These pieces of broken wood & rusted chrome have a story behind them.
Late winter 2015 I was not having the best time. Overloaded at university, working way too many part time jobs, living alone (for the time being) & tumbling out of a relationship left me with no spark creatively.
I get the call from Lane, he sends a few recordings my way & I’m hooked. I love these songs. Instantly I hear the alt-folk vibe so familiar to artists I admire & listen to, & yet there were songs in there that didn’t fit into that box either.
If I wanted to really get my playing to fit in, I needed the tools to reflect that.
I’d refurbed a drum kit before, & it was a pretty good learning experience. I was on the lookout for a new kit anyway, but this kit, I wanted it to represent the forlorn howls in ‘Got A Gun’. It needed to sound fun & sprightly for ‘Demonette’.
Most of all, I wanted this kit to combine art for function & art as expression.
Finally the perfect kit showed up. It was rusted & warped; the hardware old & creaky. Perfect drum sizes. A steel snare with a broken throw, and pock-marked from abuse.
Immediately stripping the plastic wrap the wood was shit, glued haphazardly but surprisingly stiff enough to be resonant. Cleaned the hardware, removed the glue & got new skins for it.
Naturally, I decided to burn the motherfucker.
Reading up on a technique called ‘Shousugiban’ burning the wood creates a durable outer layer from the charring, which not only creates a striking aesthetic, but protects the wood.
I thought that was quite poetic. You burn something & it comes out better than before.
How great would it be if the accelerants/literal fuel for the fire were part of the poetic process too?
So I doused the kit in my life accelerants: Whiskey, Gin, & Methylated spirits and set that fucker ablaze.
It didn’t work as intended first, but it had a nice side effect of completely drying out the wood.
So attacking it with deodorant can & lighter in hand worked better, & got the look I wanted.
From there out I gave it a lot of sanding & some varnish. Those new skins turned out well too. Thin enough to really open out the tones of the wood and tuned up so that its fucked up self is allowed to sing.
Its junk, but it means so much more to me. It did a lot more than just preserve a semblance of sanity.
I think this working piece of art fits in perfectly with the music of Those Lethals.