The next chapter of Intergalactic Domination is coming soon.
Let’s recap. Last year Matt Owen and The Eclectic Tuba released their debut album, Intergalactic Domination. Featuring guests Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) and Mike St. Clair (Polyphonic Spree), it told the story of a journey toward intergalactic domination. Matt described it last October as “a heroic journey that begins on Earth, and these guys are chosen to take over the universe – they lift off from Earth and travel through the galaxy toward Intergalactic Domination. Each song kind of highlights a point in the journey and really portrays the emotion that the heroes are feeling at the time.”
With the second chapter upon us, yesterday Matt updated The Future Heart on the details. “Basically, this album is the second of a trilogy that we’re working on. The first was Intergalactic Domination, which told the story of taking over the galaxy. This one picks up with a universe free of evil and ready for a peaceful new beginning…”
The new record is called Peace in the Eyes of the Pure and is self-described as “old school psychedelic rock age with ripping soulful guitar solos, soaring female vocal solos, and heavy rock drums.” True to their name, for this next episode they’ve enlisted an eclectic group of guests: Junior Marvin (Bob Marley & The Wailers), Carl Harvey (Toots and The Maytals), Danny Torgersen (Captain Squeegee), Carrie Bickle (Calliope Musicals), Lucas Parker and Kliph Scurlock.
Matt elaborates, “I always enjoy bringing guest artists in to contribute to the overall feel of the album. For this record, I’ve been able to pull together a team of people that I feel can best portray a peaceful vibe through their instruments. First, I asked Junior Marvin, who was the lead guitarist for Bob Marley & The Wailers. I felt that if anyone could help with the overall sound and feel of the ‘Peace’ album, it would be the man who lived next to, and directly interpreted the ideas of Bob Marley. Next, I went for Carl Harvey, who is the guitarist for Toots and The Maytals – another great band whose main focus is to send a very peaceful message to the people. The rest of the crew is a group of insanely talented individuals that we met this winter on our ‘Intergalactic Domination Tour.’ Arranging all of the horn parts and playing trumpet is an insanely gifted musician from Phoenix, AZ named Danny Torgersen. Danny is the front man for one of the most talented and tight horn-driven groups I’ve ever heard, Captain Squeegee.”
“Playing lead guitar for this album is a guy we met in Lawrence, Kansas on a snowy Sunday night at Jackpot Music Hall named Lucas Parker. We played a show to absolutely no one, and Lucas’s band opened for us. Since the show was such a laid back night, Lucas looked up at me and said, ‘Man!!! You guys sound like fun!!!’ I invited him on stage with us and without having to explain any keys or changes to him, he just hopped right on stage and absolutely tore the roof off of the place. The kid has a soul straight out of Woodstock. I can’t wait to show the world what that guy can do!”
The Eclectic Tuba is also adding vocals into the mix for Peace in the Eyes of the Pure. “We’re primarily an instrumental band,” Matt explains, “but this record was absolutely dying for a female vocalist with massive power, and there was never any question of who I was going to ask to sing the parts.You know how the Universe constantly throws some people into your life over and over? And that person is just one of your absolute favorite people in the world? Well, for me, one of those people is Carrie Bickley from Calliope Musicals. The girl lives 13 hours from me, but for some reason, I see her everywhere. She’s an absolute monster vocalist emotionally comparable to Janis Joplin. She’s going to be everyone’s favorite part of this record.”
Matt spent last week recording in Kansas with another special collaborator. “Finding a drummer for the new record was a very important step for me,” Matt explains. “Through the two years of the band’s existence, our one issue has been finding a drummer that can really gel on both musical and personal levels, so we started this project with absolutely no one in mind. As I began to sketch out the tracks and started to gain an idea of what the overall feel of the record was going to be, I realized that we were going to need a top-notch psychedelic drummer. But where in the hell do you find a guy like that? I decided that if we shot for the stars off the bat, and worked our way down guy by guy, eventually, we’d get someone that would be perfect for the job. So, to begin the process of finding our drummer, I decided to go out on a limb and ask Kliph Scurlock – my all-time favorite psychedelic rock drummer – if he would be willing to play on our record. I had already planned out my response to him turning us down. I was ready to say something silly like, ‘Cool, man. Well, thanks anyway. We love you!’ But, instead, I was completely caught off guard when his response was ‘I’d be delighted.’ So, I immediately started working on a way to capture his drum tracks – Since he and Lucas Parker both lived in Lawrence, Kansas – I decided to drive 720 miles to them. We got in touch with two super amazing recording engineers named Anthony Edmonson and Ben Knight, and we spent an entire week in the studio working day and night to lay these tracks down with Kliph and Lucas to bring together the tracks and ideas to pull this whole thing together.”
Photographic evidence of these sessions, a stream of one of the tracks they worked on and a brief video of the band’s new tuba player follow below:
Can’t get enough Eclectic Tuba? Watch a Matt Owen concert documentary below (which gets bonus points for its set opener, “Worm Mountain”) and follow the band on twitter, reverbnation, and facebook. As the new album approaches its early June release date, check eclectictuba.com for updates and tour announcements.