Sorta Heavy Metal, Milk! Records, released 2012
In 2011 I moved with my family to Melbourne, Australia. It was there I met Peter Joseph Head and Hannah O'Keefe. Peter, a gifted multi-instrumentalist, and Hannah, voice of an angel, both helped me create and craft songs for what would be Super XX Man's debut album in Australia called Sorta Heavy Metal. With the help of a successful crowd-funding campaign (huge thanks to many of you reading this now), a special launch show curated by my friend Courtney Barnett, and a crack art direction team in Shawn Camp and Kendall Anderson Camp, this beautiful limited blue vinyl release was made available through Courtney's Milk Records.
Here's how I met Peter: A friend of a friend introduced us at the Tote in Fitzroy, a trendy neighborhood in Melbourne. Austin friends might think Hole in the Wall or Liberty Lunch.
I asked Peter, "So, I hear you play cello?"
Peter said, "It's not my main instrument."
OK. Man of few words maybe?
When he took his cello out of the case for our first ever practice, he played one of Bach's cello suites to warm up. I was impressed. Then he picked up the guitar and I was even more impressed. This marked the beginning of a lasting friendship.
Peter introduced me to Hannah O'Keefe. He and Hannah had played together in other bands. She is a sweet human being and was able to blend right in.
For the song "Down To The Water," I wanted some energized drumming. Again, Peter to the rescue. He introduced me to Pascal Babare, a drummer and music producer in Melbourne. I brought my computer and all my stuff over to his bedroom. He had his drums already set up. He banged out some crazy loud parts to bring life to this song about a community dedicated to their water source.
What really finishes this album for me is coincidentally the last song called "Best Friends." It features a nice lyric about a piece of thread and a needle, and some nice accordion by Michelle Garred. It's a song about my children and describes the deep bond they still share today. As the song moves along, you can hear Peter play the Koto and another bowed instrument. For me, it finishes like a lullaby.
The record was mastered by my dear friend, Dave McNair. He's taught me much of what I know about recording and he has helped me out many times. When I got the LPs in my hands and readied the albums to be mailed out I had to borrow a turntable from my neighbor, John Gorman, just to listen to it.
Seven years on and I'm listening to the vinyl right now. It still sounds great and I think it might be one of the best albums I've ever made. It has stories and imagery, depth, it's moody, not too polished, and varied just enough. It features cello, guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, bass, Japanese traditional instruments, and likely much more I can't remember.
I'm pleased to announce that it is finally receiving a wide release. As of right now, you can stream it on all your favorite platforms. Here are a few links: