Jefferson Dust is comin!

Welp, I’ve finished all the tracking for the next phase of my Jefferson Dust project.  All in all I recorded 14 tracks and the jury is still out on the final track listing. I definitely am leaving 2 off the album, not because they’re bad but one is Glare which is a Die Warzau cover and the other is structurally the same as another track and it’s just too much to occupy one album.  I already put the Die Warzau track on SoundCloud and while I really like it, it just doesn’t fit sonically with the rest of the tracks. I am going to include the Uriah Heep cover which I’ve been refining since I first uploaded it. I have had a lot of discussions lately about the value of long track listing and if EP’s are the way to go.  I’ve done it all at this point and my general observation is more is more but you have to balance it with the presentation of the music.  After all, an album is a collection of songs and nowadays, those songs are likely going to be steamed. Ergo the more songs you have the more chances you have of hitting on high profile playlists. At the same time the musical journey the album takes a listener through has to make sense .  So I try to put out as much as I can with a heavy hand to ruling out pure filler or duds.   I think each release I get better at judging that balance.

As for the music itself on the as yet untitled JD album— I think it’s coming together to be a pretty sharp step forward- particularly on vocals. I took a lot of learnings from the last Derision Cult and Sys Machine Albums on the size abd EQ of them. They’re bigger, the harmonies are more, um Harmonious and the phrasing is a lot tighter. There’s a couple tracks where the subject matter is pretty personal and that’s a first for me.  I think it serves the song though.

ill have more updates (titles, artwork etc) in the next few days. But I think I’ll have this up and rolling in the next few weeks! Then my focus will be Hell’s Own Drag and writing the next chapter of Delta Shines

Various goings on

I got a lot in the hopper. In another era No Esteemed Deeds promotion would be my only priority for at least a year. But in these modern times it’s pretty much on its own and I’m on to the next thing. Since I don’t really work linearly (that is to say I dabble here and there in things until I’m ready to harvest something and put a project out), it’s easy to have a lot in cue. Here’s what’s cooking

Jefferson Dust- new project is starting to round 3rd base. I’ve got 15 songs I’ve been working on over the past year. I’ve put two covers on my Soundcloud page I intend to include.  They’re sort of indicative of what the album will sound like but sort of not. I bought two new acoustic guitars (Martin Dreadnought and an Alvarez 12 string) that shaped the sound of a few tracks. I’d say the album has a very 70’s hard rock vibe in some parts, full on bluegrass in others and something of a Tom Petty feel in others.  I’m really happy with what’s gotten completed thus far. Need to finish vocals and some other overdubs before it’s really ready to mix and master. Not sure if all 15 tracks will go. Likely I’ll whittle it down to 10.

Hell’s Own Drag- we’ve got 6-7 tracks in a good spot ready to mix. I’m stumped on a few arrangements so I put it aside for a bit. This one will be way more polished and I dunno, “produced”? Sounding than previous HOD releases.  We aimed for it to sit in the early 90’s and I think for the most part we’re succeeding. Material is more melodic for HOD for sure.

Delta Shines- haven’t really pulled anything together yet. I have a sense of style I want to chase. 442 from the first album is a good indicator of where we’ll go with it. I will probably get after this in the summer

.Sys Machine— I really liked how Imminent Domains came out and I wanna  meld that sound with prior Sys Machine releases.  Am thinking a concept album of sorts where songs segue into each other and stuff. The more thought I give it the more I realize it’s a big task so probably be awhile on this.

Derision Cult- I left it all on the court with No Esteemed Deeds.  So nothing in the hopper.  I was listening back to The Grind recently and I think I’d like to revisit that faster thrash feel. Back to real drum samples etc.  I’ll probably start on this in the next couple months.  Before I do that there’s the next order of business

guitar overhaul: I’m going to do some major re-alignment and improvements to the playability of my explorers (main derision Cult axes) and hollow body.  This may take me the month of May to really sort out.

Onwards and upwards!

Keep Makin the donuts

No Esteemed Deeds is doing quite well for me.  I think I have enough distance from it to where I can be somewhat objective. All in all I think I got my point across. One review said something to the effect that it didn’t have the production values of a major label effort (no shit) but it made up in heart. I’ll take it. Same reviewer was drawing some Rammstein similarities which I NEVER intended but I see his point.

Love the press though!  This is the first thing I’ve done where people come finding me and writing which is surreal.  Martin Atkins told me a could weeks ago “it takes 7 years to become an overnight sensation” and I think there’s some truth to that.  On that scale I have three years to go until something happens.

in other news, I’d say of things keep going the way they’re going, another Hell’s Own Drag album or Jefferson Dust is going to be next for South Street Dungeon.  I bought (as opposed to “build” which is unusual for me) two new acoustic guitars which have been a huge inspiration. But at the same time I’m sitting on close to 20 instrumental tracks that need vocals.  Jefferson Dust tracks don’t take much post production but I need to make a lot of them to mine the good stuff. For the 30 odd tracks I’ve put out in the wild there’s over 100 that never made it out of the dungeon.  So I’m honing in!

Hell’s Own Drag is feeling great. Doug and I are hitting on a good creative vein.  If Clench A Fist was a nod to 70’s Metal, the next one will live in 90’s grunge.  That is, it’s that sound filtered through our machine. I’m waiting on a few tracks from Doug and in the midst of this, he’s got a shitload of other projects going on. So it’ll take awhile to bring to fruition. HOD is funny in that my other projects get adds to playlists on internet and radio, and proper press, Hell’s Own Drag actually gets booking agents coming wanting to “book the band”.  One time a venue I used to always want to play at but thumbed their nose at me in my 20’s offered us a headlining spot on a Saturday.  I almost took it and intended to show up with my banjo. But cooler heads prevailed.


I ended up doing an interview with Greenleaf Weekly and No Esteemed Deeds made their “Top 10 New Political Albums You’ll Fall in Love With”.   Pretty happy with that. You can read it at the link below.

Interesting to me because some of the other artists are dealing with political issues around the world I’m not very familiar with

Derision Cult Interview

No Esteemed Deeds Baby!

It’s here!  You can check out No Esteemed Deeds at Bandcamp

It’s also on all the major streaming services (Apple, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Google Play etc).  I’m pretty happy with how this came together and I’m getting pretty solid feedback.  Sam came in before the final pushed and successfully convinced me to roll back a lot of the reverbs and various Eventide effects on the vocals which worked out well.  I’ve done some minor marketing for it, in the way of some sponsored posts on Facebook.  I may make another Reverbnation push because that’s actually getting some attention.  One major change for me is that when I put this out, some press came along.  Had I done this the way it’s meant to be done, I’d have reached out to people already and gotten things lined up.  Pretty flattering they found me.  But in the coming weeks there’ll be some articles, interviews etc related to No Esteemed Deeds.

Meanwhile work proceeds on a few fronts.  I have a load of Jefferson Dust stuff that’s almost ready to go into the “figure out what works and what doesn’t” stage which is where vocals come in.  I was casting about for new ideas around how to handle vocals and recorded a cover of Die Warzau’s Glare.  You can hear it here

I’m working on a remix of a Microwaved single which I hope to dig into today.  I did the guitars on the original and the chord structure basically was built around that.  So I’m pretty familiar with the track.

Also I’m starting to get oriented back around Hell’s Own Drag.  Doug and I have a couple songs tee’d up and about a dozen more song ideas.  This one will be a pretty major step forward.  We deliberately went for a raw sort of late 70s/early 80’s feel on Clench a Fist.  This one will take its cues more from the 90’s.

Onwards and upwards!

No Esteemed Deeds

8A10DD21-B8AE-46FD-8480-E18D7F94E973.jpegComing this weekend!

1. Slaves
2. Get Out1
3. Bring Out the Dead
4. The Rocket Man
5. Pussy Grabs Back
6. One Generation
7. Legion
8. Albatross
9. The First Day
10. Sunlight
11. Shithole Country

On the title- I was throwing around calling it “Let them Eat Cake” since the picture is of some skulls I took that belonged to some French Revolutionaries that now reside in the Catacombs under Paris. But I figured the reference would be lost and people think this is like a Fat Boys album or something. This is actually from a plaque that’s in a park I mountain bike in south of Chicago where they buried all the uranium from the Manhattan Project. I thought given the subjects of the songs and the impact our time now will have on the future it was fitting. The whole message is creepy AF. It’s on this stone that sits in a clearing out in the middle of a forest literally a few miles from any civilization. I guess a few hundred yards underground there’s a concrete encasing of enriched uranium. The idea is to deter generations hundreds of years from now from digging and meddling with the ground there. it reads:

This place is not a place of honor.

No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.

Nothing valued is here.

This place is a message and part of a system of messages.

Pay attention to it!

Sending this message was important to us.

We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.