9/15/12

Dave Ed

I have been in bands with Dave Ed for over a quarter century. Of these 28+ years, 27 have been with Neurosis.

If you know Dave or have met him even briefly, you can be sure that you've probably never met anyone like him. This can be said about many people, but with Dave it's true - they broke mold with him. (wherever that was...)

His skills on the bass guitar are transcendent and as unique as his personality.

1/18/10

Enough Rope.

"Creative control? Oh, yes. Certainly. We'll give you enough rope to hang yourselves."

"Well at this point we throw it all against the wall and see what sticks..."

"You need someone at the label who believes in you, who will fight for you. I'm that guy."

"They don't understand you. We know how to market something like Neurosis.."

All the above and then some are the endlessly repeated phrases from the mouths of record label A&R people and executives. The common thread? Lies. All of it.

In the mid nineties we did the whole "meeting with major labels" bit. We talked to many people. We sat in many nice offices and sipped on frothy coffee drinks. We had a few free lunches. We heard the same lines of complete bullshit come from one hipster after another. After awhile it became hard to distinguish who's office you were in.

If you remember, the early to mid 90's were an "alternative" music feeding frenzy for the big labels. They all wanted names in the roster that had "street cred". Underground acts were being scooped up and put through the Hollywood mill. Many good bands ended up stranded and crushed.

It was like there was an authorized script that was sent to each record label office:
"What to tell that freaky heavy band to get them to sign." Once you've heard the script a couple times, it's fairly easy to recognize it.

"It's not just about talent, it's having the label behind you 100%"

There were a few different types of people you had to deal with, but mainly two. One was the young, hip A&R rep who walked the walk and talked the talk. He was the guy who would hang out, talk about bands we liked in common, buy the drinks, buy the meals, etc etc. The hook. (money was always the bait) A&R Kid never stuck around very long, even though he had "really found a home there" at whatever label it was at the time. These guys would jump from label to label every few months. Kinda like a whore with a bad goatee and an expense account.

Then there was "Mr Important." Some douche at the label that the A&R Kid just happened to "get a last minute meeting with". He'd hear the spiel, say the same BS and generally make it seem like we were SO lucky to be there. You could have been any artist, he simply saw dollar signs sitting in front of him (or in our case, not).

If A&R Kid or Mr. Important weren't available, they'd trot us into some office occupied by some aging hipster to keep us entertained while we waited for Mr. Important. He'd tell some old rock and roll stories and drop a bunch of big names about people he knew and worked with, trying to sound impressive.

Fortunately for us, as always, we had very good communication in the band. We had our own agenda. We knew walking in what we had to offer, and exactly what we wanted in return.

They all balked. Every last one of them. The wiser labels may have thought long and hard about how marketable we actually were, and how impossible it would be to spoon feed us to the public. We weren't exactly a quick buck.

We knew what we would be sacrificing. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

1/15/10

Recordings

Neurosis / Tribes of Neurot Discography:
  • Pain Of Mind - Album - Alchemy Records 1987
  • Aberration - EP - Lookout! Records 1989
  • The Word As Law - Album - Lookout! Records 1990
  • Empty - EP - Allied Records 1990
  • Virus 100 - Album (Comp) Saturday Night Holocaust - Alternative Tentacles 1992
  • Souls At Zero - Album - Alternative Tentacles 1992, Neurot Recordings 2000
  • Enemy Of The Sun - Alternative Tentacles 1993, Neurot Recordings 2000
  • Rebegin - EP - Alley Sweeper 1995
  • Silver Blood Transmission - Album - Release Entertainment 1995
  • Through Silver In Blood - Album - Relapse Records 1996
  • Locust Star - EP - Relapse Records 1996
  • Static Migration - Album - Release Entertainment 1998
  • In These Black Days: A Tribute To Black Sabbath Volume No. Six - EP - Children Of The Grave Hydra Head Records 1999
  • Times Of Grace - Album - Relapse Records 1999
  • Sovereign - EP - Neurot Recordings 2000
  • A Sun That Never Sets - Album - Relapse Records 2001
  • A Sun That Never Sets - DVD - Relapse Records 2002
  • Official Bootleg.01.Lyon.France.11.02.99 - Album - Neurot Recordings 2002
  • Neurosis & Jarboe - Album - Neurot Recordings 2003
  • Official Bootleg.02.Stockholm.Sweden.10.15.99 - Album - Neurot Recordings 2003
  • The Eye Of Every Storm - Album - Neurot Recordings 2004
  • Given To The Rising - Album - Neurot Recordings 2007
  • Honor Found in Decay - Album - Neurot Recordings 2012
Video Game Soundtrack Drum Work:

(re)birthplace: New Method Laundry

It was a slum, for lack of a better term. A block-wide two story run down building next to the freeway on the border of Emeryville and Oakland. At one point it had been some type of factory laundry facility, only apparent by the aging steel sign on the roof.

It was damp in the winter because of the leaks and full of cockroaches year round. The fenced yard was a favorite hiding place for neighborhood crack heads running from the cops. Some of the walls in the darker first story hallways had a fuzzy black mold on them. The area around it was home to prostitutes and drug dealers. (this was before the "magic" of gentrification and big box stores coming to the area) Walking to New Method from the train was a nervous affair for a skinny white kid from the suburbs, but it was worth it. The freedom loving punks that had made it a home were gracious hosts to some amazing live shows.


1/13/10

The Beginning of Time

At one point I started a journal.

This was years ago, at the beginning of yet another tour in the early 90's with Neurosis. I had planned to write just about every day, with a summary at the end of the tour. Something to back up all the snapshots I took. Some way to remember what I would surely forget in the not too distant future. I knew even back then it would all be a blur. It was a blur as it was happening.

I think the journal made it about 4-5 days in. I have no idea what happened to it. I never did manage to start it up again.


This blog will be my attempt to relive some of these moments, to solidify the mist in my head that makes holding onto the memories a chore. As a drummer I am (supposedly) a keeper of time. The one who dictates the intervals between moments and events. (depending on your opinion of what time actually is...this is like saying I keep water in a cage...)

I hope to apply at least some level of this control to a chronicle of my own experience, both historical and present day.

I welcome any comment or story to help put it all together as well.

I have to give inspirational credit here to my brother-in-arms Scott Kelly. His blog, "We Burn Through the Night" is an excellent read, full of honesty, humility and humor - just as the man he is.

Rock on.