Brian Haas’ PETTING SOUNDS
Recently, Brian Hass released his new recording Petting Sounds and decided to offer the tracks for free download. Pretty awesome in the RFW books :-) Instead of giving our take on the album and/or individual tracks, check out this artist statement before enjoying a streamed or download listen of Petting Sounds.
My new solo album entitled ‘Petting Sounds‘ is now available as a free download! The album is an improvised symphony for solo piano that I recorded in one continuous session. The album was recorded in Ojai California last year at the (now defunct) Institute for Universal Healing Arts with the same UA mixing board that was used for the Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds!’ Produced by Teddy Jack Russell & Brian Haas. Executive produced by Pride & Scott Hutchison. Just enter your email below and check your inbox to download the album! Enjoy!
Check out Brian Haas Petting Sounds at his website with download, or scroll down this page and in the right panel we are making the listen/download available as well. For more information on Petting Sounds, Brian Haas with JFJO or Brian Roy Haas himself, visit : http://brianroyhaas.com/wordpress/?cat=1
Below, catch a republished interview between RFW Contributor Garret K. Woodward and Brian Haas back from 2008, conducted in the midst of Haas’ release Lil Tae Rides Again.
Interview with Brian Haas (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) on latest record, “Lil Tae Rides Again” – March 26, 2008
Garret K. Woodward: Where are you right now?
Brian Haas: I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma with the band rehearsing the band for the tour.
GW: So your tour begins next week…
BH: We’re super excited. We’ve added two members to the band. In order to make it work, we added the producer Tae Meyulks and this genius guitarist Pete Tomshany. We’re not trying, literally, to recreate the record. We just want to be able to draw from that same large palate of colors. So, the two guys we added are incredibly brilliant and they’re going to enable us to have more of a symphonic, textural approach every night.
GW: And your new album is out April 8…
BH: Oh man, we’re really excited. It’s the first, official release, hard-copy release since the end of 2005. It’s always fun to just have tons of new music, a different approach and have all the kinetic energy that comes with releasing a record. We’ve got some surprises on this tour. We’re bringing along a projectionist who will basically act like a member of the band. We’re going to be telling a story every night through visual images and also through the music. We’re figuring out a way to match it all up.
GW: I’m really excited for the show at the Knotty Pine (Victor, Idaho).
BH: I love how small that venue is, all the rowdy locals. The people that tend to congregate around towns like that are people into the outdoors, into the mountains and water and clean, fresh air. That’s exactly what I’m into so it’s really easy for me to relate to those people. I always meet lots of new people at those shows, at the Knotty Pine or the Mangy Moose. There’s always somebody who wants to show us a hike the next day or a water system. It’s always a pleasure. That’s what I’m into, staying outside as much as possible and celebrating nature. I’m definitely looking forward to that clean air.
GW: So, it must be a treat to come out and play in the Tetons.
BH: It’s super unique. Being jazz musicians, we’ve spent most of our careers in the big cities and it’s a pleasure to get back into the woods. The only time I’ve ever encountered a moose was actually on that highway leaving Victor.
GW: The one that goes over the Tetons?
BH: Uh-huh, exactly, that pass gets hairy sometimes. It was actually kind of a slow drive at night. We were driving in snow. The locals already told us once you get over the pass, you’ll be fine but you guys should probably leave after the show, if you guys stay in town, you’ll be snowed-in. So we took off and I was driving. I came around a corner and encountered a creature that looked, to my eye, like it was bigger than the van. It was a full-grown Bull Moose. He stopped in the road, turned, looked at me, gave me plenty of time to check him out then turned and ran straight up a vertical slope.
GW: That’s pretty wild.
BH: Yea, like a vertical slope that would have taken me five hours to get up. And I would’ve needed like climbing gear and a rope to get up it, but this moose, this huge animal was up the thing in like five seconds.
GW: I feel that even though the crowds at the Pine and the Moose may not have the biggest crowd by numbers, but it’s more about quality and not quantity.
BH: Yea, and they’re super appreciative.
GW: It was said that this album was more idiosyncratic album you guys have done…
BH: It was our first time to really, completely step out of the jazz world. We’re always influenced by jazz and that was kind of our starting point as far as our personal language. But with this record, we were completely going for a much more ambient thing, a much more beat driven thing. It was a whole different approach for us, I mean we’ve never spent thirteen months in the studio before, making a record. We usually make a record in one or two days. So, just the basic approach for us was a brand new thing. I think the record, the way it sounds, it draws on so many different influences. A lot of people that are really into jazz are already reviewing it and saying “Wow, this is my favorite jazz record of the year!”…[Laughs] and I’m like ok, great, I’m glad their hearing it like that.
GW: The mail is a little slow out here, but I got the record a couple of days ago. I listened to it and it was pretty wild stuff. Especially with the soundscapes and the moods. Last week, I went and saw Kaki King at the Moose and it reminded a lot of that, just trying to explore the moods of a space. Just very free flowing, layered and textured.
BH: Does she have a band or was she doing it solo?
GW: She had a backup band for this new album. The show that I caught, she was sick and wasn’t singing. So it was all instrumental, just exploring the room. But, yea I was really intrigued by your new album. I guess maybe most people might have expected a flat-out jazz album. It was amazing to see the direction and change, in a good way. It seemed like you were exploring some new territory.
BH: Well, thank you. A lot of that is the producer. We started working with Tae actually in 2000 and we’ve been talking about making a record with him since that time. He and I have been doing studio work, tracking and working on just weird, unique tracks. He’s been doing it with Reed as well since 2000. So, this is a long time coming.
GW: How did you guys decide to go in that direction?
BH: Well, it wasn’t even really a conscious decision. We just knew that we’ve been working with him for years and we wanted to do something completely different with this record. We’d already made two trio records for Hyena with me on grand piano. We thought it was time to kind of push ourselves. Thirteen months in the studio trying to make sense out of stuff is a really good way to push yourself. I think it changed our whole concept of how to make music and what we’re doing with music. It was our first time ever to spend that much time in the studio so that in itself really changed our concept.
GW: Now, Tae has this immense interest in the psychedelic effects of sleep deprivation. Can you elaborate about his approach in the studio of just staying up nonstop? It seems kind of like letting your mind play tricks you a little bit when you’re mixing the sounds…
BH: I’m sure you can hear that when you’re listening to the record. He’s one of those unique guys that just doesn’t need that much sleep. He’ll stay up for four to six days at a time. And for me to finish the record, I had to start doing that with him. So, I was also experiencing those same effects. He’s just one of the super, unique genius guys. It’s hard to describe in words, you have to meet him in person, you have to hear what the music sounds like live. A good insight to his personality is definitely what the record sounds like.
GW: When I was listening to it, even though I had a full-nights rest, it felt I had been up for like three days in some dreamlike state. You know what I mean? I thought it was like eerie. I felt like if I were to walk through my head, that would be the soundtrack.
BH: [Laughs] That’s a really high compliment, man. I think you totally nailed it. The record is strong enough that it actually will put you in that state.
GW: It was quite interesting. It reminded me a lot of Thom Yorke. That kind of uninhabited, exploration of the mind.
BH: Oh, thank you. That is such a high compliment, man. I really appreciate you listening to the record.
GW: How has Josh been assimilating, being the new drummer and this being his first record with you guys?
BH: We were his favorite band for about ten years. So, he rolled in, back to Seattle at the beginning of last year and started coming to these jam sessions. And he knew all of our music better than our current drummer. So, he pretty much left us little choice. He pretty much showed up and served notice.
GW: It seems he is bringing some new life into it.
GW: The press release says you guys were on hiatus, taking a break last year…
BH: I never felt like I took any time off because I was working on the record all last year. You know, publicist and people in the business have a hard time understanding just ‘cause we weren’t touring doesn’t mean we weren’t working.
GW: That’s what I wandering. I just moved here from New York and was like, “I remember these guys being on tour last year.”
BH: Exactly, EXACTLY. It was frustrating to me because it’s like, “What? Did I not work enough?”
GW: Because in the press release, it says you disappeared from the music scene during the “hiatus”.
BH: [Laughs] That’s interesting. Well the reason we did that was to make the record. In order to make such a crazy, unique record, we had to stop touring so much. It was tons of fun, it was great reward to us.
GW: Definitely. Obviously being on the road can take its toll and it’s good to take whatever emotions you were feeling on the road and apply it to a record.
BH: Absolutely. That’s a good way of putting it. We’ve worked so hard, starting in 1994 when we started the band. You know, 2003, 2004 and 2005 we huge years from us. We started touring the entire world, Europe, South America, touring the United States extensively. We kind of felt like giving ourselves a little gift in 2007 and working on the record and not being on the road all the time. If we’d been on the road like the way our management, our booking agent and record company wanted us to be on the road in 2007, this record would never had been made.
GW: Reed was quoted as saying, “we’re more proud of it than anything we’ve ever done.”
BH: It was easily the most difficult thing we’ve every done. Easily.
GW: Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
BH: Exactly. You are totally right. I mean, in a way we’re taking a huge risk with the band we’re taking on the road. The very foundation of Jacob Fred has always been built on risk. We’ve never, ever sat still and said “Here’s our sound, let’s make money off of our sound, let’s just do our thing.” We’ve never had that concept. In fact, we’ve always had the opposite concept. As soon as we start to feel ourselves getting comfortable, we start challenging ourselves. All of us compose a lot. All three members of the band are people that change a lot, personally and internally. So that keeps the music shifting, the music changing as well.
GW: Well, especially coming from a jazz background, the last you would want to be is complacent and pigeonholed.
GW: I’ve heard a new album is already in the works?
BH: Last month we recorded the next record, before we even started rehearsing the new band for the new tour. We actually made the next record last month.
GW: When it rains, it pours…
BH: Exactly. Reed is going to be producing the next record.
GW: So, with him producing, trying something new again?
BH: Absolutely, so that you know we will never the same thing twice.
GW: Are you going along that same direction as this record?
BH: It’s very ambient. It’s very textual and soundscape oriented. Except for it’s all acoustic instruments, well I can’t say it’s all acoustic because Reed is playing electric guitar. But it’s us laying and laying live time instead of using a computer. We went into this studio on this incredible lake, a few hours outside of Tulsa and we just starting laying down piano, melodica, toy piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and just starting layering all of this stuff. We went into this incredible studio with this world-class engineer. It was this guy who made all his money in the 70’s and 80’s with heavy metal and now he is doing his own thing. He owns this 90-acres eco-estate on Beaver Lake and before we even started rehearing the Little Tae Rides Again band, we’d already completely tracked the next record.
GW: How do you want your fans to embrace this new record?
BH: A lot of fans are already embracing it, they’re madly in love with it. Jacob Fred fans are typically music fans. Jacob Fred fans aren’t typically people who align their personalities with any one genre of music. Like, in America, one of the problems with the music business and with capitalism is that people let the music that they listen to be sort of part of their identity. You know, “Well, I like this kind of music,” “I dress like this because of who I am.” And that’s one thing we learned in Europe is that people are just music fans. People love all music. And, I’m seeing more of that in America. I’ve noticed that Jacob Fred fans are generally people that just love music. People that aren’t like, “I’m an indie-rock guy, I’m a jazz guy.” Because we love so much music, we bring that to the table when we play. I think this new record is right up old school, die-hard Jacob Fred fans alley.