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Sunday, September 26, 2010

...announcing the new album, "Kingdom of Fuzz".

YIS have made an album. We can tell you these things: it's 10 tracks long. It runs for roughly 35 minutes. It's called KINGDOM OF FUZZ.

It was produced by Paul Maybury; guitarist/producer for the Melbourne band Rocket Science. It was recorded at A Secret Location in Fairfield, Victoria on the 19th, 20th and 21st of September and mixed at the same location on the 23rd, 24th and 25th. (We rested on the 22nd.)

The band on the album is Simon Fazio (vocals, guitars and keyboards), Andre Fazio (drums and a little bit of sonic manipulation on "Baby Come On") and Bronwyn Liroudia Rands (bass and a little bit of backup vocals on "Trevor Block Rockin' Beats"). Paul Maybury rips in with a guitar solo on one track that was recorded straight to the board on the last night of mixing. The album was recorded (mostly) live, with all instruments and band members playing in the same room, with the vocals, wooshes and a few extra guitars put in later.

The tracklisting, release date and launch details will be put up in the next couple of weeks, with cover art still in the works. We're looking to put it out at the end of November or start of December (so you can crank it in your cars/vans/buses for the drive up to Meredith), with the Melbourne launch show hopefully taking place the weekend before Christmas, as well as some interstate launches in January 2011.

Until then, we've got a pair of shows lined up; a fundraiser for new record label G-G-G-G-Ghost Records on Friday the 15th of October with The Toot Toot Toots, The Orphanage and The Harlots, and then Saturday the 23rd of October for Kieran P. West's Album Launch (you may know him from The Strange Attractions) with Merrygorounds, which is also Andre's birthday! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recording Blog Part 1: Prologue

Three weary musicians, one weary producer and one hungover pal who just wanted food drag themselves to the East Brunswick Club for a Sunday parma and to plan out the sessions for what is to be the debut YIS album. We talk about exciting special guests. Smoke starts pouring into the room from somewhere but nobody looks too alarmed. A Bruce Springsteen mix CD plays over the speakers. Glory Days - tick. Hungry Heart - tick. Secret Garden - CROSS. We have a chat about what gear we're going to bring along. Andre says he is excited about using his vibraslap. Bronwyn says that she prefers the Brown Rabbit pedal to the Sitori Bass Fuzz but I disagree. I try to work out a way to make Beatmaker on my iPhone pan different drums to the left and right channels. Paul says that he's looking forward to really mucking around with the drum sounds on the album. We all get excited by this. We talk about fuzz pedals; Foxx Tone Machine vs Octavia, the best place that sells DIY kits. Also about how one particular Superfuzz kit is crap. I get excited about using my fuzz arsenal on the album. Bronwyn angers me by telling me that she bought a Earthquaker Hoof fuzz and neglected to tell me or bring it over for me to steal. I try to work out in my head the best way to pull off the synth arpeggiator song. We eat.
We go back to a semi-trashed house on Lego Lane opposite the Brickworks, still heated from the Housewarming party the night before. I pretend to put on the CD of the nine demos I think will make up the album but instead put on Kelis' "Milkshake". This amuses me alone. We listen to the actual demos; some songs go over better than others, but the majority is pretty good. We talk about what else we might have a crack at. I crap on about the album's "emotional arc". I get harassed about my new Bonds tee (that makes me "look like Ross Kemp in Extras") and the pattern on my new briefs (which is kinda like The Phantom meets Spiderman) which are visible because the Bonds t-shirt is way too short. I mention that the colour of the briefs match the inside of my peacoat. Our hungover friend says that she reckons Trinny and Suzannah would never suggest this. I collect my copy of King of New York and The Dead Zone (Walken/Cronenberg film, not Anthony Michael Hall series) and put on the aforementioned coat. Paul races off on his bike (he is quite fast) and Andre and I head home but stop at JB to buy some DVDs on the way. We listen to the first three tracks of the new Grinderman and he says "It's like the first album. But not as catchy". I say that it's probably a grower. I think to myself whether our album will be a grower or not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

YIS vs Mother and Son Blood Battle

Our guest guitarist Josh Sankey and Bodie from Mother & Son both ended up with bloody guitars after the gig at The Tote on Saturday...

However, my guitar was still shiny and clean.

Great night. Sold out!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gear: New Toys!

Got some new toys in the mail this week: a Foxrox Octron, Lovepedal Eternity and Death By Audio Fuzz War all came in the mail, whilst a Earthquaker Devices Disaster Transport Delay pedal came as a belated birthday present from Bron (aww). In addition, I'm using my Sitori Sonics Sitori Drive pedal which I got a while back but haven't had on my board, partly due to the fact that I'm using my Firebird a bit more now (due to the fact that I've broken pretty much all my other guitars in some small way that I'm too lazy to fix right now) and it needs the extra controls that the Lovepedal COT50 didn't have. Still using the Holy Grail Plus reverb (which I don't love but it's not a bad pedal), as well as the Cusack Tap-a-Whirl trem pedal, the Peterson Strobostomp tuner and the Moog Freqbox. Also changed my vocal delay pedal from the Line 6 DL-4 to my Moog Delay just because I can adjust the levels on it.

A bit about the new stuff: the Octron is pretty cool. It has internal trimpots for the tone and gain of both the octave up and down functions which I haven't fiddled with yet. At the moment, the tone of octave down is rolled off so it's a very warm sound with not much attack. It works pretty well and tracks fantastically (only does single notes though). It feels a lot better to play than the Electro-Harmonix POG2 that I sold, which tracked pretty good but it felt like there was a slight delay when it was coming out the other end, and I didn't really love the sound (I think that distorted POG guitar sound is one of the worst tones in history). However, our friend James Gilligan bought mine and uses it now with bass and he makes it sound very nice. The Octron isn't digital or polyphonic like the POG, but it is all analog and good. Octave up is more like a fuzztone, and you can get some really cool fuzzy sounds just from this box alone. When you kick it on feeding a Muff or the Fuzz War it goes bananas, and when you add the Freqbox as well it's demonic. Anyway, cool pedal.

The Death By Audio Fuzz War is insane; massive sized and massive sounding box, especially in conjunction with the Octron or Freqbox. I bought it partly because Jon Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees uses one and I was a bit obsessed last week. Don't think it's going to replace my Muff (just different sounds) but it'll get some good use. I think I played the main riff to Electric Wizard's Funeralopolis for about half an hour whilst trying it out this afternoon. It's got some cool useable sounds at any point on your guitar's volume knob.

Lovepedal Eternity is also a pretty cool box. I picked it up for $100 on sale off Lovepedal's mailing list (get on it, some great deals for great pedals). Usually more compressed than I like my overdrive sound, but it sounds pretty cool lead stuff and I'm using it for more of an in-between, sustained sound than I get with the Sitori Drive, which has more top end but doesn't really have a lot of the sustain. It'll hang around for a little while. I am also a big fan of Lovepedal's COT50 and BBB07 fuzz pedals.

The Earthquaker delay is also a fantastic pedal. I was using a Freakshow Digilog for a while, which sounds great but has a few shortcomings; for some reason the freak-out button on it doesn't really activate fully until you push back the delay time or up the mix knob, so it's kinda hard to us practically on some settings. This doesn't really automatically go towards the bright, biting slapback tone which I usually use (but I'm sure it's in there, and there's a tone knob for the repeats), but the default sound is more of a bubbling, tape-echo-esque ambient sound that sits underneath. It also has footswitchable modulation for the repeats, which kicks on the analog chorus/vibrato sounds on the repeats. Sounds awesome.

Not sure if I'm going to keep it this massive; even though everything is true bypass and I have good cables, it does knock a bit of your high end and gain from your signal. The A/DA Final Phase might make a return as well as the other Lovepedals, but I'm content with this right now.