Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last night...

...went well. We played a decent set and had a good crowd. I love playing at the boot.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Come to this


Probably the last local Moutheater show for a few months. Everything else is somewhere else.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Albini

I get asked about this a lot. On the rare occasion that an interview is requested of me, from friends, family, bands and people I meet on the road. I get asked about it frequently. When asked to recount this experience the look of wonderment in people's eyes is very captivating. The look of letdown in their eyes after I tell them the story and they realize that Steve isn't some sort of magical music wizard that has mysterious ways of creating the "Albini sound" is joyous. It's thought that Albini has these magic tricks for achieving his sound that no one knows about. As if you're going to walk in and he's going to ask you to put an sm58 into your rectum to achieve a beefier guitar tone. Or he's going to request that you hold your breath and only blink every 20 seconds during your takes to get that natural drum sound. This is not the case. He is simply an excellent engineer that has the mindset of documentation rather than perfection. Steve's true magic trick is that he uses as few magic tricks as possible to capture the most acurate representation of a band possible. You tell him how you'd like the drums and guitar to sound and he'll use every technique he knows to make them sound that way. But for the most part when you walk into his studio, don't expect frills. Your band is going to walk out with a documentation of how you sounded and how well you played at that particular point in time. He prefers you track live. And when you ask him "how should I go about recording this particular part" his response will be "just play it the way you play it live".
How Moutheater ended up there is no mystery as well. Tim wanted to see how Albini worked. So Tim called the studio and booked time. Then we drove there and recorded. Crazy huh?
I will say that the moment when you walk up to that door, ring the bell and he lets you in is pretty awesome. It's fucking Steve Albini!!!
The drive up was intense. We drove overnight. The haul from Virginia to Chicago is a long one. I took the first shift, Tim took the second, our buddy Pat took the most rigorous shift (the 3am to 7am shift) and Aaron took the home stretch. We arrived in Chicago around 1pm. With no sleep and excitement in the air we made our way to Aaron's friend's place and got settled in. Then we drove to the studio to unload the equipment so we'd have a little less to deal with the following morning (which was the day we were booked). This is when the initial magic moment happens. He lets us in and has a few interns help us load our equipment. There's a brief introduction and some talk about tomorrow's session. Then we head out.
At this point we're left with two options. The first and most rational is to go get some sleep because we've been up for almost 36 hours and we have one of the most important days of our lives ahead of us the next day. The second, less rational but unanimously chosen option was to go explore Chicago because all of us except for Aaron (who grew up near by) have never been there before and we have multiple tour guides among the people we're staying with. We hit some pizza, some record stores and some guitar shops. It's finally decided that heading back is a wise idea. Once we arrive Tim hits the sack, Pat and myself hit a bar across the street and Aaron goes back out with some friends. We all end up getting to sleep sooner or later. I slept in the van due to the limited room in the apartment we were staying at. I slept pretty well.
We wake the next morning and start getting ourselves together. Tim is convinced that we all need to eat bananas to "keep loose". My bowels are loose enough as it is when I travel so I decline. We hit some gnarly fast food and head over to the studio. We get inside and talk a little more about how we're gonna go about this as we're setting up. We have Tim set up in the larger room to get the "Albini drum sound" and Aaron and I set up in the smaller room. Steve sets the mics up and we start tracking and bang out the three songs in a few hours.
At this point one of my favorite things that happend all day takes place. Tim swears this didn't happen quite the way I'm about to tell it but he's full of shit haha. There's a girl intern working at the place and all of the interns start taking down the mics after we're done doing the live tracking. The girl intern walks over to Tim's drums and starts pulling mics down. Tim asks "oh you work here?" totally innocently but it just comes off a little wrong. The girl intern, a little caught off gaurd says "yeah i do" and Tim just goes "oh cool". The girl looks at him and in a very irritated tone says "why? what did you think I did here?". Tim doesn't know what to say, he meant nothing by his question but realizes that it sort of came out wrong and just kind of stumbles over his words for a second. In an attempt to break up the akwardness of the moment I yell "don't be sexist Tim" from across the room and everyone just laughs uncomfortably and goes back to what they were doing.
Next we get some lunch and then I move on to my second guitar tracks and my vocals. Then it's time for mixing. We get in and start listening and Steve is showing us our options for different things. When we hit the vocals there was a disagreement of sorts. I had done my vocals in the bigger room and Steve had set up ambient mics to pick up natural reverb. When it came time to take a look at my vocals I liked a lot of ambient mic on the vocals. I loved the subtle reverb sound it gave. Tim (my drummer, close friend and the man that paid for the entire recording) and Steve liked it with a lot less ambient mic. So there I am disagreeing with fucking Steve Albini and the guy who's paying for this on how something should sound. A slightly uncomfortable situation. But I'm convinced it sounds good. So what am I supposed to do? Tim and I talk it out and I explain my reasoning and we eventually go with the extra ambience on the vocals. I still love the way it sounds and a few months later after having time to listen to it more Tim told me he was glad we went the way we went with it.
So we finally finish mixing the record around 11pm. Instead of heading back to the apartment and trying to get a few hours of sleep before hitting the road we decide we should just head out immediately. Keep in mind that in the last 52 hours we've had about 6 hours of sleep and we have (what we think is going to be) a 13 hour drive ahead of us. Well we hit traffic all the fucking way home. We hit traffic at 1am coming out of Chicago we hit it the Capital beltway in DC at fucking 5:04pm!!! It ends up taking us 22 hours to get home. I was a fucking trainwreck by the time the drive was over.
In the end this was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. And months later cool things were still popping up as a result of it. First we got offered a deal to release the recording as a 7inch within the first couple of days of posting one of the tracks. Later on we decided to go with Bob Weston (One of Steve's bandmates in Shellac and one of three places in the world where he recommended getting something mastered) for mastering. There were multiple phone conversations between Tim and Bob to sort out the final details of the mastering of the record. At the end of the last conversation after they've said goodbye and are about to hang up Bob says "oh hey by the way, I really like what you guys are doing, it's interesting". Needless to say that was awesome. Then over a year after the recording I send a myspace message to a band from Chicago that I really enjoy called Minsk. I get a reply back from one of the members saying that he works at Electrical Audio (Steve's studio) and that he already knew of us because the copy of the record that we had sent Steve was sitting in the control room.
One final thing. I'd just like to report that at one point during the recording, Steve farted in the control room...
...and then called safety. No lie.

Stories

I'm going to start publishing short stories about various music related things that I've experienced in here to continue helping me collect my thoughts.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"We are the people that disagree with you...

...without us you will never change."
That is a quote from the insert of one of my favorite albums by one of the few punk bands of the last 10 years that's truly mattered. It has stuck with me since the day I first read it quite a few years ago. It means more to me now than ever.

Friday February 27th

We (Moutheater) are on the cover of the new edition of 24 seven cities and we're playing the launch party for the issue with my brother's band Little Trooper. I think it's free. Come hang out. This is the last local show we have coming up for a while. Everything else on our calander is out of town and after those dates we're going on the road.
Moutheater
Little Trooper
+1 more

Friday February 27th
@ The Boot (on 21st street in Norfolk, VA)
9pm

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Check out this article...

...about Dominick Fernow of Prurient/Hospital Productions/Ash Pool. His thoughts on performance and the use of negative energy in music as well as the current state of popular music and culture are right in line with something I've been trying to express for a while now. He sums it up very nicely.
Click on the images to make them bigger/readable.





Here's the link if you need it: http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/browse/535/720/4704/2/24?dps=on

As promised

Here is the lengthy post with everything I saved from the Moutheater tour last summer.

-First off here are all of the bulletins we left on our myspace throughout the tour:
-Jul 5, 2008 10:04 PM
TOUR STARTS IN 9 FUCKING HOURS!!!!!
july 6th-baltimore, md-at the nerve center with gunna vahm and dactyl
july 7th-new york city, ny-at the lit lounge with disnihil and others
july 8th-boston, ma-at the midway cafe with coctopus (ex-bones brigade) and razormaze
july 10th-detroit, mi-at the trumbleplex with supercontinent, hellmouth, and blackbirds
july 11th-columbus, ohio-at the trap house with supercontinent and others
july 12th-louisville, ky-at skull alley with prideswallower and others
july 13th-nashville, tn-at the meemaw house with prideswallower and others
july 14th-norfolk, va-at the boot with prideswallower and the catalyst.
-Jul 6, 2008 12:12 PM....
Froth van files....
Imagine a party bus you would spend a night on the town with your closest drinking buddies, but rip the fucking seats out and replace it with a loveseat and 6 dudes with baby beards and drink tickets.You will have thee froth van.First stop:........@ The nerve centerW/DactylGuna vahm6pm.Eat shit.
-Jul 7, 2008 9:14 AM....
tour is going great!!! thanks baltimore!!!
we are curently in the van and on our way to to the wonderful new york city. baltimore was great last night. thanks to everyone that helped set that show up and came out to watch us. see you soon nyc.-andrew
-Jul 7, 2008 1:38 PM....
NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!
Tonight @ the lit lounge Disnihil Moutheater 9pm (ish?)Come rage with us.
-Jul 8, 2008 9:42 AM....
goodbye sweet nyc....
we're going to be leaving nyc in a little while. last night was cool. i love new york. that venue is awesome and it was good to see the disnihil dudes again. boston is tonight and then we have a day off to make the 13 hour drive to detroit. so stoked on spending 2 days with the supercontinent dudes.-andrew
-Jul 8, 2008 7:42 PM....
Boston/MASS! TONIGHT!
Were playing at the midway cafe in jamaica plain.Come out and let me buy you a drink.9pm(?)
-Jul 9, 2008 10:00 AM....
here we fucking come detroit!!!
played boston last night. we had a pretty good set and had a blast. gonna hang around town for a little bit this morning and then make the first half of our drive to detroit. we're playing the trumbleplex tomorrow with supercontinent, blackbirds, and hellmouth. sounds like it's gonna be a pretty radical show so come hang out. see you tomorrow detroit.-andrew
-Jul 10, 2008 5:38 PM....
here we come detroit!!!
we should be in detroit in about 2 hours. stoked.yesterday was pretty fucked. we had a day off to make the long drive from boston to detroit a little easier. anyway i get a giant cup of hot water from a gas station so i can make some tea and spill it on my fucking left calf. the skin instantly starts peeling off. fuck. josh got a ton of photos of it. some of the worst pain i've ever felt. so i get that taken care of and we drive to buffalo ny to get a room and some sleep. i wake up this morning and my throat is fucked bad. that little dangley thing in the back was swollen up like a marble and was making it hard for me to breathe and to talk without gagging. i go to an urgent care thing in buffalo and it turns out i've got some infection in my throat. i've got medicine for it now and i'm still playing tonight. if you're coming out and you know the words then help me out on the mic. i'm gonna need it tonight. see you in a few detroit.-andrew
-Jul 11, 2008 1:06 PM....
ohio!!!
we are well on our way to ohio. we're gonna be playing at the trap house with supercontinent.last night ruled. my vocals ended up being fine. awesome show. everyone check out supercontinent, hellmouth, and blackbirds. the venue was amazing too.-andrew
-Jul 12, 2008 2:49 PM....
lets get ready to rage louisville!!!
played the trap house in columbus ohio last night with supercontinent. it was our 2nd and last tour date with those dudes. they rule so hard. nicest dudes. they need to come to virginia asap.on our way to louisville ky. we're playing skull alley and we're meeting up with prideswallower tonight. this will be our first show with them and we'll be playing the rest of our dates with them which i'm very stoked about.-andrew
-Jul 13, 2008 12:32 PM....
on the road to nashville!!!
we'll be in nashville in about an hour and a half. we're gonna go check out the city and then head to the venue.played louisville last night. the venue ruled and it was our first gig with prideswallower. we'll be playing with them for the next (and last) 2 nights of the tour.see you soon nashville.-andrew
-Jul 14, 2008 11:37 AM....
last night of tour
played nashville last night. show got shut down by the cops during our set which kind of ruled haha. sucked that prideswallower didn't get to play though. all in all a pretty fun night in the end. us and prideswallower then began the long journey to norfolk through the night.playing at the boot tonight. it'll be a nice way to wrap up our tour.come hang out if you can. we wont be playing another local show until the liberty IV fest at the very end of august.
-This is the incredibly nerdy log we kept of every single fucking thing that we listened to on the entire tour haha. We tried to play themed music when we entered certain cities. You'll see those marked with *:
Day 1
Church Of Misery-Early Works (Disc 1)
Sonic Flower-s/t
Clockcleaner-The Hassler and Nevermind
The Stooges-Fun House and Raw Power
Bad Brains-ROIR
Boris-Heavy Rocks
*Embrace-s/t (while stopping in DC)
His Hero Is Gone-Monuments To Thieves
Day 2
Dave Chapelle
Jim Gafigan
The Hellacopters-High Visibility
Cave In-Until Your Heart Stops
*The New York Dolls-s/t (while approaching NYC)
The Misfits-Earth A.D.
Day 3
Botch-We Are The Romans
*Slapshot-Fuck New York (Leaving NYC for Boston)
Young Widows-Settle Down City
Lords-Swords
Poison Idea-Feel The Darkness
Witchcraft-The Alchemist
High On Fire-Blessed Black Wings
The Jesus Lizard-Goat
The Pixies-Doolittle
Day 4
The Swarm-Old Blues Eyes Is Dead and Parasitic Skies
Cursed-One
Mastodon-Remission and Call Of The Mastodon
Double Negative-TWAFWODN
Neurosis-Times Of Grace
Aaron's road mix
Day 5
Ipod on shuffle
Church Of Misery-Master Of Brutality
Hope Con-Endnote
Integrity-Humanity Is The Devil and Wallpurgisnacht
Pulling Teeth-Martyr Immortal
Black Cross-Widows Bloody Widows
*The Stooges-Raw Power (getting close to Detroit)
Glorior Belli-Manifesting The Raging Beast
*Negative Approach-Total Recall (Entering Detroit)
Day 6
These Arms Are Snakes-Mescaline Eyes
Tragedy-s/t
Day 7
NOFX-Ribbed
Propaghandi-P. City Limits
The Melvins-Glue Porch Treatments and Houdini
Turbonegro-Apocolyptic Dudes
Fight Amp-Hungry For Nothing
Sonic Youth-Daydream Nation
Day 8
The Bronx-s/t
Hot Snakes-Thunder Down Under
Pg. 99-Document #8
*Johnny Cash-Live At Folsom Prison (entering Nashville)
Day 9
Random stand up comedy
Hope Con-Death Knows Your Names
Cursed-One
Dragstrip Syndicate-Volume
The Rolling Stones-Exile On Main Street
The Icarus Line-Mono
Ipods on shuffle until all the ipods in the van finally died
I had some journal entries that I was gonna put on here but I've decided to keep them private for the time being. At some point they'll see the light of day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something I posted in another blog

So one of the blogs that I read with some regularity is http://www.malsonus.blogspot.com/. It's the blog of Jonathan Canady of Deathpile/Angel Of Decay (both of these projects are excellent if you're into noise and ambient stuff). Anyway he had posted a blog about how he thinks that if there were some sort of financial collapse that it might be the end of art. Some of the other commenters were expressing that they thought a financial collapse might weed out bad art which pertained to something I was discussing with Tim recently. This is the comment I left in response to his post along with the comment he left me back. There were numerous other people commeting on the entry so that's what I'm talking about when you see me referencing "one of the other gentlemen" and "one of the other posters".

Me: Something one of the other gentlemen said pertains to something I was discussing with a bandmate recently. There are people out there that create because they think other people that create are interesting or "cool". These people don't have a true vision or true passion. They have a vision of having a vision, they have passion for having passion. They want those things so badly that they (without realizing it) forget to create for the sake of creating and get too wrapped up in perceptions. As one of the other posters put it, these people are "posers". They are the people that will get weeded out by some sort of financial collapse. The true artists that create because they know no other way will continue creating because... they know no other way. Not to mention if there is a financial collapse we wont have jobs to go to anymore. We can steal bread and create all day long. Death to false art.
Him: Indeed! What is best in life? To crush false artists, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of their women.Thanks for the comment Andrew.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Such a long process is coming to an end

I just approved the final version of the layout for Ornament. I can't wait for this record to come out. Including writing, we've been working on this album since September. It will be out in May and I feel that it's definitely the band's strongest work to date. It's definitely the strongest I've ever been lyrically and as a musician.
On another note, I went to see Swallowed Up last night. They were fucking fantastic. They run a house venue in Brooklyn called The Stolen Sleeves Collective that Moutheater is playing at in April. I'm really excited about playing there. It sounds like it's gonna be a lot of fun and the Swallowed Up dudes are really nice guys. Pick up their 10inch if you get a chance. It's got great handmade artwork. The insert is amazing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Praying For Oblivion-Perennial Vacancy

New cassette out now on Swim Harder Cassettes. Noise/ambient synth destruction from New York. Limited to 30. Red cassettes with red xerox art from hell. $4 plus $2 shipping. Click the Swim Harder Cassettes link on the right side of this page or email me at andrewaircraft@hotmail.com to order.
There is also a very small number of the Vicegrip cassette, the Map The Growth cassette, and the Moutheater cd still in stock.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Visions of visions/Passion for passion

There's so many of you fuckers like this out there. How do you survive? Death to false art.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Swans shirts

I have 3 Swans shirts. I love these shirts. Not only because Swans is one of my favorite bands of all time but also because every time I wear one of these shirts to a show or almost anywhere for that matter, I get into an awesome discussion about music with someone. I got to thinking about what this meant after it happened again when I wore it at the Charlottesville show we played this past weekend and again I ended up in an awesome music discussion because of it (Just a side note, the dude that asked me about it was in one of the bands we played with that night called Ugly Law. He had seen Swans twice. Once on The Burning World tour and once on The Great Annihilator tour. How fucking cool is that?).

What I got to thinking about was that there are certain bands that weed out the "posers" (for lack of a better term). That's not to say that you're a "poser" if you don't listen to Swans but if you do listen to Swans there is a good chance that you know a thing or two about music. Swans is just one of those bands that you don't start listening to without a few bands guiding you to them and developing your musical palette first for the most part. And they're not very hyped either the way that The Smiths or Joy Division or a few other 80's bands are. Therefore there aren't a lot of musical retards that don't really know what the fuck they're talking about walking around trying to look cool with a Swans shirt on. But there's a lot of goobers out there sporting Joy Division shirts that probably couldn't name 5 songs. This is because Joy Division is hyped as fuck. People know they look cool wearing a Joy Division shirt. And rightfully so, Joy Division is fucking good. Chances are if I walk up to a random person who is wearing a Joy Division shirt I might not have the enlightening conversation that I would like to have. I might, but there's a high likely hood that I will not. But a Swans shirt on the other hand... We are brothers, we have something in common that not a lot of people have in common, we know something, we dug deeper than the 5 or so 80's bands that we were told are cool and acceptable to still listen to, we are musical soulmates and we most have a conversation about this immediately.

Or maybe I'm just an asshole and I'm reading way too much into a shirt.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Ville

Home now. Played Charlottesville, VA last night. Great weekend with Brain Damage. Got home a 4:30 a.m. this morning. The show last night was fun.
I much prefer warm weather touring to cold weather touring. I always feel sick as shit when I go out of town with a band during the winter.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Burg

Moutheater is doing a little jaunt with Brain Damage this weekend. We played a basement show in Harrisonburg, VA last night. Show got shut down by the police during our set (again). We seem to have a knack for doing that. The people were cool and let us stay there last night. The house was freezing and the Brain Damage dudes were playing a rather aggro game of Uno so I didn't get too much sleep. Had a great time though. Spending time with BD is always non-stop entertainment.

We're in Charlottesville hanging out with some friends of the BD dudes now and we're playing another basement tonight. Should be a good time. House shows are the best.

At some point once I get home I'm gonna make a long overdue lengthy blog entry with a whole bunch of stuff from the Moutheater tour last summer.

Monday, February 2, 2009

If you drink and drive...

...you're a piece of fucking shit. There are some people in my life that do this, and you know who you are, and you know that I know. Stop being fucktards and grow the hell up. You're smarter than that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Seriously...

...Black Sabbath is not that fucking good. Page and Hendrix could have slayed Iommi on their worst nights. And the Ozzman? Give me a fucking break, some of the worst lyrics in the history of rock n roll. Sabbath were sloppy, they were out of tune on their recordings half the time, and they didn't pull it off in a charming way like Black Flag did. I realize they were influential but at the same time they're totally overrated. I'll listen to Sleep, Church Of Misery, Electric Wizard or the two aforementiond guitarists anyday of the week before I'll pick up one of Ozzy's attempts at music.

*Edit* I would like to clarify that I do like and appreciate Sabbath. I think my real issue is that they seem to be the acceptable classic rock band for people that are into underground music to like and I just think that's bullshit. Plenty of other bands around the same time made music just as gnarly as Sabbath. Somehow it's not as ok to say you're a Zep fan or whatever though. *Edit*