Backyard Tire Fire
BACKYARD TIRE FIRE
with special guests
Jentri Colello and Musikanto.
Backyard Tire Fire return with their new studio album, The Places We Lived, on August 26, 2008. Its the first long-player by the Bloomington, Illinois-based band to be released on independent label Hyena Records. Distinguished by a rare combination of workingman authenticity and indie-rock eccentricity, The Places We Lived is defiantly contemporary in the face of its deep Midwestern roots. Its an approach that led Daytrotter.com to recently rave: Backyard Tire Fire are the choice we make when the extremes always sound too extreme, the bright lights feel too foreign, the moneys not important, the beers on ice and the clothes we like most are the ones that weve had on our bodies for decades and we know what made all of the holes and rough patches in them.
The Places We Lived follows Backyard Tire Fires 2007 studio effort, Vagabonds and Hooligans, a breakthrough release that found the group popping up on numerous tastemaker blogs and year-end best of lists. Theyd go on to play over 200 dates last year, including opening slots and co-bills with Jason Isbell, Clutch, Lynyrd Skynyrd and William Elliott Whitmore among others. Consequently, their fan-base swelled, resulting in sold-out, headline dates all over the Midwest.
Seizing on the momentum, Backyard Tire Fire came off the road and went straight into the studio to record The Places We Lived. Cut over two weeks at co-producer Tony Sanfilippo's analog-only Oxide Lounge Studios in Bloomington, IL, its unquestionably the bands most focused collection of songs to date.
The idea of home is at the core of this record. The places weve called home, leaving home, being away and returning home. And the importance of family and friends and the people we love, states Backyard Tire Fires principle songwriter Ed Anderson. My objective in the songwriting process is to be honest. I want folks to feel like the tune was written for them and identify with what the song is about.
The signature Backyard Tire Fire sound is in fine form, represented on tracks like The Places We Lived, How In The Hell Did You Get Back Here? and Welcome To The Factoryall husky, guitar-driven rockers wearing their hearts proudly on their sleeves.
For the majority of the material, however, Anderson turned to the piano. Shoulda Shut It, Everybodys Down and One Wrong Turn are based on quirky piano figures. Relying on the nuanced rhythm section of Ed's brother Matt Anderson on bass and Tim Kramp on drums, the bands muscle is never sacrificed in light of the more delicate instrumentation. Rainy Day (dont go away) and Home Today are two gorgeous piano-rooted ballads; the former a plaintive number with a sardonic lyric that wouldnt sound out of place in Tom Waits catalog, while the latteran aching love song written for Andersons wifetakes flight on a sweeping string section.
I guess I was just writing more at the piano during that time period. I tend to switch between guitar and piano as tools, and must have been feeling it more on the keys at that point. This certainly wasnt a conscious thing. I try not to think too much about how the writing gets done, as long as it keeps getting done, explains Anderson.
As on previous Backyard Tire Fire recordings, the band maintained its loyalty to analog recording by cutting everything to tape. Hardly taking a press record and play approach, they embraced a spectrum of inventive recording techniques, experiments with sounds to help bring the character of each individual song to life. In the process, a dynamic sonic depth from track to track is achieved, heightening the musics emotional impact, but never overshadowing the performance at the core of the song.
There are many nuances in which we attempted to reflect human emotion through sound and arrangement. For example, the chorus of the The Places We Lived, contains chimes that are representative of an old time doorbell. The chaotic middle section of Time With You signifies the feeling of helplessness that I had when I wrote the tune. The loop in Welcome to the Factory was made by using random non-musical objects like a drill-bit pounded on a brake drum or a mic-stand scraping up against an empty reel of tape. It creates a robot-like sound bed that gives off the feeling of working on an assembly line. One Wrong Turn is about an individual that made a bad decision and ended up behind bars. I sang it through a six-foot metal tube with the mic at the opposite end to create the feeling of isolation. These are the kinds of things were thinking about in the studio. Always looking at the songs on multiple levels, concludes Anderson.
Ultimately what emerges on Backyard Tire Fire's The Places We Lived is a roughhewn, road-ready vision of substantive pop music for folks with dirt under their nails; tough and playful, poignant and bracing, a sandpaper snapshot of the world most of us live in, but rarely sing about with such poetic grace. Only five years into their journey, Backyard Tire Fire reveal themselves as a band deeply in love with the full American musical spectrum, pulling lustily from folk, country, blues and dyed-in-the-wool originals like Howlin' Wolf, Randy Newman, Alejandro Escovedo and The Band. They are musical lifers with a proverbial heart of gold, hammering this hard life into the kinds of notes and melodies that stick around for the long run.
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|