Smug Brothers Announce Attic Harvest

Smug How did Dayton, OH’s sensational lo-fi pop concern Smug Brothers exist for so long without me knowing? Perhaps there is no acceptable answer, but by the time I discovered them on 2011’s terrific Treasure Virgins EP they had a handful releases to their credit and we had the Smug bug bad, so as I’m prone to do I immediately sought out those early recordings as well as their subsequent releases. It’s been an impressive run for Smug Brothers thus far and with the news of new album and a fundraising campaign to assist with getting the new set, Attic Harvest pressed on vinyl I figured it was high time we checked with with the bands co-founder and chief songwriter Kyle Melton to talk about the new album, the gofundme campaign, and the evolution of Smug Brothers.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can you tell me a little bit about the creative process behind the band’s new album, Attic Harvest ?

Kyle Melton: After we finished up Disco Maroon in fall of 2016, I was eager to get to work on new material, as usual. The process from writing to release of Disco Maroon had taken close to two years, which is a pretty long time for us. And as much as we enjoyed working with Micah Carli at Popside Recording for the last album, we were itching to get back to recording on the 4-track cassette machine and doing things a lot more quickly. We started tracking for what became Attic Harvest in March of 2017 and had two more sessions in July and August, although we didn’t have a clear direction of how things would be released when we started. These sessions were just Don Thrasher and I learning new songs from scratch and working up the rhythm tracks to add to later. We then invested in a computer recording interface so we could transfer from the 4-track to the computer and overdub further without having to go to another studio as we have in the past. From that point, it was myself and Scott Tribble doing guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, and vocals to get it all done. Having never worked with Scott before, we had a lot of fun just experimenting and trying things out that really took the album to some new places for Smug Brothers. Without any agenda or timeline for the tracking of the album, we were a bit more free to see what we could and not worry about whether the clock was running or if we could pull it off live. The last overdubs were put down in early June and I mixed it all by early July. We also had a bunch of older songs from as far back as 2009 that we finally found a place for alongside all this new material. We had around 40 songs that were in consideration for the album and we cut it down to a lean 18-song/39-minute sequence.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can you catch us up to speed on the recent line-up changes to the band ?

Kyle Melton: By the end of last year it was clear Brian Baker and Larry Evans weren’t going to continue with the group. At the time, there wasn’t a clear timeline for a new album or any shows. It was really just me working on the album and sending rough mixes to Don. I had known Scott through my wife, Emily, and Scott and I ran into each other at the Wire show last fall in Columbus and made plans to get together. I played him some of the stuff Don and I had been tracking and he was into contributing to the songs. Once Scott and I started working together in December, the album took off pretty quickly. It’s obviously sad to see Brian and Larry go and we had a good run, for sure. Things run their course, and Don and I wanted to keep going and we’re glad Scott was able to keep rolling with us.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Smug Brothers have recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist with pressing the album to vinyl. How do you feel Attic Harvest differs from the Smug Brothers past releases?Yes, we are doing a GoFundMe campaign which is going well so far. We are honored people are contributing as they have been and helping us to reach this band goal of finally putting an album on vinyl.

Kyle Melton: As far as how this album is different from past releases, well, the new album doesn’t have Brian and Larry, for starters. Brian has been with the group since 2010’s Stock Romeo, so he’s been a big part of what we do for years. I think Scott and I took things in a different direction but it’s still the Smug thing. And with Larry leaving, I covered all the bass parts and I just do different stuff than Larry so that’s going to sound different than the last few releases. Other than that, I think this sequence is a really good one: a little more acoustic stuff, some different sounds than we’ve used in the past. Since it was all recorded to 4-track cassette, it’s a bit of a throwback to what we did on On The Way To The Punchline and Fortune Rumors but we’re better at doing things this way after all these years, so it’s still moving forward. It has some good rockers, it’s pretty in places, it’s weird in places. It’s all the things we love to do with Smug Brothers.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Other than the recent line-up changes, how has the band’s approach to writing and recording changed?

Kyle Melton: I still write all the songs and bring them to the guys to work on. I’ve gotten a bit better with demoing to the iPhone and sending demos in advance of a session, which Don seems to appreciate a lot. But once we get in a room and start hashing out the tunes, we just go with what feels right. Don and I have always enjoyed trying to capture the thrill of those first moments when a song takes shape, however that happens, and build from there. Our biggest thing is to not overthink it and capture the magic of the moment. Once you start putting a song together, you might realize a new direction with the arrangement, or Don might come up with something I never expected that makes the song work way better than I had envisioned. That’s really always been the big thing as far as how we work.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can we expect the band to head out on the road in support of the new album ?

Kyle Melton: Hopefully we can play a few more shows on this new album than we did for Disco Maroon, but that remains to be seen at this point. We will definitely keep everyone informed.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What should your potential supporters know about the Smug Brothers and the forthcoming Attic Harvest LP?

Kyle Melton: We’re very proud of this new album and it was a lot of hard work learning all the new equipment and mixing an album myself for the first time since 1999. With the time it takes to press the album and everything, it likely won’t be out to everyone until the new year. We have also contracted with an Italian collage artist named Andrea Floris to do original artwork for the album. You can see the image for the front cover on the GoFundMe page and the other two pieces are equally impressive. While we’re waiting for Attic Harvest to be released, we’re planning to get to work on new recordings and keep pushing forward to the next release.

The AGP: Lastly what is on your turntable or headphones these days ?

Kyle: As far as new stuff, I’ve been digging the new Parquet Courts, Beach House, Breeders, and GBV albums that came out this year. There’s a great band called OMNI from Georgia I found out about recently. The new “lost” Coltrane album is excellent. Just got the Grateful Dead “Anthem of the Sun” remaster, which sounds incredible. Found some old albums from Heron, Please, Sparks, and Beauregard Ajax that get a lot of plays. Spent a lot of time with Joni Mitchell’s catalog this last year, which I regretfully had missed all these years. I spend lots of time listening to the electric-period Miles Davis albums, Eno, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. And I love digging around the Dream Catalog [thanks, Derl] and Analog Africa Bandcamp pages for new stuff. There’s always so much to explore out there, you know?

If you are able to assist Smug Brothers achieve their modest goal of pressing the forthcoming, Attic Harvest on vinyl you can head over to their gofundme site to lend them a hand. In the meantime the band has shared the track, Rare & Double Clutch off the forthcoming LP.

GBV Update & A Letter From Your Favorite Uncle

GBVRobert Pollard is keeping his word by only releasing one album this year with Guided By Voices‘exceptional Space Gun LP, but he never said he would stop writing and recording at his usual and uber prolific pace. Today has been a banner day for fans of Robert Pollard, GBV, and even Cash Rivers And The Sinners. First off we have been given a taste of the 2019’s Zeppelin Over China with the premiere of You Own The Night via the A.V. Club. In addition Pollard has also announced the reissue of his second solo album, Waved Out and plans to reissue both Kid Marine and his masterful collaboration with Doug Gillard in 2019. There will be also be 2 6-song EP’s next year, but instead of recapping lets have a look at a letter drafted by Bob himself which details a ton of new releases that will be spaced out over the next 2 years.
Lttr from Bob
Lest, we not forget last years reissue of Not In my Airforce which has just been restocked. We highly recommend heading over to Rockathon peruse the current Pollard offerings as they are as always, plentiful. He’s right we are “greedy little  bastards” when it comes to Pollard releases. Just imagine for a moment waiting 2-3 years between albums from your favorite artist? Well that bar set long ago that would never be the case and I’m thankful for each and every release he delivers.  Keep em’ coming!

Guided By Voices will pay a long awaited visit to our area this fall. Check the full list of upcoming Live dates below.

Guided By Voices Tour Dates:
8/8- Birmingham, AL – Saturn
8/9- Athens, GA – Athens Popfest – Georgia Theater
8/11- Jacksonville, FL – Intuition Ale Works
8/13- Richmond, VA – The Broadberry
8/14- Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
8/16- Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House Outpost at Industry City
8/17- Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes
8/25- Evanston, IL – Out of Space: Big Evanston Block Party *FREE*
8/26- Evanston, IL – SPACE *SOLD OUT*
9/14- Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme
9/15- Columbus, OH – Skully’s Music Diner
9/17- Detroit, MI – El Club
9/18- Pittsburgh, PA – Spirit
10/19-Washington, D.C. – Black Cat
10/22- Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/23- Holyoke, MA – Gateway City Arts
10/25- Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
10/26- Buffalo, NY – Asbury Hall
11/9- Los Angeles, CA – The Teragram Ballroom
11/10- San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
11/13- Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
11/14- Seattle, WA – The Crocodile

A Conversation With Mike Kenlan of Small (23)

Small coffeeCertain recordings have the ability to stop you in your tracks and freeze time. For example I remember everything about the first time I heard Small 23‘s full length debut LP, True Zero Hook. I was sitting in the music office of my college radio station listening to that weeks new releases feeling a little underwhelmed with the task when the albums opening and title track came barreling out of the speakers. Hearing True Zero Hook was a genuine eureka moment and I was more than a little smitten. It was like I had been waiting for that moment, for that LP and for Small to arrive, but I just didn’t know it until it happened.  I managed to see the band Live in the summer of 1994 and that was all it took, I was sufficiently hooked, pun intended. After the show, along with my brother and some friends we ended up drinking cheap beer around a bonfire with the band. One of those carefree nights that could have only happened in your 20’s. Its a great memory with some lifelong friends and a band I’ve admired for 25 years now. I recently connected with former Small guitarist/singer, Mike Kenlan on social media and couldn’t resist the chance to discuss his former band, the Chapel Hill scene, and a memorable night playing rock songs in the dunes of the Cape.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: After 1995’s Silver Gleaming Death Machine, Small ceased to exist, so tell me what have you been up to musically for the past couple of decades?

Mike Kenlan: Small officially broke up in early 1996. Silver Gleaming Death Machine had come out in the fall of 95, and we had an amazing national tour with J Church, and Garden Variety, followed by a great European tour. We were really proud of that record, but it just seemed like a good place to stop. For the next couple of years, I played with a couple of other local bands, off and on, and played on the Ashley Stove record All Summer Long in 2001. I’ve been writing, on and off the whole time, but slow to actually get any of the material recorded. One of these days.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Pipe seemed to coexist with Small for a time. What do you attribute the bands longevity to?

Mike Kenlan: Small ran from 1991 until 1996. Pipe formed in the Summer of ‘91, and I played in both bands until 1993. Chuck Garrison, who plays in half a million bands, played with Small from 1992 to the end, and Pipe the whole time. Clif Mann took my place, and played with Pipe until 1997 or 1998, when I rejoined the band. Pipe broke up in 1999, and got back together in 2009, and we’ve been active ever since. We actually have a new record coming out, sometime later this year. As for longevity, I think it boils down to just having fun with it. We still draw good crowds, and they enjoy themselves, so why not keep doing it ? It really is a hell of a lot of fun to play this stuff, and I think the crowd picks up on that energy, and throws it back at us.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can you tell me a little bit about the forthcoming Pipe release?

Mike Kenlan: The Pipe album, it’s called Ball Don’t Lie We just finished getting it mastered, and we’re still trying to figure out who’s putting it out. It’s been many years since we’ve released anything, and in that time, the music world changed. We started the recording process in early 2014 at our friend Alex Maiolo‘s Seriously Adequate Studio, in Carrboro, NC, and then added some tracks and mixed with Nick Petersen at Track and Field
Recording
, in Durham NC last year. We hope to have it out by the fall, but who knows. I suspect that we will do some limited touring to support the record. Probably some long weekend trips, up and down the east coast for starters.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: O.K. I’m chomping at the bit to really dig in to the history of Small 23. Can you provide a little insight of how the band came together, Eric Bachmann‘s early involvement, and your recollections of the bands early recording sessions?

Mike Kenlan: Small grew out of another band, called Cupcake U.K. that formed in 1990. We were essentially the same lineup as the early version of Small, but with a frontman/singer, Kelley Cox. Eric and I felt that the band, and the singer were headed in different musical directions, so we reformed as a four piece, with Matt Walter on bass, and Darren Hall on drums, joining Eric (Bachmann)and myself. Neither Eric or I had much singing experience, so we weren’t sure if it would fly. I think we recorded some fairly rough demos with Caleb Southern, before recording the first single at Duck Kee Studios in Raleigh in 1991. That first single was originally supposed to be Empty Room on one side, and a beautiful song of Eric’s called She. Both tracks were too long to fit on a 45, so we went with Nasty Little Chick, Makes Me High, and Somebody Owes Me Money instead. After the single, we changed drummers, and picked up Chuck, who was playing in Pipe.

Soon after that, Eric came in with a batch of great songs, and we went back to Duck Kee, and recorded the Cakes EP during the summer of 1992. What I remember most from that session, is that we recorded the music first, but neither Eric nor I had much down, as far as lyrics, so we took turns scribbling down words, while the other was doing vocal takes, and most are the lyrics are somewhat nonsensical.Eric left to concentrate on Archers Of Loaf, full time in November of 1992, and Dave Hollinghurst joined in January of 1993.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: How did the signing to Alias some about?

Mike Kenlan: Sometime in early 1993, they approached both us and the Archers. Neither band had much experience with the business side of things, and they seemed like nice folks, so we went for it. I remember talking to Eric about it, and we were pretty clueless, but it felt like if both bands signed, it would somehow be better than if just one of us did. It seems like, as soon as we signed, all of a sudden, all these other labels called us, and made us question our decision.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: To me all three full lengths have held up really well and I still find myself returning to those records frequently.Is there a release that stands above the others for you when look back or revisit those recordings?

Mike Kenlan: I’m my own worst critic, so when I hear that old stuff, I’m always thinking of things I should have done differently, or changed. Caleb Southern, who recorded us and the Archers, was always after me to clean up my guitar sound, and I wish I had listened to him. Every few years, I’ll pull out one of the old records and listen, just to see how it holds up to memory. Each of the records has high and low points for me, but I think True Zero Hook, and Silver Gleaming Death Machine are my favorites. I wish we would have gone in a different direction, production-wise on Chin Music, it sounds tinny and boxy to my ears. I have a soft spot for the Cakes EP too, especially Eric’s songs.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What was the catalyst the led to the end of Small 23?

Mike Kenlan: The simple answer is burnout. We were three records into a five record contract with folks who were well intentioned, but not really the most savvy in terms of marketing. Our last couple of tours, we were playing to better and better crowds, and frustrated by the lack of support we were seeing. The musical landscape was changing too, as it does. When we started, there was a thriving indie scene, but by 1996 everything was getting more corporate, and the musical world was awash in Alanis Morrisette and The Spin Doctors, and we had no intentions of trying to sound like that, to woo those kind of fans. We had an offer to go out as an opening act for one of those hot, major label bands, which probably would have been a smart move, career-wise, but we didn’t do it, because it felt like selling out. I guess we showed them.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: In the summer of 1994 Small 23 played a day long show on Cape Cod with Blonde Redhead, The Dambuilders, Small Factory and many others. That remains one of my top Live music experiences to this day. What do you remember from that show?

Mike Kenlan: Yes, The Beachcomber in Wellfleet! I remember that show really well, we were really humbled to be included on such an incredible bill. The fans in MA were always so great to us, seemingly anywhere we went, but that was a really memorable night. The crowd was really intense, and all the bands I saw fed off of that energy. I seem to recall a late night bonfire on the beach, that turned into an all nighter, that forced us to cancel our drive home the next day, so we could take a recovery day.
BeachcomberFlyer

The Ash Gray Proclamation: How much has the Chapel Hill scene changed since it was occupied by bands like Small, Polvo, and Archers? Is there anyone we should be checking out?

Mike Kenlan: I should probably point out that the Chapel Hill scene included a lot of bands from Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, etc. and each town or city has its own vibe. We also have three major universities, each with really strong college radio stations, that help support the music scene immensely. The scene has definitely evolved and grown, and remains really strong. The Archers, Polvo, Superchunk, etc. all got national attention, but there were dozens more, lesser known bands that really made it a scene. Bicycle Face, Capsize 7, Zen Frisbee, and a bunch more, were equally loved by the locals. Southern Culture on the Skids, and LUD have been putting out great music, continuously since the early 90’s. There was a time where you could go out and hear really amazing local bands five or six nights a week. Since 1990 or so, there have been like two generations of young, up and coming musicians that kept the scene alive, and added their mark to it. Sorry About Dresden, Milemarker, and Jett Rink to name a few. Today, we have bands that are made of of kids of some of the older scene, as well as a bunch of us from back then, who are still making interesting music.Some of my current local faves are Spider Bags, No One Mind, Natural Causes, and Cosmic Punk. We’re really fortunate here, to have a culture which supports original music, and good number of venues for folks to play.

Public Policy – Human Resource [Review]

PublicLast month Providence Post-Punk concern, Public Policy played what was billed as both a party and funeral. The former to mark the release of their recent EP, Human Resource and the latter due to Drummer Dan Moriarty recently relocating to Washington D. C., the band will be inactive for the foreseeable future. Instead of lamenting their goodbye to Providence, I’ve chosen be thankful for their relative brief existence and the shows I got to see them play, not to mention their exceptional new EP.

Human Resource starts off with Trawlers, a frenetic and arresting track reminiscent of Jawbox at the most caustic with more immediate hooks and a commanding vocal performance from Dean Gardner. Throughout Human Resource, Public Policy carve out their own identity by distilling strong melodies beneath a cacophony of angular guitar lines, propulsive rhythms,and sharp witted lyricism. On Ice Age, the band delivers a raucous and pummeling anthem with nods to post-hardcore vets, Quicksand and Rodan on the albums most unsettling and infectious track. Human Resource spends a considerable time in my headphones these days and with each listen it seems reveal its allure and charms little by little which a neat trick and a testament to strength of the songs that occupy this EP.

Riffs & Friendship: An Interview With Greed Island


I first discovered New Hampshire’s Greed Island via a social media post from fellow Seacoast indie outfit, Rick Rude back in January. I immediately tracked down their then just released Nest Egg and proceeded to freak out over the bands marriage of Matador Records heyday guitar bands, pop hooks, and intelligent lyricism. That album has been in constant rotation since last winter and in my estimation one of the years finest. I recently caught up with Greed Island’s guitarist/vocalist, Trevor Butler to discuss the recording of his bands latest release and the burgeoning Seacoast scene. In addition we are thrilled to premiere the video for Tiny Homes that the band recently recorded with Ty Ueda for his Mount Misery Sessions. Thanks to Trevor for allocating the time to answere a few questions and of course the band for making the trek down from the New Hampshire for tonight’s show.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Let’s start at the beginning, when did you realize you wanted to start a band?

Trevor Butler: What kid doesn’t wanna be in a band? It’s rad, you get to play real loud and just get it all out there. Chris Kennedy and I had been playing music together for a while and started writing some stuff we liked so we started playing out. We just found a lot of happiness in being able to share our creative efforts with friends and all the other amazing people out there we get to play with.
Greed1
The Ash Gray Proclamation: How did Greed Island come together?

Trevor Butler: Greed Island came together with a mindset of writing new music, a lot of which formed by listening to the bands coming out of the New England post punk boom.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can you tell me a little bit about the creative process that led to recording of your latest Nest Egg?

Trevor Butler: Nest Egg is based a lot on our experiences at a house we lived in on Baker Street in Dover. That year we watched birds lay a nest on our porch and watched their birblets grow, I took in my cat Grandma who showed up on our porch one day, and just made a lot of memories there. Honestly, probably the best home we’ve ever had.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: How often does the band get together to write and record new material ?

Trevor Butler: Chris and I write the songs and a lot of times it happens in waves, we’re really busy so it just happens out of the blue. So far, it’s just been a yearly thing with recording, but we’re actually recording in early June to put out a split with our buds Idling.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: You are involved in the Dover scene as well as Sue’s Space in Rollinsford NH. What can you tell me about that space and your current role within that organization?

Trevor Butler: Sue’s and Wrong brain have given so much to the seacoast scene it’s honestly been amazing to be a part of it. Both organizations are at the heart of the true weirdo art collective and keep the area exciting. My focus at Sue’s has been a fundraiser coordinator. We are a member based art collective with a wonderful spot in the Rollinsford Mills with a stage, PA, lights, projector, and anything else you could ever need to have fun. My latest effort has been trying to raise money for bleachers. We’ve been throwing bigger events recently like the Rock Water Film Festival and Take Down wrestling and we want everyone to have a good view of the action.
Greed

The AGP: Which Seacoast bands should we be checking out ?

Trevor: Woah! So many. Pretty much all of them, but off the top of my head, Charles, Notches, Rick Rude, Idling, Heavy Pockets, Sunchoke, Gash, People Skills, and Peacham. Also, a couple of Manchester based bands, Baby Lawns and Bad Fellows.
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The AGP
: On Thursday you return to Rhode Island for a show at Machines With Magnets, what can the Greed Island uninitiated expect from your performance?

Trevor: Riffs and friendship.

Greed Island will perform at Machines With Magnets tonight along with The Chris Brokaw Rock Band, Gold Muse, and Lightsleeper. Event Info
MWM best

Photo credits: B/W band shot,courtesy of Robert Fitzsimmons
Flyer courtesy of Alex Keown

Darklands – Hate It Here [Review]

Hate It Here Providence, R.I. post-punk concern, Darklands first arrived on our radar in 2014 with their appearance on the And Flowers, And Bees Mix Tape issued by estimable Boston indie Disposable America. The band formed a year earlier sparked by a mutual affinity for hardcore and 90’s indie touchstones, Archers Of Loaf, Built To Spill, and Sonic Youth. Over the course of a few EP’s the trio of Sam Patrick (Guitar/Vocals), David Marcotte(Bass), and Jeff Novak (Drums)have pushed and refined their sound into something that feels familiar and yet completely unique. On their first full length LP, Hate It Here Darklands deliver a debut that deals with the grim reality of being alone and exorcising loss which gives the album considerable weight, at least to my ears.

Control kicks off the album with muffled guitar chords and Sam Patrick’s plaintive and sad as fuck lyrics “repeat your words alone all day, make me hate them more, …he’s in ground” before a sea of crackling distortion, drums and buoyant bass lines come crashing in. See You Soon is a charging anthem with gigantic hooks propelled by intricate rhythms and earnest vocals. On the albums centerpiece and arguably strongest track is The Hill I Choose To Die On, Patrick states his bad intentions, “I’m here for the wrong reasons” the song sways and teeters back and forth threatening to collapse while being held together by a thick coat of guitar fuzz, a beautifully ramshackle track. Northern Ignorance is pure cacophony which displays the bands punk leanings, for a blissful two and half minute post hardcore romp. The album comes to a close with the Like A House On Fire, a slow building track the begins with chiming guitar chords, reminiscent of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins, but moments later Darklands’ own sonic identity shines through as fuzz pedals are stomped upon and subtle pop hooks are tossed about for an exhilarating close.

Throughout, Hate It Here, Darklands offers up an accomplished and varied full length debut that not only addresses the grim circumstances of finding your way after loss, but it gives us eight reasons to keep going with equal parts guitar squall, infectious pop hooks, and punk catharsis.

Hate It Here is out now on Atomic Action Records

Premiere: Infinite Room – Serpent

InfiniteBack in September of 2016 we were bummed to have to say goodbye to one of Boston’s most enduring and consistently great acts, Guillermo Sexo. After an impressive 12 years and 6 LP’s of accomplished psych-garage pop, the band decided to call it a day. With chief songwriter and founding member, Reuben Bettsak relocating his family to Atlanta shortly after Guillermo Sexo’s final performance it was unclear when we would hear new material from Reuben. Save for few songs shared via his Soundcloud account and released under his solo project, Emerald Comets he’s been relatively quiet since moving south, until now. On May 11th Reuben will release his debut EP with his new project Infinite Room and today we are thrilled to premiere Serpent. The track displays a lot of what drew us Guillermo Sexo over a decade ago, angular guitar lines, exquisite melodies and hooks submerged in dense fuzz. Infinite Room’s debut track, finds Bettsak pushing his song craft and sonics into exciting new terrain. We recently caught up with Reuben to chat about his new recording vehicle, Infinite Room and the forthcoming debut EP.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can you tell me how your new project, Infinite Room came about?

Reuben Bettsak: I met Tom Bruno (Drums) through a mutual friend and we started playing music together. He brought in Mike Walden, and we started working on song ideas. Tom was getting into recording, around that time, and was recording all of our song ideas. It was a good way for us to listen to what we were doing, and develop a sound we were happy with. It took months of messing around, but it finally came together. We have not operated like many bands where you write songs, and play shows before recording. We focused our energy on creating, and developing songs with the mission of recording an EP before playing shows.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What was the recording process for these songs?

Reuben Bettsak: For the EP I wrote, and recorded vocals, and guitars for the songs and put them on a dropbox folder. Tom took those songs, added drums, bass, and keyboards, and then Mike tracked additional keyboard parts. Tom then mixed everything together, and really shaped the way things sound. There are so many layers, and it’s dense..but there is a method to the madness, and for me the songs sound refreshing, and unique. It’s definitely a headphones music experience. I have to give Tom a lot of credit for putting many many hours shaping everything together.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Will the band be touring in support of the new EP?

Reuben Bettsak: The last few months were focused on getting the EP written, and recorded.. We are finally figuring out how the hell we are going to play these songs live, and maybe adding another member to the band. Mike is playing bass for the live band, so we are looking for a keyboard player. I think we will be ready to play live in a couple of months, and will start playing shows around Atlanta. We will hopefully expand to shows in other states. I am playing these songs solo on May 12th at Kavarna in Decatur, GA.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Can we expect more recordings or a full length in the future?

Reuben Bettsak: I’ve recorded a bunch of songs ideas, and Tom is already starting to go through them. We will likely release another EP this year, and work our way to doing a full length. I’m definitely excited about this band. I think the sound we are creating is really interesting, and I really like creating music with these guys.

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