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On Deck: Brass Bed

By ; April 25, 2013 at 6:45 AM 

Brass Bed_4

Spending years cycling around in pristine studios and taking cues from pop-oriented producers, the Louisiana quartet Brass Bed found themselves in the unenviable position of having to struggle for their own musical identity as they began the recording of what would become their third album.  The band brought on producer Danny Reisch to help them record The Secret Will Keep You, which was done in a 10 day consecutive session at Public Hi Fi Studio in Austin, TX.  This whirlwind recording schedule resulted in the band putting everything down live to tape, and the album feels as unfastened and as musically unpredictable as their previous albums were structured and neatly arranged.   Reveling in the eccentricities of indie rock and a curiously ramshackle pop aesthetic, the band rolls their numerous influences into one communal melting pot of musical predispositions. The band recently took some time to write about a few of the records which influenced the creation and direction of their latest album The Secret Will Keep You.  From John Cale to Glenn Branca, and quite a lot in-between, the band discusses how each album fit into their own newest record’s overall aesthetic.  Read about these artists and their respective albums below in our latest On Deck feature.

Records that influenced the making of The Secret Will Keep You:

Yoko Ono - Plastic Ono Band
John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band

Not only did the supremely introspective subject matter influence The Secret Will Keep You, but also the overall sound and tone of the record. The papery drums, echoed vocals, and both clean and nasty guitar tones were our North Star for recording. My only regret is not saying COOKIE somewhere on our record.

John Cale - Fear
John Cale – Fear

The emotion of the title track completely falling apart made Christiaan point to the van stereo and say, “That! That’s what the record should sound like.” But on the same side of the record there are such tender and sparkling songs like “Emily” and “Ship of Fools.” The spectrum from pure rage to delicate was definitely the palette we wanted to work from as well.

Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos
Chris Bell – I Am the Cosmos

The late great Chris Bell couldn’t write anything but introspective and powerful songs. It may not have been intended to be an album but it has everything we wanted and wanted to be within its grooves. Heartache, self doubt, anger, and sorrow coupled with chimey and saturated guitars, slapback drums, and warm synth sounds was the overall sound we were looking for.

Fred Neil - Fred Neil
Fred Neil – Fred Neil

The bare instrumentation on this record is not only incredible in playing and style but fitting. Everyone that played on this record never over played (save the last track perhaps). They only supported beautiful songs and voice of Fred Neil.

Tom Verlaine - Dreamtime
Tom Verlaine – Dreamtime

Tom Verlaine is known for guitar gymnastics but the rhythmic push and pull he realized on this record is stellar. The production did take time for me to get past, but once I did, I found a true gem. I don’t care if the drummer for Twisted Sister drummed on this (he also drummed for MC5). Tracks like “Down on the Farm” and “Mary Marie” showed us the way when it came to making a fervent point.

Glenn Branca - Lesson No 1
Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1

You can only get such a guitar intensity from one man, but to be honest having Lee Renaldo and Thurston Moore in the fold helps. When it comes to the title track, it’s amazing that he would write such an epic guitar piece in response to Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Is Apart” because there’s hardly any guitar in that Joy Division track. Trying to capitalize on that kind of intensity is impossible but we had to try and coax an emotional response that we hope muster in our live shows.

Brass Bed’s latest album The Secret Will Keep You is available now via Crossbill Records.

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