Linus Pauling Quartet to Release “Planck” Single and Video May 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

linus pauling quartet

Underrated Texan heavy rockers The Linus Pauling Quartet have a persistent tendency to fascinate. Whether they’re delving into cult nerd ideology writing a single about Cthulhu (review here) or partnering with a writer publishing under the Oxford Press — which is no small shakes as far as academic publishing goes — to pay homage to theoretical physicist Max Planck, or just riffing out stoner for stoner’s sake, there always seems to be a purpose behind what they do.

It was recently revealed that this fall, their new album, Ampalanche, will be released by Italian imprint Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, the label wing of the long-running print ‘zine of the same name — someone whose tastes it’s safe to say you can trust, in other words — and “Planck” is the first single to come from that outing. It will be released digitally May 26, and is set to be accompanied by a new video, as the band explains in the info below, sent down the PR wire:

linus pauling quartet planck

Linus Pauling Quartet to release single/video this 26 May celebrating theoretical physicist Max Planck. (Wait, WHAT?!!! … is there going to be a test at the end of this?)

If there is one thing the Linus Pauling Quartet knows how to do, it’s to defy expectations. After a drop-C, gut punching, metal riffage anthem celebrating Cthulhu in 2014, the lads return this month with “Planck” – a song that veers more to the band’s melodic psych sensibilities and celebrates the work of Max Planck. While the song is to be featured in the forthcoming album “Ampalanche” later this year, this track is being released early as a digital single and a video to coincide with the release of the book Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War on Oxford University Press. The author of the book, Brandon R. Brown, also happens to be the main lyricist for the song (we like to say he’s Michael Moorcock to our B.O.C.). Below are the full details of the song, a link to the audio file, temporary press preview video link, lyrics, links to the book’s publisher as well as other stuff.

“The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, comes again and again when we look at any question deeply enough. With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries – certainly a grand adventure!

It is true that few unscientific people have this particular type of religious experience. Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. I don’t know why. Is nobody inspired by our present picture of the universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers. You are reduced to hearing not a song or a poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.” – Richard Feynman, The Value of Science (1955)

A curious thing happened after I finished reading this essay at the end of a Feynman anthology; an old friend of ours, Brandon Brown, mentioned that he was completing a book on Max Planck. Intrigued, I asked Brandon if he’d be so good as to pass along to me a draft and he did just that. Almost immediately I was sucked into the book. It’s with a bit of shame that I admit that I wasn’t very familiar with Planck before reading the book but Brandon’s style was fluid and accessible for a dope such as myself. I discovered that not only a new world of science opened up before me, but that I had also gained a better understanding of Planck and the world he lived in.

Perhaps with Feynman’s words still echoing in my brain, I took to the idea of writing a song about Planck to accompany the book. I asked Brandon if he wanted to collaborate on the lyrics and Brandon, the kind of person who isn’t afraid to take a chance, was more than happy to have a go at it with us. A few months of work later, Brandon, Clinton, and I had the song completed. In the studio, each member of the band added their own little flair to the song as well. The result of all this now lays before you.

The words reflect a mixture of Max’s scientific work as well a meditation on the great loss to history of his correspondence and scientific records under allied bombing during World War II. The lyrics are largely Brandon’s with contributions by myself and Clinton though we do take Planck’s own words during the bridge when we sing “Du musst glauben.”

Planck is the first single from the Linus Pauling Quartet’s forthcoming album, “Ampalache,” which will be available Winter 2015 on Vincebus Eruptum Recordings.

This early digital release coincides with the publication of the book “Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War” by Brandon R. Brown who also penned the vast majority of the song’s lyrics.

Video Premiere Date: 26 May 2015
Digital Single Edition Available: 26 May 2015

© 2015 The Linus Pauling Quartet/Brandon R. Brown (BMI)
Music & Lyrics by the Linus Pauling Quartet and Brandon R. Brown

https://www.facebook.com/LinusPaulingQuartet
http://www.worshipguitars.org/LP4/LP4_WordPress
http://www.vincebuseruptum.it
https://www.facebook.com/vincebuseruptumassociation

The Linus Pauling Quartet, C is for Cthulhu (2014)

Tags: , , , ,

Linus Pauling Quartet Sign to Vincebus Eruptum Recordings

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

linus pauling quartet

Cheers to Texas heavy rockers Linus Pauling Quartet, all five of them, on signing a deal to release a new album later this year on Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, the imprint of much-respected Italian ‘zine, Vincebus Eruptum — whose 19th issue is on my desk now awaiting a soon-to-be-realized review. Linus Pauling Quartet are due to release their first LP through the label this November, so stay tuned for more info as we get closer to that and whatever may lay beyond. You never really know with these guys.

Here’s the announcement from the band, which also just happens to conveniently contain the announcement from the label. Nice:

vincebus eruptum logo

We are pleased to announce that we are now on a new label – Italy’s Vincebus Eruptum!!!!

We said we had some big news and today it’s official, Italian Psych label Vincebus Eruptum has been kind enough to take us aboard their fine flagship.

This all came about not long after we did that interview for their zine. You see, in that interview, we mentioned how vinyl here in the states was, for various reasons, just becoming too costly and time consuming. Essentially it was becoming a game for the big labels and it just didn’t make sense for us to release vinyl ourselves. I guess this struck a nerve with Davide as, not long after the interview, he offered to have us aboard his lovely label and release our albums on, yes, LP!!! We gratefully accepted his offer and the first of these releases will be “Ampalanche” which was already in the works. In fact, we sent Davide the demos and he gave us a thumbs up so “Hoist the sails, lads!”

Over the summer, we’ll be working on tracks and videos and you’ll even be able to hear a preview of the album soon as we will be releasing one track online – a song we wrote for the book “Planck – Driven by Vision, Broken by War” by Brandon R. Brown – to coincide with Oxford University Press’ release of the book. As mentioned before we wrote the song with the author (who penned most of the lyrics) and we’re trying to see if we can do some kind of small release show for the book/single this summer though, as we mentioned in an earlier post, live shows will be especially tricky over the next few months so any release show will be a cross our fingers kind of thing.

Anyhow, thanks to Davide and Vincebus Eruptum. Stay tuned, we have many more rabbits to pull out of our hat soon. In the meantime, here is the announcement from posted by VE this morning:

VINCEBUS ERUPTUM is REALLY proud to announce that the new album, “Ampalanche”, by our heroes THE LINUS PAULING QUARTET will be published on vinyl on VE Recordings!!!

The Texas based band is currently exploring psych regions of their home planet, collecting new and mysterious sonic specimens, and recording its findings as new audio tracks for the album…

Release date is planned for November 2015.

Stay tuned for more details!!!

https://www.facebook.com/LinusPaulingQuartet
http://www.worshipguitars.org/LP4/LP4_WordPress/
http://www.vincebuseruptum.it/
https://www.facebook.com/vincebuseruptumassociation

Linus Pauling Quartet, “Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords” official video

Tags: , , ,

Mothership and The Dirty Streets Spring Tour Starts Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mothership

Like they do, Dallas trio Mothership are once more headed out on tour. They’re continuing to support last year’s Mothership II (review here), which came out last fall on Ripple Music, and for what’s been dubbed the “Spring Odyssey Tour,” they’re partnered up with underrated Memphis blues jammers The Dirty Streets. The tour will carry Mothership to their appearance at Psycho California alongside SleepPentagramKylesa and many, many others (info here) and cover a decent swath of the West Coast and the Midwest, including Chicago, St. Paul, Boise, Denver, and so on.

Shows start one week from today. Here’s the official tour announcement off the PR wire:

mothership the dirty streets tour

Mothership announce Spring Odyssey Tour with The Dirty Streets across the USA this May

After a storming 2014 following the rerelease of their momentous second album through Ripple Music and European debut at The Freak Valley Festival, supersonic/intergalactic Dallas band Mothership return for what promises to be another busy year for the hard rocking Texan trio.

This May, brothers Kyle and Kelly Juett along with Judge Smith take to the road to recreate live their steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden inspired metal; southern Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top swagger, and deathly Sabbathian rock. A concoction that for some might prove too heavy to handle on record, those brave enough to bear witness to the full Mothership experience will soon discover exactly what it means to party hard.

Since 2013 the band has travelled non-stop to play live across the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe; taking to festival stages, nightclubs, and under the sun at whatever motorcycle parties they could find. They are for all intents and purposes a heavy rock juggernaut that has only just begun to tear a hole in the cosmos. And guess what? They have no plans of slowing down for anyone.

For the full list of dates on Mothership’s Spring Odyssey Tour with Memphis band The Dirty Streets see below.

1st May – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
2nd May – Dubuque, IA – Vintage Torque Festival*
3rd May – Milwaukee, WI – Metal Grill
4th May – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
5th May – St. Paul, MN – Big V’s Saloon
6th May – Kansas City, MO – The Scene
7th May – Denver, CO – Moon Room
9th May – Boise, ID – Crazy Horse
10th May – Vancouver, BC – Hindenburg*
11th May – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
13th May – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub
15th May – South Lake Tahoe, CA – Whiskey Dicks
17th May – Orange County, CA – Psycho California*
*Mothership Only

Mothership is Kelley Juett (guitars/vocals), Kyle Juett (bass/vocals) and Judge Smith (drums).

http://www.mothershiphaslanded.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mothershipusa
https://twitter.com/mothershipusa
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Mothership, Mothership II (2014)

Tags: , , , ,

Wo Fat, Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley: Bringing the Bayou

Posted in On Wax on April 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wo-fat-live-juju-cover

It seems unlikely that a casual listener or at very least someone who’s not already a fan would chase down an offering like Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley, which captures Dallas trio Wo Fat‘s five-song, 40-minute set at the 2014 edition of the German Freak Valley festival, held in Netphen. However, we live in a universe of infinite possibilities, so as a perfunctory notice, I’ll say that like the vast, vast majority of live releases, it’s better appreciated by those with some familiarity to the studio versions of the tracks, and that if you’re hearing Wo Fat for the first time — unless you were at Freak Valley (or somewhere else they played, I suppose), didn’t know the albums, saw them live, were super-into it and want a memento — the place to go is probably to one of their albums before you get back to Live Juju. That’s a condition of live records in general, not necessarily something related to the three-piece’s performance at the fest or anything about the recording, which is released by Fuzz Lab Records and was recorded by Jens Hunecke, but it’s a disclaimer worth putting out there anyway, should anyone happen to be new to the band. For the already-converted, Live Juju is an utter no-brainer. One of US heavy rock’s finest and fuzziest taking the stage at a major Euro fest, a setlist spanning six years in five songs recorded clean and crisp, pressed to thick-stock black LP with cover and inside-liner art by David Paul Seymour, live photos from the fest by Falk-Hagen Bernshausen (first published here) and a download code that includes a bonus 14-minute studio jam called “Dark Snow” that rumbles and grooves like the best of Wo Fat‘s latter-day explorations? If you’re already a fan of Wo Fat, there’s really nothing about Live Juju not to like.

Call it a victory lap. Guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump (who also mixed at the band’s Crystal Clear Audio in Dallas), bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter first took to European stages in 2012, then supporting their Small Stone label debut and fourth album, The Black Code (vinyl review here, CD review here). Their 2014 return trip, arriving on the heels of their fifth record and finest work to-date, The Conjuring (review here), was dubbed the “Texas Takeover” and Wo Fat were joined by fellow Dallas natives Mothership on their inaugural run. Freak Valley was an earlier stop on the tour, which lasted about two weeks. Not really what you’d call a “touring band,” in the sense of road-dogging their way back and forth from market to market, venue to venue, Wo Fat have nonetheless managed to concoct a formidable stage presence, and at least going by the audio (much as I’d like to, I’ve yet to see Freak Valley in-person), they hit stage in Netphen with no hesitation. Their set boasts highlights going back to their second full-length, 2008’s Psychedelonaut (review here), tying the material together with a fervent sense of ride-ready groove and weighted tones, Stump opting for a bluesman’s gruffness on “Read the Omens” from The Conjuring, which follows opener “The Black Code.” That song, the title-track of the 2012 album, is nothing if not a landmark hook for the band, and they faithfully give it a rendition north of 10 minutes, their motion no less fluid on stage than in the studio, rolling their way into the faster verses of “Read the Omens” before the chorus opens wide and echoing true to the outdoor space where it was recorded. Side A is just the two songs, and the flip does sort of pull you out of the live experience, but the way I wound up thinking about it was a second to tune ahead of “Bayou Juju” serving as the centerpiece of the set.

wo-fat-live-juju-cover-and-lp

Side B is longer, beginning with “Bayou Juju” and rolling through “Enter the Riffian” and closer “Sleep of the Black Lotus” smoothly and with enough rumble in Wilson‘s bass as Stump tears into an extended solo on the first of them that it’s easy to imagine the grasses of Freak Valley vibrating from the low end. By the time they get there, Wo Fat are full on, about halfway through and nailing it. The track, taken from 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra (review here), is a highlight, but the shorter “Enter the Riffian” from Psychedelonaut grounds the set and thus the recording with a more straightforward, less jammy movement. Wo Fat may have grown beyond the kind of dead-ahead heavy rock that Psychedelonaut offered — to their credit, keeping a balance of hooks and jams in doing so — but they use the older material well here, and Walter‘s ride-cymbal swing comes through loud and clear on Live Juju behind the winding riff. It’s the only song here under seven minutes long, but lives up to its multifaceted purpose, bleeding directly into “Sleep of the Black Lotus” with a cymbal wash and guitar freakout, Stump seizing an opportunity to tear into an improv-sounding take on the finale’s intro in front of the festival crowd. They telegraph the groove from the start, if only to bring that audience along, and it’s easy to imagine the sea of nodding heads that stood before them, maybe a puff of smoke here or there as the midsection evolves into a churning jam from the earlier verses and choruses, a model that came to light earlier and which The Black Code and The Conjuring continued to grow. Feedback and earned applause ends and the arm returns, but for those listening digitally, the instrumental “Dark Snow” further affirms Wo Fat‘s improvisational sensibilities, building from a creepy backwards-cymbal fade-in to a solo-topped roll that shares in common with its live compatriots on Live Juju just how in their element Wo Fat seem to be. That’s really the story of Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley. It’s an act who have cut their teeth and organically developed their sound across five records getting on stage and sharing the fruits of their labor. The short version? They deliver, and prove that sometimes when a band doesn’t tour all the time, nine months out of the year on the road and so on, that only makes it more special when they do. This must have been something to see.

Wo Fat, Live Juju (2015)

Wo Fat on Thee Facebooks

Wo Fat’s website

Freak Valley Festival

Fuzz Lab Records

Tags: , , , , ,

Switchblade Jesus to Reissue Self-Titled Debut on Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

switchblade jesus

Corpus Christi, Texas, five-piece Switchblade Jesus have inked a deal to reissue their 2013 self-titled debut, which also saw a 2014 vinyl release on Bilocation (review here), on Ripple Music. The album landed with nothing short of a smash upon its initial arrival, and has continued to build an audience in the two years since — momentum that Ripple, who seem to be snapping up more bands each passing week, will no doubt help move forward. As it seems like the association between band and label will be ongoing, that is, not just for this reissue, it would be hard to find a more suitable home for Switchblade Jesus than where they’ve landed.

They’re on the road now with Fuzz Evil, having played El Paso last night on a quick four-date tour of Texas (one of few states one can legitimately “tour” within; see also California), and the date for the reissue is May 12, as told by the PR wire:

switchblade jesus switchblade jesus

Ripple Music to reissue debut album from Switchblade Jesus | Share new video for ‘Oblivion’

Switchblade Jesus will be released on 12th May 2015

In the latest of a long line of formidable signings this year, LA-based record label Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the addition of Texan band Switchblade Jesus to their roster, and the official rerelease of their acclaimed 2014 self-titled debut this May.

Formed in 2010 in the land of oil and tar, the Corpus Christi outfit consisting of Peter Quarnstrom (vocals), Eric Calvert (lead guitar/vocals), Billy Guerra (guitar), Jason Beers (bass) and Jon Elizondo (drums) may be hard drinking operators of heavy rock and roll, but they are also well versed in the ways of the desert.

Switchblade Jesus, the band’s devastating right hook of a debut was originally released on Kozmik Artifactz and instantly found listeners hearing notable nods to Kyuss, Orange Goblin and Clutch deep amid from the record’s weighty grooves and vintage stoner vibes. A crushing, loose and alcohol-fuelled fistfight between heavy fuzz and wild peyote hallucinations, tracks like ‘Bastard Son’ and ‘Renegade Riders’ showcase the band’s raw and unruly power… and then some.

The band also take to the road this month to play a number of dates across their home state of Texas with Arizonan three-piece Fuzz Evil (See dates below).

22nd April – Low Brow Palace – El Paso, TX
23rd April – The Mix – San Antonio, TX
24th April – The Lost Well – Austin, TX
25th April – Club Dada – Dallas, TX

Switchblade Jesus by Switchblade Jesus will be rereleased on 12th May 2015 through Ripple Music.

Track Listing:
1. Into Nothing (2:20)
2. Bastard Son (5:31)
3. The Wolves (3:45)
4. Sick Mouth (4:52)
5. Equinox (3:16)
6. Renegade Riders (4:39)
7. Copperhead (4:49)
8. Oblivion (6:27)

Release Date: 12th May 2015
Label: Ripple Music
Format: LP/CD/Download

https://www.facebook.com/SwitchbladeJesus
https://switchbladejesus.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/switchbladejesus
https://twitter.com/The_Switchblade

Switchblade Jesus, “Oblivion” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kent Stump of Wo Fat

Posted in Questionnaire on March 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

kent-stump

Across five records and nine fuzz-laden years, Dallas trio Wo Fat have become an institution in Texas heavy rock. Their latest album and second for Small Stone, The Conjuring (review here), is in many ways their strongest release to date, benefiting from the naturally-developed chemistry between guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer Michael Walter, as well as from the self-sufficiency of the band recording at their own studio, Crystal Clear Sound, in Dallas. While their reputation has built steadily since the release of their 2006 debut, The Gathering Dark, and its ’08 follow-up, Psychedelonaut (review here), 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra (review here), on Nasoni, proved a particular breakthrough point, leading to the band’s signing to Small Stone for the next year’s The Black Code (review here), for which they toured in Europe for the first time, making their continental debut at the 2013 Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands (review here) and setting the stage for the triumph to come with The Conjuring and a return trip across the Atlantic, this one marked out by an appearance at last year’s Freak Valley in Germany.

Wo Fat‘s latest release is a document of their set there: Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley will hit the public on March 17. Later this year, the band will also take part in Magnetic Eye Records‘ tribute to Jimi HendrixElectric Ladyland [Redux], covering “Gypsy Eyes.”

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kent Stump

How did you come to do what you do?

Well, what I do is play music and I record music, which is how I make my living – recording music, that is. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Both of my parents are musicians, so it was something that was just ubiquitous and inescapable in our house when I was growing up. Never once in my life did I consider doing anything with my life other than becoming a musician and doing something relating to music, although the place I’m at now is not where I would have thought I would be when I was a teenager, or even when I was in college. My journey to the heavy and the riff is a bit of a circuitous one.

I went to college to study jazz and fully planned on getting out of college and going on to be a jazz musician. While at college, I got turned on to a much wider world of music by so many great people with widely varying tastes. I discovered punk rock and ‘70s funk and African music and all the great ‘70s rock and the ‘80s NY noise scene, and on and on. And most importantly, I really discovered the blues. I had always known a bit about the blues since I was heavily into jazz, but I became much more hip to a lot of blues musicians that I hadn’t previously checked out, and that eventually led me to realize that my whole life I’ve been drawn to music that comes from the blues – rock, funk, etc. That, along with a friend I had that was into all things heavy who got me listening to Sabbath as well as a lot of ‘80s hardcore and metal, led to my desire to make heavy blues music.

When I was in college in Denton, Texas, the music scene at that time was absolutely electric, and the vibe was very open and experimental. Punk rock and funk and metal with a jazz edge were all kind of mixing together and it was a really artistically open-minded vibe at the time, which I think shaped my thinking about music a lot. So eventually in the late ‘90s I discovered bands like Sleep, Fu Manchu, Nebula, Kyuss and all the Man’s Ruin bands and I came to the realization that this is the music, along with the blues, that speaks to me on the most primal level and this is what I want to play.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first musical memory is laying on our living room floor when I was very young, maybe four or five years old, and my dad putting on a record of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. It’s an amazing piece of music and it definitely left an impression on me. I think, if I’m not mistaken, when that piece was premiered in Paris it caused a riot. Stravinsky is pretty hardcore.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I don’t know if I have just one best musical memory. I’ve got a lot of things that were landmark musical moments in my life though. Getting to play at Roadburn is without a doubt one of the best musical memories for me. Roadburn is such an iconic thing and it was the first show that we played on our first European tour, which was also the first time I had ever been to Europe and it was just kind of a surreal, epiphenal and mindblowing experience. It was amazing to walk into the scene there and see a whole bunch of people that are hardcore fans of the same music I dig. I had never seen that, at least not on that level, before.

You don’t see that kind of thing when it comes to this kind of music in the US. And to be performing at this amazing festival was just awesome, and also a bit nerve-racking at the same time. I remember going to see High on Fire’s set after we played and it was packed and the crowd was just electric and High on Fire sounded better than I’ve ever heard them before. I think they were just vibing on the amazing vibe of the fans. Same with Elder’s set, who I got to see a little later that night. The vibe from the crowd was so intense and Elder kicked ass riding that wave, I think. Amazing day.

I have memories of a lot of transcendental shows that I would put in the great musical memory category. Getting to see Sleep a couple years ago was bad ass. Sometime around 1997 or 1998 I went to SXSW in Austin, before SXSW totally turned into utter crap, and I got to see Fatso Jetson just destroy as well as an amazing showcase that had Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age right before they hit big. There was a whole Man’s Ruin showcase that was killer.

When I was in college I got to see free jazz great Cecil Taylor. That was an absolutely kick ass show. He was just pounding the piano and pieces of the pads inside the piano were flying out as he was playing. And there were maybe 10 people there to see this free jazz icon. So many great shows that have shaped my thinking.

I also have a lot of memories of late nights fueled with alcohol, and other things, and hanging with friends who turned me onto heavy, heavy tunes that I wasn’t previously hip to. Some of these rank up there with the great musical moments to me – sitting on the couch and tripping out to amazing, life-changing jams… These things all are part of my story as a musician and music lover that has brought me to where I am now.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

That’s a tough question. I kinda feel like most my life, my beliefs and likes/interests have been juxtaposed between two opposing worlds. For example, my heavily schooled musical upbringing versus a more primal, less technical, organic approach to playing. Or, being a recording engineer like I am, most of my peers are gearheads focused on the technical aspects of engineering, which I am to a certain extent, but I am far more focused on the musicality of recording and finding ways to make a recording reach you on an emotional level, so I’m not über-obsessed with technical- and gear-related things about recording.

Also in this particular time, my political versus spiritual beliefs, that to me, are completely simpatico, are to most, seemingly at odds with one another.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Ideally artistic progression leads to more artistic progression. Art and music is a neverending journey. I don’t think I’ll ever have arrived at a stopping place artistically because every move forward reveals more things to reach for and directions to consider. That’s the beauty of it. You’re never finished. You can just abandon the quest if you want, but there is always further to go.

How do you define success?

I think it’s being happy and doing what you makes you happy. Despite the fact that financially, life is a struggle for me, I feel like I’ve achieved a good amount of success in the sense that I’m playing music I love and people are digging it, we own a killer studio and my day job involves doing things that are artistic and deal with music and, on top of it all, I’ve got the most amazing wife who I’ve been married to for 18 years.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

On the one hand there’s probably a lot I wish I hadn’t seen, but at the same time, all those experiences contribute to making me who I am, although there are some things that I could probably do without ever seeing that wouldn’t change me too much. One thing that I wish I hadn’t seen is this: The studio that we run is in an industrial area of Dallas and there are a lot of stray dogs that run around in packs in that area. Seeing a stray dog is something I don’t like seeing to begin with because I love dogs and I want to help them all, but we’re full up at my house with dogs. My wife and I already have five dogs so there’s no more room at the inn.

Anyway, one day I saw a little Chihuahua-mix stray being harassed by a couple of big dogs. At first I thought they were playing, but then I realized that that was not the case and I wasn’t able to get to them to break it up before the larger dogs had inflicted a mortal wound on the little guy. It just breaks my heart that I couldn’t help him and it still pains me to this day to think about it. I hate to see the helpless get brutalized by the powerful, which, sadly, happens all around us every day.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I really wish that I could draw and paint. I would love to be able to create art like Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo. I don’t think that will ever happen for me, though, because I don’t have any of those skills. There is, of course, much more music I’d like to create. I’m always wanting to incorporate disparate musical styles and influences together in our music, like Afro-Cuban music, blues, jazz and metal.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Having dinner and watching hockey with my wife.

Wo Fat, Live at Freak Valley 2014

Wo Fat on Thee Facebooks

Crystal Clear Sound website

Small Stone Records

Magnetic Eye Records

 

Tags: , , , ,

Venomous Maximus to Release Firewalker in May on Shadow Kingdom

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

venomous maximus

Houston four-piece Venomous Maximus — whom I’d call VenMax if it didn’t sound like a prescription drug; maybe something for the kidney? or beard growth? — have announced the details for their forthcoming Shadow Kingdom Records debut, Firewalker, as well as unveiled the cover, which is part Bathory in only the best way. The record is due out May 5, and it seems reasonable to expect tour dates will follow soon after. VenMax — ask your doctor — hit the road pretty hard in support of their latest outing, 2012’s Beg upon the Light, which also got a reissue through Napalm Records, and I don’t think you call your record Firewalker if you’re not ready to walk across a few coals yourself.

The PR wire brings words, because it knows how much you love words:

venomous maximus firewalker

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS to Release New Album Firewalker May 5

Dark Metal Band Set to Explode with Red Hot New LP

Houston heavy metal band VENOMOUS MAXIMUS will release its new album, Firewalker, on May 5 via Shadow Kingdom Records. The award-winning four piece, who has won back-to-back-to-back titles at the Houston Press Music Awards as the city’s Best Metal Band, recorded the album at the Diamond Factory in Austin, TX with engineer Travis Bonner (Ancient VVisdom). The record was mastered at PLX Mastering by Paul Logus (Satyricon, Clutch, Anthrax), with early reports indicating the band’s new music to be “big, bold and bad ass.”

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is an explosive, unbridled force. The band’s music combines intense, unabashed metal riffing that locks into heavy rock grooves featuring interjected dual leads and surprisingly darkened atmospheres. A live powerhouse, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has toured the U.S. as hand-picked guests of metal legends DOWN, HIGH ON FIRE and PENTAGRAM, and has created a huge buzz as part of both Austin’s SXSW and Fun Fun Fun festivals. VENOMOUS MAXIMUS consistently blows the doors off every venue in its touring path, leaving a whole new contingent of music fans awestruck and hungry for more. The group’s most recent album, Beg Upon the Light, hit with adamantine force, and has met to widespread celebration.

Now, with the impending LP, Firewalker, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is poised to prove that each and every accolade it has earned since its formation in 2010 is backed with the determination and drive necessary to push modern metal forward in 2015.

“One thing that underground music has been missing for the last 10 years is danger,” says VENOMOUS MAXIMUS vocalist / guitarist Gregg Higgins. “Making this record almost killed us and pissed a lot of people off in the making, but chaos and drama make good art.”

Firewalker track listing:

1.) Angel Heart
2.) Dark Waves
3.) Fire in the Night
4.) Ghost Beast
5.) My Machine
6.) October 14
7.) White Rose

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus
https://twitter.com/venomousmaximus
http://venomousmaximus.bandcamp.com/
http://store.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

Venomous Maximus, The Mission (2011)

Tags: , , , , ,

Wo Fat Update on Live Juju at Freak Valley Release and Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I believe this was taken in Switzerland. Wo Fat get around. (Photo by Al Fombra)

As announced here back in December, Dallas trio Wo Fat will release their new live album, Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley, on March 17. The three-piece, who stood tall in 2014 both on that festival’s stage (and elsewhere) and with their fifth full-length, The Conjuring (review here) on Small Stone, have the vinyl up for preorder now through their Bandcamp, and have announced a host of appearances for the coming months. They’ll play with Elder and Mos Generator for a handful of shows as the two bands make their was through Texas ahead of a slot at the Borderlands Fuzz Fiesta, and in May they’ll take part in the Psycho California festival with SleepPentagram and tons of others. All this ahead of a slot at the Sylak Open Air fest in France, which would seem to hint at more European plans to be announced for the summer.

They sent the following update down the PR wire:

wo fat live juju at freak valley

Live Wo Fat record and upcoming spring shows

Upcoming album release and shows in the coming months with Elder, Mos Generator, Sleep, Fireball Ministry, Pentagram and more!

Exciting things are afoot in the Wo Fat world. First of all, we will be releasing Live Juju:Wo Fat at Freak Valley on vinyl on March 17th. This was recorded live at, you guessed it, Freak Valley Festival last May 30th in Germany. It will be black vinyl, which we decided to do exclusively because of the superior sonic quality, and it will include a download card that will have a bonus, previously unreleased jam called Dark Snow. Pre-ordering is open now on our bandcamp page: https://wofat.bandcamp.com/

We’ve also got some exciting gigs coming up this spring including an appearance at Psycho California, which has arguably the best lineup of bands of any festival in the USA this year. Check out the poster. Get more info here: http://www.psychoca.com/

We’ll also be playing the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in Tucson in February with Fireball Ministry and Mos Generator, among others, as well as doing some shows on the road with Mos Generator on the way to Arizona. Get your tickets for Borderland Fuzz Fiesta here: http://therocktucson.ticketleap.com/borderland-fuzz-fiesta-2015/

And that’s not all! We’ll be playing the 3rd annual Fuzzed Out! Fest in Fort Worth.

Stay up to date on our tour dates on Bands In Town: http://www.bandsintown.com/WoFat

Upcoming Shows:
2-18 The Grotto, Fort Worth, TX
with Mos Generator, Mothership, Cosmic Trigger’
2-19 The Lost Well, Austin TX
with Mos Generator, Mothership and Duel
2-20 The Low Brow Palace, El Paso, TX
with Mos Generator
2-21 Borderland Fuzz Fiesta, The Rock, Tucson, AZ
with Fireball Ministry, Mos Generator, and more…
3-13 Silver Dollar, Texarkana, AK
with Elder and Mos Generator
3-14 Double Wide, Dallas, TX
with Elder, Mos Generator and Blood of the Sun
3-21 Fuzzed Out!, Lola’s, Fort Worth, TX
lineup tba
4-25 Club Dada, Dallas, TX
with Mothership, Switchblade Jesus and Fuzz Evil
5-17 Psycho California, The Observatory, Costa Mesa, CA
headliners: Sleep, Pentagram, Cult of Luna and many more.
8-8 Sylak Open Air Festival, France

https://www.facebook.com/wofatriffage
https://wofat.bandcamp.com/
http://www.bandsintown.com/WoFat
https://www.facebook.com/psychocalifornia

Wo Fat, Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley (2015)

Tags: , , , ,