Built To Spill
Built to Spill- There Is No Enemy
Three and a half years in the making, the efforts of writing and recording THERE IS NO ENEMY led Built to Spill founder Doug Martsch to wonder whether this would be the last album he ever makes. As his wife, I watched him work, pouring hour after hour , day after day into writing. Song lyrics were labored over then thrown in the trash, guitar parts revised again (and again). A musician and artist like Doug edits far more than he keeps.
For over twenty years, Doug Martsch has been writing and recording music. Built to Spill members Brett Nelson (bass), Scott Plouf (drums) Jim Roth (guitar), and Brett Netson (guitar) have all been musicians for two decades. That adds up to more than a century. Doug's strong aesthetic combines with the band members' mix of approaches to create an aural topography. Doug sets course and navigates. Each member of Built to Spill comes to the music with a different set of expectations and ideals.
With the complexity and variety of music they have created, Built to Spill endeavors to make songs interesting to themselves and their audience. They hope that the band will remain special and that people will discover the music for themselves. Year after year, new fans show up. Just like the band members, listeners come to the music with expectations and ideals. They make up their own ideas about the songs.
I once overheard Doug on the phone being interviewed. He sounded almost stand-offish in not "telling" an interviewer the meaning of a song or describing its origin. Doug and I have speculated about this sometimes: meaning (whether intended or not )is not inherent in lyrics or in any art. Listening, looking closely, and responding with one's feelings, thoughts, and senses transforms. Doug simply does wish to disrupt any meaning someone else has found.
I can barely repress the urge to tell you what THERE IS NO ENEMY means to me. When making the new record, Doug literally lived in the studio. To be able to work all day and all night. To spend hours and hours laying down guitar tracks he realized he couldn't use since the first live takes had the best tone and feel. To undigitally remix the record. With so much work behind the band, the record is here. Now comes the album's journey into the world. This venture Built to Spill does not map out. The record is yours to respond to.
When I listen to songs Doug writes and the whole band plays, I think, "How can people make music this good?" Even though I witness and minorly assist, I still do not understand how theirs or any beloved music comes into the world. To me, the process and result are magic.
BUILT TO SPILL:
Doug Martsch guitars, vocals / Brett Nelson guitars / Jim Roth guitars / Brett Nelson bass / Scott Plouf drums
ReVoLting Across the Land
We began August 2007. ReVoLtReVoLt is Jasin Serna, C Bock, and Ben Brunn. When we started this ReVoLt thing out, we were traveling the North Western states all of winter 2008 on into Spring of 2009Â¦..
Actually..Â¦.. things spawned from the Serna-Bock combo, as another project kinda flickered out. Jason and I (cBock), locked down a few songs and were stumbling upon our own sound around Idaho-Oregon, when Ben Brunn came into the mix. Jason set up a meeting outside of the Neurolux, Downtown Boise, Id. Although we didn't really know Ben, we were acquainted with mutual friends from our childhood, took lessons from the same guitar teacher, and had similar musical influences. Somehow we all just missed meeting each other round town in the early days.
I recall riding on the way to our first show with Benny on board, (at the Terrapin/former Crazy Horse) and we all talked of what we wanted to do musically. Songs, recording...we all agreed that we had the travel in our blood. So....I started booking more and more shows out of town, re-connecting & acclimating to the up's and downs, ins and outs of getting that sweet gig. DIY.
One of the shows took us to the Skylark in Seattle where we opened for a band named Slippage. Members included Jack Endino, Scott McCullum, Gary King, Allison Maryatt. Jack Endino (producer/engineer/musician who's production credits included Nirvana's Bleach along with a ton of other bands) said he liked our set, and that he thought we had found our sound. He said, "your sound kinda reminds me of the Pixies, but not JUST like the Pixies, and that's a good thing." Jack showed us his studio the next day, and said he would like to have us track with him, but he was pretty stacked schedule wise. He told us that we were ready to record, and we were effin tight from all the miles on the road.
We did some writing in C's little house in the alley, and new songs came into the mix as the seasons changed. We settled on 12 hot numbers (chordata). It was a solid week of rehearsal at Angie Coble's house in Boise's North End, and a week of dates on the road that slid us into Seattle mid July. While couldn't work in time with Jack, we began shopping around, and Ben brought up EGG! It was pretty much a no-brainer. Recording dates were July 12,13,14th at Egg Studios in Seattle, Wa with legendary Conrad Uno (Mudhoney, Pres. U.S.A., Murder City Devils, TMTM) at the helm. We rocked it solid for 3 days on to 2 inch analog tape. We were blown away at the warmth that was captured in the room. We were able to bring our LIVE sound to tap....lookout! Conrad Uno carried the experience, decisiveness, and humble demeanor of what we wanted to bring forth in that first record.
We signed on with Seattle Indie label Spark and Shine on August 28th, of 2009, & released our first full-length comprised of 12 songs, "chordata" on November 17, 2009.
Since, we have toured the western states 3 times over, hitting CA, NV, AZ, NM, TX, UT, OR, WA, ID.
The band is currently booked for a National Tour with Idaho friends Built to Spill that will run for 42 dates, and following that will tour the Northwest independently, bringing them back home to Idaho. New songs are coming into the mix, and looking back, I guess you can say we have been successful at least in doing what we love to do.
If you would like to pick up/listen to the record, you can do so at: http://sparkandshine.com/shop
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