Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Drug Theaters With Paul Jacobs & Show # 487
Paul Jacobs, a one man Garage band from Windsor, Ontario released his third full length album this year entitled Drug Theaters. Each of the albums released this year all prove to be three degrees of separation with Paul Jacobs’ musical make up which includes Garage Rock, Punk Rock and Psychedelic music. Drug Theaters encompasses elements from the first two albums that were released this year, March’s self titled album Paul Jacobs, and June’s Coffin Ride, while at the same time moving in a slightly different direction. The brand of wild Rock and Roll music contained on Drug Theaters is the most concise yet, the songs are stronger and even the production is superior. Recorded in conjunction with Josh Kaiser at Kaiser Sound Productions, Drug Theaters is the third album produced with Kaiser Sound. It was also released through Ah Some Records, as were the previous two albums.
But lets backtrack a bit first. Back in March of 2013, about a year and a few months after being in the three piece band Raised By Weeds, Paul Jacobs released his first full length album. The album’s cover featured a purple three eyed creature with its hands over its head. Paul also does all his own artwork by the way, both for his music and separately. This album featured faster paced Punk and Garage tracks and had more echo and reverb filled vocals than on Drug Theaters. Highlights of this album include the opening track “You Got Soul” a fast driving Garage Rock song with lyrics “Know its in my head/That what they're telling me/Even when I'm dead/And I know you got friends/But it don't matter/Cuz you got soul” that seems to convey that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you got soul, you can do it your way. The album also featured other tracks such as “Spirit Folks” and the slow and wobbly “Wrong Medication”. Then in June we had Coffin Ride, an album that featured a man lying down on a skateboard apparently doing the “coffin ride” on its cover. This cover and its context could also take on quite a few other meanings depending on how you look at it. Coffin Ride seemed to bring in more Punk and Psychedelic sounds than the first self titled album did in March. It starts off with the slacker themed opener “Bad Habits”, while a song like “Sara’s Party” showcases more Psychedelic elements, cloaked in delay and reverb while still retaining a catchy Garage element. “Broken Pencils” and “Fuck School” play into the Punk side of things, as the title track brings in an interesting dynamic. It builds with slow dredging riffs, symbol crashes and distant sounding vocals. It proves to be one of the strongest songs on this album as it slows things down enough, but packs enough intensity and Psych goodness to keep the listener transfixed.
Drug Theaters album cover features a collection of different images, a hand with a cigarette, a dog, a skateboard, a snake and a head among other things. The cover can be seen as a hint as to what’s to come on this album, a collection of different elements that make up a unique whole. The album starts off with the title track itself that builds with reverb drenched vocals and slow stop and start guitar and drums, while lyrics “This time/I know it'll be the last/Time slips away/So won't you come and take me with you?” portray thoughts of boredom and loneliness. “You Got It” picks up the pace with a desire to move on lyrically. “Ghost Noises” features echo and reverb filled vocals emphasizing more Psychedelic elements, “Basement Corner” is a more fast paced track showcasing Punk elements with Psychedelic styled vocals, while a song like “Sharp Dress” proves to be one of the strongest found on this release.
“Sharp Dress” is a catchy fast paced Garage/Punk track with lots of echo Thee Oh Sees style that will stick in your head for days. The breakdown is a theatre of noises including, but not limited to distortion, drums, reverb and echo. “Underwater” is a slow and sludgy track which has a guitar sound that is reminiscent of its title, while lyrically seems to address a line between fantasy and reality. “Electric Dollar” ends off Drug Theatres with a longer track (over six minutes) which addresses the transfers of electronic funds and lack there of and a desire for something new. Overall, Drug Theaters brings Paul Jacobs songwriting abilities and style to the fore while portraying visceral thoughts of boredom, drug use, relationships, and differing views that blur what is and what is not reality. While Paul Jacobs may have released three albums this year, all of which have their own strong points, Drug Theaters encompasses a style and creates a theatre all its own.
The following questions were done between myself (Dave Konstantino of Revolution Rock) and Paul Jacobs. We talk of recording, skateboarding and the making of Drug Theaters.
RR: You released three full length albums this year. How would you describe each album, would you say they differ from each other and did you plan on putting out three releases this year?
PJ: All three albums are somewhat similar, they are all done with guitar, foot drums and vocals. The sounds have changed a bit by what I've been listening to during the writing period. I try to keep them all somewhat garagey and punk and psychedelic. I couldn't describe how the sound changes from album to album, I just try to make them a bit different. I didn't plan on releasing any certain amount this year, just had a really good time jamming in my room and came up with more than enough material.
RR: When and where did you record Drug Theaters and did the process differ from the other two albums that you have recorded?
PJ: All the albums were recorded in my bedroom.
RR: What is it like working with Kaiser Sound Productions?
PJ: Working with Kaiser is great because he knows what he's doing, he cares about how the album is going to turn out and wants it to sound good. He's a good friend so he helps me out when I'm too broke to pay for the recordings. We'll work out trades like art or some design work for him recording my albums. Also he's always open to my suggestions during the mixing process, but it’s nice having two opinions on the sound before the release.
RR: You also do you own artwork, both on its own and for your music. Could you describe the art you make and what has inspired you to do both?
PJ: I just enjoy drawing, I've been doing it all my life. I figure my drawing go hand in hand with my music. I like to make people laugh so I try and make my stuff somewhat funny. I also like to trip out so I like making trippy drawings. I pretty much just do it for myself.
RR: This album along with your previous two albums, have been released with Ah Some Records. How did you get connected with Ah Some Records and what made them want to put out your music?
PJ: James [of Ah Some Records] has just been down with my music since Raised by Weeds. He's a good dude and is down to help me out. It’s still self released but he does help out. I do all the duplicating and packaging in my bedroom.
RR: Your music also has a connection to skateboarding. Can you describe that connection?
PJ: Well if you’re a skateboarder then you know how much it affects your life and your way of living. I have a love for skateboarding that I will never let die. Most of my inspiration for music has come from skate videos as a kid. If it weren't for skateboarding I wouldn't be the person I am today.
RR: Your last album was called Coffin Ride, could you explain the significance of that title?
PJ: Well I thought it sounded cool, I drew the picture and decided to make it the album title. I figure life is just a coffin ride, we all end up in the same place no matter what we do. A coffin ride is just a skateboard trick though. There’s different meaning behind it I guess, but whatever people get out of it is cool with me.
RR: You play as a one man band covering guitar, vocals and drums. Could you describe your set up and how you play live shows? Also how did you come up with the design for your foot drums set up?
PJ: It’s a basic bass drum and snare set up, but I added a cymbal attached to the bass drum with a converted double kick pedal. Somebody sent me a blog video and I noticed he used a cymbal with a pedal that hit down. I was just lying in bed trying to fall asleep and I realized I could rig up something that could hit a bass drum and cymbal at the same time. The live sound is the same as the recording pretty much. I used to make music with a bunch of different instruments, but just wanted to put out something I could still do live by myself, it’s a good time.
RR: You got some good press recently for playing a CKCU FM fundraiser show in Ottawa – what was the response like to your music in Ottawa and do you think its different than in Windsor or other places that you have played live?
PJ: Ottawa is awesome, they have a cool garage scene and a bunch of that scene also skates. They like to dance and enjoy the live show experience. Windsor is tough because there isn't really a garage scene, so I need to leave town to get on shows that suit my style of music. I like Windsor though because it’s cheap and somewhat depressing, it gives you the motivation to do something with yourself and get out of town. I’m not too sure how long I'll stay in this city though.
RR: What do you plan to do next musically?
PJ: I plan on putting out another album before spring, it’s already over half written and it is a bit more punk and raw. I might try and self record if I can, but if it doesn't turn out ill be recording with Kaiser again.
This Week's Play List:
1. Jaill – I’m Home
2. Babyshambles – French Dog Blues
3. White Fence – Pink Gorilla (Live In San Fransisco)
4. The Black Angels – Manipulation
5. The New Strychnines – Dirty Robber
6. Iggy Pop & James Williamson – Sell Your Love
7. Jack Scott – Cruel World
8. Hank Williams – Mind Your Own Business
9. The Saints – Untitled
10. Talking Heads – Heaven
11. The Only Ones – Lovers Of Today
12. William Steffey – Belfast
13. Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs – Sick of Love
14. Jung People – Releasing Fear Of The Colour Blue
15. Sloan – Torn
16. Indian Wars – Simple Mistake
17. Legato Vipers – Sweet 16
18. Centuries – 4th Dimension
19. Paul Jacobs – Sharp Dress
20. Paul Jacobs – Underwater
21. Fuzz – Now I've Got A Reason (Live In San Fransisco)
22. The Adverts – The Adverts (Cast Of Thousands Outtake)
23. The Replacements – Beer For Breakfast
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 17. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.