Hewing the Apocalypse
Post by Carell Casey on 12/11/2012 12:19pm
Dec. 20, 9pm, The Frequency
$7 at the door, $5 if you are wearing X-mas attire
18+ with Union Suits, Animals in Human Attire, Shoot Down the Moon
It's the end of an era. The end of the year. The end of times.
You rush to get out of the cold, head into a bar to warm yourself, and find you've stumbled upon a raucous drunken singalong. People are banging on pots and pans, slapping their knees, blowing on whistles. It's a bluesy romp with snarly vocals sometimes discordant and dissonant, invoking tales of insanity, heartbreak and homelessness, devils and drunkards. "Booze has become my best friend" they are singing, also stomping, clapping, shouting, hooting, snorting....
Welcome to Apocalypsmas, the end time Christmas party with Hewn, a seven-piece "Gypsy Strange Rock" outfit from right here in Madison.
"We like it dirty and the audiences like it dirty too," says lead singer and rhythm guitarist Sam Spotts. The band, who describe themselves as experimental-semi-acoustic-percussive-gypsy-blues, often get compared to artists like Tom Waits and Man Man. "Our shows are high energy, a good fucking time," Spotts continues. "It's not the typical folk show where people stand around and sway. Expect some foot stomping!"
"Yeah, we try to make it as fun to watch as well as listen," said Adam Bluhm, who plays percussion, pots, pans, banjo, whistles, kazoo, and random toys. "We create an energy connection with people feeling the same thing, it creates an energy feedback loop and makes for something really special," adds Forrester Barry, who plays Djembe and vocals. "While I basically just try not to hurt myself while everyone else plays music," says Ben Lisser, who plays piano, vocals, pots, and pans. "I try to do the least amount and have the biggest opinion," he adds.
The band, most of whom live together, released a self-titled, full-length CD in August and are now working on a 5 or 6 song EP due out sometime soon after the end of the world.
"If we weren't able to live together, I don't think we could be in a band together" Bluhm says. And it makes the writing and recording processes smoother because "it's easier to read people if you are around them all the time. We all eat together and clean together. And we all generally like each other," he adds.
They also do all their recording at home, with Lisser behind the mixing board.
"Yeah, it's nice to have that comfort level when recording as opposed to being rushed in a studio. There's more flavor," adds the bass player, Nathan Bowie. "And we're not shy anymore. We used to ask 'is this good?' Now it's more like 'Fuck you, I know it's good,'" says Spotts.
Their dream is to buy a "shitty RV" and start touring the states by next spring. "I love Madison and we're always going to be Madison boys, but we are looking forward to playing as much as we can, to take the risk, the leap from working full-time and being part-time musicians to doing it full-time. Maybe we won't make it big or anything like that, but we want to play and meet people and see some new horizons. It would be awesome if we could make a meager living and be happy," Spotts continues.
"I think we are good enough to survive on it. We have no lack of ideas, we could play all day," adds Bowie.
But at the show on the 20th they will not play all night, as they will be sharing the stage with three other bands: Animals in Human Attire, and Shoot Down the Moon, both from Milwaukee, and The Union Suits from Minneapolis.
For more information and to hear music samples, check out:
The Union Suits: https://www.facebook.com/theunionsuits
Animals in Human Attire: http://animalsinhumanattire.com/
Shoot Down the Moon: http://shootdownthemoon.bandcamp.com/
Carell Casey is a contributing writer for dane101.
She is also a musician (both solo and as a singer/songwriter, and guitarist in local band Fire and Love), is a Holistic Life Coach and Intuitive Counselor, and advocates for Animal Rights, Peace, Equality, Justice, and Racial Healing.
Contact her at: