Black Hole Zion: March 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

24th Century Bootleg

We are releasing a live album today.  It is set to be free/pay what you want on our Bandcamp page.  It's also set to hit streaming sometime today or in the next few days.  If the title didn't of this post didn't clue you in, it is called 24th Century Bootleg.

This is a live soundboard recording from 8/3/19 at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown, WV.  No punch-ins or replacements.  The only mixing done was what the engineer, Roger Glass, did in real-time.  Roger is an excellent sound technician.  I (Mark) mastered it and added a little bit of reverb since a direct from the sound board recording is extremely dry.  Other than that, this is as raw as it gets. 

I wanted to do a release from this particular show because I had just gotten back from a long and exhausting trip.  I was on very little sleep and had just come back from the mid-west that same morning.  The sleep I was able to get was all thanks to my friend, Eric, doing the driving on the way back.  When I arrived to meet the rest of the band on 8/3/19, I was dead tired.  They all remarked on this fact.  Haha!.  It was amazing we were able to play at all.  However, when we started, all that cosmic energy took over and even though I was exhausted, I had the energy to play.  Somehow, we sounded pretty good that night.  Hopefully the recording conveys that sense of exhausted hysteria I was feeling and the energy the rest of the band put into the performance.  Being in a group with supportive individuals and having a cool crowd that night most certainly made it possible. This was me, Michael, Tony, and Stan.  Michael also did a bang up job on the album cover!

This has a good chunk of tunes we play off of The Great Repression.  It also has two new tracks that we've been adding to our live set.  Warlocks of Jupiter and Witches of Mars.  I really dig these new songs, and I am excited to get to work on the full length album that these will also be part of.

It was also a special night because we played with my friend Chris, and his band, Fuck Your Birthday.  I've known Chris for many years now, and when he came in from China (where he teaches), he asked us to play this show with him. 

Anyway, yeah, it was a special night despite the fact that it should have been absolute garbage for me.  The power of the cosmos prevails again.  Later.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Guitar Rig Rundown with Tony and Clones of The Iron Age

Tony has played on Black Hole Zion albums before even being in the band. You might remember he did a few guitar tracks on Blood Nebula.  We've known each other for years and he is a great friend.  I've wanted to do a video about each member in the band and I was able to get Tony over to my place and record some guitars. We decided we wanted to put out an EP with a few covers to give everyone a taste of what the band's sound will be going into the next album of heavy original material. Tony is just an amazing guitarist. Like jaw dropping for me. I play a lot of guitar on demos for Black Hole Zion and like to think that I am decent. Having Tony come and record made me feel very humble. Especially because he is so relaxed and grounded about playing.  Tony is a great rock/metal guitarist, but he has this amazing jazz influence that will pop it's head in a time or two on the next release.  He nailed so many takes quickly and was able to give me tons of options.

I am a big proponent of amp modeling and Tony is a little more hesitant on just a bit of that. Our compromise was to use his live rig AND also an A/B box to do some amp modeling. It ended up working out so well. Tony uses a few really cool pedals and takes his sound seriously. We also went through several guitars between my collection and his. One guitar ended up fitting the bill for everything we recorded on this date. Here's a video recapping what we used tracking the first three songs.

Yeah, speaking of EP's. It's called Clones of the Iron Age. Like I said before, it is a collection of cover tunes. Excited to share more soon!