Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Slow Season - Westing

Californian hard rockers Slow Season released their third album 'Westing' on Riding Easy Records in the summer of this year, having already released an impressive self titled debut in 2012 and the follow up 'Mountains' in 2014.  My expectations were high, even more so, having heard the first single Y'wanna; Westing certainly didn't disappoint, the riffs are heavy and the Zeppelin influenced grooves infectious. 

Like all great albums, Westing just gets better and better with every play.  I caught up with singer Daniel Story Rice to ask him how the bands year has been.

Hi Daniel, its a pleasure talking to you, how has 2016 been for the band?

Ups and downs.
The tour was fun, but tough.  I'm adopting an infant daughter and that's awesome, but challenging when it comes to touring. Westing is the best thing we've done yet, but it's been a slow starter.  We have some cool plans for 2017, in spite of that.

For me, Westing was an attention grabber from the first time I played it, and it felt like a natural progression from Mountains.  Did you write the songs fresh for the new album or do you keep unrecorded songs back for recordings?

Westing is kind of about the political and social climate, in general.  Some songs were completely new, some took pieces of music from even before Mountains and Frankenstein-ed them into new songs. We don't really hang onto material for too long.  If it's hot, we track it; if it's not, we tend to forget it.

Where did you record the album? What was the process like?

We recorded it at Cody's house again and one track in an empty industrial office space, but this time with our new MS16 tape machine.  We then mixed down to a half-track for a true, all-analog process. The good thing about home recording is that you don't have to rush it or fake a vibe - you can wait until the time and take are right.

You mention touring.  Will you carry on taking the record out on the road? Is it an opportunity to write and rehearse the next one?

We will be taking it out on the road some more this Winter and Spring.  I'd like to write some more, but our family obligations are tying that one down for the moment. We'll see - maybe we can pull a surprise or two off.  A live album would be rad, I think.

So what are your immediate plans for 2017; are there plans to tour outside of the States?

We hope to go overseas this Summer.  Hopefully our booking agent gets a good offer.  We don't wanna run up a bunch of debt either, so we'll take what makes the most sense.  We want this band to be sustainable.

Do you have a favourite album from this year and are there any bands to look out for in 2017?

Bowie's Blackstar is great.  Mondo Drag's Occultation of Light is tops as well.  I've mostly picked up older records and reissues this year.  I'm on a big Lester Young kick, at present; the Stonewall reissue is killer too.
Look out for OutsideInside (former Carousel), High Definitions (Columbus), Stuyedyed (NYC), Crypt Trip (TX), Cloud Catcher (they recorded their next record at our place).  There were a bunch that were cool to play with, but I don't remember all the names.

Thanks for catching up Daniel, good to hear from you.

Thanks dude, anytime!

1 comment:

  1. I'm curious which track they recorded in the industrial space, I'm thinking "Rainmaker"