Q Magazine: Q&A with Omar Rodriguez Lopez about Bosnian Rainbows and never closing Doors…
With At The Drive-In’s reunion tour now a passing memory and the recent acrimonious split of his mind-bending prog crew, TheMars Volta, prolific noodler Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is currently putting most of his energy into new post-punk-influenced outfit Bosnian Rainbows, who release their self-titled debut next month. Whereas he called all the shots for a decade in Mars Volta, he’s now happy to be sharing the creative load with his new band mates. Q sat down with him ahead of the band’s recent appearance at London’s 100 Club to discuss self-expression, his relationship with Cedric Bixler-Zavala and what really happened during the At The Drive-In reunion shows…
How does it feel to be part of a collaboration again? “It’s amazing, it’s liberating and it’s invigorating. It all sounds so dumb. There’s nothing like the feeling of getting schooled by the band. That’s the main thing; that’s the only way you get better.”
MTV IGGY: Full Album Stream of Eureka The Butcher “Music For Mothers”
Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez is usually known for playing percussion or keyboards in bands The Mars Volta or Zechs Marquise. As a child, his mother encouraged him to pursue the piano as an addition to the drums that he preferred, so he would always have the opportunity to perform as a solo act. While on tour with his other bands, Rodriguez-Lopez concocted with the synthesizer-driven sounds of Eureka the Butcher, his alter ego. Those works have been collected in the album Music for Mothers, set for release May 28. The full album stream for Music for Mothers is available today. Check out how he chops up alien synth lines and stuttering rhythms to create otherworldly electronica worthy of any momma’s praise. - Alexis Stephens
When listening to Mylets’ collection of remastered EPs, Retcon, it is easy to be impressed without even considering how the music actually sounds. Teenager Henry Kohen single handedly creates every aspect of the loop-based rock, singing, playing guitar and mixing in the occasional synth or percussion sample to round things out. Kohen’s youth and multitasking abilities are feats in and of themselves, but Retcon is ultimately a successful record because the songs are just really good.
Opener “Seven Diamonds Plus One” offers a good taste of what’s to come on the rest of the LP. There is a faint Animal Collective influence with Kohen’s Avey Tare-like scream blending with increasingly complex loops of guitar. There is sparse drumming to provide rhythm, but the real focus is on the songwriting and the interplay between repeating riffs. This style is present for most of the record and it’s impressive that, despite the eccentric and intricate nature of the music, Kohen has developed a strong, core sound.
A lot has changed for Henry Kohen a.k.a. Mylets since we last spoke in December. He’s moved to Los Angeles, is now officially signed to Sargent House, and is living in Sargent house with its founder Cathy Pellow. Now Mylets days are filled with non-stop practice, playing, writing, and recording for his new full length which should be out next year. In the mean time Sargent House has released a compilation of Mylets previous works called Retcon, that combines the three E.P.’s that were released prior to his signing to the label. The tracks contained on Retcon are nothing short of spectacular and since I already owned the E.P.’s before the re-release, I can hear a vast improvement on the sound quality due to the re-master and mix from Chris Common (drummer of These Arms Are Snakes and in house Sargent House studio guru). Hearing these re-mastered songs contained on Retcon just makes me want some new tunes from Mylets. Since the wait is killing me, I figured I would get back in touch with Kohen to find out what progress has been made on the new album. Also, I wanted to know how his new life is treating him, what he thinks about being a part of Sargent House, and see what he thought about his new status as an Internet Celebrity.
So during our last interview, you were just about to leave Indiana and head out to L.A. and Sargent House. How cool is it now to be officially in the fold?
Things out here are great! Good weather, good hikes, and I can be as involved or uninvolved in it all as I want. A big change from Indiana, that’s for sure.
CLASH Magazine live review: Bosnian Rainbows in London, UK
The word “supergroup” can be a tricky term. It’s one of those words that has a habit of raising expectations, and that’s not always a good thing. Bosnian Rainbows are certainly an act who fit firmly into the supergroup category, made up of former The Mars Volta members Omar Rodríguez-López and Deantoni Parks, plus Le Butcherettes vocalist Teri Gender Bender, and Nicci Kasper on keys.
Considering this musical prog-punk pedigree, it’s no wonder how hard it is to get close to the stage of London’s 100 Club for the band’s headline set. This intimate venue has built its reputation on being the place where numerous punk legends, such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Adicts, have cut their teeth.
This proves to be a fitting lineage for tonight’s show. The low ceiling and tightly packed crowd give proceedings a sweaty house party feel. And as Bosnian Rainbows take the stage, cheers are hushed into near silence and the band launches straight into the sinister synths of ‘Eli’, the opening track from their forthcoming self-titled album.
The fact that the band have been constantly on tour since their inception in 2012 shines through as the four-piece instantly come together like a tightly honed machine. Rodríguez-López’s virtuoso guitar work fits seamlessly with the pounding beats and rhythmic synths of Parks and Kasper.
It’s clear, however, that the stage belongs to leading lady Teri Gender Bender. Having a name reminiscent of ’70s punk icons like Poly Styrene is no accident. Her stage presence is drenched in gloriously exhibitionist spirit as she dominates the stage like a cross between Alice Glass and Patti Smith.
And So I Watch You From Afar take over Dublin for two Nights at Whelan’s - Live Review Night 1
And So I Watch You From Afar in Whelan’s, Dublin on 15 May 2013.
To celebrate the launch of their third studio album “All Hail Bright Futures”, Belfast noise merchants And So I Watch You From Afardescended on Whelan’s last night for the first of two Dublin shows. With the new album taking the band in several different musical directions, it was always going to come down to how the material sounded live. Sure enough the band did not disappoint, bringing their trademark ferocious intensity to both old songs and new.
With ASIWYFA curating the support lineup on the night, the diverse opening acts reflected the multitude of influences held by the band.
ASIWYFA’s entrance was heralded by the opening tack of “All Hail Bright Futures”. Starting with a tropical calypso sound, Eunoia increased in intensity as the band emerged and took their places, launching into Big Thinks Do Remarkable with sheer unbridled vigour. This was followed by the even more energetic and chaotic Like A Mouse. This opening salvo of new tracks proved just how well the new material works on a live stage, with the new addition of group vocals giving the crowd a chance to chant along in unison. The tracks may have been new, but it was clear that the audience were already familiar with them.
Echoes And Dust Live Show Review: Chelsea Wolfe in Leeds
Chelsea Wolfe has already made quite an impression in her career to date. Her ability to combine old fashioned folk songwriting with elements of drone and psychedelia may not be as remarkably original as some will have you believe but the mixture is potent to say the least. With a band of four in tow, this date marks Wolfe’s first performance in Leeds and the main room of The Cockpit is fairly full to welcome her to West Yorkshire. The message, it seems, has spread.
Chelsea Wolfe initially emerges flanked by a violinist and a keyboard player, brandishing an acoustic guitar, and a voice that could halt any passer-by in their tracks. Despite the fact that the crowd are obviously expecting something louder the first few tracks are rapturously received and if anything it’s slightly disappointing when the violin and acoustic guitar departs to be replaced by two electric guitars and drums. Soon enough though the second half of the set proves equally arresting, despite the occasional moment when the aforementioned upstairs gig is audible at inappropriate moments.
Wolfe’s live band are far from showy, that much is true, but the added texture given to her songs by their involvement is what makes this an unforgettable performance. At times the reverberations of her voice and some simple finger-picking is enough to send the audience into hypnotic rapture but it is the dissonant, slightly krautrockian ending to the main set takes things to another level. Indeed, the power achieved by both sound incarnations, quiet and loud, is almost Swans-like in its graceful ferocity. Unmissable.
VICE NOISEY: Video premiere of Indian Handcrafts “Bruce Lee”
Here’s a sweet exclusive: the gritty new video for Indian Handcrafts’ latest single, “Bruce Lee.” As an homage to their late hero’s sick Kung Fu skills, the Canadian duo pretty much kicks the crap out of each other with high kicks, uppercuts, and nunchucks, plus that ultimate display of testosterone-fuelled masculinity, the staring contest. All of this is set to a soundtrack of gnarly, drive-faster riffs and stomach-socking beats. It will make you want to roll around and get raw and then watch Kill Bill.
And So I Watch you from Afar take over Whelan’s in Dublin for the next two nights, to celebrate the launch of All Hail Bright Futures, Tickets are €14.50 and available EXCLUSIVELY from the Wav Ticket Office. Doors will be at 8pm both nights.
SEE ALL BOSNIAN RAINBOWS SHOW DETAILS HERE BOSNIAN RAINBOWS2013 May 25, 2013 - El Paso, TX @ Neon Desert Music Festival May 28, 2013 - Dallas, TX @ Trees w/ Zorch May 29, 2013 - Austin, TX @ Red 7 w/ Zorch May 30, 2013 - Houston, TX @ HOB - Bronze Peacock w/ Zorch June 21, 2013 - Schiphorst, DE @ Avantgarde Festival June 24, 2013 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah June 25, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA @ First Unitarian Church June 26, 2013 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory June 27, 2013 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall July 01, 2013 - Bogota, Columbia @ Rock Al Parque Festival July 10, 2013 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West July 12, 2013 - Washington DC @ U Street Music Hall July 13, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts July 14, 2013 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom July 16, 2013 - Hamden, CT @ The Spaceland Ballroom July 18, 2013 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair July 19, 2013 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s July 20, 2013 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar July 21, 2013 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement July 23, 2013 - Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre July 24, 2013 - Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge Aug 02, 2013 - Cork, Ireland @ Indiependent Festival Aug 16, 2013 - Groningen, Holland @ Noorderzon Festival Aug 17, 2013 - Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop Festival Aug 31, 2013 - Copenhagen, DE @ Vega w/ Tomahawk Sept 01, 2013 - Oslo, Norway @Rockefeller Music Hall w/ Tomahawk Sept 02,2013 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser Media w/ Tomahawk Sept 04, 2013 - Helsinki, Finland @ Circus w/ Tomahawk Sept 06, 2013 - Berlin, Germany @ Berlin Festival Oct 26, 2013 - Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Festival
Sacramento trio Tera Melos traffic in genres that are often viewed as the opposite of punk, i.e., prog, math-rock, post-hardcore. But when done properly, these styles generate all of the enthusiasm of punk while turning its traditional logic about formal training on its head: What if your love of music inspires you to train to the point where you can accomplish anything you want? That’s what Tera Melos get at on their fourth album, X’ed Out, a super-collider of genres, riffs and mad rhythms thatis often thrilling, occasionally exhausting, and, unlike most chops-based music, never dull.
It wasn’t always this way. Their previous work was often chops for chops’-sake, impressive on a theoretical level, manifesting in songs as spazzed-out and inscrutable as their titles— “Guy vs D.C. Sniper,” “A Spoonful Of Slurry (is Good for What Ails You),” to name a few. While their instrumental capacities are still plenty baffling, Tera Melos appear to be relishing the opportunity to encounter new difficulties; whereas jamming a 7/4 riff against a 12/8 backbeat is a puzzle that can be solved with enough effort, the stuff X’ed Out goes for is sparked by the metaphysical— ingenuity and serendipity.
Fortunately, Tera Melos sound exhilarated by the potential of not having an idea of where these songs might end up. X’ed Out begins on a monotone, palm-muted riff that could’ve found itself on a Phoenix or Strokes record; in fact, when Nick Reinhart’s vaporous falsetto first enters, it sounds a great deal like “Tap Out” from Comedown Machine. A couple of clean guitar runs nestle their way into the mix, and all of a sudden, it’s more in the style of looping enthusiasts like Dustin Wong. And then… a circle-pit ready chorus in Sufjan Stevens’ favorite time signature?
Russian Circles begin recording LP5 - Day 1 at Electrical Audio in Chicago - To be released later this year
Russian Circles begin recording their fifth full length album today in Chicago at Electrical Audio with long time allie Brandon Curtis (Geneva, Empros) producing again. Day 1, let the drums begin…..the album is slated for release late this year on Sargent House. We can’t wait.
Golden Plec Live Review Fang Island & No Spill Blood end their EU Tour In Dublin Show
It’s the end of the current tour for Fang Island, who have been doing the rounds over the preceding weeks aided and abetted by No Spill Blood. Hailing from Rhode Island, Fang Island specialize in a type of infectious, no frills guitar music that marks them out as the greatest band on earth. Okay, they’re not the greatest band on earth, but they might well be the most enjoyable band to rock out to on your headphones. The band’s ethos is simple – create the sound of “everyone high-fiving everyone.” While we have no idea how this might sound, if it’s measured through musical notation then this is probably it.
The three-pronged sonic assault that is No Spill Blood takes the stage, and from the alarm tone synth of Good Company it’s a heavy, molten slab of Death From Above 1979 style noise. Drummer Lar Kaye is a hard-hitter, and he and the howling vocal and bass of Matt Hedigan provide the basis for Ruadhan O’ Meara to layer on the colour with his dense synth patterns. It’s a full room from the first notes, as the band tear through the ‘Street Meat’ material, with the synth elevating things, swirling around the venue and grounding back on the solid work of the rhythm section. Crowd surfers are hoyed out of the air by bouncers, but the atmosphere is never anything less than cheerful. Bodies pump in rhythm, and when the band kicks back in after the prog-y breakdown of New Tricks a sea of heads simultaneously rock back and forth on their hinges. A false ending winds down the set, Buckfast makes an appearance, and the band gear up once more to bring things to a conclusion. Go on, the Bucky.
Things are buzzing nicely as Fang Island hit the stage. This gig was upgraded from The Grand Social to a post-midnight slot here in The Button Factory, so folk are by now well-readied from the previous band and the previous beers. There is no rest for NSB’s Lar Kaye, double-jobbing on bass guitar for the headliner’s set, and from the off it’s head-shaking stuff with The Illinois. Seek It Out comes in with a distorted intro before scaling back, and an anthemic Life Coach follows. With two albums to their name, the band dips in to both through the set. ‘Major’ song Chompers is all finger-tapping, snare-rattling excellence – the song’s upward key change is the single greatest moment of this weekend. The band stop, barley pause for breath and delve straight back into the rock-out ending.
THE SKINNY: Live review of Deafheaven at Ivory Blacks - May 7 2013
Deafheaven immediately induce a blissful collective trance with an emotionally stirring blend of black metal, shoegaze and atmospheric rock. Vocalist George Clarke is a true showman; he writhes around, microphone stand in hand during Dream House, the opener to their upcoming LP Sunbather,spewing wretched bile to balance out the glittery sonics. Freshly enlisted drummer Daniel Tracy’s intricate playing style on the new material trumps the straight-up blast beat attack of old, but Violet and Unrequited aren’t any less thrilling for it. A gloriously cacophonous cover of Mogwai’s Punk Rock / Cody is performed as an encore; a fitting closer to a set built on equal parts beauty to intensity. by Ross Watson - See full Review of show here.