“The girl with the lazy eye asked me if I heard that dog laugh. But I told her, and the dog, to shut the fuck up.” That’s the first line off of “Last City Zero,” the title track of Corrections House’s upcoming debut album, lyrics by Mike IX Williams. Sounds right.
Comprised of the aforementioned wordsmith/Eyehategod vocalist, Scott Kelly (Neurosis,) Bruce Lamont (Yakuza,) Seward Fairbury, and produced by Sanford Parker (Minsk,) that alone should give every doomy-stoner-sludge aficionado more than enough of a reason to check out the band and their offerings.
At 8 songs and 50 minutes long, Last City Zero’s mechanical feel and bleak lyrics are almost uncomfortable to listen to (especially first thing in the morning with a massive CMJ-induced hangover.) But the cold, dark tracks and socially pessimistic lyrics are exactly what the group was going for, and they nailed it.
So, be on the lookout for Last City Zero when it drops TOMORROW, October 29th, 2013 via Neurot Recordings. I spoke with multi-instrumentalist Bruce Lamont over the phone on October 17th to talk about the new record, any upcoming plans to support the endeavor on the road, and where Corrections House falls in the grand scheme of all the members’ busy projects.
G- Hi Bruce and thanks for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today. How’s everything going, man?
B- Things are going good, Greg. Thank you very much.
G- Excellent. So, not too much is known about Corrections House and I wanted to talk about the history. Obviously, everybody knows the members and your individual projects, but how did this group first get together, man?
B- This group came from some previous collaborative efforts. Scott and myself had done some shows together on the solo end of things, and some collaborative stuff as well, and Mike and I had done some collaborative work. And between the three of us, we discussed maybe doing a tour together and also doin some collaborative stuff, as well. When that was discussed, we talked about recordings and we went to Sanford with that, and Sanford kinda came back and said ‘What if we created a group out of this? The 4 of us?’
It basically stemmed from 4 solo efforts being brought together. We did a tour earlier this year… 3 weeks, mostly East Coast and South into Texas and things… and it went really well. We did mini-solo sets, and then we did a Corrections House collaborative set at the end of the stuff we’d written and recorded a few months before that, and that’s where it went, man.
It was an amazing experience. Obviously we all love each other and musically our respect level is beyond anything, so we were able to come together and create this thing known as Corrections House.
G- Alright, and getting right into the album, obviously with all the members and their projects, the creative flow in the studio and writing process must’ve been pretty insane because you’re all very creative people with laudable track records.
Was anyone in particular doing a lot of the writing or bringing in a lot of the ideas, and what was the flow in terms of creating these songs?
B- I think, if anything, having the recording engineer in the band, Sanford was able to pull a lot of things together and make things cohesive and bring it, to what you were saying, to a continuous flow.
Obviously, ideas were coming from all of us, but I definitely credit him for bringing it all together. The album was recorded in multiple studios over months and months, so I’d give him that credit.
Lyrically, as credited in the record, most of the lyrics were either from, or inspired by, Mike’s book, “A Cancerous Social Activity,” so there’s that element of it, too. But yeah… I’d leave it at that.
G- Ok. And you brought up the recording process and Sanford Parker recorded the album in 4 different studios… Were you looking for different types of atmospheres? Is that why you went with 4 different studios in this decision, or was it a case of logistics?
B- Yeah logistics. We had done some recording while we were on the road and, obviously, there are 2 of us in Chicago, 1 in New Orleans, and 1 in Oregon. So, for us to get together and be in the studio at the same time was not always the case. So, we did what we could do, and it works.
In this modern age, it’s much easier to do it that way than even 10 years ago, with technology out there helping us out.
G- Definitely. And obviously, everyone is very busy, so how is the balancing act among all of you given your other projects?
B- We’re gonna do the best we can. We’re going to do one show in Chicago on November 30th, and then we fly to Europe the next day and do 3 weeks in Europe. Then, we have a week off, and we’re planning some West Coast dates in January, again basically because of schedules. We’ll fit in live performances whenever we can.
We just announced that we’re playing Roadburn next year, so that’s really exciting. Possibly some UK dates as well and from there, we’ll just see. We’ll play it by ear and do what we can.
G- Dig it. And is there any particular track off the record that you’re digging, or if you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of Corrections House before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
B- I like “Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill.” You hear a little bit of the electronic, you get a couple of different vocal stylings, really heavy guitar and bass, there’s some saxophone in there, and you get a little bit of everything. So, I would give that one up. “Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill.”
G- Alright. And one last question… Again, everyone in the group is very well known in the music industry and metal scene, you’re all very highly respected, and have been working hard for a long, long time with all your projects.
So, for some of the kids out here who want to do what you guys are doing and want to go on the road and make it in music, what advice can you give some of the up and coming metallers out here who want to make it?
B- Find your own voice, persistence is key, and expect the unexpected. Don’t have any expectations, actually. Just do what feels right for yourself and keep at it. Or get smart and get a really good day job (laughs.)
If you’re getting into playing music for anything but the love of playing music itself, then you’re asking for a world of heartache (laughs,) so love what you do. I don’t speak for the group when I say that, that’s just my own personal opinion, but I think I do speak for the guys as well.
G- I respect that. It’s brutal in its approach and highly accurate, so I appreciate it.
That’s about it. I just want to say again thank you for taking the time to speak with Live High Five. Looking forward to the album coming out and any NYS dates!
B- Awesome man. See you there soon. Thank you very much.