of reverb on the vocals and fuzz on the guitars and they are all starting to sound the same and it’s becoming formulaic. That is the fate I want to avoid and I feel I have successfully done so.

We are currently trying to raise money to go on tour and put out a 7-inch.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Best of luck to you.

Sun Voyager on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Oh, Sally” by Sun Voyager from Albany, NY. “Oh Sally” is the lead-off track on their EP Cosmic Tides, released earlier this year. Cosmic Tides is currently available as a “name your price” download on Bandcamp.

I recently corresponded with Stefan Mersch, bassist for Sun Voyager.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: What are your influences? Have you recorded or released anything other than Cosmic Tides?

Sun Voyager: Individually, our influences are all over the place but when it comes to us as a band, I’d say we’ve got our own sort of Sabbath-y thing going for us that definitely starts with the sound of 60s classic rock bands like Zeppelin, Hendrix, & the Stones. Then there’s a bit of a psychedelic tone driven by all the underground bands from that era like The 13th Floor Elevators, Blue Cheer, etc. But we also like to keep it heavy and that comes from listening to a lot of headbanging stoner rock bands from the 90s/00s like Electric Wizard, Fu Manchu, Sleep, Kyuss, Gorilla, & bands in that realm.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Have you recorded or released anything other than Cosmic Tides?

Sun Voyager: We haven’t. Not yet. We started the writing process for our next EP about a month ago and have three songs in their later stages. But I think we really want to put something together that we’re all happy with. So the plan is to write a bunch of songs and once there’s enough material to pick and choose from, we’ll hit the studio with 5 good ones to fine-tune everything. Hopefully we have a finished product by the end of summer.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: So how did the band come together? Given the diverse musical influences you mentioned, did you agree on your approach beforehand or did that occur more organically?

Sun Voyager: We’ve all known each other since high school, played in bands throughout but this is really how it came together: Kyle played drums and Carlos sang in a band called The Holding Company. They asked me to fill in on guitar for a show, I learned the songs and things clicked so I joined, then after the other guitar player left, we recruited Steve to play with us and his style took us into the atmosphere. That’s when we started developing our chemistry and it was fucking awesome banking ideas off each other and writing songs. Suddenly everything seemed possible. We became brothers. Everyone but me moved into a house up in Coxsackie NY, we recorded a full length there, but shortly after releasing it, things went south. I stopped coming up. Steve stopped coming out of his room. Long story short, our bass player pissed everyone off to the point where none of us could do it anymore or we’d all go nuts. And it was really hard to do because we were all like brothers for so long. We didn’t want to stop playing music, so Steve, Kyle and I kept jamming together, I switched to bass, then after a while Carlos came to us looking to start another band and Sun Voyager was born. Since we’d all been doing it for so long, the music came naturally and writing songs as a group was, somehow, so much easier than it was before. Our influences didn’t matter, we just came together again as brothers, like we always did, and wrote songs from the heart.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Where are you located? Is there a supportive scene there? One thing that interests me quite a bit is how the internet has fundamentally changed the distribution of music. Do you need a local scene to develop or are you more oriented toward making those sorts of connections over the internet?

Sun Voyager: We’re all from the Hudson River Valley in Upstate New York and there’s a much more supportive scene up here than there is in New York City haha. Not to say the City isn’t great! It is! But when it comes to music, there’s just so much chatter with hundreds of bands playing every night and so much to do; it’s difficult to get heard down there unless you get hooked up. And unless you have that hook-up, you’re on your own. The thing about the Hudson Valley is it’s such a wide, populated area which makes it a much better place for newer bands like us. Albany, Putnam County, Warwick, New Paltz. All small cities with not much else to do. Those are the towns that really rock and are much more supportive.

As far as needing a local scene to support you, although it is crucial to play out and often, I’d be inclined to say the connections you can make on the web are equally important. When we released Cosmic Tides on Bandcamp, the only people who knew about were the 40-50 people that had heard us before. We let them know about it of course, but then something happened. Bloggers heard it and shared it with the thousands of people that follow them. And this was something new for us because nothing like this ever happened with our other band. Chybucca Sounds, The Soda Shop, Heavy Planet, & more featured us, now we have over 3,000 plays, 200 downloads, and we’ve sold just as much merch via bigcartel as we have at shows. One bundle went as far as Finland.. And I said the Hudson Valley was widespread. None of that would have been possible by just playing bars in small towns. That’s the new music business for you, plain and simple. Having said that, keeping the live set tight is crucial. Also plain and simple.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: So what happened to the full-length you recorded? Any chance you would release it?

Sun Voyager: We used to have a Facebook page but that dude deleted it. I have around 800 CDs sitting in my garage. Definitely not releasing it ever. It’s not bad, just out of respect for that fifth guy, we’ll keep all that as it was. I don’t know what we’re going to do with all those CDs but they have to come out of my garage soon. So hey, you never know.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: So what are your plans for the future? Will you be touring?

Sun Voyager: As of right now the plan is to keep the pedal to the floor with writing for the next recording session. Taking things one step at a time for now, but touring is definitely the next step after another EP. Expect more music very soon.

Huge Pupils and Butter The Children Interview at The Electric Maid

Earlier today I met with two bands who are on tour, the Huge Pupils and Butter the Children, both based in the New York/Northern New Jersey area. Tonight they are playing at the Sunshine District in the U Street area of Washington DC and they stopped by the Electric Maid for an interview. Joining me were Inna, Ray, Jordyn and Jon from Butter the Children, and Sean and Bryan from Huge Pupils. We had a great time but I somehow managed to lose the first 10 minutes or so of our discussion. Sorry about that, folks–I never claimed to be a professional, or even competent, for that matter. Luckily, I managed to not record over most of it. After the interview I went bowling with three of the members of Butter the Children. So we join the interview in progress…

Huge Pupils/Butter the Children @ Electric Maid
Interview with the Huge Pupils and Butter the Children at the Electric Maid

HugePupils&ButterTheChildren@ElectricMaid

Prior to this interview I had been corresponding with Sean of the Huge Pupils. Incidentally, the featured track of this week’s edition of Dig the Now Sound will be “’94 Nissan” from their most recent release The Dreamcatcher Chord.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Where are you from and how long have you been at it?

Sean: Ok so Huge Pupils was birthed at a house in Leonia, NJ by me and Bryan but he moved to Queens a few years ago so now we just say we’re from “north of the Pork Roll Line”. We started playing sometime in 2009 or 2010 when I showed up at Bryan’s old house with a shitty drumset and one cymbal. We wrote 2 or 3 songs that day and decided we were a band. All of our other friends were kind of done with playing music so we said frig it and stayed a two piece.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: What is Ba Babes – Better in Heaven, Worse in Person: Live at the Basement Gallery?

Sean: “Better in Heaven, Worse in Person” is a recording I did of Ba Babes’ set at the last show hosted by the now defunct Basement Gallery in Ewing, NJ. Us, Birthdays, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Wisdom Tooth, Good Time Island, and some weird version of Alien Father played too, but the PA was cutting in and out all night and Ba Babes’ set was really the only one that sounded good enough to use. By the way when I say “a recording I did” I mean I put a digital stereo recorder on top of a washing machine in the back of the basement and just hit record. I didn’t show up with a Pro-Tools rig and a bunch of gear or anything, I just wanted to test out this cheap little Zoom recorder I had just bought from work.

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Are you the Sean mentioned in Roy Orbitron’s Live at Sean’s with Laughter?

Sean: I am in fact that Sean! I play live drums for Roy Orbitron (I’m not on any of the records, that would be Dan “Starship” Jefferson). We got asked to play at the Kislak Center in Newark, NJ for an art show that the Oculus Art Collective was running (it kicked ass by the way) so Conor drove to my neck of the woods the week before to practice. He has a son so he had to come up to North Jersey from Trenton while he was at daycare. The Huge Pupils rehearsal space is above a dentist and a lawyer’s office so we had to take all of the gear and set it up in my parents basement while they were gone for the day. I put up a minimal amount of mics (kick, snare, room, guitar, vocals), plugged them right into the same digital recorder I recorded “Better in Heaven” on, pressed record and ran the set we wanted to do about 6 or 7 times (Conor was satisfied after two times, but I like to practice a lot). I sent the stem files to Conor so he could mix them and he ended up added laughter and applause to it, making it an obviously not live live album (kind of like Slayer – Live Undead). Mike Walsh (Ba Babes, Panther People Tapes) asked Conor if he could put it out and that’s how it became a thing. Weird that you ask, I think they just went up for sale on the web a few hours ago (It did! Buy it here: http://raworbison.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-seans-with-laughter or here: http://www.pantherpeople.bigcartel.com).

But in other news, the Dreamcatcher Chord Cassette EP is coming out on Panther People and we are headed out on tour with Butter the Children (http://butterthechildren.bandcamp.com) on what we’re calling the “Cool Let Us Know Tour 2013”. It’s 9 days long and we’re hitting a bunch of cool places, people can see where we’ll be stopping here: https://www.facebook.com/events/294911920643228/?fref=ts