Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pheaturing Brad Loans From The Sundresses


Hello, welcome to the Phile. The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving kicks things off, but don't forget the black and Jewish versions of Thanksgiving: Thanksukkah and Kwanzgiving.
Pluck your turkey and pop a few muscle relaxers, because Thanksgiving is almost here. And this year, don't forget to drive through poor neighborhoods and laugh at the less fortunate. Just kidding. So, this is the first entry of the Phile since I turned 41 years old... or is that Faulty One? Yesterday was my birthday and it pretty much sucked. I went to work where I got my ass chewed out, a lady fell down some stairs and when Logan, Jen and myself went out to dinner at BJ's Brewhouse I ended up getting food poisoning. It could only be uphill now for the rest of the year. Some good news though, the Peverett house is now decorated for the holidays. Our twelve foot tree is up with its 200 ornaments and 3000 lights. It's beautiful. Take a look.

Isn't it wonderful? Sarah Palin’s new book is getting a lot of attention primarily because she spends a lot of time settling scores with the media, the political elite... she’s angry at the weather for raining on her once... Oddly, Palin goes after vegetarians. She says that if God hadn’t intended for us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat? This is how I see it: People are made out of meat... so are cocker spaniels. I guess the lesson here is, don’t go to Sarah Palin’s house for Thanksgiving. Palin says that women are held to a higher standard than men. She quotes Margaret Thatcher who said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” It’s an interesting theory. I guess that’s why she asked a woman to write the book for her. The Senate unveiled its own version of the healthcare bill — it will cost $849 billion and cover 31 million Americans. That’s so exciting! That means we’re “this close” to having that bill voted on by the Senate, then combined with the bill in the House, then re-voted on again by both houses, and then signed into law... which will take effect in three years. Exciting, right? Kelloggs announced there will be a severe shortage of Eggo Frozen Waffles until next summer because of a flood at one of their factories. They were like, “Sorry, for the time being, you’re just gonna have to Leggo.” Logan is devastated by the way. Oprah’s announced that she’s quitting her show in 2011. Now you know why the Mayans ended their calendar in 2012. Once Oprah leaves her show, the most powerful woman on TV will be Ryan Seacrest. There was also news about Dr. Phil’s show: Unfortunately, he’s going to keep going.
The new movie New Moon made more than any other teen-vampire-love-triangle movie. If Obama really wanted to turn this economy around, he’d start making vampire movies. Yesterday was the very last show of “Jon & Kate Plus 8” the series finale, or better: the series finally. I don’t want to give anything away, but three of the kids get pregnant. So, I plan on the Phile in the next few weeks I am gonna show you some gifts that are out there that you might not be aware of. If you want to buy a gift for a cat lover, check this out.
In the last few months I have been showing you readers different inspirational posters that are out there, Take a look at this latest one.

Okay, it's time to play the popular on-line game...

Read this comic and decide for yourself is it porn.

The gay lover of King Edward II, Hugh le Despenser the Younger, is hanged after his penis and testicles are burned in front of him -- "because he was a heretic and a sodomite, even, it was said, with the King."
William Duell, murderer, hanged at Tyburn in London. He is not killed immediately, though this is not noticed by the executioner. Deull later awakes on the dissection table.
Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald. What really happened?
D.B. Cooper hijacks a Northwest Orient 727 and parachutes into the freezing rain over Washington state from the rear stairway of the plane with $200,000 in cash. Rotting currency from the ransom is eventually located, but his rotting body isn't.
Jimmy "the Beard" Ferrozzo is crushed to death after hours in San Francisco's Condor Club. Ferrozzo, the club's assistant manager, was fucking one of the strippers on top of a baby grand piano when one of the pair inadvertently flipped the switch to the motorized winch that lowered the instrument from the ceiling. Only when his legs are trapped between the piano and the ceiling that Ferrozzo manages to shut off the hoist, but he dies of a heart attack. The exotic dancer remains trapped underneath his body until firefighters arrive to free her, several hours later.
Freddie Mercury dead from AIDS. Sorry, Jeff.
After his BMW struck a Toyota Camry, country singer Glenn Campbell is arrested with an impressive blood alcohol level of .20 on charges of "extreme" drunk driving, hit and run, and assaulting a police officer, in Phoenix AZ. He is freed on $2000 bond. While in custody, Campbell hummed his hit "Rhinestone Cowboy" repeatedly.

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Signs Your House Has Paranormal Activity
10. House keeps getting possessed and repossessed.
9. The floors don't squeak, they sigh.
8. Every Thanksgiving your pants shrink.
7. Your 60-watt bulbs seem to be giving off more like 65 watts.
6. Toothpaste tube occasionally squeals with delight when you squeeze it.
5. Your washing machine goes way beyond "agitated".
4. Pot roast in the freezer looks suspiciously like Ted Williams' head.
3. TV is haunted by a centuries-old ghost that calls itself "Regis".
2. Anytime you leave the lights on, an apparition of Al Gore appears and kicks your ass.
And the number one sign your house has paranormal activity...
1. It's worth more today than what you paid for it.

The third book in the Peverett Phile Book Club is...

From Booklist: Record label exec, publicist, and journalist Goldberg has interacted with many of the most successful pop acts of the last 40 years. Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Bonnie Raitt, and the Allman Brothers have all benefited from Goldberg’s acumen, and, among others, they populate his anecdote-laden memoir. He spins page after page of mots, many of them bon, and delivers insights like the observation that, before his suicide, Kurt Cobain frequently seemed listless and very stoned. Who knew? Well, for one, Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, also a client of Goldberg’s and also limned here. Many of Goldberg’s anecdotes seem fresh, and he tells them well. He spotlights some previously underreported aspects of the music biz, revealing, for instance, that Howard Bloom, his successor as editor of Circus, originally an “awkward schmoozer at best,” persevered to eventually have a roster of clients that included Prince and Michael Jackson back when having those two was a positive commercial situation. Great behind-the-scenes stuff told literately and with a minimum of pretension, this is both entertaining and cautionary reading. Danny's book is available now on Amazon.com or at your favorite book store and makes a great Christmas present. Danny will be a guest on the Phile next month as well. And while you are ordering this one don't forget to order the other two P.P.B.C. books: "Mr. Lincoln Was A Robot" by Victor Langlois and "First Generation" by Mary Tamm.
Todays guest is the bass player, singer, songwriter, guitarist, all of the above for the Ohio band The Sundresses whose new album "Barkinghaus" is available now on iTunes and at your favorite record shop. Please welcome to the Phile... Brad Loans.

Me: Hey, welcome to the Phile. So, I must say, I love your band. I wanted to get that out in the open. So, how are you?

Brad: I'm doing well. I'm about to eat pizza.

Me: You guys are from Ohio, right? What part? Ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What do you think of it? Me, personally, would like it a lot better if Foghat was inducted.

Brad: Yup, from right here in Ohio; the Cincinnati part. Not too into the R&R HOF, to be honest. I think it's kind of a stupid idea to begin with. I certainly don't think it's any great honor. I'm more in line with Johnny Rotten on that issue. I don't like halls of fame, really. I like museums, though, sort of. It's better suited for sports, not artistic endeavors.

Me: I have to ask you about the band name, The Sundresses. It sounds very feminine, but when you listen to your music, that is obviously wrong. Where did the name come from, and who came up with it?

Brad: Well, it was Makenzie's idea. She's a female. It's sort of a joke; irony I suppose. We laughed pretty hard when she suggested it (Jeremy & I), and then there was a pause, and we we're like... yeah, that's perfect. We also title our songs things that have nothing to do with the song. It sounds cool when you say The Sundresses and it has a lot of S's so it's sexy and seductive.

Me: You kids are a three piece, right? Two guys and a girl? Any interband relationships going on?

Brad: Indeed we are a three-piece. Any more and I wouldn't be able to handle it. :) Well, Remy & Makenzie dated for a long time, and you can see what they say about that if they say anything, but I'll keep my mouth shut.

Me: How did you three meet?

Brad: Remy & I met through a mutual friend and were both looking to form a new band. The ones we were in previously had broken apart. Makenzie & Remy were dating at the time and I think living together, too. Remy worked at a mini-mart that was adjacent to my apartment and that's where we really started to bond, I think. We had many conversations standing out in front of the store. We were also in a very brief project called The Twelve Year-Olds, which I still think is a great band name. I'd go over to their apartment and Remy & I would play songs and hang out and eventually, as we were searching for a bass player, the idea was proposed that Makenzie play bass. She'd never played before and just picked up the bass guitar one day (which belonged to our mutual friend, actually). She played "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and said "is this all you have to do, just push down these strings?" (Something to that effect). She was, like, "I can do this, I'll play bass." Remy called me shortly thereafter, I think, and made the suggestion to me. I don't think my first reaction was really thrilled, but after our first practice, within a few moments of playing something really simple, we knew that we had found something special.

Me: I like to buy bands albums in order they were released, so of course I purchased the album "The Only Tourist In Town" first. When you made that, you gave it to friends at first I think. Did you ever think you would have three albums on iTunes a few years later?

Brad: Actually, the free one was just a burned CD of stuff we recorded at practice on a 4-track. We packaged it in a folded piece of card stock with a black & white image of a Bikini Atoll Atomic test explosion. In the mushroom cloud it reads: THE SUNDRESSES. I still think that's the most awesome graphic creation I ever made for the band. It pretty much sums up who we are. We're actually re-releasing mastered songs from that first disc as download cards. The "Only Tourist In Town" was our second release, but has professionally recorded/mastered versions of 3 of the 4 songs on that original freebie; it was our first full-length and was recorded at The Southgate House in the Parlor Room. Then there were two 4-song EPs: One is a split we did with a local band called 4192 (unfortunately not together anymore) and the other was a pre-release of what would eventually become "Barkinghaus". The fact that they are on iTunes comes as no surprise, really. Any band can put their stuff on iTunes. If I'm surprised by anything it's that we only have 2 full-length albums in our 7 year history; although I know all to well why that is: A collapsed record industry, a poor economy and an extremely volatile trio of personalities. It just took some growing up to realize what was happening around me outside of my artistic cocoon.

Me: In your opinion, how has the band's music changed over the years?

Brad: I think the biggest change with the music is that lyrically we've gotten better at saying what we mean. I think at first we were just pissed off at the world and used some pretty cliche (at least to us) lyrics. On "Barkinghaus" I think we really got it all out of our system the way we wanted to. It's really a mind blower if you ask me. I'm over the whole political shit that a lot of our stuff preaches, although, I think we really did a good job of not shoving that stuff in your face within the songs on "Barkinghaus". It's hard to write a song that doesn't just sound like "hey everybody let's change the world and do some good and get out to the polls and America!!" etc. Our songs go deeper than that... way way deeper. But really the biggest change has been recent, like 6 months recent. Right now we're starting to shift away from songs that challenge the world to songs that maybe you'd like to party to. I don't know. I am at least. I need to get happier. We've also gotten better at our instruments and our live performances. We're more comfortable on stage than we used to be. We're a pretty awkward band, there's really no front-person, so we've gotten a little better at interacting with the crowd whereas before we'd kinda shy away until we slammed out another face-melting Sundresses tune.

Me: I have one problem with iTunes, they put a lot of astericks in your song titles. Does that piss you off?

Brad: Not really. I actually think that's kinda cool. I was always more attracted to the CDs that had the PARENTAL ADVISORY stickers on them, so as far as I'm concerned they can put as many ****'s on there as they want so long as they aren't messin' with the actual music.

Me: Your latest album "Barkinghaus" is fantastic. When and where was it recorded? There's some great songs on it, especially track 7, whatever it's called. Do you guys write all your own music?

Brad: Jeremy will be very glad to hear that; he wrote track 7 ("Bullshit Mutherfucker", or "B******t M**********r"). We recorded it over the course of 3 years (2006-2008), I think... God, maybe more like 4. Anyway, all the tracks were recorded at The Lodge in Covington, KY. It's an old Masonic Temple which has been converted into an apartment building for the "terminally cool" in Cincinnati and is also used as a music venue from time to time. It's a fun place and we picked it because we have a recording philosophy that states that you should record in a room that fits the music, not try to fit the music into a room. 20ft ceilings. Huge.
We write all our own stuff, yes. Except the very occasional cover song ("Strange Fruit", for instance).

Me: I also like the song "Europe, Or Utah"? I would pick Europe. What's the story behind that song?

Brad: Everybody picks Europe and that's one reason I titled it that. Americans are suffering from low national self-esteem, which is absolutely tragic if you ask me, but probably deserved. (Actually, it's a movie reference, too, and my friend Andy Clager instructed me to use it as a song title... so I did. I forget what movie, though. We were drunk). I'm proud to say I wrote that song probably 5 years ago before anyone was thinking about economic failure (well except the "experts") and what I felt was an approaching economic nightmare... TA-DA! It's basically about how America's economic & foreign policy is bankrupting the world and more importantly, America. It's about mistaking a hero for a villain, which is also part of what The Sundresses are about. I was reading a lot of Ayn Rand at the time (she has been a very influential author/philosopher to me) and that song, probably more than any other, expresses my anger at those who think being selfless means anything other than destroying yourself. That's basically it, in a nutshell, but there's more in there.

Me: Ever played in Europe? You kids would kick ass (or arse) over there.

Brad: No we haven't and, yes, we know. Unfortunately, it's too expensive for a band that doesn't kiss anyone's ass or know anyone involved with the British Invasion. Utah before Europe.

Me: Speaking of playing, are you guys touring right now? Ever been down to Florida to play? I really want to see you kids live in concert.

Brad: We'd talked about playing in Florida. Makenzie has a cousin down there or something, but right now we're dedicated to the Midwest until we can figure out how to start making some real money. We start touring again in January. In fact we'll be getting about as close to Florida as we've ever gotten when we play Athens, GA that month. We also plan to do a couple extended tours in 2010; probably two month-long tours. In fact, after I finish this I'll be making a phone call about just that.

Me: There's no mosh pit goings on at your shows, right? I am scared of mosh pits.

Brad: Nope. People dance. Our music makes people dance, drink & fuck. The 2 D's and F, as I like to call them. Sometimes it takes a couple shows before that happens, though. Some people are not ready for The Sundresses. Probably most, actually.

Me: Hey, I have to ask, who did the cover art work for "Barkinghaus", and what does the album title mean? It has a German ring to it.

Brad: I did the cover art. "Barkinghaus" was what I titled a very terrible dream I had one night and I thought it also fit the music pretty well, too; no coincidence there! It is a made-up word, yes, designed to invoke visions of terror and madness. The Germans, because of that dumb shit with National Socialism, get the dubious honor of being the best at invoking that sentiment. Hence.

Me: So, what's next for the The Sundresses? Any live albums or CD's planned?

Brad: We actually have a couple live tracks available now which were recorded on our recent 2008 Sandwich Tour. They will be available on iTunes (any day now) or at our shows where we sell them as cleverly designed download cards. One card is a name tag that says: FUCK YEAH - I'm With The Sundresses, and the other is a hotel key card with a door hanger. There are many other tracks on these cards, too, but yes, I'm proud to say we've actually got something like that already. We were able to do this with the help of a company here in Cincinnati called The All Night Party (www.theallnightparty.com). The Sundresses helped found the company and it exists to help bands like us find our way through the rubble of what was once called the music industry. In the next year or two we will have many more small releases like these and then compress them into one big release package at the end f the creative cycle. CDs, yes, DVD, sure... the options are limitless now, so we're going to get creative. There are just so many ways to get music out there now and we want to capitalize on more of the creative process by releasing products more akin to software than to traditional albums. It will be exciting for sure.

Me: Okay, go ahead and plug your website (which is well done) by the way. Can Phile readers find you on Facebook? I hope this was fun, and you are welcomed back to the Phile anytime you want.

Brad: Our website is www.thesundresses.com and it was designed by Lab Rat Web Design here in Cincinnati (there's a link on the site if anyone is interested in hiring Lab Rat). Yes, we are in fact on Facebook... we hope to also be in your Facebook. haha. A search for The Sundresses will reveal us there.

Me: Take care, and keep rocking.

Brad: That's not a question. But OK, we will. ;)


There you go. That pretty much wraps up another entry of the Peverett. Thanks to Brad Loans for taking time out to do a great interview and to Wikipedia for the history stuff. The Phile will be back this Friday for a special Black Friday entry with the guest musician Bob Pittman and then back on Tuesday with upcoming new singer Anna Brooke. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Bye, love you, bye.

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