Few weeks ago I’m lain in the bedroom, doin some reading, feelin kinda blue on account of the no sleep followed by a buncha far too much sleep, fuckin with the head-sauce no end, all this slumber-time mania.
Chillin, is all, sat for a time watching God Told Me To, ended up layin back with Fevers And Mirrors by Bright Eyes, thinking all bout fringes and hurt in the key a E minor.
Who knows how long I’d have lay there, staring at the ceiling, looking down now and again at the pages in the book, some story I got half-way through before realizing I’d just scanned every page, never really took anything in, and so I dunno if it was good enough to justify reading properly.
Then a thought, a memory, a realization, an Oh The Fuck Yeah, what I’ll do is I’ll listen to that record arrived this morning, fling it on and see what the hell it’s all about, anyway.
Bacon And Egg Are Fanduvo it’s called, fresh out Wantage USA, a label makes me feel all warm in the nuts on account of the brilliantly quirky nature of the output. No-Fi Soul Rebellion, The Pope, Last of the Juanitas, records like a PCP lobotomy, wonderful stuff.
So I’m putting this on. All I know is that the band are Bacon And Egg, that the cover has an odd fairy-tale type vibe goin on, knights and castles and dragons.
Three minutes in I’m screaming, face purple, veins bulging out the teeth, what the hell’s goin on?
Laid back hip-hop vocals and a sonic backdrop of 80’s metal, all solos and riffs and the like.
So I’m saying to a friend, “The fuck is this? I don’t know if it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard or the best! I have no bearing here, flounderin round in the middle the compass, it’s kinda like Goldie Lookin Chain, except I don’t think it’s a joke, except everything’s really really good, in so far as the performances and the like. I just don’t know what to do with the damn thing.”
“Listen to it”, is her advice. “Quit yackin and sit back and listen.”
So I did, and what happened was that I ended up liking it, although I still don’t know if it’s any good. That’s not The Duke being mean, it’s The Duke being honest about his capacities as a Critical Mind with regards the Popular Culture. I never encountered the like of it before, I don’t know if this is generic or wildly eccentric or what? Is there a Hip-Hop meets Power Metal sub-genre?
I don’t know.
But what I did know was how to contact the folks involved, get some word from them with regards it all, since I don’t know what the hell to say.
I got in touch with Egg, I got to asking him a couple questions, the single bulb swaying this way and that up above, shadows in the eyeholes for a second, then blinded with the light, and what I got to asking was, “So how the hell did this whole enterprise come about, anyway?”
Egg – “I met Bacon about ten years ago. I was playing in Spanker with one of his best friends. He would hang out at practices, come to shows, make stickers and t-shirts, people thought he was in the band he was so involved. We became great pals and started jamming once in a while forming short-lived acts. One that stands out was Night Hawk. He played bass and sang, and I played drums.
Spanker broke up, my wife (singer for Spanker) and I started Sharky, where she played drums and I played guitar, and we got Bryan, the bass player for Volumen, to play bass. Then Sharky broke up, but Bryan asked me to play drums for Volumen just after Bacon joined Volumen as their keyboardist (1998) so, we hung out even more. We played in a Sabbath tribute band together (Bacon=ozzy, me=bill ward), we formed Bearded Youth an improvisational hardcore duo (bacon= drums!, me= guitar). Simultaneously, I was playing drums for Saved For This Dark Dawn, (resurrected “Spanker” with a new bass player).
It was apocalyptic metal and I had this idea to add Bacon on the organ. The other dudes didn’t go for it, but Bacon and I liked the sound of the organ so much, we started using a drum machine while I played guitar just so we could hear him play the organ. This usually happened late at night, often after seeing another show, like 2 a.m. or after Volumen practice. We eventually started writing songs, playing shows and three years later cut the record (Bacon And Egg Are Fanduvo). We still play in Volumen and often get billed as a Volumen side project, although we sound nothing like Volumen.
The short answer is: I like to hang out with Bacon.”
The Duke – “So what has the reaction to the record been like?”
Egg – “Very positive. We’ve got some great reviews, and folks that have heard us live for the past 3 years really like the record. All the local rockers (Missoula) dig it. People love the production (Tim Green), the artwork (Chris Fairbanks), and the songs.”
The Duke – “Isn’t there a danger, though, that the album gets dismissed as a “Novelty Record”? Does that bother you? Hell, was that the intention?”
Egg – “I look as novelty as being a good thing. There are so many bands out there doing the same thing, I hope we sound refreshing. I think there is always a possibility of being misunderstood though.
As far as bothering me, no, people can call it a joke band, because it is funny, but it rocks too.
The instrumentation is kind of unique, two dudes with an goodwill organ, a drum machine and guitar making metalish songs and rapping. That’s kind of novel. Our intention was, and is, to make songs that feel good, have good beats, riffage, and clever vocals. Pleasing yourself should come first, but making music that other folks want to hear should always be a close second.”
(Around this point, I started getting some sort of insight into the whole thing, suddenly track one, “My Mind Keeps Thinking Of The Thoughts In My Mind”, started making all the sense in the world.)
The Duke – “So I gotta ask about Influences, which I don’t really wanna do most times, but here and now, we’re talking about a record that brings to mind images of Dio and Wu Tang Clan at the same damn time. I’d be wrong not to ask.”
Egg – “Thank you! I’ve been saying, “Black Sabbath meets Run D.M.C.”. We listen to all kinds of stuff, especially on the road. Bacon has over 10,000 songs on his iPod. If I was pressed to name some influences, I’d say: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Beastie Boys, The Fucking Champs, Grandmaster Flash, Sepultura, Hall and Oats, Danzig, Rush, 80’s movie soundtracks…”
The Duke – “So how did the recording sessions for the record go?”
Egg – “Amazing, I love Louder Studios. Tim Green is totally brilliant and we grooved together like hand and glove.
We cut all the basics, guitar and vocals the first day, then came back the next day did overdubs and mixed. It’s an analog recording (2 inch tape), Tim has a Hammond organ, a piano, a baritone guitar, and tons of pedals and toys, the ideas were flowing like an elixir from a mead horn.
It was the most rewarding session I’ve ever been involved in. I must add that Bacon and I had spent dozens of hours talking about the recording, so we had mapped out a scheme to go off of. It went perfectly. Did I say Tim Green is a genius? He is.”
The Duke – “So what’s next in the crazy world of Bacon And Egg? What the hell can we expect?”
Egg – “We’re going on a west coast tour this August, playing clubs, radio, skate parks, and parties in support of the record. We are writing new songs and hope to record another record in the fall of 2006. Then go on another tour and so on and so on. We’ve also been talking about a big radio hit that will just blow the whole thing open for us. (I’ve been saying that since I was 13, hi mom!!!)”
And that was that.
What I got to thinking is that it’d be great if Bacon And Egg did blow the damn Billboard apart. What we need is something other than what we get 90% of the time. Maybe it ain’t to The Duke’s tastes, but fuck it, it’s not predictable, it’s fun, and hell, there ain’t nowhere near enough bands in the world riffin on Rush and Run D.M.C.
The Duke resides at Mondo IrlandoPowered by Sidelines