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Saturday at Psycho Las Vegas was no less impressive and perhaps the best single day of the fest band for band, especially if you were still able to stand after the first few days. Starting off with the public première of the Melvins documentary, The Colossus Of Destiny, followed by a Q & A by the director, Bob Hannam; this set the tone for the day. Continue reading
Side projects have popped up in many different forms and have allowed musicians to find alternative ways to let loose their creative outlets aside from their main gigs. When Fu Manchu guitarist Bob Balch wanted to expand his musical outlet, he started Sun and Sail Club and let his creative side loose.
The band recently played their first ever live shows in Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA. Aside from fans getting a hold of their two recordings, Mannequin (2014) and The Great White Dope (2015), they found a rare opportunity to play a couple shows and give the public a taste of what they are about.
“It was cool. We only rehearsed three times and one of the rehearsals was a month before the show, and then Tony (Cadena, vocals) went to South America on tour. We got on stage and we said fuck it and see what happens. It could be weird but it was cool. I think we all played really well. I recorded it, went back to the hotel, tripped out and listened to it. ‘Fuck it’s rad!’ So I thought it was good,” said Balch, about their first live show (at the time of the interview, this was before their second ever show).
So did they choose their set list? “Pretty much just the newest one,” said Balch. “Because with Tony…it would be rude if we’re like ‘could you step off the stage for a moment and let me take over?’ We’re just doing this record and then we do a little log jam.”
He explained how the idea behind Sun and Sail Club came together, and how their eclectic style became their Mannequin.
“Not to plug my own shit but I run a site called Playthisriff.com. I interview dudes to tune their own shit. So I’d go and interview like a punk band, and I’d come away with an idea. ‘It’s cool how he does that…I’m gonna steal that!’ Or I’d go interview a death metal band or whatever….grindcore…I don’t know. I would just take from different styles and all of that stuff morphed into the first record.”
“I interviewed Rob Cavestany from Death Angel – the way he picks. Here’s a song I’m watching him playing. So that’s how the first one came along.”
Aside from Balch, he began working with his bandmate and drummer Scott Reeder. Then he attracted bassist Scott Thomas Reeder (Fireball Ministry, Kyuss) into the project after he heard what the duo had created. On their latest release, The Great White Dope, they brought in Adolescents vocalist Cadena to front the band.
“Oh yeah! I interviewed (bassist Scott) Reeder for the same site a long time ago. I interviewed him at his home studio and so I was like ‘you know I should come back out and record and he would be into it.’ I didn’t know if he would play on it, but it was cool to have those guys meet. It’s funny. We laugh. We still do,” he said, talking about how each member fell into place.
He also said he was aware of the odd coincidence of having two bandmates with the same exact names, and if he ever wanted to coin a pseudonym (say…Reeder Scott?). “No,” he said, laughing. “I’ve gotta stick with my name. It would be too weird.”
His drummer Reeder helped shape Sun and Sail Club’s sound when Balch began writing songs before they had ever thought about starting a new project. His input became invaluable with creating some interesting sounds.
“Reeder (drummer) sang a little more on the second record. He did a few full on verses, but it’s a lot of the same process. Just like here are some riffs and I let him do what he does.”
“Sometimes in Fu Manchu, a lot of that stuff is groove oriented so it’s like you lay back a little bit, and on this I was like ‘just spazz out – just get high on coffee and get it all out. Get it out of your system and we’ll go back and do more grooves.’ For the most part, it’s the same thing. I just don’t edit what he’s doing. He’s just gnarls. I let him do his thing.”
He shared the story behind their band name, and how it relates to a place that was somewhat part of their past.
“It’s a really inside joke with me and my friends I grew up with. It’s a place you can find it online. We grew up around there. It’s basically tennis courts and pools and rich people gallivanting. We weren’t allowed in there, but we would hang out outside of it. There’s a tunnel. You can walk in this tunnel and smoke weed, stand there and stare at the hot chicks walk in there. So we were the dirtbags outside of the Sun and Surf Club that we’re not allowed in.”
Would the actual club have an issue with the band using their name? “I don’t think they would care. It’s basically like a homeowner’s association thing that they all pay for. I used to be able to get in with people who lived there. My brother used to walk in when we got access. He would have like a ghetto blaster on his shoulder, and he would be blaring Ozzy Osbourne! It was so embarrassing! I’d see people staring at us like these fucking longhairs!”
Balch explained while the original intentions behind this project were to record music, playing live was something in the back of his mind but was unsure how to make it happen.
“The first record was so weird and hard thing to do in a live setting. The vocoders – it’s cool if you’re doing like Daft Punk type of shit, but for heavy, loud type of shit, to battle with that is really difficult.”
“The first record I didn’t think I’d do it live. To be honest, my wife was pregnant and I’m like ‘fuck I better do something now while I have time.’ But the second one, I was like, shit I kind of wanted to hear a singer. I’m stoked that Tony is involved and we’re actually doing show. It’s really cool.”
He talked about coming up with parts for Sun and Sail Club came out of material that did not quite fit within Fu Manchu’s repertoire. This allowed them to stretch their boundaries a bit and try some different sounds than the main band.
“A lot of the first record was all drop A stuff, which if you know anything about guitar, it’s tune standard and you drop that top string way the fuck down. For Fu Manchu, it wouldn’t work. All of our stuff is in D standard. So a lot of those riffs I was like ‘ehhh.’ I’m always putting riffs on the phone and the computer. Some of them were cool for Fu Manchu, but I had shit ton of ones I didn’t know what to do with these.”
“I started sending them to our drummer, almost as a joke, like I would try to trick him. I’d be like ‘try to play along with this…,’ and I would try to make it as weird and fucked up as possible. He’s really good so he got it. Every time we had a bunch and every time we had a record of stuff. I was like ‘should we make something out of this and record it?’ We went out to Reeder’s.”
“He heard it and he’s like ‘fuck! Who’s playing bass?’ I’m like ‘will you play bass?’ That’s how it came all about.”
On Mannequin, the trio wrote a lot of music without a vocalist. Through various tricks up their sleeves, they got creative by bringing back an idea from the past.
“I wasn’t really singing. I’d use a vocoder whenever I’d play on the guitar. It would get transformed into what I’d say into the mic. Think like Peter Frampton but he’s not using a vocoder,” he said.
“The second one I wanted to have singer involved, just to keep each record different. The third one, if there ever will be one ever will be a lot different than this one too. It’s to keep everyone guessing. I just emailed Tony and he was into it right away,” Balch added, explaining how on each recording having a singer changed some of the dynamics.
Another unusual influence for Sun and Sail Club was the Devo influence, which was well publicized on their first recording. Balck explained, “Devo to me, the riffs are real angular and cool but mathy. It’s almost like the riffs are making fun of themselves. I love Devo and I love that about them, so a lot of that is on the first record.”
While Fu Manchu is Balch and drummer Reeder’s main priorities, he said that Sun and Sail Club for now may not be a full time band. Between figuring out schedules amongst the members, they may attempt to do more shows in the future.
“Full time probably won’t work out. I would love it but Fu Manchu’s my main priority. We keep real busy. Adolescents is Tony’s band….actually since he’s teaching, it’s hard for him to take off for like a month….in November or October. I could see us totally continue to put out records, and in the summer shoot on over to Europe. We got a bunch of offers we had to turn down due to conflicting schedules – Australian stuff, European stuff. I was like ‘fuck…it would have been so much fun to go down there. Can’t do it.’ “
He said using replacement members will not be an option either. Balch had an interesting answer as to why this would not happen. “I wouldn’t do that. If you look at our merch booth, our faces are on everything! That’s what made this record so cool. Everyone putting their flare on it.”
As for future material, Balch said there was more ideas floating around, as well as some leftover material for a possible future release. As for now, no plans are in the works.
“There are two songs that didn’t make the first record. There’s tons of shit just floating around. I would always record stuff and email it to Reeder to play drums and he would send it back. There are tons of stuff floating around like that. But actually studio recordings, there are two actual songs we didn’t finish. It’s off the first record so it’s more Devo-y kind of vocoder type of stuff. But the last one we used everything.”
“With this, I could see it happening. In this day and age with the internet, it’s pretty easy. I would like to get into a room with these guys and play as a whole band. Because the schedules are so gnarly, I could easily get into a room with Reeder and record drums and guitars, then send that to Scott Reeder in the desert – he would lay down the bass, send it back to Orange County and then send it to Tony.”
“All of us to get into the same studio at the same time would probably take a long time. That way it would keep the ball rolling. I’d like to do a record every year or two, and a couple of seven inches every year.”
Teenage Time Killers, the supergroup put together by Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and Reed Mullen (COC) is putting on a one-off all-star concert in Los Angeles on September 12th. Featuring many of the big names that make up each of the tracks of Greatest Hits Vol 1, (Rise Records) taking the stage with Murphy and Mullen will be Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Greg Anderson, Pat “Atom Bomb” Loed, Karl Agell, and Trenton Rogers. Tickets are already on sale at this link:
Have you ever heard an album so good you thought it was made just for you? Like someone reached into the great boombox in your brain and pulled out just what you wanted to hear? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records) by Teenage Time Killers is that album for me. If you have yearned for some new tunes to come along and kick your ass back to 1988, then this music is for you. Masterminded by Mick Murphy (My Ruin, and Reed Mullen (Corrosion of Conformity), the core band is rounded out by the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and chipping in everything except lead vocals and Greg Anderson (Sunn O)))/Goatsnake) and his mighty axe. In addition to a cavalcade of former and current stars from across punk and metal, it’s an ambitious attempt to turn the idea of a supergroup on its head.
Certainly, a lot of hype has gone on about the assembled players, especially the vocalists. If you re thinking of Grohl’s Probot project, you are not far off. That was Grohl paying tribute to his metal heroes. TTK is all about paying tribute to a certain mindset. An era when writing fun, smart songs that hit you where you live was the norm. Mullen has put his distinctive angry yelp on many C.O.C. albums and does a fine job here on the opening track ‘Exploder’ and on ‘The Dead Hand’. ‘Exploder’ is just a classic punk track with all the whoa-oh-ohs you can handle. Second track ‘Crowned by the Light of The Sun’ sounds like an early-era Clutch song and thus Neil Fallon is right at home singing over some stone grooves. The most blistering track here is the thrash/punk ‘Hung Out To Dry’. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) just slays the track with his parts.
Following these first salvos the rest of the album is a tad uneven in a few places, but on repeated listens the entire thing holds together well. Jello Biafra is predictably pissed off in the too-short ‘Ode to Hannity’. ‘Barrio’ featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Blink 182 has the second-best track on the album. It’s another fun old-school sing-a-long that is both fun and political. Mike IX (EyeHateGod), Tommy Victor (Prong/Danzig) and Tairrie B. Murphy (My Ruin) anchor the three of the remaining real standout tracks. While it’s great to have an album in 2015 with Lee Ving (Fear), Karl Agel (COC Blind/King Hitter) and Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) altogether, at times you wish the tracks were a little stronger. Although a little short of total greatness for all the meaningful names, Teenage Time Killers backed up having the stones to call this album Greatest Hits Vol 1.
The Deliverance-era lineup of Corrosion of Conformity, along with The Shrine, Others and three more bands have been added to Motörhead‘s Motörboat cruise taking place next fall. COC confirmed in a Facebook post that Pepper Keenan, who played his first shows in nine years with COC this spring in the UK, will be part of the lineup that plays the cruise.
Let’s get it going on Motörhead’s MotörBoat
The Motörboat cruise will set sail from the port of Miami, FL on September 28th, with stops in Nassau and the the Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. The cruise ends on October 2nd.
New additions to the line-up:
Corrosion Of Conformity
The Dead Deads
Comedians Brian Posehn and Big Jay Oakerson are also now on the bill.
Already confirmed bands include:
Phil Cambell’s All Starr Band
Also announced, Slayer will play on September 28th during the ‘blood moon’ lunar eclipse.
Sun & Sail Club, the new band featuring Bob Balch (Fu Manchu), Scott Reeder (Fu Manchu, Smile), Scott Reeder (Kyuss, Fireball Ministry, The Obsessed) and Tony Adolescent (Adolescents) will be releasing their new album titled The Great White Dope in late April.
Check out “Scared To Death,” off their previous album Mannequin in a short film by Drew Mavrick below.
Motörhead’s Motörboat will embark on its second voyage September 28 through October 2, 2015 on Norwegian Sky, departing Port Miami, with stops in Nassau and the private picturesque island of Great Stirrup Cay in The Bahamas. This year’s edition will include:
Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band
For the debut Motörhead’s Motörboat cruise in 2014, an international, multigenerational audience from over 30 countries came together to celebrate the legacy of the cruise’s iconic namesake and escape into five days of true rock ’n’ roll living with no holds barred. Highlighted by a pair of ear-splitting performances from Motörhead themselves, Motörhead’s Motörboat 2014 featured more than 30 performances by 15 of rock and metal’s top artists, including heavy metal all-star band Metal Allegiance, Anthrax, Testament, Down, and Zakk Wylde.
It would be easy to dismiss Valient Thorr as a kitsch band. They profess to be from Venus, 4/5 of the members have the last name of ‘Thorr’. They have cultivated the wild look, have a propensity for cheesy outfits, goofily mugging for the cameras and their followers are called ‘Thorriors’. It would also be easy to tag Valiant Thorr as another stoner rock band. However, neither assessment would be fair. Their latest release, ‘Our Own Masters’, shows that there is a good deal of quality under all that hair and double-denim, and while they do get their stoner grind on they also have an aggressive, punky edge that puts them somewhere between Kyuss, Fireball Ministry and Maylene And The Sons of Disaster, with a dash old school punk and a pinch of 70s cock rock. It’s an interesting blend that keeps listeners both engaged and on their toes. Continue reading