Artist On Artist: Woollen Kits Vs Home Blitz
News posted Friday, October 5 2012 at 02:00 PM.
Related: Woollen Kits, Home Blitz.
On his first visit to Australia, Home Blitz's DANIEL DIMAGGIO talks to Woollen Kits’ TOM HARDISTY about recording fidelity (or lack thereof), fill-in drummers and suburban field recordings.
Tom: It's exciting to have Home Blitz in Australia. While we're really lucky to have such a thriving music community, it's not the most convenient place for bands from the US or Europe to tour.
Daniel: Thanks! We're real excited about it too. The tour came about almost entirely through the efforts of Tim Scott. It was his idea and none of us had really even thought of an Australian tour as a possibility prior to him proposing it. There were a couple abortive attempts over the last year or two that fell through because of money or schedule issues but now things are finally sorted and we are ready to go.
Tom: Owen Penglis of Straight Arrows is drumming for you here. Why is your regular drummer Henry [Hynes] staying back and how did you hook up with Owen?
Daniel: Henry isn't coming on this tour cause he's not 18 yet and so wouldn't have been able to get a performance visa to get into the country. We first met Owen when he was touring with Circle Pit in the US and we played with them, and then again when we played with Straight Arrows. Both times he struck me as a great guy, so I thought it was a great idea when Tim proposed that Owen sit in in Henry's absence. Touring with a fill-in member seems to me like an uncertain prospect because Home Blitz songs are kinda complicated and also not that fun to play, but we've also done it before (when John Kasunic from Slices played bass on our 2010 tour) and I foresee Owen doing a great job.
Tom: You are playing some shows with Blues Control. I know they're from the same region of the USA, but have you had much to do with them as a band?
Daniel: Yeah, for sure. Blues Control are friends of ours and one of the best modern bands, I think. Back when their primary project was Watersports, Russ and Lea actually booked the first Home Blitz show in New York, and I got so drunk at it and couldn't play a single one of the songs. We're friends with a lot of the same people in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and have played a number of shows together over the years.
Tom: Out of Phase was one of my favourite albums of 2009, not only because it's a collection of great songs, but because it feels so thought out and complete. Did you approach it purely as a collection of songs or was there a more holistic approach?
Daniel: Thanks, I really appreciate it. I honestly don't remember that much about making it, but I'm pretty sure it was more a grip of songs that I felt obligated to make into an album rather than a thought-out suite of songs. I even think I lost interest in it and almost didn't finish it at one point. I do feel that the end result does have a consistent tone and feeling, though, which is cool. I feel like the ultimate intent of the album, inasmuch as there was one, was to convey loneliness and unhappiness and to sound desolate, even though a lot of the songs are fast and pretty busy. The environmental recordings and quiet parts I think help reinforce this because they are in some cases recordings of locations that are invoked in the songs. And also, I'm generally into field recordings and recordings of outdoor/location-specific improvisation. I think they're sick.
Tom: Many would call the quality of your recorded output “lo-fi.” Is the damaged sound of your records an aesthetic decision or just a product of circumstance? And was there a decision to make the Frozen Track EP sound cleaner?
Daniel: The sound of the records has mostly been more a result of circumstance over anything else. For the first several Home Blitz releases, I think I was so excited to be recording songs and making records that I didn't stop to think about their fidelity or how to record things properly. I was primarily concerned with the feelings and symbols conveyed in the songs, and I also didn't really think to compare the recordings with music that I actually liked. From Out of Phase on, I have consciously tried to make Home Blitz records as hi-fi as possible, and the fact that they are still fucked-up-sounding is I guess because of the necessity of recording and mixing them myself. [It] makes me feel horrible and out of touch with reality. Frozen Track sounds cleaner than the previous records ’cause it was recorded at our bass player Jason [Sigal]'s house with access to his array of mics and compressors and technical experience, though it was tracked on the same tape machine used for the previous three records.
Tom: You've played with nearly all of my favourite bands (as well as my band haha) in the US, and you're playing with nearly all my favourite bands while you're over here – good work! Any you're particularly excited about seeing?
Daniel: Yeah, man, a bunch. Among others, the aforementioned Blues Control, Kitchen's Floor, Half High and even bands that I've never even heard but am excited to hear, like Rule Of Thirds, who I read about in Distort and who are named after an album I like.
HOME BLITZ TOUR
Fri, Oct 5 – Liberty Social, Melbourne, VIC
with Blues Control, Woolen Kits and Rule of Thirds
Sat, Oct 6 – Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC
with Ruined Fortune, Constant Mongrel and East Link
Tues, Oct 9 – The Square, Sydney, NSW
with Raw Prawn and Drum Drum