Snake Island! crafted Evil Music, their new full-length album, in spurts of time at Make Believe Studios.
The whole arrangement allowed the local psych-rock band to experiment and evolve their sound during sessions that began about eight months ago, singer Garrett Schmelzel says.
Make Believe Records is releasing the album with the band, so the two sides worked together on deciding studio time to keep the costs down. That meant the band would hit the east Omaha studio space when producer Rick Carson have unscheduled time.
“They gave us a lot of creative freedom,” Schmelzel says.
As the studio got busier, the band knew it was crunch time so they worked to get an album finished. Schmelzel says the final recorded output fell somewhere between a single and a double LP length, which the band trimmed back to fit onto a single album.
“We wanted to a lot more than we did but we think it turned out pretty sweet,” he says.
The CD version of the album, which comes packaged with the vinyl, will include some of the interludes and other parts that were left off the LP.
Guitarist Allan Schleich says tracking drums and bass went pretty quickly, but after that, he and Schmelzel ran wild with ideas for how to create the rest of the sonics.
“A lot of time was spemt experimenting and doing weird shit with the guitars and vocals,” Schleich says.
Among those experiments, Schmelzel ran his guitar with a power drill and a delay pedal, using it to bend and shape the notes into different sounds.
The experimentation has continued for the band on the visual side, where the band is working on oil color projections as part of acid freakout light show.
The band includes some of that visualization in the video they recently released for the album’s title track, “Evil Music”. That video, put together by Schmelzel and Daniel Thompson III, also includes lots and lots of foil.
“The video was pretty much Garrett’s baby,” Schleich says.
The band evolution has included three different drummers and three different bassists since Schleich and Schmelzel started putting the band together when Schmelzel relocated to Nebraska more than three years ago.
Now the lineup as solidified with bassist Thomas Olk and drummer Mike Zimmerman, who designs and screenprinted the album’s artwork and also does the band’s posters. Zimmerman has become one of the band’s secret weapons.
“He’s an artisitic powerhouse,” Schmelzel says.
Zimmerman comes from a background playing in speedy basement hardcore bands. At first, he was weirded out by playing the slower tempos Snake Island! has in their songs.
But once the band saw him jam out on his own, they knew he could bring a heavy, monstrous beat to the band’s material.
The band’s album also included Dave Goldberg guesting on organ and Conduits’ Jenna Morrison on backing vocals.
Snake Island! celebrates the release of their album Evil Music w/ Plack Blague, Eric in Outerspace and Universe Contest Saturday, July 13th at the Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $8 at the door.