Built to Spill w/ Rituals of Mine
Tuesday, April 17th
@ The Ballroom at The Outer Space
$35 ($30 adv) / 7:00pm Doors / All Ages
Tickets On Sale Fri 1/19 @ 10:00AM : http://ticketf.ly/2DfgJf6
Built to Spill
When Built To Spill wanted to find out what their music sounded like they locked themselves in Doug Martschs garage. Without a tentative conclusion or even a hypothesis the four members began to experiment. Their collaborative efforts lasted seasons and yielded dozens of hours of ADAT tape. The album You In Reverse documents the newest branch of Built To Spills chaotic, yet elegant evolution.
Doug Martsch formed Built To Spill in 1992. His intention was to sustain a project that would involve a rotating cast of musicians to record albums and tour.
The first incarnation of Built To Spill included Doug, Brett Netson, and Ralf (Youtz). Recording in the middle of the night in order to get free studio time, they assembled 1993s Ultimate Alternative Wavers. For a few years and a few records band members came and went. In 1996, while recording the album Perfect From Now On (their Warner Bros. Records debut), Doug found a rhythm section he could not relinquish: Brett Nelson and Scott Plouf. This line-up toured and made records with additional guest musicians Brett Netson and Sam Coomes. In 1999, after the release of Keep It Like A Secret, Jim Roth joined the band as live co-guitarist.
In the five years since the bands most recent effort Ancient Melodies Of The Future was released, Built To Spill took an eighteen-month vacation.
When the group returned to work, the line-up included Jim Roth as a core member. This foursome started jamming and recording their hours-long musical explorations. According to Doug, they had no idea what kind of music they wanted to make.
You In Reverse arrives as the most collaborative record in the bands thirteen-year history. To a large extent, each musician wrote his own parts. Half of the finished material incorporates segments the band wrote together during jam sessions.
Doug did bring in a few songs ready to go. Tracks like Liar and Saturday were pretty much there when the band learned them, while Goin Against Your Mind and Traces are full of riffs discovered during musical research. Dougs private writing process then allowed him to meld favorite spontaneous moments with composed transitions and intricate melodies.
With a batch of songs in hand, the goal became to keep the recording simple and stripped down. The band wanted to retain the impromptu, organic feel of their jams. Rather than Dougs former reliance on extensive overdubs, the group tried to capture loose and live moments, letting each individual musicians talents be more accurately represented. Instead of a broad, atmospheric sweep, this record sounds natural. It resonates with relationships, the way the band as a whole responds to music and to each other. Being the new guy, Jim Roth appreciated this approach. To Jim, they were striving to see what the band could be, the four of us. Now we can see the potential. These new songs are just starting to scratch the surface. Expressing his connection to music as that of both craftsman and artist, he considers each composition to be like a painting or a sculpture, its own thing.
As a discrete creation the record relies on more than good chemistry and Dougs expansive writing. The band decided to self-produce in order to put themselves in a new situation. Similar to the generative process, they felt a need to try something different. Just to see what would happen, Doug admits, Ive made enough records to know I could do this. Also, engineers take pride in their work and would not let it be too fucked up. When they chose Steve Lobdells Audible Alchemy studio, they happened upon another element of the album. Steve, being the musical person he is, just fell into the role of co-producer, Doug says, then recants, Its not even really produced. Its cleanly recorded and mixed. Its not slick.
At Audible Alchemy, they wound up chasing a 1960s sound.
Sonically, Doug says, We wanted it to sound like classic rock or soula piece of vinyl. Both Steve and engineer Jacob Hall are audiophiles who love old records and are into those sorts of sounds. They used analog recording equipment and spent hours listening back to tracks for the smallest nuances. Steve (a member of Faust) also played space echo, guitar, vibes, and percussion on the record. He understood the songs and their parameters, making specific and well-considered contributions.
Other guest musicians include Quasis Sam Coomes on organ and longtime Built To Spill contributor Brett Netson on guitar. Partway through the making of this record, Netson officially joined Built To Spill as their fifth member and played guitar on three of the songs. His mind-melting solo on Just A Habit will remind longtime Built To Spill listeners of the amazing lead guitar tracks he laid down for Perfect From Now On.
When Doug is asked what he wants people to know about the album, he replies, I would rather not manipulate peoples opinions about it. Bassist Brett Nelson thinks this record is what everybody in the band would want it to sound like. Brett also mentions the different styles of songs, anything from New Wave to Reggae breakdowns. While many influences and song structures arise and dissolve, none dominates the overall force of the album.
The songs are haunting rather than catchy. Each musical thought is surprising and complete. Dougs lyrics hint at politics, but could also be personal. As usual, the words lining the songs are neither directive nor dogmatic. Rational thoughts are constantly sacrificed to the metric and melodic needs of each song. No message blares forth. And yet, its understood. Listen: http://www.builttospill.com/
Rituals of Mine
Throughout history, human beings have relied on rituals—personal, religious, professional, social, creative, and otherwise. It’s these rites that establish a modicum of control and cohesion over a world that often seems far removed from both. When swimming through tragedy, turmoil, and tumult, those practices can function as life preservers. Sacramento duo Rituals of Mine—Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez—realized that firsthand.
Since 2010, the pair had been touring and releasing music under the moniker Sister Crayon. Their travels allowed them to share the stage with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, and many others, in addition to releasing the independent Bellow (2011) and Cynic (2013). Along the way, they earned praise from The BBC, Pitchfork, The Fader, Rolling Stone and more for their ghostly 21st century trip hop séance of soulful vocals, heavy beats, and breathy catharsis. However, 2015 would be the most trying and challenging year yet for the girls. Following the recording of Devoted and a quiet indie release, Terra unexpectedly lost two prominent figures in her life; figures who shaped both her understanding of her self and of music. In September 2015, Terra lost her father to suicide. Less than six months later, she suffered another harrowing blow when her best friend Lucas Johnson passed away in a tragic accident.
“It was a very tough two years,” she admits. “The name pays respect to those years, so Dani and I don’t forget what we’ve gone through as a band to get to where we are now. What are these rituals? They’re singing, performing, and writing. The record is dedicated to my dad and Lucas. Sister Crayon was the last name they knew us going by. We had to put that name to rest. Rituals of Mine is much more than a name. It’s a statement. This is a new beginning.”
In the midst of everything, Rituals of Mine inked a deal with Warner Bros. Records in February 2016. They worked closely with producer Wes Jones and mixing engineer Dave Clauss to make some final moves before enlisting Tom Coyne [Led Zeppelin, Adele] to master Devoted. The album represents the realization of a vision the two-piece possessed since day one.
“Dani and I had always known what music we wanted to make,” explains Terra. “We were very adamant that this record was going to be the sound we’ve consistently heard in our heads and the vision we’ve wanted for the project since day one. We were determined to create a body of work that focuses on the heavy aspects- low ends and vocals. It’s very minimal in that regard. We’ve gone through different lineups and member additions, but we realized this needed to be just the two of us. It was very deliberate. Going into the studio, we weren’t sure how we were going to execute it, but we were sure of what we wanted to hear.”
After cobbling together demos in the Oakland walk-in closet where Terra slept at the time, the core sessions for Devoted took place in St. Augustine, FL. Terra and Dani spent two weeks in the studio with Jones writing and recording the bulk of material. They finished writing the final three tracks with Omar Rodriguez Lopez (At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta) in Los Angeles. Once the songs were chosen for the record, Jones dug in on production over the next several months, communicating across the country with the duo until the album was a realized vision.
“It was the first time Dani and I had ever gone into the studio as a duo,” admits Terra. “It was a pretty insane experience to go into such extreme isolation in St. Augustine. The only person we really knew was Wes. There were absolutely no distractions. We could focus while there in the beauty of St. Augustine, surrounded in isolation.”
As a result, the ten tracks comprising Devoted could be likened to gorgeously haunted transmissions from a bygone era where Portishead and Massive Attack summoned spirits via analog drum machines and battered keyboards. The first single “Ride Or Die” fuses a stark bass hum and droning synth with Terra’s ethereal and evocative delivery before building into an angelic refrain- “All I want… is a Ride Or Die.”
“I was in a place where I didn’t quite understand where my next step in life or love was going to be. I felt like a lot of my friends were feeling the exact same way. It’s the human condition of being lost, always looking for something, and hoping to find that connection whether it’s romantic, family, friendship, or just a general human touch. It’s an anthem for myself and those around me. Life can be really fucking hard. Let’s stick together.”
Meanwhile, Terra’s howl caresses an ominous sonic blanket punctuated by industrial undertones and glitch-y computer buzzing. “The word Devoted kept popping up in my head when I thought of our journey,” she goes on. “After all of the changes and hardships we had gone through, we were devoted to each other and our music. To me, it signified a theme for the entire record. I had just gotten through an incredible breakup. Instead of singing about heartbreak and loss, I wanted to transcend that and write about devotion in order to restore my faith in devotion.”
Ultimately, these Rituals are meant to be shared.
“The music is created out of turmoil, and it’s genuine,” Terra leaves off. “It’s a passionate album. I want people to connect to it in a very human way and see that it’s raw. Maya Angelou said something that really connected with me. In regards to rehearsing or honing your craft, she said, ‘The process isn’t pretty, but it’s real.’ We create out of necessity. I hope that resonates and offers some solace.”
Nussbaum what time do tickets go on sale?