Sedentary, the second LP from American heritage, from Chicago, sounds a bit like a rawer and dirtier version of Mastodon (although it is a bit more polished than their already really good previous LP Millenarian). It has the same ability to write songs that marry brutality and complexity (with some math-rock elements), melodies and an agressive delivery. it bites hard and grooves through all the record. the vocals are powerfull, not clean, and not just screamed either. Sanford Parker recorded he record and also appear as a guest musician, as does Bill Kelliher, Leon Del Muerte and others.
Sedentary will be reissued in the end of november in vinyl format by the good french record label Solar Flare Records (among other cool stuff they released the first Pigs, with Dave Curran from Unsane, that I reviewed HERE, with an interview).
you can listen to Sedentary on their Bandcamp and pre-order the vinyl on Solar Flare website.
The two guitarists in American heritage, Scott and Adam (thanks guys!)answered to my questions about the band and Sedentary. you can read it below :
-can you tell us a few words to present the band and its music?
Scott: I think Adamn once summed it up as “Nerd-Meathead Bro-ness”. I think that’s pretty on point.
Adam: To be specific, we come from a background that embraces both visceral and heady music. We’ve all grown up on hardcore and other variants of the punk movement, but early on also were interested in the avant-garde. Our previous bands speak to that pretty well, as does early American Heritage material. We’ve always just let our songs be what they are, and never have been the sorts to try to fit into any particular subgenre. I think we play heavy, aggressive music that is put together in an interesting way.
-how was written, recorded and produced Sedentary?
Writing: Well, it was a huge complicated mess to be honest. Mike lives in Georgia and the rest of us live in Chicago. Writing only takes place in short bursts every few months. We are the kind of band that needs to be in the same room together to really flesh out a song. We are a pretty collaborative band in that sense. Sure, either I or Adamn will take the lead on this song or that song but overall I find that we all work as a unit. Mike does most of the arrangement tweaking after we have the skeleton of a song mapped out.
Recording/Producing: We are friends with Sanford Parker and had worked with him before. It was a very natural fit for us. He’s good at pushing or pulling us to perform better or just let shit be when we want to nitpick it too much.
Adam: The writing process is, and continues to be, quite glacial compared to bands that are fortunate enough to live in the same vicinity. Every time we end up in a room together again, going over the previous material is always a revelation, but we have little problem getting back on the same page again. The time and distance allows us to get a bit more out of bounds with the ideas we throw back and forth, which I like a lot.
-a few words about the vinyl release by Solar Flare Records?
Scott: We’re stoked to see the album come out on vinyl. We managed to accidentally fall into an awesome label doing cool shit that was interested. I can’t wait to see the transparent yellow / solid Brown. Piss and Shit. It’s pretty fitting.
-in your opinion what’s the difference between your first album Millenarian and Sedentary?
Scott: Millenarian wasn’t our first album… we’ve been around for 15 years or so and have had a handful of releases prior. That said, I think that Sedentary is a little more direct than Millenarian. Our punk rock roots come out a bit more on it.
Adam: Sedentary is way more of a vocal record, and the songs are all very well finished compared to Millenarian. At the time of Millenarian, we were more about being and coming across as experimental. We’ve never been very self-conscious as a band. We do not sit around and contemplate our direction. We just try to get shit done, and make it into shit that we enjoy playing and listening to. Millenarian was put together much more seat-of-the-pantsily, whereas Sedentary had years to simmer, and most of the (i)s were dotted and the (t)s crossed. In the end though, we just let it be what it is, and I think it turned out pretty well.
-many musicians appear as guests on the record, what about it? What was the purpose?
Scott: We parted ways with our previous bass player soon after Millenarian came out. We just did without one for a while, but really wanted to fill out the sound on Sedentary. I decided to make my life far more difficult and frustrating by having a different bass player on every song. I bugged a bunch of friends in bands that we’d played / toured with to help out. Everyone did a great job. It pays to have awesomely talented friends.
Adam: I would add that Sanford did a particularly fantastic job of mixing in light of our method. Not only were there different bassists on each song, but the bass tracks were recorded all over the place with different rigs producing vastly different sounds. Not to mention the rhythm tracks were recorded in two different sessions.
-sarcastic and pessimistic, is it a good way to describe the lyrics of your songs?
Adam: Well, there’s a degree of sarcasm, but I don’t employ that too often in lyrics because I don’t think it comes across well. Pessimistic, yes. Most have something to do with living in the rotting hulk of a dying empire, and the inevitability that things will only get worse. I suppose that could be construed as pessimism.
-what do you think about the situation in the US these days?
Scott: I think it’s well shit.
Adam: Things are funny all over. Election campaign time here is really disgusting, however. And campaign time has gotten to the point where it never ends. So we’ve got people saying things that are fundamentally dishonest in order to gain political power, and then half the country repeats this bullshit because they are attracted to an ideology which explains to them why they aren’t upwardly mobile like they’ve been told they should be. This ideology places the blame on some subset of the population for all one’s woes. And we have to hear about it all the fucking time, in fact, it’s nearly all you hear anymore if you pay attention to media or the news at all. It’s just too much and it makes you want to move to Montana and stockpile weapons. Meanwhile, the ship is sinking and ideologues are willing to keep pulling out the caulking in order to show that the other side is the problem. It won’t be fixed. Time is up for the U.S.
-which bands from your area would you recommend?
Scott: Heaving Mass. Enabler. Sweet Cobra. Coffinworm.
Adam: Stinking Lizaveta, Lord, Witchden
Scott: Stinking Lizaveta are from Philly…. that isn’t’t from our area dude.
-what is the next step for American heritage? Are you writing new songs?
Scott: We are currently working towards getting an EP done. I sort of took the lead with Sedentary and Adamn is writing almost all of the new EP on his own with Mike. I’m super stoked on the shit he’s bringing in. We’re a band that has slowly evolved over the years and I think that’s not fittin’ to change much.
Adam: I didn’t realize I was heading up this operation. I better get to riffin!
-something to add?
Scott: Poop comes from butts.