Your bass player reporting here; since Wendy and I were exposed to a coupla Swallow the Rat (great band, you should check them out) members who tested positive upon their return to NZ last week, we have been in more or less total isolation this week and will be til late next week. We are both fine – no symptoms. Of course the AMT tour has been cancelled along with everything else. We hope to be able to do it in Feb.-Mar. 2021. I have been far from bored; in fact, I realized today that I have been concurrently working on six different musical projects! To wit:

  1. Of course, work continues on the new ST 37 album “Ballardesque”: a) Joel is working on getting the multitrack masters from our pal and engineer Evan Kleinecke so we can continue doing overdubs in isolation b) I have been steadily working on writing and demoing bass parts for the Volodymyr Bilyk penned string parts that James Alexander played and Chico Jones recorded for us for the “Love: A Printout for Claire Churchill” piece c) I have been working in collaboration with Volodymyr to finish the lyrics for “Concentration City” d) I am rereading “Crash” and have picked out a piece to read as part of the backing track Matt Turner and I are working on for his contribution to the record, our version of the Quttinirpaaq piece “Black Moses” that is now called “Crash!” after the BBC/Ballard television film that stars JG and Gabrielle Drake, Nick’s sister (it is so great, you really need to see it:
  2. Sound Mass 2019 nears completion – after extensive listening, rating, annotating and ranking by both My Education and Theta Naught, the music we recorded during SXSW 2019 has been edited and mixed. Ryan Stanfield and Hyrum Summerhays in SLC have really taken the lead on this one.
  3. Vast Majority 2015 is in the works – the three shows and several rehearsals that the reformed new version of VM did in January and February of 2015 to promote the Rave Up Records Italian vinyl release of the VM ouevre have been ransacked to produce a refreshingly short record of our own. It’ll be great, trust me. Slower but better. Who wants to release physical copies for us? Perfect LP length – it’ll be about 33 minutes long – like a Ramones album!
  4. Work continues apace on the My Education record we began at Sonic Ranch in October of 2019. We just recorded some amazing wordless vocals by Amanda Hickey, an absolutely phenomenal singer, and I’ve been working on my bass parts for some overdub ideas.
  5. Now that Chris Jacques has recovered from his surgery, the (blue circle) compilation on Dub Ditch Picnic is back on the front burner. We are working on the track listings, artwork, credits and sequencing now.
  6. Got a new keyboard and a new chorus pedal and Wendy and I are working towards recording a new Marimba Fury piece centered around a two keyboard drone in G.

This is a profoundly weird and tough time. I am so glad to have all this exciting stuff to work on. I am a very lucky man. Oh, and the Coz the Shroom LP that Matt and I co-released is out. You should really hear it. Shoot us an email if you’d like one.


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