Recording an album is an adventure. Saar and I are bearing into the final stages of our most ambitious American Murder Song album to date, a process we began in January. Eight months later, and the music is written, the instruments and vocals are recorded, and the mixing of the tracks is well underway. Mastering will follow, with the hope of publicly releasing the completed work some time in October. An adventure, indeed.
This upcoming album is also the most aggressive of the American Murder Song collection. On the project’s debut record, Saar and I explored a stripped-down, folk-Americana sound with “Murder Ballads of 1816: The Year Without A Summer”. We then moved into a lusher, ’60’s televised-spook show approach with “The Donner Party”. With the upcoming record, we’re going even bigger, incorporating not only the snares, fifes and choirs that have appeared on previous American Murder Song recordings, but adding electric guitars, industrial programming and double-kick drum kits.
One of the underlying themes of the new album is war, and this new assortment of aggressive instrumentation definitely creates the feeling of a sonic battlefield.
With American Murder Song, we often work with the same musicians and singers from album to album, and this new record is no exception. But because of its aggressive direction, we also collaborated with new (yet old) blood. On the hunt for musicians, we went into our Repo! The Genetic Opera Rolodex and brought back some players that I hadn’t worked with in over a decade.
Mark “Moke” Bistany is a helluva drummer. He’s known for drumming with the likes of Otep and Puddle Of Mudd, but he also laid down beats on some of my favorite Repo! tracks, including “Night Surgeon” and “Legal Assassin.” When the new American Murder Song album called for heavy drumming, I immediately thought of Moke. It was a real treat to hear him bang the shit of his kit again on our new record.
Melora Creager, frontwoman and founder of the cello rock act Rasputina, also recorded on the Repo! soundtrack (that’s her cello front and center on songs like “Mark It Up”). I’ve been a fan of Rasputina since the late ’90s, having discovered them when Columbia House CD mail-order club was still a thing. I’ve seen Rasputina perform a half a dozen times in the last fifteen or so years, so I fanboy’d pretty hard when Melora came into the studio to lay down tracks for Repo!
Melora and I are friends now, but I fanboy’d just as hard when she invited American Murder Song to be an opening act for Rasputina on the West Coast leg of their tour later this month.
That’s right; if you live on the left coast, you can come and see American Murder Song with Rasputina. If you’re located in a different area of the country, there are still a handful of tickets available for Saar’s and my Anti-Recital Tour. The two tours will be very different. The Rasputina performances will be more in the vein of a traditional rock show. The Anti-Recital Tour is in the fashion of a private living room concert. No stages. No microphones. Just You, Saar and I, and a piano.
For those who can’t attend either tour, we look forward to sharing the new American Murder Song album with you later this year.
(studio photos by William Rot)