Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cops and Robbers OR A Rainy Night In Noho.

So this past weekend The New Loud headed down to play CMJ in New York City. After a harrowing drive with no speedometer through the mountains we made it to our hotel in Newark, NJ late Thursday night where we quickly crashed after a loooooong day of driving.

Our CMJ slot was at 9PM the next day - Friday at Wicked Willy's in Greenwich Village. The New Loud is getting close to releasing 2 records - an EP followed by a full-length in early 2010. Much of our day in NYC was spent in meetings with our publicist and lawyers - all of which went well. We were very happy that everyone could make the time in their busy schedules to meet with us.

We finished up the last meeting at about 6:30PM at Vol De Nuit - just a few blocks from Wicked Willy's and headed back to our van which rested parked and undisturbed about 1.25 blocks from the club. We then proceeded to load all our gear in 2 person trips from the van to the club just as a light rain began to fall.

Wicked Willy's was a sizable club, but it typically has just one band for the entire evening doing 3 a hour set, sometimes with an acoustic opener. The club was in no way, shape or form meant to handle a 5 band CMJ night as was evidenced by having no room AT ALL to store gear, save for the stage or middle of the floor. The club did have a backline(supplied drum set, 1 guitar amp, bass amp) which would've been fine for any typical rock band, though The New Loud's setup with sequences and half acoustic/half electronic drumset was not going to translate to the typical backline they had at the club. This created a lot of unfounded stress in the soundman who didn't quite understand why we would need to augment the house PA(which was mostly set up to handle vocals only) with additional power to handle our electronics.

We maintained we were quick at getting on and off stage with our own gear and as the club wasn't too big, we compromised by leaving half of our amplification in the van.

The first band finishes up and we load on to the stage. At this point, the fact that we brought along our friend Nick both to mix sound and for extra loading muscle was a priceless relief. After a rapid fire line check we're good to go and start. In the middle of our second song, security at the club is all a flutter - talking back and forth with each other through their cute little Bluetooth headsets. Apparently one of the neighboring clubs called the police because we were way too loud and it was disrupting their performers - so much for rock and roll in NYC! The cops showed up and we had to pause while security talked the cops out of giving anyone citations with the understanding we'd be quieter.
Fuck that.
I told the soundman, "Look we're going to play 2 more songs".
He was like "Cool, man you have time for more and you need to turn down as low as possible".
I said "No problem" and changed absolutely nothing. We burned through our last 2 songs, volume full out with a break in between to give a disparaging shout out to NYC's finest.

In whirlwind we broke down and loaded out. Outside we had to do 2 person trips to the van and back again - this time though it was pouring rain. After about 45 minutes of walking our equipment down the block and loading we were drenched, hungry and pretty disappointed in general about how the evening went. We were really looking forward to playing CMJ and having been cut down to about 1/2 our set because we were too loud just totally sucked.

I relaxed in the van for a moment while Jessi(keys) and Radish Beat(drums) went to gather some of our friends still hanging out at the club. They came back with our friend Sarah and we decided to indulge ourselves with a Sushi dinner to offset the night's disappointment. We hung out at the sushi restaurant for about an hour and finally were able to relax a bit before we headed back to our van.

We got back to our van and said good-byes to our friend Sarah. Then we got into the van, ready to head back to our hotel room when we noticed that ALL OUR BACKPACKS WERE GONE. In the hour we had eaten someone had stealthily broken into our van through the passenger side door, damaging the lock in a way we hadn't even noticed in the darkness outside. Nick's pack didn't have much in it, but mine had my brand new 13" Macbook Pro laptop/iPod/Photo camera/video camera extra shoes/earbuds/etc. Radish lost his pack and prescription sunglasses. For a moment everyone looked all over the cab, as if we had forgotten where we stashed our bags, but I just sat quietly as I knew they were gone. We rode back to our hotel in complete silence. Between getting shut down by the NYC cops and getting a couple thousand dollars of items stolen, we had reached bottom for the trip.

It was only in the days after that I realized how lucky we were that the thieves didn't break a window, giving us the impossible mission of finding someone to replace it on a Saturday or Sunday in NYC or New Jersey; or they could've stole the whole van with all our music gear inside and leaving us with no way home. So as I write this, I'm now at peace with the situation as it could've been so much worse. We are back in Milwaukee - our bodies and band intact - alive and well to play another day and that is what matters most.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Radiohead Tribute Comp Out Now!!!

The New Loud version of 2+2=5

PLUS ::: Amanda Palmer, Frightened Rabbit and many more. 2 discs for $10!

A portion of the proceeds from all album sales will be donated to
Reading Is Fundamental - a program for promoting literacy to
underprivileged youths.

Check it out:
Every Machine Makes a Mistake - Radiohead Tribute Comp!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dead In Space - CMJ 2009 Pt. 1

At about 11:00 PM, just into Indiana, our van's speedometer, odometer, clock and rear view mirror control malfunctioned. We're left with solid green blank LCD readouts and a speedometer needle resting full out. And so we move onto to NYC as if we are dead in space with no frame of reference - no time, no speed, no distance and a difficult look back. All we know is that we're moving freely forward. This is completely opposite of the time leading up to the trip, which has been consumed both day and evening keeping up with deadlines associated with upcoming New Loud EP/LP releases. The details never relent and my mind only seems to find relief during sleep. The week or so leading up the trip has been the most intense yet. I had Mark Trombino make the final changes to the EP mixes and then prepare the tracks for mastering. At the same time we are arranging a new website re-build with our designer as well as working on the physical package design for the EP. Between all that there's the back and forth with legal handling all the contracts between mix engineers and publicists, all while I'm tackling the final tracking of our LP - trying desperately to finish before mid-November if not before.

And so the day before the trip began by sending out e-mails to the few friends I have in NYC. Big hellos to King Lou, and Sarah Price as well as the swell dudes in The French Horn Rebellion who we met at Forward Fest in Madison this year. Then I began working on more vocals for the full-length: new, freshly written harmonies for Secrets and Get Lost as well as some editing on Heartattack, Every Girl I See and Rubberman. Afterward, I started making rough sketch mixes of the whole LP with everything that we have up to this point to really go over everything while we were on the road.

6:00 PM I have to pick up Jessi and Radish Beat and it was already 4. Time to shower, shave and pack. Sometime in between I also had to find time to eat, do dishes and clean any soon to be expired food from the refrigerator - how glamorous being in a band is! Our new sound guy, Nick, arrives at about 20 after 5. He's pretty nervous/excited and seems to have packed more things than Jessi and I combined. No problem. We have room. Nick helps me pack up and we're off - first to get gas. On the short trip to fill the tank. There is something wrong with the front steering in the van. It's very unpredictable. About a week ago I had the front tie rods replaced and there was supposed to be an alignment done, but something is not right. It is 6 PM now and we're already late to pick up Rad and Jessi. I don't want to chance an accident on the long highway trip, so we decide to try and go back to my mechanic, Greg, a super nice guy that works out of his house with his own lift in the back. Greg's is closed for the evening, so we decide to pull into a nearby gas station to check out the tires. All of which are down a bunch of air with the rears at about 1/2 of what they should be. After filling up the tires everything seems to fall into place and the steering gets much tighter which is a huge relief. We head down to pick up the rest of the band behindhand and are on the road by 7:30pm.

Big delays down in Chicago around 9:00 PM or so as an accident just before the loop has all the lanes blocked save for one. 5 miles out, traffic is stopped dead and Radish decides to navigate his own personal detour by way of the lake road down to Chicago's southside where we pick the freeway back up.

At about 11:00 PM, just into Indiana, our van's speedometer, odometer, clock and rear view mirror control malfunctioned. We're left with solid green blank LCD readouts and a speedometer needle resting full out. And so we move onto to NYC as if we are dead in space...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

And The Mix/Remix Engineers Are....

Hey Everyone,

Shane here from The New Loud here. We will be releasing 2 records next year - EP, LP. These records are different than anything else we've attempted to create before as we've brought in someone the band greatly admires to mix them as opposed to handling all the recording/mixing ourselves. It became very clear to me that while recording these records I needed another person's input especially when it came to the mixing process. Up until that point I had tried to mix a few of the songs myself and everything was a compromise. We've been playing some of these songs in one form or another for years and it was really hard to make accurate mix judgments after hearing them probably close to 1,000 times each. These upcoming recordings are very important to us and in some respects represent a lifetime of work in music for ourselves. So the band sat down and I suggested if I could pick one person to mix who that would be.

The person I chose was Mark Trombino. He was my first pick and we're all super excited that he was into our band enough to take on the job. Mark has done all the Jimmy Eat World records up to and including Bleed American, Dude Ranch by Blink 182 and What It Is to Burn by Finch to name a few. I really admired Mark's mixing style as the recording always have a super-tight low-end and they are very polished yet retain an aggressiveness that probably stems from his salad days as a drummer in the early 90's San Diego punk scene. We believe, especially after having heard some of the 1st mix drafts, that the choice was perfect.

After we got Mark on board we had the mind to add a remix of one of the songs to the EP. We followed the same instinct we used when debating the prospect of mix engineer: Pick the first person we would want and try and get in contact with them. No dub-style remix engineer resonates with me as much as Mad Professor. His work with Massive Attack is just mind-blowing - No Protection is an absolutely amazing record. So we contacted him and were blown away when he accepted to work with us on our track.

All 3 of us cannot wait for everyone to hear what we have been working on so hard over the past year (or 5 for that matter). More details soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New New Loud Release Details

The New Loud is totally pumped to announce that in 2010 we will be releasing an EP followed shortly after by a LP. We've put a lot into these releases over the last year or so and we're stoked to finally announce. We'll have more definitive dates as time presses on but expect the EP to launch in January/February and the full-length to follow a few months later. There will only be 1 shared track between the 2 releases. Otherwise expect about 15 newly recorded New Loud tracks including some cool bonus mixes.

Over the past couple months you may have read tweets about a special mix engineer that is working on both the releases with us. We will be announcing who it is next week, but for those of you who are interested in trying to guess: the engineer's initials are M.T. and we are all SUPER STOKED to have him aboard with us on both releases.

In other news our CMJ slot is solidified. Check out our website or Myspace for details.