Double Door Welcomes
Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts, Ryan Powers and the Secret Weapons
Friday, February 22, 2013
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pmDouble Door
$22.00 - $25.00
This event is 21 and overhttp://www.doubledoor.com/event/195593/
"It feels like approaching it as an album and a thing that has a sequence, and a thing that is a piece of work in itself is almost an archaic process," explains the band's singer/guitarist, Dave Pirner. "It's almost like there's no venue for it. Today, I was trying to find a CD player, and I can't tell you how frustrating that is, when you're making what you think is a CD, and there's no stores that sell them, and there's no players that play them! So be it, if that's the way you've got to stay in the game, that's the way you've got to stay in the game. I can't be a crotchety old man about it - it's how people are putting music out, and everyone can come to their own conclusions about what's the best way to get music to people. It's just different for people that are born in a different environment."
"Some of the stuff we recorded 18 months ago," adds guitarist Dan Murphy. "We did it in bursts - like three or four studio dates. Some of it was recorded in LA, some of it was recorded in Minneapolis - but a lot of it was recorded down in New Orleans. The only concern I have with that is, 'Is there a cohesive quality that goes through tracks?' But I guess with Michael [Bland] playing drums and Dave and I playing guitar, and the harmonies that Dave and I do, it's always going to sound like Soul Asylum."
'Delayed Reaction' (which was produced by the band, with additional input by John Fields) also marks the first Soul Asylum studio album to not feature original bassist Karl Mueller, who passed away from cancer in 2005. Ex-Replacements/current Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson is now a full band member, as is former Prince drummer Bland.
"Tommy was always pretty game for doing the shows," says Murphy. "Tommy's thing with Guns N' Roses was always kind of precarious - it was kind of just hanging on and dangling, so we didn't ask so much. But when the record comes out, if there's active touring, I think Tommy would still be an equation. I know he enjoys the band, he enjoys the record. Just about everything bass-wise on the record is played by Tommy. I think John Fields may have played on a couple of things, but the vast majority of the bass playing is Tommy."
And the other half of Soul Asylum's rhythm section, drummer Bland, sees the difference between being a hired hand with Prince, and a more integral part of the songwriting process with Soul Asylum. "This is definitely a situation where people come up with their own ideas and try to make them work with the other ideas that are coming up at the same time. Prince is definitely more in control of the entire picture while it's happening. Not that he doesn't have an interest in what your ideas might be, it's just the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship, really. But both have their advantages and disadvantages. When you have Prince decide what's going to happen, then it's easier to follow instruction. Prince is not going to compromise his vision, whereas Pirner really wants you to feel involved, like your statement is actually being made."
And according to Murphy, another welcome arrival was the relationship the band has built with their new label, 429 Records. "It's funny - a guy we've known in the music business for quite a while is Jared Levine, who worked with Danny Heaps, who was our manager during 'Grave Dancers' and 'Dim Light Shine.' Jared was a good guy, whose function at that point in time was the go-between, between the artists and Gibson guitars and amp companies. I guess he was their 'musician business contact.' I sought Jared when we played in LA, and he said, 'You guys sound great. I work at a record label now - if you guys ever wanted a record deal, I'd love to give you one.'
But with a solid line-up and label in place, why did it take so long for a new Soul Asylum studio effort to appear? "I think we can't agree on anything like we used to be able to," jokes Pirner. "And we sort of have a wider variety of tastes going on in the band. It was difficult to find the label, and I was making the record on no budget. So Michael had called me, and said, 'You should come out to LA and work with John Fields.' I spent about a week out there, and that was when it got started. At that point, I was just getting the ball rolling, and not really entirely sure what I was doing as far as if I was recording a solo record, or if I was demoing things. In fact, a few of those things wound up on the record."
Interestingly, although 'Delayed Reaction' harkens back to the days of "album rock," it was not recorded the old fashioned way. "It was made in a more modern way," continues Pirner. "It was made in a way that so many more people are working today, where quite a bit of it comes out of my home studio. It was going in and out of the studio quite a bit, to save money. Honestly, it's more organic. Even though you're using some of this newer technology, the fact that you're doing it yourself is what made it take so long and the process unique, this time." Whatever it took to record 'Delayed Reaction,' it certainly worked, and Murphy, Pirner, and Bland each have specific tracks that are their favorites.
Murphy: "The first three that we did, I think we did 'Into the Light,' 'The Streets,' and 'Gravity.' And all three of those seem immediate to me. 'Gravity' is kind of like a vintage Soul Asylum song, although it's got great drumming on it - Michael killed it. It's got a real crescendo guitar and interplay that's exciting, and it plays itself. I like the song 'By the Way,' it is really just a beautiful lyric. Dave always has a tendency to look at a thing two ways, like 'By the Way.' I could listen to that song forever - it's really timeless."
Pirner: "It's cornball, but each one is like my kid. I think 'Cruel Intentions' was nice, because it was spontaneous and was a song that I wanted to record for a long time. I think 'Take Manhattan' was nice, because it started off with different lyrics, and I sort of wrote this story into it, and we used the original tracking. It had a long and concentrated development period, which is true for a lot of the material. It went from New Orleans to LA to Minneapolis back to LA to Minneapolis, until it was done. Believe it or not, it gives it a multi-cultural thing, where it's passing through the headspace of me and my engineer from New Orleans, and then John Fields in Los Angeles, and then the whole gang up in Minneapolis. You get that influence of whatever's going on around you."
Bland: "'Let's All Kill Each Other' is awesome. It's pretty defiant. The track was started out of thin air - it was just an idea Pirner had. We were both paling around in Minneapolis, everybody else was out of town, and we ended up going into the studio and started to work on it, and it fell together immediately. It's a simple song, the message is pretty direct - it's an anti-war song. It pretends only lyrically to be about some urge that people have within them and why they should ignore it - maybe. But I'm pretty sure when people hear those kids singing along, they're going to get disturbed."
Originally formed in 1983 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Soul Asylum has consistently issued heartfelt and passionate rock n' roll, first starting out on indie Twin/Tone, before scoring two major hits on Columbia, 1992's 'Grave Dancers Union' (including the hit single "Runaway Train") and 1995's 'Let Your Dim Light Shine.' And the group is one of the few rock acts that can say that they played a presidential inauguration, when they did so for Bill Clinton in 1993.
Long one of the most electric live bands, Soul Asylum will be supporting 'Delayed Reaction' with a mix of live dates, according to Murphy. "We'd love to get out and play. Typically, what our lives are like and with families and other obligations, I don't think we'll be a band that gets in a van and goes out and does a 45 event tour. But I think we'd love to tour this summer - we'd love to play some of the festivals and outdoor things. And play some clubs again, that's what I really miss."
The delay is now over, Soul Asylum fans. Dave Pirner, Dan Murphy, Tommy Stinson, and Michael Bland are back, and have readied a very potent 'Delayed Reaction.
Songs are the key.
Miles Nielsen has been writing them for as long as he can remember. Good, bad, great – yeah he’s covered all those bases.
For some, music is something in the background, or in the corner of the bar, or merely something that lives on the other side of the dial – a magic diversion created to pass the time in the car. For Miles Nielsen, music is as much a part of his life as
the act of taking a breath, every experience, every conversation, every dream is a potential song in the making.
There are millions of people writing, recording and releasing music in today’s world of immediate return. Learn three chords, turn on the computer and you have a worldwide release. There are very few, however, who are writing music that makes you immediately wish there was “more” – another song to make you turn up the volume , another nugget of melody or lyric that you can find some part of to
make your own.
Miles’s songs provide that sense of yearning and ownership. You want to have another record, another song – you want to hit rewind … you want to know more about this world created in song by Mr. Nielsen. A captivating wordsmith, instrumentalist, and creator of hooks – rare indeed, but present in the person of Miles Nielsen.
It would be hard to imagine that the years spent honing his craft throughout the bars and music halls of the Midwest, were not leading to something bigger, something permanent. His latest release, Miles Nielsen presents the Rusted Hearts certainly occupies a space of permanence – these songs are not mere throwaway pop songs – but, rather explorations and declarations of a mastery of style and substance,
destined to fall into regular rotation on the turntables of fans new and old for years to come.
What is next? Like with any other prediction – no one can say. Gifts like Miles’s come along very infrequently, and one can only hope that his ability to be so “in the now” – listening for the songs spoken in the everyday world will continue to grow.
Then maybe that “more” we are looking for, will be given to us via that very key we yearn for –
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