Friday Full-Length: Yawning Man, Rock Formations

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 

Consider the timing. Yawning Man formed in 1986 with guitarist Gary Arce, guitarist Mario Lalli, bassist Larry Lalli and drummer Alfredo Hernandez, and for a long time were something of a historical footnote in the development of Californian desert rock. Along with Across the River and the Lallis’ other concurrent band, Fatso Jetson, they were crucial to the development of the style, but Yawning Man were never able to reap the same kind of acclaim as some of the others from their region/local scene, in no small part because they never had a record out. They never signed to SST like Fatso Jetson, or hooked up with Elektra Records like their more accessible acolytes in Kyuss.

In fact, until 19 years after they first got together, the closest thing Yawning Man to a proper document of their sprawling jams was a series of demos that would later be collected into The Birth of Sol (discussed here), which was released on vinyl through Cobraside Distribution in 2009 and on double-cassette earlier this year through Solid 7 Records in an edition of 100 copies. Yes, I bought one. Just now. While writing this post. It’s called multitasking.

So think about that: Yawning Man went 19 years before they put out a record. And when they did? Rock Formations was ahead of its time.

Issuing through Alone Records, the instrumentalists would catch the ears of an elite few in the burgeoning milieu of internet message boards, but what Rock Formations communicates even 13 years after its first release in 2005 is a sense of pastoral spaciousness. In Arce‘s signature guitar tone — which, not to take away from Mario Lalli‘s bass or Hernandez‘s drumming, which are of course essential to the proceedings — Yawning Man finds its center and emanates outward from there across 10 songs and 43 minutes that aren’t inactive, but seem to resonate a stillness all the same. It remains a gorgeous record.

But it’s not aggressive. And for a heavy underground who knew Yawning Man largely through the Kyuss cover of “Catamaran” — a song Yawning Man wrote but wouldn’t actually put on an album until 2018’s The Revolt Against Tired Noises (review here) — it was an unexpected turn of aesthetic despite ultimately being true to the band’s style, which has never been outwardly angry. Even in the more forward low end of “Advanced Darkness” or the surge in the final minute of “Stoney Lonesome,” which is the longest track at 6:03, Rock Formations holds to a laid back vibe that might have punk roots, but certainly draws from other sources as well.

In 2010, during an interview to talk about that year’s follow-up to Rock Formations, the still-excellent Nomadic Pursuits (review here), I somewhat sheepishly came right out and asked Arce about the development of his guitar tone. yawning man rock formationsCouldn’t help myself. He was kind enough not to call me a dunce and gave a somewhat unexpected answer about his early inspirations:

I’m really into Bauhaus. Seriously. I grew up in the early ‘80s, listening to bands like Bauhaus and I’ve always loved the way that band has their thing, so I’ve always modeled my sound after them. I don’t know if you can hear it. The guitar player is Daniel Ash who later formed Love and Rockets. That guy’s an awesome guitar player, and he’s always had this tone that I’ve loved since I was a kid. When I finally got a guitar, I experimented around a lot with different effects and pedals, and I came near to what he does. I don’t want to sound just like him (laughs), but that’s one of my biggest influences, actually, is Bauhaus… If you listen to Yawning Man and you listen to Bauhaus, Southern Death Cult, Lords of the New Church, you’ll hear it.

Goth rock. A secondary tag for Yawning Man has always been surf because of the echo surrounding Arce‘s guitar and the general rhythmic insistence of songs like “Airport Boulevard” and “Perpetual Oyster,” both highlights of Rock Formations, but I’ve always kept that connection to Bauhaus in mind when it comes to Arce‘s work in sundry projects, and he’s right. You can hear it. It’s part of what makes Rock Formations harder to place within a style like heavy rock. And 2005 was a moment of generational shift as well. The stoner rock wave of the late ’90s and early ’00s had crested, and Yawning Man didn’t really fit with that either.

As the ensuing years and the boom of a mobilized social media landscape would expand the definition of “heavy” to encompass a range of atmospheres, Yawning Man would find their place eventually. But it took people that amount of time to catch up to them, and so in its initial release, Rock Formations was nothing if not under-appreciated. To hear it now, the Western jangle of “Split Tooth Thunder” and closer “Buffalo Chips” and the exploratory ambience of “She Scares Me” are quintessential Yawning ManNomadic Pursuits was more a right-album-right-time situation and though they’d continue having trouble getting on the road for a variety of reasons, by the time they got around to 2015’s Historical Graffiti (review here), which was recorded in South America, they were more apt to get out and tour.

Europe, as it will, has been a focal point, and to coincide with The Revolt Against Tired NoisesYawning Man headed abroad for a massive stint to promote it. One could argue the last half-decade has seen the band get some measure of the respect they’ve long deserved, but Rock Formations was still well in advance of that. Imagine if it had come out in 1995 instead. The mind boggles.

Maybe it was as early as it was late, but somehow being out of its time, standing utterly apart, suits Rock Formations. Yawning Man have never been about setting themselves to an expectation of what heavy is, and while ‘heavy’ has caught up to them in the years since, it’s always been a question of them working on their own terms. More then a decade after the fact, with Yawning Man having taken their place among the most pivotal architects of desert rock, they still are.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

So here’s how it’s gonna go. This weekend is my sister’s birthday. We’re driving down to New Jersey to see her for the occasion. Great. I like New Jersey, I like my family. It all works out. At the same time, The Patient Mrs. has some thing in Boston this morning/afternoon. We have one car.

It goes that I’ll drive with her to Boston with The Pecan in tow, then he and I will go futz around town for a bit while she does her thing — I’m planning on picking up a proper USB microphone so I don’t sound like complete ass (at least in terms of sound quality) during Gimme Radio voice breaks — then go back and pick her up. The drive to Boston can be about 90 minutes in the morning. Any time of day, it is viscerally unpleasant.

After that, we’re supposed to go drive to Connecticut for the night to split up the ride between Massachusetts and New Jersey. We’re not packed. I have no idea what time it will be by then, but I know that the baby — who’s 1 now; Mr. Bigshot Pecan climbing the furniture — will have already been in the car for at least two hours. Then it’s two more from Boston to CT, at least, depending on how long it takes to get out of town, traffic on I-95 or the Masspike, etc.

We’ll end up back here tonight, then rolling down to NJ directly tomorrow morning first thing. There’s no escaping the brutality either way. Then Monday we’re going to hightail it back north at least to Connecticut because The Patient Mrs. has work back here in MA at some point whenever. That’s at least a three-‘u’ fuuuck.

One more thing that, were I 20-25 years old, wouldn’t be a problem. Now? I can’t make it through Rhode Island without falling asleep at the wheel.

This, basically to spend one day in New Jersey. I’m not even sure it’ll be a full 24 hours. One overnight. Woof.

Next Friday, when I’m bitching about how tired I’ve been all week, please someone remind me why. Also feel free to call me fat and tell me I’m a shitty parent. I’ll hear it either way.

Then buy a t-shirt. Thanks.

Here are the notes for next week, subject to change without prior notice:

Mon.: Little Jimi review/stream; maybe that new Greenleaf video.
Tue.: Godmaker/Somnuri split review; Yatra track premiere; Juniper Grave video premiere.
Wed.: Sundecay review/track premiere.
Thu.: Goliathan review/album stream.
Fri.: Arcadian Child review/track premiere.

Wherever possible and in situations where I’m cool enough to do so as deemed by labels, PR, management and the bands themselves — sundry gatekeepers — I’ve been trying to line up reviews and premieres. Gives people a little something more to dig into than my endless fucking blathering. It’s better when there’s a song there at the top of the post. Makes it more exciting for me too.

It’s not all premieres, but I’ve got reviews booked from now through the second week of December. Nothing like thinking ahead.

Pop pop pop. — That’s my brain in my skull.

Okay.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for reading. Thanks for reading. Thanks for reading. Tattoo it on my forearm. Thanks for reading.

Great and safe weekend. Forum and radio.

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Feature: Going Deep on The Wall [Redux]; Band Commentaries, Track Premieres and More

Posted in Features on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

va magnetic eye pink floyd the wall redux

Two things you should know about this post. First: It’s huge. Apart from the year-end lists that get posted each Jan. 1, it’s the longest post I’ve ever put up. The Q&As alone are 11,000 words. It’s more compendium than interview.

Second: That’s entirely on purpose.

What on earth would possibly earn such a vast landscape of text if not The Wall [Redux]? The third and most ambitious yet of Magnetic Eye Records‘ series of [Redux] compilations captures Pink Floyd at arguably (or, really, inarguably) their most iconic and comes accompanied by The Best of Pink Floyd, another Various Artists take on a swath of tracks from the generation-defining British band’s storied discography.

Like few records before it and even fewer since, The Wall is a landmark for what rock and roll could be, and the enduring emotional and sociopolitical relevance of a work of art that’s the better part of 40 is only part of what makes it so timeless when one considers the actual songwriting itself. Even for rock heads who aren’t Pink Floyd fans, it’s undeniable.

Before we get down to business on this thing, I need to thank Jadd Shickler of Magnetic Eye and Blue Heron (who take on “Stop”) for essentially putting it all together. He chased down the commentaries from the bands and we went back and forth about whether to run the whole thing or edit it down, but in the end, it seemed too crucial to me to not include everybody’s every word. I won’t be so self-aggrandizing as to call this a companion for The Wall [Redux] or The Best of Pink Floyd or anything like that, but it’s a look at the bands talking about how Floyd came into their lives, how they got to do the songs they did, and how they view the album in the context of today. Some take a political angle, some just dig the record. Both are valid, and The Wall stands up to scrutiny on both levels.

I’ve put the bands in alphabetical order, so you’ll get to see comments from: ASG, Blue Heron, Creepers, Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, Domkraft, Forming the Void, Ghastly Sound, Greenleaf, Howling Giant, Mark Lanegan, Low Flying Hawks, Mars Red Sky, the Melvins, Mos Generator, Open Hand, Pallbearer, Red Mesa, Scott Reeder, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Solace, Somnuri, Summoner, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Sergeant Thunderhoof, The Slim Kings, Spaceslug, Sunflo’er, T-Tops, WhiteNails, Worshipper, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra. That’s nearly everybody involved in the project.

The copy is pretty raw — if you have time to precisely edit 11,000 words, congratulations on your life — but I’ve done a bit of formatting to hopefully make it clear. You’ll find it all beneath the track premieres below for Solace‘s take on “In the Flesh” and Red Mesa‘s version of “Breathe.” The Wall [Redux] and The Best of Pink Floyd are out Nov. 9 on Magnetic Eye Records. Preorders are available here.

Solace, “In the Flesh”

Red Mesa, “Breathe”

Behind The Wall [Redux]:
Inspirations and Motivations

Jason / ASG / Mother

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

I think for us as musicians, Pink Floyd was there in the beginning of learning how to play guitar, drums etc. The relative simplicity of many Floyd tunes went hand in hand with the primitive stages of guitar lessons-if you knew a handful of chords you could play many of their songs. So as a teenager that was a big deal, being able to play one of your favorite band’s songs in the early stages of playing an instrument – it kind of cemented a lifelong bond of influence and fandom with Pink Floyd.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “Mother?”

In our attempt of covering “Mother” we chose to stay relatively true to the original- we recorded out in the desert of Texas so perhaps a bit of country western influence slipped in with some guitar tremolo and mandolin making their way on to the track. And as a vocalist trying to do both the Waters and Gilmour “voices” it provided a bit of a challenge – but hopefully our version retained the intriguing and beautiful dichotomy their voices created in many classic Floyd tunes.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

I think any time or year is a good time to revisit Pink Floyd!

Jadd / Blue Heron / Stop

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

I was late getting turned onto Pink Floyd, I think in my late 20s… I’d always heard the hits on rock radio but never spent any time going deeper. For some reason, I decided to buy an unauthorized biography about Pink Floyd while at a big bookstore in Denver when I was 27 or so. And then, who knows why, I read it from cover to cover while driving cross-country from Erie, Pennsylvania to Albuquerque, NM. I don’t mean I read it at rest stops and hotels or listened to the audio version, I mean I read the physical book perched on my steering wheel while driving 80 miles per hour across the width of the United States – it was that engrossing, and I heard and learned things about constructing songs and being in a band that would affect me forever.

How did you arrive at your approach to your song?

Well, we claimed this song as a way to be part of the record but not feel like we were taking the more sought-after songs away from anyone. No one was fighting over the 42-second piano and vocal instrumental, but that was nice, we were free to kind of ingest it and blast out something uniquely us. Chav basically took on the heavy lifting of turning that sparse piano melody into multiple layers of texture and fuzz, and then we drew it out a little bit so it didn’t feel rushed. There are very few lyrics, so I really just tried to find a different point of view on them… Roger Waters does plaintive well, I was aiming more for resignation and self-disgust as the character recognizes his errors in judgement and skewed perspective… I like to think that came across in what we did.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

As soon as Mike told me his plan to make The Wall the next Redux album, I was on board. It was February of 2017, and we were maybe a month into the Trump presidency, hearing about the wall he was going to build on the border and feeling completely alienated in our own country. Even though Floyd’s album was maybe not as political originally in its message, it seems like it took on more of that position over the years as it came to be associated with East Germany and such. So, given how powerless we were feeling after the most recent presidential election, the idea of re-building and re-imagining such a seminal album couldn’t have been a better way to make a statement about totalitarianism, divisiveness, and the kind of ignorance and hatred this administration makes people feel empowered to embrace. We should probably Redux the Sex Pistols next just to drive the point home.

Bill / Church of the Cosmic Skull / The Trial

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

Although Dark Side and the Syd Barrett era are the usual ‘way in’, The Wall was played a lot around the house when I was younger, so it was my introduction to the band. As we’re all aware it’s something of a marmite album, and certainly more Waters than anything else, but it’s undeniably a great concept album, from one of the many incarnations of Pink Floyd.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

I love the old story that Dark Side syncs up with The Wizard of Oz if you press play at the right time. The Trial has some of Gerald Scarfes darkest animation visuals as part of the feature film, so we have synced up the cover version with the original, so you can play both simultaneously and it will fit together. Musically we have changed the verses considerably, and as the original has parts from all the different characters on the album it made sense we gave each one to different singers in the band:

The Prosecutor – Brother Sam
The Teacher – Brother Michael
The Wife – Sister Caroline
The Mother – Sister Joanne
Pink & The Judge – Brother Bill

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Politically it makes sense, and the increasing awareness of mental health issues, especially in the music industry, makes it all the more poignant.

Shiv Mehra / Creepers / Us and Them

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

As musicians and music fans Pink Floyd has been one of the most inspiring bands of a lifetime. I connected to them personally from the early days of Syd Barrett to the latter. They’ve pushed sonic boundaries for rock into a realm of psychedelia that opened the doors for so much of our music today.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Well “Us and Them” was one of our first picks for covering because it sits in a range for us vocally and reflects our own personal taste and sound as a band.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

2018 is a perfect time for revisiting The Wall because it has been 39 years and music has transformed in so many ways since, but The Wall paved the path for psychedelic bands like us.

Nicolas / Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel / Welcome to the Machine

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

My connection with PF is huge! This band has been part of my main influences for years. I have all Floyd albums and a lot of solo albums of each member. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to see the whole band performing together, but I was lucky enough to see David Gilmour and Roger Waters in concert. I saw the last tour of The Wall at the Stade de France in Paris in 2013. This concert was a turning point in my life. Probably the biggest concert I’ve ever seen and will ever see. Recently I saw Waters with my dad, it was also a wonderful moment. Pink Floyd is one of those timeless groups that cross generations. My father loves PF, I love PF and I hope my son will love PF too!

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Pink Floyd is one of the few bands that connects us all in LDDSM. We all listen to this band on a daily basis, really. For each new album, we work on a cover that we play at the end of our concerts. For the album “Human Collapse”, it was “Welcome to the machine”. This appeared quite obvious by itself, because HC was written under the influence of PF from the start and is composed somewhat like “The Wall”. The way of composing and Gilmour’s guitar playing guided me a lot during the writing of this album. This man is a real god and I have immense respect for him. The sound he has created, his way of placing always the right notes at the right time, the sensitivity he puts in it, is pure genius. When we cover a song, we like to make it our own, as if the song could have been written by ourselves. But above all, we are always looking to keep its original identity. We don’t like to leave its uniqueness behind. People must be able to recognize it in the first seconds and have to say at the end “goddam, it really sounds like an LDDSM song!” That’s the point, make LDDSM stuff with the composition of another and respect the original song.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

It is obvious that we are in a sadly perfect context for that. The political scope of the album has never been so justified. What we do with our planet is a shame. Trump is a shame, a monstrosity. But he is unfortunately not the only one. We live in an extremely violent and difficult world and I worry a lot, every day for the future of my children. In the manner of Waters, we might be tempted to build a wall around us to protect ourselves from others, but isolation is never the answer. We must break this wall, open ourselves to the unknown, reach out to others, it’s the only way for humanity to survive. This is the message of this album and it must be heard today more than never before.

Martin W. / Domkraft / Empty Spaces / One of These Days

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

As a band, we probably would not sound the way we do had it not been for Floyd. They have been THE band for our guitar player Martin, who basically has listened to them all his life and they were the sole reason for him picking up the guitar in the first place. The rest of the band are also fans, but we both discovered them at a later stage in life.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

We right away decided that we wanted to do something in the vein of “Domkraft interpreting Floyd” rather than note-perfect cover versions. Why try to match something that is already perfect? Let’s do our own take instead and create alternate versions of classic tracks. Like, we found ourselves stretching short segments of the songs into actual parts of our versions. Small sounds and vibrations from the originals getting more space and importance. When we got to do “Empty Spaces”, we immediately knew that we wanted to go even deeper into the brooding, desolate aspects of the song. We soaked it in reverb to achieve an almost drone-like vibe to emphasize the lonely, bare and exposed feeling of the track.

“One of these Days” is such a seminal track and probably one of our absolute favorites from the Floyd catalog, so that one felt like an obvious and insane choice at the same time. With both the studio and the Pompeii versions just oozing perfection, we just decided to just go for it, not look back, and do our own take – more fuzz-drenched and with the same kind of psych-inspired over-the-top guitar work that is to be found in most Domkraft songs. Plus, we took some liberties and incorporated a segment from another “Meddle” classic – the falling note arpeggio break from “Echoes” – which worked really nicely and gave it some breathing space in the freight train section of the track.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Oh, hell yes. Frighteningly good. These are Orwellian times, possible more in the Animal Farm sense than 1984, though. That particular album has gone from being political (at the time of its release) to being “just” a classic (post-Glasnost) to being super-political again. A super political classic.

Shadi / Forming the Void / Fearless

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

The first time I heard Pink Floyd was when I was 12. I had been studying music for a while and my father decided I was “ready” to hear them. We sat down together, and he played me the entire Wish You Were Here album. That moment changed my life forever. Pink Floyd became the band that I studied obsessively for the next few years. They sparked my lasting passion and serious pursuit of music and influences me deeply to this day.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

We had a short list of favorite Pink Floyd songs we might hypothetically cover one day. When we got this opportunity, it was with two weeks’ notice. From our list, ‘Fearless’ adapted the most naturally to our sound and fit most readily the time constraints we were given so it was an easy choice.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Anytime is a good time to revisit Pink Floyd! They are timeless.

TJ / Ghastly Sound / Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

Pink Floyd was one of the first and most important bands we were introduced to as children. I remember seeing posters for “The Wall” hanging up in my uncle’s bedrooms and being completely captivated by the artwork. In the 90’s, my father was really into home theater systems. When the Pink Floyd Pulse Live DVD came out, I was 8 years old. Our entire house would shake as we watched this and the cinematic adaptation of The Wall. This stuck with me until my teenage years and I began to discover cannabis. Thankfully, my parents were really open-minded about this specific substance and one summer night in my 13th year, they gifted me and a friend a half a bowl to smoke in the garage. Following our consumption of this gift, my friend and I got into my dad’s car and listened to Comfortably Numb on full blast in the driver and passenger seat. This experience was honestly a crucial moment in my development as a person and a musician.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Approaching this cover was one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever had as a musician. I think I threw away 3 or 4 instrumental versions before we landed on what we have now. Approaching a cover from such an iconic album is intimidating enough on its own. We had an extra challenge given that our specific track is more of an interlude; and comprised almost exclusively of David Gilmour playing guitar. Me, not being a guitarist, faced with executing something so clean in tone and performance was nothing short of terrifying. Our two main focuses were keeping true to the pace of the album and trying to maintain the feeling of crescendo as the album moves from Another Brick in the Wall Part 1 to Happiest Days of Our Lives. Ultimately, we decided that starting off true to the original and utilizing the ambient section of the song to take some liberties and transition into the next track was the best possible scenario. Hopefully we’ve succeeded and added something special for the listener to experience.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

2018 is a great time to introduce this album to a new generation of listeners. Not only because of the juxtaposition of the current political climate, but because guitar-based music is coming back in a huge way. It’s my hope that people can take these adaptations and use them to expand upon more traditional approaches to songwriting in the stoner or doom genres.

Tommi Holappa / Greenleaf / Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3 / Goodbye Cruel World

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

For me it all started with seeing the Live at Pompeii DVD. The musicianship, the sound landscapes, the songwriting, it’s just simply amazing! Since then I have bought all their albums and yes You can easily say the I have been influenced by them. On each Greenleaf album there is at least one or two songs that has a little bit of Pink Floyd influences in them, it could just be a little reverb/delay thing, a riff or just the mood of the song.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Well we knew that we couldn’t just do ”covers” of the songs because nothing can beat the originals. So, we decided to not try to copy the songs too much and try to make them sound more like Greenleaf, a bit more bluesy and a bit more heavy.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Yes, it does! If you look all the stupidity that is going on in the world today it could drive any sane man crazy…

Tom and Zach / Howling Giant / Matilda Mother

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

They pioneered the idea of the concept album. While each song can stand alone, everything they wrote had a specific purpose within the album. Pink Floyd also showed us that you don’t have to fit within a certain genre, they were all about writing what they wanted, when they wanted.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “Matilda Mother?”

It’s a weird song, and its focus on fairytales and escapism is something that appeals to us. ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ is often overlooked in the Pink Floyd catalogue and we wanted to represent that era.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

The songwriting on The Wall is definitely worth revisiting, especially with the resurgence of classic rock influence on the heavy scene.

Mark Lanegan / Nobody Home

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

As a teenager, I stole a record one day. Walking out of the store carrying it behind an empty record cover I’d brought in with me. When I heard the store clerk shouting behind me to stop, I turned a corner and out of his vision for a second, I threw it like a knife into a bank of deep snow. Not finding it, the guy let me go. Hours later I returned to retrieve my copy of ‘The Wall’ and listened to it nonstop for a long time. One of the great records of all time, I’m pleased I was able to participate in this tribute. Legally, of course.

Low Flying Hawks / The Thin Ice

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

There’s always been a connection, we’ve always been into Pink Floyd, mostly the early years, the Syd Barrett stuff, atom heart mother, more, meddle, etc. probably up until the wall. We feel the true magic obviously after Syd left (cause Syd was the magic) was the mix of Roger and David, but once Roger started to lead we thought it was too rigid to forced and the other way around when David was in the lead it got too honey-dripped, too forced to the exact opposite, so together it was a perfect balance.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

We wanted to do something very simple, stripped to the core, the opposite of the operatic circus approach roger gave the album and obviously the song.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

We’re not political at all so we really never mix politics and music etc., we get the connection and the timing, but we feel you can always revisit an album if the bands are good and the songs are interesting.

Mars Red Sky / Comfortably Numb

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

Mat: To be honest, Pink Floyd belongs for me to the generation of my parents, they had some of their records, so it has always been familiar, and it took years to rediscover it by myself. Also, songs like “division bell” was constantly on the air in the early ’90s when I was digging Punk Rock and Grunge… One day I listened to ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, and I went crazy about what was coming out from the speakers!

Julien: My dad had ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ in his record collection, I liked that a lot. Later I got more into them through a couple of friends when I was twenty and was a bit fascinated by the whole Syd Barrett mystery. I like most of their albums a lot, with a preference for some of the earlier ones (‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ especially)

Jimmy: ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ and ‘Atom Heart Mother’ are two of my favorite albums ever…

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Julien: We got the opportunity to pick Comfortably Numb, that was great because it’s one of our favorites. We had fantasized on covering this song for a long time, I had tried it awkwardly with a previous band. Here we put it all together fairly quickly, and we really like the way it came out. Our friend Benjamin Mandeau did a killer job at recording and mixing it.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Mat: Definitely there’s always a good reason to revisit such an album like that!

Dale Crover / The Melvins / In the Flesh?

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

I’ve been into the Floyd since I was in grade school, thanks to older brothers. The first record I had of theirs was “Animals.”

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “In the Flesh?”

We always put our own spin on the song we’re covering. We came up with a genius idea for this one. If I tell you it will spoil the surprise. You’re just going to have to hear it.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Sure, why not now? Roger Waters keeps revisiting it for his mega buck tours. They didn’t really tour that record when it came out. In the US they only played New York and LA. Here’s a fun fact: when we recorded Stoner Witch we used the same Fender Precision bass that Roger used on The Wall. I believe it belonged to Bob Ezrin, producer of the Wall.

Tony Reed / Mos Generator / Goodbye Blue Sky

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

There is no getting away from the influence of Pink Floyd. Their music has always seemed to be there and growing up in the 70s helped make them a part of the soundtrack of my youth. I have to be honest, when I first started playing music in around 1982, I was really burned out on the Pink Floyd “radio” songs and had never taken the time to explore the catalog. It wasn’t until about 15 years later that I heard the Meddle album and I was hooked on “Echoes”. Soon after, I took very little time hunting down the discography and studying it. Now they hold a very high place in my top bands.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

My usual approach at a cover is to try and replicate the song as close as I can, in performance and production. Using that technique, I come away from the project learning something about the recording and playing of the song. It makes me take an approach that I may not have chosen if I had written the song. In the end, I learn something that can possibly be applied to my own producing and writing. Not everybody agrees with this approach but it’s fun for me.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

The Wall is a timeless piece of music. It’s a human album, that to me, speaks about a struggle that we all go through as we move through life. It doesn’t manifest itself as intensely in most people as it does in the “Pink” character, but we’ve all been “through some sh**” at one time or another. Some more than others and years of it can change a person into a different soul. It’s seriously heavy thinking for a rock ‘n’ roll album.

Justin / Open Hand / The Show Must Go On

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

What always has drawn us in to Floyd is Gilmour… his guitar playing and his voice … for those of us lucky enough to be exposed to Floyd at a young age (by our dads) you can’t help but be inspired by that band for the rest of our lives … and when you start playing guitar, Gilmour is a must study.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

We based our approach on the live version of “Show Must Go On” … it is a little longer live (extended) … they added another verse etc. … the live version of that song is better than the album version actually … so we went with that. As far as working with past Pink Floyd touring sax player Scott Page… I have known him for decades…met him when I was 13 or 14 … he was always involved in amazing bands (reo speedwagon… Supertramp…etc.) and Floyd … he gave me my first instrument … a saxophone… still have it … when it came time to record this cover … it was an obvious choice to go to the source … and even though there was never sax on the original he jumped at the chance to add some shit to it … recorded in the bathroom of my apartment…

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

It’s a great time to revisit… having a whole new generation be turned on to Floyd via modern relevant bands that kick ass. … and Mike does an amazing job collecting those bands for these killer redux records… to be a part of two of these redux series for our favorite artists (Jimi Hendrix and pink Floyd) … so fucking cool man.

Pallbearer / Run Like Hell

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd generally or The Wall specifically?

Pink Floyd has been a major source of inspiration for us, since long before we started Pallbearer. The experimentation, the innovative production, and most importantly the great songwriting has always been a benchmark for us to strive for since we started this band

How/why did you choose “Run Like Hell,” and how did the amped-up take on it come about?

When we were approached about doing this project, we initially inquired about 3 or so tracks to see if they had already been claimed by other artists, RLH being one of them. We were excited to take on RLH because it would give us the opportunity to totally subvert the notion that we would end up doing something obvious. The song is already kind of outside of the realm of our already-Floyd-indebted style. It was different for them, so it gave us a chance to really think outside the box.

Our initial inspiration on how to approach it actually came from watching as many early live performances of it as we could find. We found that all of them were really vicious sounding, and a bit unhinged. They just felt off the rails, so we decided to just go full steam in that direction.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall, and why or why not?

The Wall is very much an album that explores different aspects of isolation. In 2018, our world is essentially more “connected” than ever before via technology, yet it feels like we are also becoming more and more isolated from one another as individuals. Additionally, nationalist tendencies are increasing globally at a terrifying rate. It seems like a perfect time to revisit and re-examine this classic album.

Brad / Red Mesa / Breathe

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

I started listening to Pink Floyd in high school in the mid-nineties. The first two albums I owned were on CD. ‘The Wall’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ I didn’t start paying music until after high school, so I was just a rabid fan of rock and roll, hungry to listen all the classic stuff. Both albums completely blew my mind. I spent hours in my room after school listening and reading the lyrics. I felt that Pink Floyd was the most intelligent band. Besides being phenomenal musicians, Roger Water’s lyrics spoke to me. He somehow managed to take philosophical concepts and weave them into a rock and roll band. It wasn’t just about women, drugs, and fast cars. Nothing wrong with that as subject matter, but Pink Floyd made you think about and question existence. As my younger brother and I digested The Wall and Dark Side, we discovered the rest of their albums. I fell in love with Meddle and Animals. The song “Echoes” on Meddle is my favorite psychedelic song of all time.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

We covered the song “Breathe” from Dark Side of the Moon. Picking the right song for the band was a challenge. We wanted to play to the strength of the band. Roman, our drummer texted me “How about Breathe?!” as I was looking at the guitar tab and plucking out the chords and rhythm. I thought that was a sign. I sent the band a voice memo of guitar stuff, they liked it, said we should make it heavier. We ran through it in practice and it felt great! We all love Pink Floyd so much. We felt honored to be asked to cover one of their songs. We wanted to do our very best and pay our respects.

In the studio, we played all the rhythm section ‘live’. It has a very organic feel to it. We really liked how it came out. I went back over and doubled the guitar track. For the iconic Dave Gilmour slide part, I played lap steel with a bunch of delay and reverb and heavy overdrive. We had a blast recording this one.

Matthew from Empty House Studio orchestrated us for “On the Run” the trippy instrumental song that comes in directly after “Breathe” ends. I stuck my head inside a grand piano banging away on the strings, while Roman was holding down that super cool drum part. At that point we had already polished off a bottle of Jameson, Matthew says “be careful, that piano is worth more than a house”. And I’m just banging away in there. Matthew was pushing us to get more creative and weirder. Super fun.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Yes, absolutely. Politically, spiritually, and environmentally things are fucked in the US. It seems that The Wall’s concept and message is timeless. It came out in 1979. It could have been released in 2018 without altering a single word. As much as that album is brilliant, it’s sad we haven’t seemed to have evolved much in the past 40 years. However, revisiting this album will hopefully bring Pink Floyd’s message and music to a younger generation of fans.

Scott Reeder / Is There Anybody Out There?

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

When The Wall was released, it was my entry into Pink Floyd’s universe; and to this day is probably my biggest musical influence… right up there with The Beatles. My solo stuff always draws comparisons to Floyd. The damage is done deep – they were all I listened to for a long time! I feel lucky to have seen them a couple of times. Roger Waters quite a few times, too. Oddly enough, I had dinner with their final long-time bassist, Guy Pratt, and his wife few years ago at a Warwick Bass party. We were showing each other pictures of our properties and horses and had an awesome time. I didn’t realize at the time that his lady was Richard Wright’s daughter, Gala. She was very sweet.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “Is There Anybody Out There?”

There’s not much to it… You’ve got the title question asked a few times, and then that iconic guitar run that I struggled to do some justice to. Structure-wise, that’s it. My fretting hand had developed trigger finger – my pinky and ring finger were locking closed, and after every take, it got worse, but I patched it up alright. The ambient stuff I constructed to reflect the desolate feeling out here on the ranch – I recorded guns in the distance, and our dog Rocky was scared and whimpering next to me, while his pal Harry was barking in the distance. My Chihuahua Scooter is in the mix towards the end, too – she passed shortly after this was finished – I’m so glad she’s on it! Got my 8-string bass in there for the scrapes run through a Whammy pedal to raise the tension. And it’s my first time using trombone on a track!

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

At almost 30 years out… why not? It’s my favorite album of all time – probably the only album that I could sing all the words to! It’s an honor to be a part of this tribute to the greatest album of all time, and it’s absolutely killing me waiting to hear how the whole thing plays out!

Jillian Taylor / Ruby the Hatchet / Vera / Pigs (Three Different Ones)

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

Pink Floyd was one of the bands I was brought up on and a favorite of my father’s. I remember thinking they were really weird and scared me when I was young; especially The Wall movie which seemed to always play in the wee hours when I was sneaking TV. My mother’s side is from England and there are so many crossovers with Floyd lingo and English pride and reprimand (cue “hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way…”). When I was a teenager, and after an ugly divorce between my parents, my father gave me The Wall for my birthday. It was then that I felt like I understood their strangeness and the rebellious and political undertones. I even went through a rough year where I had to listen to The Dark Side of the Moon every single day to relate to all the beauty and pain in it.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your songs?

Everyone dove in to their respective parts. Pigs was a huge labor of love by all parties; especially Sean (keys) who recorded and engineered both tracks for us. It’s a lengthy track that we made even longer (additional apologies to Sean for having to mix down a 12-minute song dozens of times). We didn’t veer off course with Pigs much, it was fun to play it straight and make small twists with the organ, harmonies and vocals in female register. Vera was completely different as it’s a very short interlude (we managed to at least triple the length of it, of course). It came naturally to play around with Vera. I’ve always thought that song was so hauntingly pretty and used to hum an additional part I’d imagine there which we made happen in a bridge.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

I’d say yes, and until we reach some kind of Utopian society which doesn’t seem like it will realistically arrive; then maybe always. There’s a George Orwell quote from 1984 that always reminds me of The Wall: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”

Cas, Keith and Riggs / Sasquatch / Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

Riggs: PF is one band that has consistently punctuated moments in my life from the age of 8 to whatever I am now. My brothers got tickets to The Wall at Madison Square Garden when I was a wee lad. I was completely bummed that I didn’t get to go, and I have spent the rest of my song-writing life trying to rip them off.

Keith: Floyd has had a big influence in many ways on me personally and our music. I guess it might not come through so much in our songs themselves, but I think about PF when I’m incorporating dynamics and textures into the songwriting. It’s definitely played into having Unger come in and drop more Hammond and B3 on our new record, Maneuvers.

Cas: To be honest, I’m the young buck in the band. Growing up as a metal kid in the late 80s, my first exposure to PF wasn’t a direct connection, but through Voivod’s cover of Astronomy Domine. Obviously, I had heard PF hits on classic rock radio, but hadn’t paid attention until I heard this tune in 8th grade. That take on that song drove me to dive into the PF catalog and I haven’t looked back since. Waters may not be flashy, but he writes some of the most memorable bass lines out there in rock. Huge influence on how I approach the instrument.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Riggs: Another Brick in The Wall has always been an odd song for PF. I remember kids in school singing the song to be rebellious, but the disco beat always freaked me out. We wanted to change it up in a more soulful way and lose the kid chorus and disco beat. It’s the same approach we would take if we were to cover Money.

Cas: Keith and Riggs played around with several different versions. We thought about both extremes: a) keeping it true to form or b) deconstructing it to the point where it would be completely unrecognizable. We eventually ended up slowing it down and beefing it up but kept the melodies intact. The guys were definitely adamant about pulling out the Bee Gees beat from the original. In the end, we decided pulling the drums completely out of the verses gave the choruses a much larger impact. Then Riggs tried out his best (worst?) Academy Award-winning English accent on the wrap-up. Made me crave some pudding.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Riggs: It’s always a good time to revisit any PF album. Just as Roger Waters is accentuating the current political aspects on his tours, it’s great to see a bunch of talented bands give it their own take.

Keith: I think anytime you can cobble together such a great list of bands like the roster here, why not do it?

Cas: Given the current climate, there’s no better time than the present.

Dan / Sergeant Thunderhoof / The Happiest Days of Our Lives / Time

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

They were a mainstay in my household as a child. Those songs are so solidly imprinted within me that they’ve almost taken on another dimension. Floyd have a sound of their own that is pretty hard to pigeonhole and I guess we try to emulate that philosophy.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

“Happiest Days of our Lives” was a fun song for us to do, I even got to mimic the teacher’s voice at the beginning which was cool. We wanted to add a little bit of our theatricality to it which was quite hard given how short the song is, but we’re happy with what we did. Essentially the song acts as prelude to probably the most notable song on the album so our job was to set that up in the best way possible.

As for “Time,” this was really just a song that we all love. When it came to messing around with it, we found that by trying to make it more ‘hoof’ it simply sounded trite and a bit ‘try-hard.’ In the end after trying out different ideas, we pretty much just played it straight. In a way, this was us not trying to emulate Floyd but instead showing some respect to the song and humbly admitting that we can’t do any better that the original!

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

I guess it depends on what it is you think The Wall is. For me the album represented a rejection of indoctrination, whether that be the education system, political structures or financial institutions. What we’ve seen over the last few years is a complete breakdown of social interaction. There is such a divide between what we perceive to be the two sides of the argument. For me, The Wall represents a mental prison, not a physical one. Some people are so quick to assume the worst in everyone and everything, it would be nice to get back to a place where we can all respectfully disagree with each other but still enjoy a beer and a good riff without fighting!

The Slim Kings / Young Lust

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

They are musically up there with the best. One of the bands to be studied in their song writing, production. They set up a mood that is undeniably Pink Floyd. Great teenager headphone music.

How did you arrive at your approach to your song?

So, there is no pressure to compete and make it sound like an original hit that people are used to – but we tried to cop most of the tricky licks so nobody would call us out. We recorded it live to tape quickly. Kacie Marie is a burlesque influenced singer and Instagram star who was hanging in the studio that day. She was the perfect woman to sing those background vocals.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

There is never a bad time to listen to the wall. Particularly when you are on this side of it! Joking aside, the country is in a cold civil war right now, so anything ever written about people being divided and conquered is relevant.

Tommy Southard / Solace / In the Flesh

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

They’re an iconic band that influenced me as a young kid long before I even picked up a guitar. It helps when your cool uncle lives with you and has a copy of Ummagumma and it blows your mind in 2nd grade.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering In the Flesh?

Plug in and play like ourselves, hope for the best! I think we put our take on a classic tune from a masterpiece of an album. Tried to do it justice while still sounding like Solace.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Any day of any year is a good time to revisit any of the classic Floyd albums!

Somnuri / Sheep

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

We all have an appreciation for Pink Floyd but if you asked us individually, our favorite albums would probably vary. As a whole, there’s no denying Pink Floyd’s sound and aesthetic as being an influence on us as musicians and artists.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “Sheep?”

This project was interesting because there weren’t many songs left to choose from and given the timeframe to complete it, ‘Sheep’ was a very ambitious choice. As much as we tried to make it our own, we felt we had to honor the original song as much as possible. Ultimately, recreating the vibe and atmosphere was the most intensive part of the process. We feel proud of the way we conveyed the song and took it above and beyond what we expected.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Absolutely. With our current political and societal climate, the stories and concepts from the album seem as relevant as ever. One of the things that makes an album iconic is the sense of timelessness, and The Wall certainly has that feel, at least topically.

Bartosz Janik / Spaceslug

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

It’s very personal music for me. A lot of good and bad memories. Floyds were with me in hard times and help me stand on the ground. Love this band and David Gilmour is in fact a big inspiration for my guitar playing.

How did you arrive at your approach to your song?

We managed to make our version of it and reverse the structure. The original has more doodling and ambient sound and this massive guitars on the end. We managed to make it little different and change that to have less ambient and more guitars and factures.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

It’s always good! My dream is to be on Dark Side of The Moon Redux in some future! Hope this will happen! Also, that kind of initiative will keep good vibe that Floyds deliver years ago. Great band and this was really an honor to be part of this re-edition!

AJ / Summoner / Hey You

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

I think our connection to Floyd is similar or the same to everyone else who plays this style of music. We’ve all been exposed to Pink Floyd our whole lives. I personally can say that it started with my parents listening to them when I was a kid. Followed by me taking that torch and running with it. Learning their discography as a teenager and striving to emulate them in the music I still write today. Summoner takes a lot from PF musically. When we get into our more ambient/atmospheric writing Floyd is always in the front of our minds. Not only do we draw from them musically, we are also influenced by their production style and studio magic.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “Hey You?”

If I remember correctly, when we were asked to be a part of this we all agreed unanimously that “Hey You” should be our tune. You always have to be careful when covering a band like Pink Floyd. Everything they did was done right. You can’t expect to make one of their songs “better” you can only take what they have done and expand upon it and make it your own. We kept it tight to the template on our version because it was already so damn good. What we thought we could add was our style and texture to the tune and I think we did that well.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

It’s as good a time as any. As I said previously, it’s always a risky venture to cover such an iconic band/album. Those songs are engrained in everyone’s mind and to switch that up almost seems like a losing battle. But done right it can be pulled off and I think MER has done just that with the bands they have chosen to do this project. We were just so happy to be a part of it. I guess the timing is kind of right since (I think) we are coming up on the 40th anniversary of the release.

Carter / Sunflo’er / Bring the Boys Back Home

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

The riff in seven at the beginning of “Money” is a legendary use of odd meter. There’s so few solid examples of it in mainstream radio and making the realization as a youth leads to asking other questions about rhythm and where it comes from.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “Bring the Boys Back Home?”

The original recording features a full marching band and choir, which we weren’t going to compete with, so the obvious choice for the cover was playing as minimally as possible. We wrote a chord melody for the guitar, reduced drum hits to only the most necessary, Ethan played saxophone and nailed it. Bohren & Der Club of Gore vibes were sought and achieved.

Does 2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

For all the obvious geopolitical reasons: yes.

Patrick / T-Tops / Nile Song

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

The Wall was my first introduction to Pink Floyd. When I first dug into the album 20+ years ago, the thing that struck me most was the overt loneliness & desolation at the heart of the record. This theme runs throughout much of their music, but obviously this is especially true with The Wall. What separates it from other Floyd records for me, is how it’s just a really solid, well-focused rock album (rock opera?) about brutal isolation & loss. These two themes are universally identifiable.

Though this album was inspired by WWII & the horrendous grief and loss it caused, I identify most with the songs about fractured relationships & the war & desolation that exists inside the narrator’s mind. Lyrically, my favorite songs on The Wall are “One of My Turns” which explores the madness & absurdity someone can exhibit to a loved one. First “love turns gray” then the narrator admits to being bored out of his skull and just going through the motions until he snaps into a manic scatterbrained episode of violence and destruction, scaring the hell out of the other person & then asks, “why are you running away?” Brilliantly followed by the backhanded apologetic begging of “Don’t Leave Me Now” where he reminds his partner about the “flowers I sent” & goes on to plead with them that he needs them (if only to “beat to a pulp” or “put through a shredder”) while simultaneously begging them not to leave.

How did you arrive at your approach to your song?

The Nile Song is possibly the most “straightforward” rock song in Pink Floyd’s catalog which is what drew me to it. The simplistic musical pattern and yelled/half screamed lyrics make it stand out from other Floyd songs and made it an easy choice for a cover. I was surprised no one else snagged this one before we were given the chance to. Of course, I’m aware of The Melvins covering this song in the early ’90s. Not that we (or anyone) could ever sound like the Melvins, but we kind of took a similar approach to covering it in just playing it basically the same as Pink Floyd just with louder more distorted guitars.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

It’s never a bad time to revisit a classic.

Taylor / WhiteNails / Waiting for the Worms

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

Pink Floyd is one of the quintessential musician’s bands. Their level of creativity and pushing boundaries has always been an inspiration to us. David Gilmour is one of our all-time favorite guitarists and there aren’t many musicians who have the taste and flair that he does. As well as one of the greatest guitar tones of all time!!!

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Covering “Waiting for the Worms” was sort of a trial and error process. We wanted to add our own touch but really didn’t want to stray too far from the original work. We ended up changing the verses musically and tried to stray somewhat true to the vocal melody. We generally beefed up most of the guitar work and allowed Darcy to really sing on the track.

Does today/2018 feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

Releasing an album like the Wall again seems entirely appropriate in the political and social climate we find ourselves in today. Pushing against the powers that be has never run out of fashion and it stands equally as true today.

Worshipper / One of My Turns

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

ALEJANDRO: I don’t recall a time when Pink Floyd wasn’t a part of my awareness. My father was an avid music fan and record collector, so Floyd was often on the record player when I was young. “The Wall” was one of the first gatefold records I held as a kid. The towering butt overlord was mesmerizing. As a musician, my appreciation for the band goes in cycles. There was a time in my 20s when I couldn’t get away from The Wall or Dark Side because they were everywhere. Friends couldn’t wait to gift me a copy of “The Wall” the movie on VHS or DVD which is difficult because, let’s face it, it’s a dark movie. Who has the emotional fortitude to watch this Pink guy slice his eyebrows off? It’s tough. But, at some point a revisit of The Final Cut or Relics b-sides or Echoes or Shine on or Animals sends me back into another Floyd-obsession phase. For some reason I never got around to seeing the Pompeii stuff until recently, when we started writing our current record, so I climbed into that rabbit hole for a bit. The connection, for me, is the fearlessness in songwriting and the immense power four guys can make together and all the inventiveness that goes along with that. I think if you’re going to be in a band you need to see what Floyd was all about. They invented a lot of what you need to make it work. If you don’t you’re just being an asshole to yourself and your bandmates.

JB: It’s funny, my dad is a GIGANTIC Floyd fan and that is probably the #1 reason. He had all the records and a bunch of bootlegs (which he has since passed along to me) and while he would play them around the house while I stared in amazement at the back cover of Ummagumma, he never forced them on me or anything. It wasn’t until I borrowed his van in college and found a tape of a bootleg from ‘72 under the seat that it really sealed the deal for me. We had Live at Pompeii on Laser Disc and everything, but it wasn’t until I discovered what I liked about them on my own terms that it all clicked for me in a personal way. I tend to gravitate toward the early stuff like Obscured by Clouds, MORE, Relics, and Meddle, but I love it all. But, to answer your question more concisely, they have basically been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and a huge part of my relationship with my dad.

I think all of us are into Floyd in different ways, which is cool, as well. Like, Jarvis is a maniac about the Wall, but not much appreciation for the Syd stuff, while I am sort of the opposite. I like all of that ridiculous British 60s acid-damaged tea and crumpets stuff.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering “One of My Turns?”

ALEJANDRO: It was a different type of song for us. We do covers all the time but this one was a challenge since it’s kind of two songs in one. The front half is a bit of a theatrical vignette, so we debated if we should stick to the actual narrative from the record, where we use the dialogue of Pink’s guest in his room while he’s watching “The Dam Busters” on TV. In the end we ditched the groupie and focused on the significance of what a protagonist in “The Wall” in 2018 might be watching which, in our version, is the scene from “All the President’s Men” where Robert Redford gets the “follow the money” speech from Deep Throat. Seems an appropriate commentary right now. On top of that, there was the opportunity to record and build a section based on John’s synth and keys treatment which we did separately from the second, more-straightforward half of the song.

JB: I had to really dissect this one, personally, to get to the bones of it and figure out what was going on. With such a grand production, it was a little tricky to pick apart. Al said that he was working on the strategy for the front half, and I kind of took the lead with the back half, doing a demo at home and trying to figure out how to put our stamp on it and how to approach the vocals without trying to imitate Roger’s utterly unhinged performance. I basically had to reharmonize the vocal melody a little (ok, a lot) to make it work with my range and demeanor. And then the front half was really our first attempt at creating something from scratch in the studio (not working from playing live.) I’m really into synths, so I had fun doing the pads in the intro and making more of a “headphone experience” … Al had a map of the chord structure of the intro, so he kind of yelled out chords and we built it up piece by piece until the vibe was right. I really wasn’t sure I would be able to pull off such an intimate vocal like Roger does, but, I’m happy with how that came out. It should be noted that Chris Johnson did an amazing job recording and producing it. Especially since we had to kind of graft the front half onto the back half, but he made it work!

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

ALEJANDRO: It does. There’s never a bad time to revisit “The Wall,” but today seems a particularly good time. The Wall as Roger Waters conceived it was metaphorical, right? A dude with dad-issues and a lifetime of intimacy problems? Now the idea of “a wall” is an analogue for the ideologies of greed, division, nationalism, fear that, in America, play out constantly on social media, tv, newspapers, it’s everywhere. Working with MER to add a voice to a commentary about it and celebrate the music and message of Pink Floyd? Sounds right. Sign us up. This is one of the reasons we play in a band. It’s a shitshow out there and it’s time to get dressed and show up to the party. America is pretty happening party, but insane assholes are soiling the punch and passing out bad drugs, and the DJ is a punishing monster right now. I’m glad I got a band that wants to kick down the door, squeeze off a few rounds on the fire extinguisher, and put some Floyd on the stereo ‘cause whatever’s on at the moment has got to stop.

JB: Did you see Roger Waters on that last tour? If anything, this is a PERFECT time to revisit this album. All of his lyrics can be interpreted as being completely current in today’s political climate. Maybe the Animals record more than this one, but wow, he really created some timeless lyrics that make sense in pretty much any era. Until everybody gets along, I think Roger’s lyrics will always resonate. This has also been great for me, personally, because The Wall was never really “my Floyd album” so it gave me a reason to really dig into it again and learn to really appreciate it. Not that I didn’t appreciate it, I just always found it to be a little on the “emotionally draining” side. Now, I don’t see it that way anymore, so thanks for helping me with that!

Gary Arce / Yawning Man / Outside the Wall / Mudmen

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

To be honest we grew up with punk rock and we were very young when we started doing music, not caring much for references. As for Pink Floyd I can see how we share a similar approach to guitar sounds and spatiality, as well as riffs and tempo with some of their songs. It’s that they started with blues and you can hear rock is a part of us. I think some members of Pink Floyd also kind of grew up together as we did. Playing in the desert with our mates, most of them are luckily still around doing their thing, that’s what pushed us.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

Our approach is usually very instinctive. We love jamming and see what we come up with. That’s how we did the covers, too. We‘re not like wracking our brains too much before we start, that’s not how we play. We just start and the music keeps flowing. It was fun and lots of Mexican food kept us going.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

The Wall made the history of music. Many have been if you want it or not (consciously or unconsciously) influenced by it. On tour I talk to many fans after concerts or they come up and talk to me. They know a lot about music and love to establish connections between their idols and the younger bands. Psych sounds are having a huge revival in Europe, the US and Canada. We see that when we play live and most of the shows are sold out. So I guess it’s a good moment to revisit The Wall and see what it’s got to tell us now.

Amy Tung / Year of the Cobra / When the Tigers Broke Free / Have a Cigar

As musicians and music fans, what’s your connection to Pink Floyd?

The funny thing about Pink Floyd is that they’re not one of my favorite bands, but they’re certainly one of the most influential bands in my life. If I think about the time in my life where music influenced me the most, like as a preteen or a teenager, they’re certainly one of the top 5. They’re one of those bands that, at some point in your life, you have to dive into, head first, and in doing so, you become a more fulfilled human being. It obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, but to most of the people that I relate to, it does. It is impossible to not have the utmost respect for them and never in my life did I imagine I would be asked to cover any of their music. I never thought I would be able to, but to have the opportunity to do so was outrageously challenging and exciting. I don’t expect anyone to find our take on their music better than what already existed. I just hope people find it interesting and inventive and I hope it opens their minds to something different and new.

How did you arrive at your approach in covering your song?

My approach to covering any song is to find a way to change it. I feel like you can never make a song exactly like the original because it will never sound better than it already does. The only option you have is to change it. My goal is to find a way to keep the essence of the song intact but insert a little bit of me in it. Covering the songs “Have a Cigar” and “When the Tigers Broke Free” as Year of the Cobra was certainly limiting, seeing that we’re only a drum and bass duo, but it was also fun trying to find a way to do justice to the music, while also doing justice to us as a band. In the studio, we added some more instrumentation (I.e. keyboards), but I feel like it’s still something we could play (and maybe… hopefully… will play) live, one day.

Does today feel like a good time to revisit an iconic album like The Wall? Why or why not?

The Wall will always be an album to revisit; today, tomorrow, in the future. It’s timeless. There are no contemporary bands that even come close to writing an album of epic proportions like The Wall and there are too many kids that have grown up listening to the formulaic music that is spewed out on modern radio these days, it’s depressing to think what their lives would be like if they weren’t introduced to albums like The Wall. It is imperative that we keep these albums alive in any way we can, so they are never forgotten. Finding bands to cover them, breathe new life into them, is such an exciting way to keep them alive, to keep us talking about them. I hope in 10 years, more bands are covering this album and keeping it alive for more generations to come.

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Review & Full Album Stream: Yawning Man, The Revolt Against Tired Noises

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yawning man the revolt against tired noises

[Click play above to stream Yawning Man’s new album, The Revolt Against Tired Noises, in its entirety. It’s out July 6 on Heavy Psych Sounds.]

The California desert is fortunate to have Yawning Man as its soundtrack. For over 30 years in varying forms and degrees of activity, the instrumentalist outfit have been an entity unto themselves. Their sound today seems like the foundation for the laid back groove that is essential to desert rock as a style even in its most aggressive forms, and the tone of founding guitarist Gary Arce is a monument to open spaces. Together with bassist Mario Lalli — also guitarist/vocalist for Fatso Jetson, who are no slouches themselves when it comes to being desert rock legends — Arce resides at the foundation of the style, bringing elements of indie, punk, goth rock and more together into a brew that’s still potent these decades later. They’ve spent the better part of the 2010s touring periodically through Europe, and offered a surprise release in 2015’s Historical Graffiti (review here), which was something of an anomaly studio session in South America with an expanded lineup, but also the band’s first full-length since 2010’s Nomadic Pursuits (review here), so certainly more than a one-off or stopgap in reality.

Their new album, The Revolt Against Tired Noises, is their first release through Heavy Psych Sounds, which also issued Fatso Jetson‘s 2016 LP, Idle Hands (review here), and while its title is confrontational, the revolt Yawning ManArce, Lalli and drummer Bill Stinson — are ultimately leading is peaceful, rife with serene melodies in the guitar and unmitigated fluidity rife with purpose but carrying nonetheless an air of spontaneity, the in-deep-jam feeling that a track like side B opener “Violent Lights” can and will go anywhere its chemistry will allow, which is just about anywhere, period. The Revolt Against Tired Noises also includes vocals for the first time on a Yawning Man album from Lalli on the side A closer “Grant’s Heart” and the later “Catamaran” — the latter which was never recorded by Yawning Man but covered by Kyuss on 1995’s …And the Circus Leaves Town, thus codifying Yawning Man‘s influence on that seminal act. The singing turns out to be something of a footnote in the sphere of the entire eight-song/39-minute release, but it’s one more nuance to their work and provides listeners an anchor to each half of the album, so as not to simply drift into the ether, carried away by otherworldly tones and engaging, hypnotic rhythm.

Much of what’s included is nothing less than gorgeous. With Mathias Schneeberger (Fatso Jetson, Goatsnake, earthlings?, Earth, Yawning Man, The Obsessed, so many others) helming the recording, opener “Black Kite” provides a genuine shimmer leading into the record, and even has a bit of an instrumental hook in its later going, its long fadeout giving way to the title-track, which seems to work in subtle layers but brings Lalli‘s bass and Stinson‘s drums forward along with the guitar, so that all three players stand toe-to-toe in the mix. That has an effect of making “Revolt Against Tired Noises” (which seems to have dropped the “the” from the name of the album) a heavier overall sound, but it’s still consistent with the rest of its surroundings in tone and overall approach, including a midsection that’s as trance-inducing as I’ve ever heard Yawning Man get and an evocative finish that emerges, bringing one back to semi-consciousness for the start of “Skyline Pressure,” which is an extended redux of the title-track to Yawning Man side-project Ten East‘s 2016 album (review here), though also has its origins in Yawning Man proper. At 7:40, it’s the longest inclusion on the record and builds to a head just before four-minutes in — I’d swear I hear keys in there too; anything’s possible — and then drops out to cycle through again, the second journey different and even more pleasing than the first as the song meanders to its ending.

yawning man

As noted, there are two songs with Lalli singing on them, and they just happen to be the two shortest tracks on The Revolt Against Tired Noises: “Grant’s Heart” (3:18) and “Catamaran” (3:03). On linear formats — CD/DL — they appear with the six-minute “Violent Lights” between them, but they were clearly divided up to be included one on each vinyl side as well. Whether the origins of “Grant’s Heart” go back as far as those of “Catamaran,” I don’t know, but neither piece is out of place, and Lalli‘s voice is hardly jarring when it shows up, either for those who know the context of who these players are and what they do or for those who don’t. As riotous as Fatso Jetson can sometimes be, Yawning Man‘s vocals are more subdued, holding a melodic kinship to the guitar beneath them, and in “Grant’s Heart,” giving way to that guitar at about two minutes in, only to return in the fadeout a minute later. And while “Catamaran” will be familiar to desert rock heads from the John Garcia-fronted version, in Lalli‘s hands, it still has its chorus kick, but is more about flow than crunch, and very much Yawning Man‘s own, which is odd to say because it was their own in the first place. Especially coming out of the engrossing “Violent Lights,” which has some sense of foreboding in the low end around its halfway point but is otherwise much more about its howling wisps of floating guitar, “Catamaran” is something of a grounding force, but still coherent atmospherically with its surroundings.

“Misfortune Cookies,” which follows, isn’t much longer at 3:31, but reignites the album’s wandering-but-not-lost spirit and brings the guitar back as the center of the melody. An improvised-sounding jam, its run is linear and stretches outward, a long fade leading one to wonder just how much longer it might’ve gone before actually petering out. It leaves like a dream giving way to consciousness as it is, and as Stinson‘s drums start closer “Ghost Beach,” there’s all the more a sense of interaction between the real and the unreal. The Revolt Against Tired Noises may be fostering some kind of rebellion, but it’s doing so with the approach that Yawning Man trademarked a long time ago, and even if it takes them to new places, the paths they use to get there will be familiar and welcoming to longtime listeners and newcomers alike, the bouncing bassline of “Ghost Beach” and Arce‘s wailing, echoing leads both punctuated by the snare as the finale works its way toward dropping out the drums and letting Lalli‘s bass and Arce‘s guitar close out the last minute on their own, which is fair enough. Yawning Man have been perpetually underrated for 30 years. Any acclaim that The Revolt Against Tired Noises can bring them, they’ve long since deserved, but the album is more than just a showcase of legacy. It proves not only that Yawning Man‘s sound is timeless, but that it’s still growing, and that turns out to be its most righteous aspect.

Yawning Man on Thee Facebooks

Yawning Man on Bandcamp

Yawning Man website

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Heavy Psych Sounds website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Yawning Man Add Dates to European Megatour; The Revolt Against Tired Noises out July 6

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

On July 12, instrumental desert rock legends Yawning Man will play the release show for their new album, The Revolt Against Tired Noises, which officially lands next week via Heavy Psych Sounds. The gig is at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California. Out in the desert, which is about right. It’s the last of a couple shows in California around the release date for the record, two of which will be with Dead Meadow and all of which precede an utterly massive European tour set to kick off on July 25 in the Netherlands. Seven weeks. Not a minor stint. They’ve got killer dates lined up with slots at Lake on Fire, Riff Ritual and a whole bunch of other festival-type doings, but of particular note as well are some of the UK dates like Bristol, where Yawning Man will hook up with instrumentalist compatriots Sons of Alpha Centauri, with whom guitarist Gary Arce has collaborated in the past as Yawning Sons.

Does that mean it’s going to happen this time? Not necessarily, but Sons of Alpha Centauri might bring Arce out on stage during their set or something like that. It’s an intriguing possibility, in any case.

Updated dates for the tour follow here, as posted by Sound of Liberation on the social medias. Still a couple TBAs in there, so there might be another update before they head over:

YAWNING MAN NEW TOUR POSTER

Desert-rock legends Yawning Man will hit the European roads for a 7-week tour! They will be supporting their upcoming album “The Revolt Against Tired Noises”, which will be released in July via HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS!

New dates have been added lately, so check-out the updated list below:

YAWNING MAN in California:
7/5 CASBAH, San Diego CA with Dead Meadow
7/6 CAFE NELA, Cypress Park LA
7/7 TERAGRAM BALLROOM, LA with Dead Meadow
7/12 PAPPY and HARRIETS, Pioneertown CA

YAWNING MAN in Europe:
25.07 (NL) Utrecht – Db’s
27.07 (UK) Manchester – The Rebellion
28.07 (UK) Bristol – The Louisiana
29.07 (UK) London – The Black Heart
30.07 (FR) Paris – Glazart (NEW DATE!)
31.07 (D) Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
03.08 (IT) Osoppo – Pietra Sonica Festival
04.08 (A) Waldhausen – Lake On Fire Festival
05.08 (PL) Chorzow – Red & Black
06.08 (PL) Warsaw – Chmury
07.08 (D) Berlin – Toast Hawaii (NEW DATE!)
08.08 (SWE) Malmö – Norra Gränges (NEW DATE!)
09.08 (DK) Copenhagen – KB 18 (NEW DATE!)
11.08 (A) Döbriach – Sauzipf Rocks
13.08 (IT) Brescia – Festa Radio Onda D’Urto
14.08 (IT) Treviso – Benicio Live Gigs (NEW DATE!)
15.08 (IT) Porto Recanati – Copacabana Pulp Beach
16.08 (IT) Pescara – Frantic Fest
17.08 (IT) Molfetta – Eremo Club (NEW DATE!)
18.08 (IT) Galatone – Sagra Del Diavolo
19.08 (IT) Potenza – Pipistrello Pub (NEW DATE!)
21.08 (IT) Savignano – Sidro Club (NEW DATE!)
22.08 (IT) Como – TBA (NEW DATE!)
23.08 (IT) Vinadio – Balla Coi Cinghiali Festival (NEW DATE!)
24.08 (CH) Luzern – Sedel
25.08 (IT) Bolzano – Mountain Sessions
27.08 (HU) Budapest – Robot (NEW DATE!)
30.08 (GR) Thessaloniki – Street Mode Festival
31.08 (RO) Timisoara – Reflektor (NEW DATE!)
01.09 (RS) Belgrade – Atom Akademija (NEW DATE!)
02.09 (BU) Sofia – Mixtape 5
03.09 (HR) Zupanja – MKC
04.09 (SI) Ljubljana – Dvorana Rog
06.09 (FR) Clermont-Ferrand – Raymond Bar
07.09 (FR) Montpellier – Le Black Sheep
08.09 (SP) Barcelona – Riff Ritual fest
09.09 (SP) San Sebastian – Dabadaba
10.09 (SP) Gijon – Sala Memphis
11.09 (PO) Porto – Woodstock 69
12.09 (SP) Madrid – Wurlitzer Ballroom
13.09 (SP) Bilbao – Maritime Museum Bar

YAWNING MAN IS
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/yawning-man
https://www.facebook.com/Sound-of-Liberation-UG-183095098426785/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Yawning Man, Revolt Against Tired Noises album trailer

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Yawning Man Announce July 6 Release for The Revolt Against Tired Noises

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Preorders start May 22. I’m not really sure what else you need to know. It’s a new Yawning Man album, so a bigtime covet is a given, and it’s out in July and you can preorder it starting next week. Oh, I suppose you’ll probably be interested to know they’ll be touring for it, that Heavy Psych Sounds is putting it out, that Mathias Schneeberger recorded, and that it’s been given the punk-as-hell title The Revolt Against Tired Noises. The follow-up to 2016’s Historical Graffiti (review here), which was pressed to vinyl by Lay Bare Recordings, it will mark the desert rock legends’ first collaboration with Heavy Psych Sounds, which also counts Yawning Man bassist Mario Lalli‘s other long-running band, Fatso Jetson, on its roster.

The PR wire has the specifics like this, but really, everything you need to know is in the first sentence above:

yawning man the revolt against tired noises

Desert heavy psych godfathers YAWNING MAN to issue new album “The Revolt Against Tired Noises” on July 6th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

Experimental desert rock legends YAWNING MAN announce the release of their new album “The Revolt Against Tired Noises” this July 6th on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

The aural experience of YAWNING MAN summarizes as an intense yet graceful kaleidoscope of polyphonic musical textures. Dramatic and flowing, dark, intense and emotional. July 2018 finds the band releasing their most musically exciting recording to date with their 6th full length LP, “The Revolt Against Tired Noises” on the ambitious up and coming independent label, HPS Records. The songs on this release are described as “an emotional and visceral expression of pure melodic darkness and beauty”, the album was recorded at Gato Trail Studios in Joshua Tree, CA and produced and engineered by friend and long time collaborator, Mathias Schneeberger (Mark Lanegan, Greg Duli, SUNN O))), Earth, The Obsessed).

The eight songs offered here are the results of a conscious focus to the poetry in melody, finding new sounds and melodic passages that conjure visuals and express emotion and movement. Six of the eight songs are in the instrumental tradition the band is mostly know for however two tracks feature the rare appearance of a vocalist (bassist Mario Lalli) alongside Gary Arce’s dream weaving guitar work. One of these tracks of notable mention is the song “Catamaran”, a Yawning Man song made popular by the legendary influential desert rock band Kyuss on the 1995 Elektra release “And the Circus Leaves Town”. The song was never released by YAWNING MAN, however the Kyuss cover of the song proved to be a favorite among Kyuss fans. Spreading the word about Yawning Man’s unique rock music. Yawning Man will finally release this classic, properly recorded for the first time in 30 years. “The Revolt Against Tired Noises” is just that , a statement of a unique creative chemistry that’s always changing and evolving.

A full European, UK, North American / Canadian and South American tour is in planned to support the release. The album will be available on LTD “Half-Half” Red Clear Blue Viny, Ultra Ltd 200 “Cornetto Version” Transparent & Blue Special Colouring (Only From HPS Website), 30 Test Press (Only From HPS website), Black Vinyl, Digipak and Digital.

YAWNING MAN “The Revolt Against Tired Noises”
Out July 6th on Heavy Psych Sounds Records
Pre-order from May 22nd

TRACK LISTING:
1. The Black Kite
2. The Revolt Against Tired Noises
3. Skyline Pressure
4. Grant’s Heart
5. Violent Lights
6 Catamaran
7. Misfortune Cookies
8. Ghost Beach

YAWNING MAN IS
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums

Yawning Man on tour:
25.07.18 | NL | Utrecht | Db’s
27.07.18 | UK | Manchester | The Rebellion
28.07.18 | UK | Bristol | The Louisiana
29.07.18 | UK | London | The Blackheart
31.07.18 | DE | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
03.08.18 | IT | Osoppo | Pietra Sonica Festival
04.08.18 | AT | Waldhausen | Lake On Fire Festival
05.08.18 | PL | Chorzow | Red & Black
06.08.18 | PL | Warsaw | Chmury
11.08.18 | AT | Döbriach | Sauzipf Rocks Festival
13.08.18 | IT | Brescia | Festa Radio Onda D’Urto (*)
15.08.18 | IT | Ancona | Go Down Beach Fest (*)
16.08.18 | IT | Pescara | Frantic Fest (*)
17.08.18 | IT | Bari | Go Down Beach Fest (*)
18.08.18 | IT | Galatone | Sagra Del Diavolo (*)
24.08.18 | CH | Luzern | Sedel
25.08.18 | IT | Bolzano | Mountain Session
30.08.18 | GR | Thessaloniki | Street Mode Fest
02.09.18 | BU | Sofia | Mixtape 5
03.09.18 | HR | Zupanja | MKC
04.09.18 | SI | Ljubljana | Dvorana Rog
06.09.18 | FR | Clermont-Ferrand | Raymond Bar
07.09.18 | FR | Montpellier | Le Black Sheep
08.09.18 | SP | Barcelona | Rocksound
09.09.18 | SP | San Sebastian | Dabadaba
10.09.18 | SP | Gijon | Sala Memphis
11.09.18 | PO | Porto | Woodstock 69
12.09.18 | SP | Madrid | Wurlitzer Ballroom
13.09.18 | SP | Bilbao | Maritime Museum Bar

(* with ANANDA MIDA)

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/yawning-man
https://www.facebook.com/Sound-of-Liberation-UG-183095098426785/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Yawning Man, Historical Graffiti (2016)

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Yawning Man Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; New Album this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, this one makes sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome news that a new Yawning Man is happening and I honestly think that Heavy Psych Sounds is the perfect label to give them the respect they’ve long since deserved. It’s just that with Fatso Jetson already on the roster, and having recently signed Brant Bjork and released that trilogy of Nebula reissues, Heavy Psych Sounds has made itself something of a haven for desert rock of that classic Californian ilk, so yeah, signing Yawning Man makes a whole lot of sense.

So does the fact that the band’s new album, the official title of which has yet to be unveiled but which I’ve speculated might be called The Revolt Against Tired Noises based on art posted by the band — don’t quote me on it, the record that for years I called Gravity is Good for You never materialized as that; though to be fair it wasn’t keen detective work that told me that title, it was the band itself — is coming out this summer. For the vast majority of bands, you don’t go ahead and book a seven-week tour of Europe without a new release to promote. I’d expect it sometime around July or August, then — the tour is also called ‘The Revolt Against Tired Noises’ — though if it wanted to show up sooner, say like, today, in my inbox, I certainly wouldn’t complain.

Either way, killer and sensible news all around. It’s nice when the universe makes the math work.

From the PR wire:

yawning man

Experimental desert rock godfathers YAWNING MAN sign to Heavy Psych Sounds Records!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is proud to announce the signing of US desert rock godfathers YAWNING MAN on their roster. The band is currently working on their their sixth album, which details will be unveiled soon.

Formed in the late 1980’s, the lineup of Gary Arce, Mario Lalli, and Bill Stinson rounds out their year-long active recording and touring schedule. Arce and Lalli’s background together date back to the start of YAWNING MAN with Stinson’s background steeped in the SST Records world through performing and recording with Gregg Ginn and Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag for several years. YAWNING MAN is acknowledged and recognized throughout the underground heavy music community as a key piece in the developments of the desert/stoner rock subgenres. While their contemporaries gravitated toward the heavy riffs of grunge, and post punk, YAWNING MAN leaned in another direction with their unique and organic, cinematic compositions and psychedelic improvisations… the perfect soundtrack to encompass the spacious moonscape atmosphere of the well documented “generator parties” of their area in the late 1980’s.

It was at these gatherings where they developed this distinctive style and sound by enchanting spectators with their seemingly endless free form instrumental sessions, which echoed through the beautiful deserts, mesas, and landscapes of the Coachella Valley. As time passed, their legend grew with notable names of the Palm Desert music scene paying homage to the group through mention and praise, notably with legendary desert band Kyuss (Joshua Homme, Brant Bjork, John Garcia, Scott Reeder) doing their own rendition of the YAWNING MAN track “Catamaran” on the 1995 Elektra release …And The Circus Leaves Town. Festival appearances include Hellfest (FR), Azkena Fest (ES), Reverence Fest (ES) Desertfest London, Desertfest Berlin, Up in Smoke (CH), Psycho Las Vegas (US), Stoned & Dusted I & II (US), and various others. The recent documentaries on the Deserts unique music scene Lo Sound Desert and Desert Age give light on YAWNING MAN’s influential impact on underground rock music.

YAWNING MAN New album coming soon on HPS Records…

YAWNING MAN IS
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums

Yawning Man on tour:
25.07.18 | NL | Utrecht | Db’s
27.07.18 | UK | Manchester | The Rebellion
28.07.18 | UK | Bristol | The Louisiana
29.07.18 | UK | London | The Blackheart
31.07.18 | DE | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
03.08.18 | IT | Osoppo | Pietra Sonica Festival
04.08.18 | AT | Waldhausen | Lake On Fire Festival
05.08.18 | PL | Chorzow | Red & Black
06.08.18 | PL | Warsaw | Chmury
11.08.18 | AT | Döbriach | Sauzipf Rocks Festival
13.08.18 | IT | Brescia | Festa Radio Onda D’Urto (*)
15.08.18 | IT | Ancona | Go Down Beach Fest (*)
16.08.18 | IT | Pescara | Frantic Fest (*)
17.08.18 | IT | Bari | Go Down Beach Fest (*)
18.08.18 | IT | Galatone | Sagra Del Diavolo (*)
24.08.18 | CH | Luzern | Sedel
25.08.18 | IT | Bolzano | Mountain Session
30.08.18 | GR | Thessaloniki | Street Mode Fest
02.09.18 | BU | Sofia | Mixtape 5
03.09.18 | HR | Zupanja | MKC
04.09.18 | SI | Ljubljana | Dvorana Rog
06.09.18 | FR | Clermont-Ferrand | Raymond Bar
07.09.18 | FR | Montpellier | Le Black Sheep
08.09.18 | SP | Barcelona | Rocksound
09.09.18 | SP | San Sebastian | Dabadaba
10.09.18 | SP | Gijon | Sala Memphis
11.09.18 | PO | Porto | Woodstock 69
12.09.18 | SP | Madrid | Wurlitzer Ballroom
13.09.18 | SP | Bilbao | Maritime Museum Bar

(* with ANANDA MIDA)

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/yawning-man
https://www.facebook.com/Sound-of-Liberation-UG-183095098426785/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Yawning Man, Historical Graffiti (2016)

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Yawning Man Announce Seven-Week European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yawning-man-Photo-by-River-Arce

If you’ve been keeping up with Yawning Man on the social medias at all, you’ve probably noticed they’re in the the studio working on new material. That’s only going to be good news, because new Yawning Man is inherently a positive force in the universe, and further intrigue is added by a shot of bassist Mario Lalli adding vocals to a track, something pretty rare for the band. I’ll hope to have more on that as we get closer to what may or may not be called The Revolt Against Tired Noises based on some artwork the band posted by Kelly Keith and the name shared by their upcoming European tour, which will run for a somewhat astounding seven-week stretch.

I don’t know if that’s the longest stint the band has ever undertaken, but if not, it’s gotta be pretty close to it, and if they have a new record out at some point during the tour or perhaps even before, then all the better. For a year that’s already brought some rather killer releases, the possibility of a new Yawning Man before 2018 only further complicates the prospect of a best of the year list.

Hopefully more to come soon. Here are tour dates:

yawning man tour poster

Tour Announcement – Yawning Man!

Currently working on their next album, Desert-Rock legends Yawning Man will come back to Europe this summer, for a 7-week tour!! Check-out the first batch of dates below. More will follow soon.

25.07.18 | NL | Utrecht | Db’s
27.07.18 | UK | Manchester | The Rebellion
28.07.18 | UK | Bristol | The Louisiana
29.07.18 | UK | London | The Blackheart
31.07.18 | DE | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
03.08.18 | IT | Osoppo | Pietra Sonica Festival
04.08.18 | AT | Waldhausen | Lake On Fire Festival
05.08.18 | PL | Chorzow | Red & Black
06.08.18 | PL | Warsaw | Chmury
11.08.18 | AT | Döbriach | Sauzipf Rocks Festival
13.08.18 | IT | Brescia | Festa Radio Onda D’Urto (*)
15.08.18 | IT | Ancona | Go Down Beach Fest (*)
16.08.18 | IT | Pescara | Frantic Fest (*)
17.08.18 | IT | Bari | Go Down Beach Fest (*)
18.08.18 | IT | Galatone | Sagra Del Diavolo (*)
24.08.18 | CH | Luzern | Sedel
25.08.18 | IT | Bolzano | Mountain Session
30.08.18 | GR | Thessaloniki | Street Mode Fest
02.09.18 | BU | Sofia | Mixtape 5
03.09.18 | HR | Zupanja | MKC
04.09.18 | SI | Ljubljana | Dvorana Rog
06.09.18 | FR | Clermont-Ferrand | Raymond Bar
07.09.18 | FR | Montpellier | Le Black Sheep
08.09.18 | SP | Barcelona | Rocksound
09.09.18 | SP | San Sebastian | Dabadaba
10.09.18 | SP | Gijon | Sala Memphis
11.09.18 | PO | Porto | Woodstock 69
12.09.18 | SP | Madrid | Wurlitzer Ballroom
13.09.18 | SP | Bilbao | Maritime Museum Bar

(* with ANANDA MIDA)

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/yawning-man
https://www.facebook.com/Sound-of-Liberation-UG-183095098426785/

Yawning Man, Historical Graffiti (2016)

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Yawning Man Announce Fall Touring in US & Canada

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

yawning man (photo River Arce)

It’s been a busy year for desert rock legends Yawning Man up to this point. This Spring found them out alongside Swedish fuzz forerunners Truckfighters for a rare stint of US touring, and then, after playing the pre-show for Brant Bjork‘s Desert Generator festival in April, in May they headed back to Europe for a stretch of dates that included both nights of Heavy Psych Sounds‘ Sonic Ritual fest, and much more besides, taking them into June. Later this month, they play the Psycho Las Vegas pool party alongside the weighty likes of PentagramConanGoya and Sasquatch (among others), and in September and October, they’re back out once again, this time on what might be the longest stretch of domestic touring they’ve ever done. Not too shabby as regards staying productive.

Shows are presented by Tone Deaf Touring and find Yawning Man continuing to support the 2016 Lay Bare Recordings release, Historical Graffiti (review here). What’s the matter guys, couldn’t find five minutes in between all that touring to write and record a new album? Jeez. Some people.

Dates follow, as dutifully transcribed by yours truly:

yawning-man-tour-poster

Yawning Man announcing U.S. & Canada Tour Dates!!

YAWNING MAN U.S. AND CANADIAN TOUR SEPT/OCT 2017
09.15 San Francisco CA Brick & Mortar
09.16 Sacramento CA Blue Lamp
09.17 Portland OR Ash St. Saloon
09.18 Seattle WA Highline
09.19 Vancouver BC Astoria
09.21 Calgary AB Palamino
09.22 Saskatoon SK Amigos
09.23 Edmonton AB Brixx
09.25 Winnipeg MB Windsor Hotel
09.27 St. Paul MN Turf Club
09.28 Chicago IL Subterranean
09.30 Millvale PA Mr. Smalls Funhouse
10.01 Rochester NY Bug Jar
10.04 Ottawa ON Mavericks
10.05 Montreal QC Turbo Haus
10.06 Newport RI Cafe at Parlor
10.07 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie
10.08 New York NY American Beauty
10.09 Washington D.C. Black Cat
10.10 Richmond VA Strange Matter
10.12 Asheville NC Odditorium
10.15 New Orleans LA Santos Bar
10.17 Austin TX The Lost Well
10.18 Ft. Worth TX Lolas
10.19 Albuquerque NM Sister
10.20 Scottsdale AZ Pub Rock
10.21 West Hollywood CA Viper Room
10.22 San Diego CA Soda Bar
w/ Alex Perez & the Rising Tide 09.15-10.01
w/ We are the Asteroid 10.04-10.22

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.facebook.com/tonedeaftouring/
http://tonedeaftouring.com/

Yawning Man, Historical Graffiti (2016)

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