Nebula Premiere “Whalefinger” from Demos & Outtakes 98-02; Preorders up Now

Posted in audiObelisk on November 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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Nebula will issue Demos and Outtakes 98-02 two months from today, and to mark the occasion of preorders going live through Heavy Psych Sounds, the band are premiering the previously-unreleased track “Whalefinger.” Recorded in 2002, it’s one of the later inclusions on the compilation, with “You Got It” and a faithful live cover of Black Flag‘s “Nervous Breakdown” stemming from the same era. That same year, the Californian heavy psych rockers would release their collection Dos EPs (discussed here) as their final outing with the original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire and drummer Ruben Romano, as by the time 2003’s Atomic Ritual was released, Abshire had moved on. In familiar cuts like “Sun Creature,” “Humbucker,” “To the Center,” “Smokin’ Woman” and “Synthetic Dream,” Demos and Outtakes 98-02 isn’t necessarily as raw sounding as the name would imply, and while it’s inherently true that these most of tracks aren’t the “finished” versions, they also find the band working with producers like Jack Endino on “Humbucker” or John Agnello (Screaming Trees, many others) on the opening Leaf Hound cover “Stagnant Pool,” and with new mixes on “Smokin’ Woman” and “Sun Creature” by Matt Lynch of Snail, the band sounds vital even at their most barebones, which might be “You Got It,” though the Glass-only fuzz-blowout take on The Creation‘s “How Does it Feel to Feel” comes close.

The impact of this era of Nebula‘s work speaks for itself in the influence they continue to have on psychedelia, desert rock, and acts from any number of other intertwining heavy subgenres. Heavy Psych Sounds this year already issued Dos EPs along with Nebula Demos Outtakes 98-021998’s Let it Burn EP (discussed here) and 1999’s To the Center (discussed here) — both landmarks — and though it’s just over two minutes long, “Whalefinger” stands testament to the punk undercurrent running through the band’s sound. Stripped-down lyrics, sharp transitions and a momentum driven by Romano‘s drumming position the track structurally not so far off from “Nervous Breakdown,” though admittedly the latter is faster. And of course that matters to the overall intensity factor, but the point is that Nebula were taking various sonic perspectives from punk, garage rock, psych, stoner, whatever, and bringing them into their own approach. By 2002, they were an established touring act. They’d been across the US and abroad to Europe, and they weren’t exactly rookies when they started either, with Glass and Romano having broken off from Fu Manchu in ’97 and reunited with Abshire, who was that band’s original bassist, shortly thereafter. Still, I’m not sure I’d call Nebula “mature” by the time 2002 rolled around. Certainly they were experienced and seasoned — and toasted — but as Demos and Outtakes 98-02 shows in “Whalefinger” and “You Got It,” there was still a lot of exploring being done in terms of songcraft and aesthetic, and a kind of restlessness propelled them forward.

That works until you hit a wall, which Glass eventually did in 2010, but a revamped version of the band is pressing forward again with Glass, longtime bassist Tom Davies and drummer Mike Amster and working toward the prospect of the band’s first album since Heavy Psych (review here) in 2009. As to what Nebula might conjure after a decade out of the studio, I don’t know, but Demos and Outtakes 98-02 offers listeners a chance to revisit their original lineup in a way that stands apart from the lineage of their discography. It’s not the first “early works” compilation by any means, but given the fact that the Glass/Abshire/Romano incarnation of the band only had two LPs and a couple EPs and singles out — not nothing, but not exactly a glut of material — and given the nigh-legendary status of the trio as they were, it’s a question of taking all you can get. And from the covers to the unreleased tracks to the working versions of some of their most classic material, fans of the band should be ready to do precisely that.

More PR wire info follows “Whalefinger,” which you’ll find on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Mark Abshire on “Whalefinger”:

“Whalefinger” – not only is this song rad, but it’s the first song Eddie ever wrote. The original version was recorded and released by Olivelawn as a 7” B-side (Eddie played drums in Olivelawn).”

Set for a release on January 25th 2019, the ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will include 5 tracks that have never seen the light of day before, alongside rare demos as well as cover songs such as a special live version of Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’! Beside these never published demos to date, the known tracks on this album are different to what NEBULA originally released on their previous records like on their pathbreaking ‘Charged’ or ‘To The Center’. Some tracks were written and recorded in these sessions, some never made it on any of them or were used for B-sides and singles. And then we get songs such as ‘Whalefinger’ which was the first song Eddie Glass ever wrote and which originally made it on a 7” B-side by Olivelawn, where Eddie played drums.

The tracklist of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will read as follows:

1. Stagnant Pool ( ’00/01 demo, Leaf Hound cover )
2. Whalefinger ( ’02 demo )
3. Humbucker ( ’99 demo )
4. Smokin’ Woman ( ’98 demo )
5. Sun Creature ( ’98 demo )
6. You Got It ( ’02 demo )
7. To The Center ( ’99 demo )
8. Synthetic Dream ( ’99 demo )
9. How Does It Feel To Feel? ( ’99 demo, The Creation cover )
10. Nervous Breakdown ( Live ’02, Black Flag cover )

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Nebula lineup on “Whalefinger”:
Eddie Glass: Guitar/Vocals
Ruben Romano: Drums
Mark Abshire: Bass

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Nebula Announce Charged Reissue & Demos & Outtakes 98-02 Compilation Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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Rumor has it that the reformed lineup of Nebula made a demo for six new songs in Slovenia and are setting to work on what will be the band’s first new album in a decade for release in 2019. And by ‘rumor,’ I mean that’s what the band said. In the meantime, Heavy Psych Sounds is continuing its exploration of the Californian heavy psych forebears’ past with a reissue of their 2001 second album, Charged, that’s been newly mastered by Matt Lynch of Snail, and the collection Demos & Outtakes 98-02 with previously unheard material that goes up for preorder this week.

Of course, Heavy Psych Sounds also reissued the band’s early work in Let it Burn (discussed here), To the Center (discussed here) and Dos EPs (discussed here), so both of the forthcoming outings are right in line with what started earlier this year. As to whether or not these will be the last Nebula archival outings, I wouldn’t know. If nothing else, there have to be some pretty killer live recordings out there. Just a thought.

When and if a new Nebula record surfaces, well, that’ll be super-duper. Sign me up. In the meantime, though, there’s plenty for longtime fans to chew on in revisiting what made them so special in the first place.

From the PR wire:

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS to release ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ by legendary NEBULA

+ reissue the ‘Charged’ album in early 2019!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking is proud to announce the release of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’, as well as a re-mastered version of the band’s 2001’s album ‘Charged’!

Set for a release on January 25th 2019, the ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will include 5 tracks that have never seen the light of day before, alongside rare demos as well as cover songs such as a special live version of Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’! Beside these never published demos to date, the known tracks on this album are different to what NEBULA originally released on their previous records like on their pathbreaking ‘Charged’ or ‘To The Center’. Some tracks were written and recorded in these sessions, some never made it on any of them or were used for B-sides and singles. And then we get songs such as ‘Whalefinger’ which has been the first song Eddie Glass ever wrote and which originally made it on a 7” B-side by Olivelawn, where Eddie has been playing drums for.

The Pre-Order for this MUST-HAVE gem in every NEBULA and genre-collection will start on November 29th, in the following available album formats:

– 25 TEST PRESS
– 250 LTD TRANSPARENT RED VINYL
– 500 GREY SPLATTER (Red/Black/Blue) VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– CD DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

The tracklist of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will read as follows:

1. Stagnant Pool ( ’00/01 demo, Leaf Hound cover )
2. Whalefinger ( ’02 demo )
3. Humbucker ( ’99 demo )
4. Smokin’ Woman ( ’98 demo )
5. Sun Creature ( ’98 demo )
6. You Got It ( ’02 demo )
7. To The Center ( ’99 demo )
8. Synthetic Dream ( ’99 demo )
9. How Does It Feel To Feel? ( ’99 demo, The Creation cover )
10. Nervous Breakdown ( Live ’02, Black Flag cover )

Furthermore, Heavy Psych Sounds has just announced to reissue NEBULA’s legendary ‘Charged’ album, originally released back in 2001 on Sub Pop Records! This new album version has been re-mastered by SNAIL’s bassist and NEBULA’s longtime sound engineer Matt Lynch.

‘Charged’ was the second full-length album by the stoner rock legends, it’s also the last album featuring former Fu Manchu bandmate, Mark Abshire, on bass and before the original band lineup re-united in 2018. The third album track ‘Giant’ was featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 and will be also found as a demo bonus song on the re-mastered 2019-CD album version. ‘Charged’ is still considered as one of NEBULA’s most important and distinctive records to date. A heavy fuzz rock trip into the desert, a wheel of hot lava, and the sheer power of almighty riffs only an act like NEBULA could have ever created!

The tracklist for ‘Charged’ reads as follows:

1. Do It Now
2. Beyond
3. Giant
4. Travelin’ Man’s Blues
5. Instant Gravitation
6. This One
7. Ignition
8. Shaker
9. Goodbye Yesterday
10. All The Way
11. Giant ( Demo Bonus Track, available on CD only )
12. Cosmic Egg ( Bonus Track, available on CD only )

Coming as CD, Vinyl and Digital Download on February 8th 2019 , the pre-order for NEBULA’s ‘Charged’ will start on November 29th at Heavy Psych Sounds in the following formats:

– 25 TEST PRESS
– 250 LTD SOLID BLUE VINYL
– 500 LTD WHITE SPLATTER BLUE/CLEAR BLUE/BLACK/GREEN VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

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Nebula, “Giant” Live at SonicBlast Moledo 2018

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Nebula Interview & Full Album Stream Pt. 3: Dos EPs

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on February 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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[Click play above to stream the new reissue of Nebula’s Dos EPs in its entirety. Album is out March 2 via Heavy Psych Sounds.]

Please note: This interview is part three in a series of three. Part one is here. Part two is here.

With its graceful execution of desert psych in “Back to the Dawn,” the full-on fuzz assault of “Fall of Icarus” and the quintessential nodder groove and Rhodes-infused jammy excursion of “Fly On,” Nebula‘s Dos EPs represents the end of an era. It was originally issued in 2002 via MeteorCity, and it’s the last of the band’s releases to feature the trio’s original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire and drummer Ruben Romano. That in itself would be enough to earn it a place as a footnote in heavy rock history, but while it was culled together by collecting tracks from two prior short outings and thee previously unreleased cuts, here’s the thing about Dos EPs: it worked really well as a full-length album.

Eerily well.

Better, certainly, than it should have. Credit to the flow in Nebula‘s material generally, I suppose, that the 11 tracks on Dos EPs should just be molten enough generally to ooze together as a cogent single offering despite being captured in different sessions and initially put out separately in 1999 as the Man’s Ruin-released Sun Creature EP — “Rollin’ My Way to Freedom,” “Sun Creature,” “Smokin’ Woman” and “Fly On” — and a split with Sweden’s Lowrider — “Anything from You,” “Full Throttle,” “Back to the Dawn,” “Fall of Icarus.” These plus the new songs “Rocket,” the maddenly infectious “Long Day” and “Bardo Airways” comprise Dos EPs, and in so doing end up summarizing the scope from hard-driving heavy rock à la most-stoned-Motörhead to kraut-inspired layers of acoustic and electric guitar swirl. Though technically speaking, 2001’s Charged was the final Nebula long-player to be recorded with GlassAbshire and Romano, more often it’s Dos EPs marked out as the last full-length work the band did before they jumped from Sub Pop to short-lived Century Media offshoot Liquor and Poker Records and, losing Abshire in the interim, released  Atomic Ritual in 2003.

The new remaster of Dos EPs from Heavy Psych Sounds — aside from sounding fucking fantastic, as you can hear in the player above you stream the album ahead of its official March 2 release date– reorders the songs so that they apprear not mixed together as they originally were, but in the order from their initial releases. That is, you get the Lowrider split tracks, then you get the stuff from Sun Creature, then you get the material that had yet to show up anywhere else. Then of course on this version there are two bonus tracks included. This gives Dos EPs a somewhat more organized and linear feel, though again, the real highlight of the thing is the vibe Nebula are able to bring to bear in these songs. It’s something that, across whatever the band did afterwards and no matter who was involved, would never be quite the same again.

Before I wrap up this series, I’d like to thank Ruben Romano (now of The Freeks) personally for taking the time to discuss these three releases. It’s been great getting his side of the story about what any consider Nebula‘s highlight years. Thanks as well to Claire Bernadet for facilitating. The final Q&A follows here.

Please enjoy:

nebula dos eps

Where did the idea come from to compile Sun Creature and the Lowrider split onto a single disc? What about adding “Rocket,” “Long Day” and “Bardo Airways” to that mix? Do you consider Dos EPs a full-length album?

I think it was recording those three songs that gave us the idea to combine the two EP’s. It was like, we got three kick ass songs! What are we going to do with them? Man’s Ruin was done and the Sun Creature EP reverted back to us. MeteorCity was looking for a second release, whether it was a contractual thing or not I don’t know. Can’t remember everything. But Jadd Shickler was stoked on putting the MeteorCity stamp on it, so yes, we turned it into a full-length that never got released on vinyl until now with these reissues.

How did working with Man’s Ruin come about for Sun Creature? What did you think when you first saw Frank Kozik’s cover art? How about getting paired with Lowrider for that split? How did the two of you get hooked up?

I think that just being on the road a lot at that time, being a band from that era and in that scene is how it really came down to happening. Having the Fu Manchu connection, the Kyuss and QOTSA connection on top of kicking ass is how we got in with Frank and Man’s Ruin.

I have always enjoyed rock art! I have no idea how it happened but all of a sudden, in high school, I started receiving “art rock” catalogs. They were like 10-page pamphlets selling old rock posters from Rick Griffin, Stanley “Mouse” Miller, Victor Moscoso, etc. I would gaze at them for hours. It also featured comic art like Furry Freak Brothers, Wizard of Id, and a lot of Crumb. So when Kozik came around and then started dealing music I was thrilled. I expected more of that Kozik comic book character cover, like the label’s cat logo or his classic bunny rabbits, so when I saw this girl eating a mango I was totally surprised. And I thought to myself, She’s HOT!!!

We had nothing to do with the pairing with Lowrider, Man’s Ruin did all that. However, I remember the first time I met Peder [Bergstrand] from Lowrider, it was at Loppen in Christiania. This was way before that split happened, I believe we were touring with Unida at that time. I feel bad now because at that time he kind of annoyed me because I was trying to eat and he kept asking me questions that I couldn’t answer because I had food in my mouth. But after that, and then with the split, we became friends. Then I once had a random encounter with him in Barcelona, Spain. Ran into him while we were both on holidays, so we got our ladies and went out and had dinner together. I can say I’m totally still friends with him, a cool and funny person for sure.

This was the last release with the original lineup. Looking back on it now, how do you feel about what you, Eddie and Mark were able to accomplish in those early years together? Any specific memories of recording or touring you’d like to share from this time?

They were my brothers, I was completely and totally loyal to Nebula at that time. I mean, I was totally loyal to Fu Manchu as well when I was a part of that. When I’m into something, I’m into it 110 percent. I declined so many invitations and missed opportunities to jam with other people and other bands because I was already in a band that I truly believed in, admired and was devoted to. We were a gang! We did accomplish a lot, there’s no doubt about it. The memories I have could fill a book — how cliché is that? — but it’s true.

From tour managers getting into fistfights with bus drivers to getting teeth knocked out trying to tackle the roadie. From getting left behind in Sweden while the bus is already in Denmark. Hitting every go kart track that we saw on the highway no matter how late we were. Having to save someone from imminent jail time for tossing a cigarette butt on a Spanish tarmac while flipping the bird at the pilot because I was the only one who spoke Spanish. Always looking back and Ninja Luke always being there without fail and on cue ready to torch the gong! Being told “Hey, those aren’t walnuts, those are psychedelic truffles! Did you eat all those?”

All those times and many more were all specific! The places I’ve seen, the people I met and the friends I’ve made. Man, I loved touring and those two were right there beside me.

Anything else you’d like to say about Dos EPs in particular?

Out of all these reissues, I always loved the cover for Dos EPs the best. Taken from a book cover I found in the children section of the public library entitled “LSD” and having Mark superimpose us within it. It came out beautiful! I am so stoked to finally see that one released as a 12”.

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Nebula Interview & Full Album Stream Pt. 2: To the Center

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on February 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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[Click play above to stream the new reissue of Nebula’s To the Center in its entirety. Album is out Feb. 16 via Heavy Psych Sounds.]

Please note: This interview is part two in a series of three. Part one is here. Part three arrives Feb 27.

Recording with Jack Endino.Road-dogging it on tour so you don’t have to say home and pay rent. Signing to Sub Pop after running into label head Megan Jasper in the produce aisle at a grocery store and winding up signed to of the most influential undergoing imprints of all time as a result. Seeming to consume an entire interstellar mycelial network of mushrooms in the process. To hear original drummer Ruben Romano tell it, it was just all part of being in Nebula around the time of their 1999 debut LP, To the Center.

No wonder it’s one of the best stoner rock records of all time, with a band of laid back electric and acoustic guitars, a bevvy of languid desert grooves and some more driving fare for the punkers in the crowd. Nebula‘s proper debut EP, Let it Burn (discussed here). Still, as Nebula were living out this process of rock and roll daydreams, all was no exactly well in the band, and by the time they got around to releasing 2001’s Charged, their second and final offering for Sub Pop, it would prove to be the final outing for the original Nebula lineup of Romano, guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass and bassist Mark Abshire as well.

But at this point, with To the Center and its languid blend of more-laid-back-than-thou riffs and acoustic strums, psychedelic sitars and space rocking freakout jams, with its Randyo Holden and Stooges covers — “Between Time” and “I Need Somebody,” respectively — it was a goddamn party and it certainly sounds like one on the album. In the interview that follows, Romano tells a couple quick but choice stories about what it was like to be in Nebula at this time.

You’ll find the Q&A under the artwork for To the Center, which again, is out on Heavy Psych Sounds Feb. 16.

Please enjoy:

nebula to the center

To the Center Q&A with Ruben Romano

How did the band change coming off of Let it Burn and moving into To the Center? Was there anything specific you knew you wanted to do from one release to the other?

What changed was that we now were total road dogs. Touring was all we did and when we were not on the road we were always in the rehearsal room. The specific thing that we wanted to do from one release to the other was to keep on doing it! All we wanted was to keep Rolling our way to Freedom.

Tell me about writing the album. How did the songs come together and what was that period of time like for you as a band?

We toured so much that we became a super tight band and things happened naturally. Playing with Eddie and Mark came easy. While we were on the road we would be jamming a riff at soundcheck, those brief in between tour moments were spent in rehearsal rooms jamming. Eddie also had a back catalog of four-track demo songs that we pulled from, and one that he wrote with his friend Neil Blender was pulled as well. Then jamming on covers of songs that we all loved, liked The Stooges and Randy Holden started sounding and feeling good. So we included those as well and all of a sudden we had 12 songs that comprised To the Center. At that period of time the band was extremely busy. It kept us from having to pay rent, so the time off the road became shorter and shorter.

You’d already recorded with Jack Endino for Sun Creature and the Lowrider split. What was it about the experience that brought you back to him? What did he capture in Nebula’s sound?

Jack was a cool guy. We worked well with him the first time around and he really dug what we were doing. I think we really impressed him during those To the Center sessions with our knowledge of great obscure underground music, like The Groundhogs. He was the biggest fan of Tony McPhee and The Groundhogs and was stoked when we brought them up in giving him production ideas of what we wanted to achieve. After that he wore his Groundhogs shirt a few times during those sessions. The other thing that he captured for Nebula was clamping the Sub Pop deal. How did that happen? Well, before that session started, we finished a European tour and flew back to New York were we crashed for a good week. That’s when we entered LoHo Studios and recorded the other half of those two EPs. If I recall properly we also just finished a deal and got signed to a label called Zero Hour. So, going into record for them, that’s where the plan to return to Jack came about as we got into the van and toured back across the

US ending in Seattle. That’s where Jack was, so returning to recording with Jack fit perfect. A week after the session started is when Zero Hour just disappeared – no contact at all! The phone was dead. Jack was so cool that he goes, “Let’s finish this anyways and figure it out later.” Now, at the same time we took a food break and, with Jack, we went to a grocery store. In that grocery store we happened to bump into Megan Jasper in the produce department. Head of Sub Pop. Her and Jack spoke a bit and that’s where the spark happened, that’s how we got connected to Sub Pop: a random meeting at a grocery store in Ballard, Washington.

Anything else you’d like to say about it in particular?

I liked Ballard, Washington. What a great memory!

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Heavy Psych Sounds Announces Vol. III Label Sampler

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

You gotta watch out for these. They’re sneaky. Label samplers can be tricky in general — sometimes it’s nothing but rehashed tracks from years ago with one or two new songs from a band somebody’s trying to push, but with Heavy Psych Sounds, their annual sampler series has been a way of sneaking new tracks out for first public showcases. Last year, new Black Rainbows showed up, and sure enough they appear here as well, and there also seems to be some new stuff from The Freeks included, which as far as I’m concerned is reason enough on its own to chase the thing down. Also Tons will have a track on there ahead of their album release in April, and new Killer Boogie, so yeah, plenty to grab onto, and even the stuff that’s already out — Mother Engine, Fvzz Popvli, The Lords of Altamont, Nick Oliveri — is all still current, and righteous. That “Kyuss Dies” song is hilarious.

Full tracklisting follows here, courtesy of the PR wire:

heavy psych sounds sampler iii

As every Year, my little dear, what we have here is: HPS074 ***HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS SAMPLER VOL.3***

We’re so proud to announce the new Sampler, is the third year we are going to release this, and tracklist look awesome!

You will find it in your HPS boxes when you will purchase from the site, or at some good festival in Europe for free at the merch table, or on tour with HPS bands…

RELEASE DATE:
16th MARCH 2018

PRESALE:
8th FEBRUARY 2018

Enjoy the tracklist!

Avon – Red Barn
Black Rainbows – High To Hell
Deadsmoke – Emperor Of Shame
Fvzz Popvli – Lost In Time
High Reeper – Die Slow
House Of Broken Promises – Toranado
Killer Boogie – Atomic Race
Monsternaut – Landslide
Mother Engine – Tokamak
Nebula – Between Time
Nick Oliveri (Kyuss Lives) – Kyuss Dies
The Freeks – American Lighning
The Lords Of Altamont – Going Downtown
Tons – 99 Weed Balloons
Turn Me On Dead Man – Vimana
Wedge – Lucid

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VA, Heavy Psych Sounds Records Sampler Vol. II

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Nebula Interview & Full Album Stream Pt. 1: Let it Burn

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on January 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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[Click play above to stream the new reissue of Nebula’s Let it Burn in its entirety. Album is out Jan. 26 via Heavy Psych Sounds.]

Later this week, Heavy Psych Sounds begins an exploration of Nebula‘s early works by reissuing the California fuzz-psych innovators’ 1998 debut EP, Let it Burn. It is the first of a three-part series of bonus-track-inclusive versions the label will put out from Nebula on CD and LP, and will be followed in the coming weeks by their 1999 debut full-length, To the Center (previously discussed here) and the 2002 compilation Dos EPs, covering the sum total of the output the trio released with its original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire and drummer Ruben Romano.

Accordingly, as each new offering arrives, I’ll be hosting a full stream of the new version and a corresponding three-part interview with Romano about the making of that given release, what life was like in Nebula at the time, the band’s enduring legacy, what he recalls from the recording sessions, and much more. Today the discussion begins with recollections from the Let it Burn era.

Nebula‘s origin story is fairly well known, with Romano and Abshire departing Fu Manchu and joining on with Glass in the then-new power trio, thereby setting in motion the beginnings of a legacy that, 20 years later, is nothing if not worthy of the attention these reissues are paying it. From the rolling nod of “Down the Highway” to the already-gone-far-out shift from “Raga in the Bloodshot Pyramid” into the scorching, later-added “Sonic Titan,” Let it Burn remains the nexus point of Nebula‘s enduring and international influence.

The new version’s bonus tracks come in the form of a performance of the title-cut from Roskilde Festival in 2000 and a 1997 Glass-recorded home demo of “Devil’s Liquid” that’s as effective in capturing the urgency of the three-piece in their nascence as it is raw sounding. The Stooges would hear it and be jealous. Together, they emphasize different aspects of the force that Nebula were from their outset, and I could not be more thrilled to have Romano telling that story across this and the other two interview chapters to follow. Really. Keep an eye out for the others on Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, respectively, because this is whole thing awesome.

Please enjoy:

nebula let it burn

Let it Burn Q&A with Ruben Romano

Tell me about being in the band at this point. What was the vibe like in Nebula when you first got going?

The vibe was exciting, it was a no-holds-barred, in-your-face-type vibe with a lot of energy. We were free and ready to roll with nothing holding us back and there was nothing getting in our way. At least that was how I was feeling at the time. My ears were open, my eyes were open and my mind was open. I yelled bring it on at the top of my lungs and Eddie was right there beside me. Charge, Blitz, Attack and Kick Ass! Elevate! That was the vibe I wanted to exhibit and include everybody into. That’s the kind of record Let it Burn was and why “Elevation” was a great track to start it off with!

What do you remember about the recording process? These years later, what most stands out about the experience, and how does it feel to revisit these songs now?

We spent three days if I recall up at Rancho de la Luna with Fred Drake. It was a typical recording session in a not so typical place. Man, listening to them again brings it all back. We tracked drums with guitars together live then overdubbed all the spice on top. Eddie played his ripping leads, I played the sitar. When we did percussions, Eddie and I did it all together and live. We totally collaborated on this record.

Eddie wrote the tunes and I wrote a lot of the lyrics on that one. “Let it Burn,” “Down the Highway,” “Dragon Eye” were all majority my words and Eddie throwing in on a verse and chorus here and there. “Dragon Eye” was my favorite as it was about my hunt for the elusive Quaalude or Mandrax in the UK that disappeared around 1985. It had all the references in there like “When you hear the lion RORER, pass the 714″ — Rorer 714 was the inscription on the pill — “the sky is
lemon” (methaqualone), “yellow” (L.S.D.), “got a rainbow outside my door” (barbituates). Like I said, I opened my mind plenty at that time in my life and always had a pad of paper with a pencil in my pocket. It was cool having older cousins who told me stories about the good ones, ya know.

Back to recording, Eddie played bass on it. That’s how the Tee Pee Records version is, (the tracklisting on that version is also wrong, got “Dragon Eye” and “Vulcan Bomber” mixed up). Mark joined the band after we recorded it and then later we recorded “Sonic Titan” and “Devil’s Liquid” with him and that got added to the Relapse version of Let it Burn. At first, It was initially just a six-song demo and we actually duped about 50/100 cassettes, I cant remember how many, maybe even as little as 25, as we were broke. I drew up a silly logo and xeroxed it to make a cover for it and passed it to people looking for a label to release it.

We hooked up with Steve Kutcher and Rob Gill, whom we met at a CMJ conference while we were still in Fu Manchu, and sent them the tape. They were the only ones who would even talk to us, They wanted to manage us so we agreed and then we met Tony Presedo. I was asked to pick him up at the airport in L.A. and when I did, he had no real place to stay so I invited him to crash at our pad and that’s how it happened. Eddie and I were roommates then, subleasing a sweet condo off Alan Glass, Eddie‘s brother. We had some killer times at that place. When the leasing office found out we were evicted so fast!!

How was the response when it was first released, and what do you think has allowed Let it Burn to stay relevant 20 years later?

Our immediate friends either loved it or didn’t know how to tell us that it sucked. People weren’t fully ready for it I guess. We got that “Well, um yeah,” reaction by some and, “F’Yeah! This is INSANE!” reactions by others. As I said before, it was an in-your-face record that took a lot of chances. I mean, we had a sitar instrumental on it!!

Funny story about that: My old high school friend Tommy, who I bought the sitar from, was hanging around a lot at that time, just drifting in L.A. He’s the only one who caught the naive notion that the tune’s title was so geographically wrong! He said, “Funny that you call it a raga, from India, but include a pyramid from Egypt — that’s two totally different continents.” I responded, “Well, its got the sitar and I’ve been reading a lot of Robert Anton Wilson books about the Illuminatus, so for me it fits.” At least I had a response, right?

Anything else you’d like to say about Let it Burn in particular?

With Let it Burn we knew we had to come out of the gate kicking ass with something. The Fu thing kind of beat us down, at least it tried to, as it taught me that typical chewed up and spat out music industry thing. However, mentally we were in full motion still with so much pent up energy that Fu Manchu did not allow us to emit. We, at least I was, “C’mon already!” and when we freed up from all that, we really came on with it! It was definitely an exciting moment in my life! Definitely proud of my involvement with Eddie and this release, no doubt.

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SonicBlast Moledo 2018: Conan, Kadavar, Naxatras & Nebula Confirmed for Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sonicblast moledo 2018 FIRSTBANNER

In the several years now that I’ve been keeping up with lineup announcements for the Portuguese SonicBlast Moledo festival, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered one that didn’t immediately set me to daydreaming about making the trip to the Iberian coastline to experience it for myself. It’s like a Pavlovian response at this point — drool and all. The first word from SonicBlast Moledo 2018 is, of course, no different, and as I sit in my dimly-lit Massachusetts kitchen with my hood up and three layers of pants on because I’m so god damned cold and cracks in my right-hand fingers so deep that it’s actually physically hurting me to type this sentence right now, August seems like the perfect time to go. Or, you know, tomorrow.

First four for SonicBlast Moledo 2018? Conan, Kadavar, Naxatras and Nebula. That’s just fun to say. Go ahead, give it a shot. Out loud.

Here’s details from the PR wire:

SONICBLAST MOLEDO 2018: Stoner Doom Psych Heavy

Sea Beach Camping Pool Surf Skate

With the dates settled for August 10th and 11th, the lineup of the eighth edition of SonicBlast Moledo starts to take shape with the first confirmations: Kadavar, Nebula, Conan and Naxatras!

Almost five years later after their debut at the third edition of SonicBlast Moledo and their exponential growth, Kadavar return to Portugal to show the best that is done within the Retro Rock world. Following their sudden cancellation on the last edition, the power trio present themselves with their newest work, entitled “Rough Times”, released by the label Nuclear Blast Records, which shows the group’s superiority to create masterpieces of 70’s influenced Hard Rock, always with the excellent capacity of incorporating new elements in their music.

Conceived by the guitarist Eddie Glass, after departing Fu Manchu, Nebula are considered, without any doubt, one of the great and more influential precursors of the Stoner Rock movement. Two decades after their formation and seven years after their indefinite hiatus, the desert legends reborn for their new space incarnation, prepared to rule any soul with their distinctive dose of energetic fuzz, frenetic feedbacks and lots of psychedelia.

Barbarians by the name and by the sound, the British Conan have been defined, for more than 10 years, as caveman battle Doom, marked by distorted devastating guitars, sepulchral voices, and instruments tuned always below the low. With their live shows, we can expect storms of dark and raw riffs, projected by overwhelming walls of sound and brutally slow tempos that put us into a monolithic hypnotism.

Although relatively young, the Greeks Naxatras have already conquered their captive place within the European underground rock. Moved by their fascinating and peaceful psychedelic, together with their nuances of dreamy Hard Rock, this power trio is distinguished by its bold touches of Jazz, Funk, Progressive or desert influences, surely providing a live trip essential to be experienced.

https://sonicblastmoledo.bol.pt/
https://www.facebook.com/SonicBlast-Moledo-242619262427066/
https://www.facebook.com/events/181938749070159/
https://sonicblastmoledo.wordpress.com/

Kadavar, Live in Vienna, Oct. 28, 2017

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Nebula Announce Bonus Material for Let it Burn, To the Center and Dos EPs Reissues

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I mean, don’t get me wrong, you had me at ‘Nebula reissues,’ but it looks like the impending Heavy Psych Sounds pressings for the Cali fuzz troupe’s early works — Let it Burn, To the Center and Dos EPs — will arrive with the added ceremony of some pretty cool bonus stuff. The thought of hearing the classic trio lineup playing the Let it Burn title-track at the 2000 Roskilde Festival is pretty rad, plus a home demo there, and a couple live cuts on To the Center from that era are cool too. No complaints. I think it’s Dos EPs that really comes out the winner though, with two brand new remixes by original producer Jack Endino done just this past Fall for “Anything from You” and “Rollin’ My Way to Freedom.” That’s what I’m talking about.

Again, I was already on board, but I’m especially eager to hear what Endino circa 2017 brings to the work of Endino circa ’99. What a great idea. Sign me up.

The PR wire has all the details:

nebula reissues

unveilng the previously unreleased bonus tracks of the upcoming 3 Nebula reissues !!!

We are really stoked to announce the previously unreleased bonus tracks of the upcoming NEBULA reissues: Let It Burn, To The Center and Dos EPs !!!

LET IT BURN
Let It Burn
Live at Roskilde Festival 30 June, 2000

Devil’s Liquid (Demo Version)
Recorded by Eddie Glass 1997, on 8 Track Portastudio

TO THE CENTER
So Low
(Live at Knaack, Berlin, Germany May 17, 1999)

To The Center
(Live at The Empty Bottle, Chicago IL, June 9, 2000)

DOS EPs
Anything From You
(Recorded October 20, 1999 by Jack Endino, Crocodile Seattle – Mixed November 11, 2017 By Jack Endino)

Rollin’ My Way To Freedom
(Recorded October 20, 1999 by Jack Endino, Crocodile Seattle – Mixed November 11, 2017 By Jack Endino)

RELEASE DATES:
LET IT BURN – 26.01.2018
TO THE CENTER – 16.02.2018
DOS EP’S – 02.03.2018

All the albums will be available in:

CD (3 Panels Digipack)
LP (Black Single Vinyl-Gatefold Sleeve)
LTD LP (Coloured Splatter Single Vinyl-Gatefold Sleeve)
(Digital available the release date of each title)

Grab your copy here: http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS065

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Nebula, To the Center (1999)

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