Live Performance for Psycho World Release: Sept. 5-6, 2020
by Mason (drum/vocs/Band Mom)
Sept 5 - Rehearsal
Howdy Breadheads! I hope everyone is OK. It's been a long time and it's been an intense time.
Several months ago, we canceled the Psycho World album release that was set for April. We've missed playing and being with each other. I don't think it'll shock anyone to hear that we are not a professional music outfit. At heart, we're just four dickheads who love one another. In the pre-Covid days when we got together, we tended to form puppy pile of goofy dudes.
These photos were taken before we knew the word "pandemic."
So social distancing is not in Bread & Butter's DNA, but we do it!
So when the guys at Killroom Records set a new release date - September 25! - and organized a way for us to safely film a live recording, there was an quick rush of euphoria. We love this record and we want people to hear it! And then 12 seconds later, a feeling of panic swooped in. We haven't played together in five months and we were going to be dangling our rusty skills in front of a bunch of hi-def video cameras.
We gathered in the cavernous Killroom Studio live room over two days. On Saturday, we spread out, set up, got sounds, and rehearsed for the first time in months. On Sunday, we would film the performance of six songs from the new record.
Our producer (and Killroom co-founder) Ben Jenkins handled the audio recording and the video production was led by Peter Hilgendorf. Below is a shot of everyone setting up, with the expert assistance of Paul Breslin, Carlos Cruz, and brand new high school freshman Van Hilgendorf. The film production crew were really in the same boat as the band. These guys clearly loved working together and had missed each other. Watching them catch up after months apart was really sweet.
Lots of talent in this room! Well, except for Shane and Ryan.
The view from behind the drums aka Band Mom HQ.
What did we learn about playing together after many months apart? 1) We still rule. That's crucial because I don't want to rename this website. 2) Dudes actually did their homework to get ready. Everyone except me! I did zero prep but I did what a Band Mom always does: I harnessed the power of worry. 3) Even though we sounded fine, we were all still supremely nervous.
Even Shane was nervous! Worried about getting his parts right, Shane had us spend the evening doing more practicing in my driveway. Who am I to stop another person from worrying? I felt a new kinship with my old friend.
It wasn't all obsessive practicing. Lars brought over a bag of catfish and gizzards. Willie, the official Bread & Butter wiener mutt, claimed them for himself and protected the greasy treats with some aggressively bad vibes.
How can you not love that old boy intensity?
It wasn't all bad dogs and homework. We also managed to drink 4 or 5 thousand beers.
Sept 6 - Performance
Here's the Nice Astro in one of its happy places, the Killroom parking lot. We recorded both our LPs at Killroom.
As a drummer and Band Mom, I haul a lot of gear. It's maybe the one thing I don't miss in Covid World. It was strangely satisfying to see that videographers have to hunch gear just like us drummers. Good on you, Peter. I probably could've put down my phone and helped, but why deny everyone a gander at those pythons?
I don't have photos of the session because, you know: drums. And it was captured by some legit pros. Also, I was suppressing a series of mild panic attacks. After the shoot, we all admitted to each other that the level of stage fright was intense enough that our hands were shaking between takes. There was no real reason for the anxiety: our rehearsal had gone well, we were in a familiar place with lovely people, the songs are stone bangers, and we even had the luxury of multiple takes. But as the real world gets more and more like Psycho World, we'll continue to see some strange effects. Maybe we were worried that this will be the only chance we'll get to play together until the virus is gone. Maybe this is the last time we'll ever get to play together. Sounds dramatic, I know. But I'm the Band Mom and it's my job to worry.
We recorded/filmed six songs from the new album...
The title of the third song seems to answer its own question, but I guarantee you there is a thorough discussion of the spelling of yeah/yea/yeh/ya in the lyrics.
...and to stay loose between sets, we engaged in some wholesome dickheadery: slingshots, MFers!
Who's a sweaty boy? Note the tape on my fingers - I picked up a few Covid blisters after being away from my drums for so long.
Nice to see that a global pandemic hasn't reduced the majesty of the classic Shane crouch.
I haven't got a tidy ending. But the story of this session is really still going on. We'll be releasing these performances over the coming weeks and months and we think you'll dig them mass. Stay tuned!
Be sure to pre-order your copy of Psycho World. You might also find a copy at Easy Street, if they haven't all been shoplifted by the cool bad kids. Feel free to reach out to us on the socials. We'll meet again!
Art imitates life. Your humble narrator, signing off...