Back in my Amen days (somewhere around 1999-2000), I met Chris Lewis. He was incredibly young and had great energy. He was an Amen fan and we met after a show we played in Sauget, Illinois. He handed our singer a demo tape of his band, The Kinison. The visceral, bombastic sound captured on that tape told us the band had real potential.
I remember helping record early Kinison songs at Amen’s rehearsal space. It was a carpeted garage deep in Van Nuys and that’s where Chris and his band worked out their tunes. Their demo “I Hate Black Sabbath” was recorded at Sound City, and it led Chris and The Kinison through a series of showcases and ultimately a record deal.
Chris and The Kinison were on their way, and they toured relentlessly in the early 2000s.
Many years later, we reconnected when The Kinison wanted to record a couple of tunes with me at Dave’s Room. This became the EP “Oh, the Guilt”
A few years later, Chris started to write on his own. He tracked 5 songs with a talented friend of ours, Manny Nieto, at his Suplex Studio in Los Angeles. Not long after that, Manny decided to move his studio to Hawaii and I mixed an EP from those 5 songs; it’s called, eponymously, “LEWIS”.
Chris was excited to have these tunes realized, and given our history and how comfortable we are working together, he asked if I would record his album. Over several weeks Chris sent me dozens of songs for “LEWIS”. His new music has a more singer-songwriter feel; jangly and grungy, but at the same time poetic and personal. Chris is both relentless and prolific and while I was listening to the first group, he sent more and more songs. We decided on a recording date and he was still sending me music! Each tune was better than the last and out of the final group came “Tobi”, and “I’m Nervous Too” – two tracks that I knew had to be on the record.
We worked hard and fast tracking live with Sam West on drums, and Frank Figueroa and Brian Duke on bass. After 4 days of tracking and overdubs Chris had his first album recorded, “Son on the Floor”.
Mixing was fun – I kept the raw, honest performances and made sure Chris’ writing and intent really shone through. I am extremely proud of Chris and his new record. I am sure there will be more to come from LEWIS.
As Jedd Beaudoin from Pop Matters says: “the infectious single “Bathe Clean”, three minutes and six seconds that spotlight Lewis’ particular blend of humor, incisive observation and ability to create an unlikely but undeniable hook. Think of a sweeter Guided By Voices or songs where power-punk clichés are muted for the sake of the song and that’s some of what Lewis gets up to on” — PopMatters
Please enjoy The 4 singles leading up to LEWIS full length release August 21 “Son On The Floor” on Sona Baby Records with these lyric videos.
Son On The Floor will be available on LP and download on August 21st, 2020 via Sona Baby Records. Pre-orders are available HERE.
These guys got in touch with me after reaching out to Jim Rota of Fireball Ministry. They were looking for someone to produce their band Fuzz Evil and Jim mentioned me.
After a few emails and phone calls while I was in Seattle tracking Alice in Chains’ new album, we made a plan. There was some great rough material in the early demos they sent and I knew that together we could mold those tunes into something crushing.
We made plans for the trio to drive through the Arizona desert to Burbank, CA where we slaved for two days on pre-production at my space, Underbrow. Then we were off to Studio 606 (the Foo Fighters studio owned by Dave Grohl) to track live on Sound City’s famed Neve 8028, the recording console that Grohl rescued from the failing studio. We tracked for two more days then were back in Underbrow for three days to wrap up solos, vocals, and a shaker track.
These guys stepped up and delivered some of the most fun stoner, desert rock ever. They hilarious and a blast to spend time with, and they worked their asses off. We crossed the finish line in five days. I enjoyed every second of their energy and work ethic as I pushed them to deliver. The fun and the hard work show in the music we produced. I look forward to hear more from these three.
Robert Pasbani of Metal Injection says,
“Fuzz Evil have been doing one thing since their formation in 2014- bringing sweet jams to the masses.We are pumped to showcase the opening track “Get it Together” which features some sweet licks and an epic solo that will make you feel like you are on a rocket on another planet”
This all started when Sam West asked to meet for a beer to chat one sunny California summer day in 2016. After catching up with life, Sam asked if I would like to produce the new Stavesacre album. Sam and I played together in Scaterd Few and in Human Rights with HR from Bad Brains, so I know he can beat a drum. Without hearing any demos I agreed to work with Stavesacre. The next few months (in between engineering gigs) I helped them arrange and shape their demos. Half a year later we started tracking drums and guitars (lots of guitars) with Ryan Dennee and Jeff Bellew, and then finally tracked bass in one weekend after Dirk Lemmenes flew out from Atlanta, Georgia.
In January 2017, Mark Salomon materialized from the east coast where he had been working hard on lyrics and melody. He sang for nine straight days. Two with his vocal coach Jason Martin at his Bull Shed studio, then seven days with me at my space, Underbrow production. Stavesacre knocked this one out of the park. While wrapping up Fireball Ministry’s Remember the Story and Ironaut’s Sick Stupid Lies, AND gearing up for Alice in Chain’s recording session in Seattle, we mixed at fever pace. I am extremely proud of to have produced this Stavesacre record, and I hope we can do it again.
Review excerpt by Loyd Harp Indie Vision Music:
From the first notes of “The Dead Rejoice” you can tell its Stavesacre, as the Bellew/Dennee twin guitar attack is immediately recognizable. This opening track (not counting the sound collage, “Intro”) speaks of spiritual death and reawakening and brings hints of the joy the title implies.
“Sleepy Head” reminds me of Friction’s “At the Moment” in that melodic, quasi-ballad-that-rocks sort of way. “On Being Human” is a straight forward rocker that grab’s the attention of any listener in danger of drifting off track. Interestingly, penultimate track “Moonstone” intro could almost pass for a lost SF59 track, and while it shifts when the song kicks in, there is a remarkable similarity (influence?) of later period Starflyer stuff (post-2005 or so). “Breathe Me” is incredibly emotional and atmospheric (Sia Cover) performed in a way I haven’t heard them do before, which drives the point made above the band’s maturity during their lengthy silence.
Jim Rota and I hit it off while co-producing Huntress’s Static Album in 2015. A couple years later, Fireball Ministry landed a deal with Cleopatra Records and Jim and Emily asked if I would like to produce their new record. Hell yes! I’m a big Fireball Ministry fan. How can you go wrong with Rota, Burton, Scott f’ing Reeder, and Big John O!
With my hands full of class A mic pres from Shadow Hills Industries and Aurora Audio, tracking when we could, I set up for drums with John O in the middle of Angel City Drum Works’ warehouse. Then I tackled guitars with Emily and Jim. Once we had a nice pile of tracks we headed toward Palm Springs to Banning to track bass with the left handed, barefooted beast of a desert rock low-end player, Scott Reeder, at the studio on his ranch.
The Obelisk’s review of the album said, “…as opener “End of Our Truth” and the following “Everything You Wanted” set a tone through hook, comfortable tempo and a purposeful fervency of groove, the contribution of producer/engineer Paul Fig — who has helmed records for post-reunion Alice in Chains as well as Rush and Ghost, among others of a more metallic ilk — shines through in presenting the songs with a clean sense that nonetheless doesn’t detract from their harder-hitting aspects”.
The Sick Stupid Lies EP is the third installment from Ironaut, and it was a great to hear how they have grown together musically since their Iron Vessel EP. Tracking live again at my no frills production space (Underbrow), Ivan Najor (drums), Pat McHugh (guitar), and Erik Kluiber (bass, vocals) never cease to amaze me. Standing back once the dust had settled, I have to say that World of Shit is my favorite track. From the epic intro to the first set of lyrics “In a world that tries to crush your dreams and nail you to the ground” Kluiber sets the tone of reality in Ironaut’s universe.
According to Pat (Riot) Whitaker from Riff Relevant (Riffrelevant.com):
It’s their third offering in just as many years as well, following the bands two previous EPs Iron Vessel 2016, and the “Ironaut” self –titled début from 2015.
The same trio of musicians that crafted those previous albums have returned once more again for their latest outing.
Ironaut deliver the goods once again as only they can, with flare and unique sense of purpose. These guys are the very embodiment of the hard rock underground as
So, they remain a secret that many music fans are oblivious too.
Ironaut are back at it again, tracking live, then doubling or tripling guitar solos. This three piece have crafted three new crushing tracks, staying true to their roots is psych-doom, thrash metal. We tracked this beast of an EP in one day, finishing up with vocals. Once again, it was an absolute treat to work with these talented musicians.
As Dragon from Metal Nexus says,
“Los Angeles has long been called the “City Of Angels” but it has recently bestowed upon us all a rather darkened amp worshiping trio of crusty blackened punks named Ironaut. And these guys are not fucking around with their highly volatile style of groovy speed freak biker metal but that should really be expected once you realize who is in this band. Formerly of The Sixth Chamber, guitarist Pat McHugh, bassist/vocalist Erik Kluiber (ex-Gypsyhawk / White Wizzard), and former Level drummer Ivan Najor are just musically merciless in this genre-distorting three piece…
Ironaut are yet another incredible discovery I have made recently and based on the versatility exemplified on this EP, I have no doubt that this band will gain ground quickly with their widely appealing balance of varying genres. For fans of High On Fire, Mastodon, and (the) Melvins.”
Here it is! The Lost Weekend stepping it up with a new full length record. Tracked Live at Dave’s Room. Serious talent brewing here, along with great players. Stand Outs: The One You Keep, The Fall of November and It’s Over. Wide range of country tinged rock. Enjoy.