Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eets Feats interview with Michael Goodwin, Erik Camacho and Ricky Bianchi


Did you ever want your favorite garage-band from 1965 to get into a time-machine so they could hang out with guys like Ty Segall, Charlie Moothart and The Cramps?  Well have no fear!  Eets Feats are here to solve that problem for you!  That being said I don’t want to imply that these guys are at all derivative of anything that’s come before them, they have their own vicious throbbing, echoing attack on the ideals of garage, psych and surf from the 60’s and 70’s.  Twisted guitars, fuzzy but not to distorted or blown out enough to be unintelligible, are teamed with a reverb echo-drenched vocal attack, thunderous bass bubbling up from the bottom end intertwining with tastefully understated drumming teeming with some seriously sick surf influence, Eets Feats are one of those bands that are either tailor-made for you, or you are just not going to get.  At once confrontational and fiercely original and paying tribute to a lot of hardcore and garage psych that’s come before them, Eets Feats are sometimes as nonsensical as their name and at other points, intriguingly and unassumingly complicated and intricate.  In the middle of an Indiegogo campaign to release their latest album Trash From Our Lips on vinyl I managed to get all three founding members to sit down and powwow with me about the bands past, and more importantly where they’re headed from here.  So take a dip in the reverb with me as a peel back the layers of mysticism with the guys of Eets Feats!
Listen while you read: http://eetsfeats.bandcamp.com/

What’s your current lineup?  Is this your original lineup or have you gone through some changes over time?

Eets Feats:  Our current lineup is Michael Goodwin (guitar and vocals), Erik Camacho (drums and vocals), and Ricky Bianchi (Bass and vocals).  We’ve been this way since the beginning in 2009.

The more people I talk to the more I find that it’s common place for people to be in several bands simultaneously these days.  Are any of you involved with any other bands at this point?  Have you released any music with any other bands?  If so can you talk a little bit about it?

Erik:  I play guitar and sing in Low Times with Michael.  We also had a band together called Erekeecludi y Los Dinos and I played drums in P.A.T.S.Y. when I lived in San Antonio.

Michael:  I play drums in Low Times with Erik, bass in a band called Pinkeye and I just started a synth punk band called Massageinist.

Ricky:  I’m about to start playing guitar for Flower Jesus from San Antonio.  I also have a project I recently started writing stuff for called Sugarcoated.

Where are you originally from?

Eets Feats:  We all grew up in San Antonio, Texas.

Were your households musical growing up?  Were either one of your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely involved/interested in music?

Erik:  I grew up in a creative environment.  My Grandpa was a musician and where I got the name AyeAyeAye from, my mom loved to sing and dance and my dad is an artist.  Every Saturday we spent listening to records all day together.

Michael:  No one in the household I grew up in played any instruments but they all loved music which allowed me to listen to a wide range of tunes growing up.  Although I guess my dad did play drums in a KISS cover band though.

Ricky:  My dad used to play bass when he was younger.  I ended up using his bass when I was a kid.  My grandfather was a touring mariachi singer back in the day.  Him and my mom both encouraged making music.

What was your first real exposure to music?  When and why did you decide you wanted to start writing/performing your own music?

Erik:  I started listening to music at a very young age and started playing instruments around ten years old.  It wasn’t until much later I decided to pursue it seriously, but I’ve always loved it.

Michael:  Always loved music for as long as I can remember and my grandpa and I used to drum on any and every surface that was in front of us with our fingers or pencils, etcetera.  When I was in the seventh-grade my grandpa bought me my first acoustic guitar and that was that.  I knew I only wanted to play music.

Ricky:  I grew up listening to everything my parents and sister were listening to, tons of 80’s and 90’s music.  I didn’t start writing and performing music until high school.  I started a band with some friends and played shows around San Antonio.

Where’s the band currently located?

Eets Feats:  We have all lived in Austin, Texas for the last five years.

How would you describe the local music scene there?

Michael:  The music scene is awesome here.  It’s very different from San Antonio but great.  There are some really amazing bands here for sure and I can honestly say there’s music here that has blown me away.

Are you very involved in the scene?

Michael:  I feel like we’re very involved with the music scene here because of our jobs and projects.  Erik works for an equipment rental company so without that lots of showcases and festivals would have nothing to throw a show with.  I work at Beerland which is a music venue, running sound and booking shows and Ricky designs websites for bands.


Has it played a large role in the history, sound or evolution of Eets Feats?

Erik:  I think so.  We all moved up here at the same time.  We had started jamming together and becoming great friends.  I remember it was during SXSW 2009, that we were hanging, having a blast at all the shows when we were like, “we can totally do this.”  The scene is solid here.  There are so many great venues to play and people always coming out to hang.  Without the support from here and San Antonio, who knows what would have happened to us.

When and how did you all originally meet and when was that?

Michael:  I’ve known Ricky and his family since I was about six years old because his little cousin was my best friend for many, many, years and we used to play Power Rangers together.  Then when Ricky and I moved to Austin, Erik happened to be living across the street from us so we jammed a lot.  I had known Erik from my High school in San Antonio through his little brother who was my age.

Ricky:  Michael pretty much summed up how we met.  I met Erik through my cousin Rob, who is also cousins with Erik on different sides of the family.  Rob is the same cousin that introduced me to Michael.  Kinda weird!

What led to the formation of Eets Feats and when was that?

Erik:  Hanging out, smoking weed and drinking back in 2008 back when we were Wizard Piss.

Ricky:  That’s pretty much it.  Ha-ha

What does the name Eets Feats mean or refer to?

Michael:  It means absolutely nothing.  It was a random formation of letters and sounds that we came up with one day while hanging out.  We knew we wouldn’t have to worry about anyone else taking the name because it was so arbitrary.  I like it though.

I hate to classify and label music, it probably doesn’t help that I’m awful at it either.  Can you describe your sound to our readers that haven’t heard Eets Feats yet?

Eets Feats:  Noisy, loud, shredding, surf, punk in the fashion of Dead Kennedys, Redcross and Black Flag and a touch of Chicha influence for some flava.

You all have an awesome sound!  Can you tell us about who some of your personal musical influences are?  What about the band a whole as opposed too individually?

Michael:  Honestly I don’t think we could describe that because we all listen to a wide variety of music, which is why I think we were able to do something a little different.  I think it’s safe to say that the three genres that helped us pave the sound are Chicha, punk and surf.

Can you talk about the songwriting process for Eets Feats?  Is there a lot of exchanging ideas and jamming around or does someone come to the rest of the band with a more finished idea to work out and compose?

Erik:  Michael usually comes up with some guitar riffs that he and I will work out over some drum ideas.  It’s more or less an organic process.

Ricky:  I add the bass from there.

Do you all enjoy going into the studio and recording?  As a musician myself I think we all love the end product, there’s not a lot that can beat holding an album in your and knowing it’s yours.  Getting into the studio can be a little rough to say the least though.  How is it in the studio for you all?

Erik:  We love it in there.  Our last full length, Trash From Our Lips was recorded within a couple of days with most of the tracking done within the first six hours!

Michael:  Yeah we love it and are fortunate enough to always have a lot of freedom with time in the studio because we either record at home or in the studio my friend Ian Rundell and I have called 2nd Hand Taco Studios.

Ricky:  I love being in the studio!  2nd Hand Taco Studios is a really nice spot to record.  I think we’ve learned to work really well together. 

Do you all do a lot of prep work before you enter the studio or do you all play it more off the cuff and let things evolve and change as they might need?

Erik:  I think it’s all about rehearsing beforehand.  If you’re able to get the tracking for the skeleton of each song done quickly, it leaves you more time to experiment with changes, effects and overdubs.

Ricky:  I definitely prefer to practice a bunch before going into the studio.

Let’s take a little while and talk about your back catalog a little bit.  Your first release was 2011’s split 7” EP with Low Times on Aye Aye Aye Records.  Can you talk about your memories of recording that first album?  Did you all enjoy the process?  When was that material recorded?  Who recorded it?  Where was it recorded?  What kind of equipment was used?  Is that 7” still in print?

Erik:  Of course it’s always fun recording.  Especially when you know it’s going on wax.  Back then I was doing most of the recording in our living room with rented equipment.  Michael did the post-production for the Eets Feats side.  I love the way they came out, super gritty and lo-fi.  We just sold out of the three-hundred we pressed during our last tour.  I have my copy, but I’m sad they’re finally gone.


You followed the split EP up in 2012 with a wicked flexi-single for the Summer Flexi Series for Rotted Tooth Recordings on yellow vinyl all hand-numbered and limited to only two-hundred-and-fifty copies.  Was the recording of that material very different than the session(s) for the earlier split?  When was that material recorded?  Who recorded it?  Where was it recorded at?  What kind of equipment was used? 

Michael:  I love the way those came out and I love that label!  Those songs were different mixes of tracks from Seafoam Chaffa before it had been released.  We did try using a different mic selection for Seafoam Chaffa and we also tried recording drums in a different room then the tracks for the 7” split.  We recorded all of that with rented equipment at our house in 2012 and I did the post production. 


This year (2013) you’ve unleashed another split, this time on cassette and with Catholic Spray through Aye Aye Aye.  How did the collaboration with Catholic Spray come about, they’re a French band if I remember correctly and am not sticking my foot in my mouth, ha-ha!

Michael:  Oh they’re French alright, and such a sick band too.  We were stoked to be able to work with them but the way we were able to do that was pretty random and probably wouldn’t have happened without the internet, ha-ha!  We noticed that one of the members, Antoine, had put an old Eets Feats song on a compilation for a blog and after that he began e-mailing me.  We would trade music and then Antoine let me know that they had some new tracks they wanted to release before their 12” came out.  Great band and I can’t wait to see them and play with them when they tour the states this fall.


Can you tell us about the recording of the material for that split with Catholic Spray?  Where was it recorded?  When was the material recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?  Did you write that material specifically for the split or had did you have some unused recordings that found a home on the Catholic Spray split?

Michael:  Well Catholic Spray recorded all of their own stuff and sent it to us for the split tape.  For the Eets Feats side we used three songs that were recorded at Las Olas Studios in Georgetown, Texas by Tim Dittmar to 2” tape; “Creep Show”, “Burnt Out” and “Beer vibes”.  The other two songs, “Crust Factor” and “Braino Draino”, were written shortly before the release and recorded at our house again.

Why the switch from vinyl to cassettes?

Erik:  We love both formats.  Cassettes are just easier to produce.  We are planning to co-release Trash From Our Lips on vinyl with another Austin local label, Threadpull Records.

Does Eets Feats have any music that we haven’t talked about yet?  If so can you tell us about it?

Michael:  We used to be called Wizard Piss before we came up with Eets Feats and the music was totally different.  It was very ambient and a lot slower but we never played any of those songs live although we do have demos of all of that stuff.  We also made a five song demo CD that we recorded with Garageband and an M Audio box which we plugged all instruments directly into because we had no amps yet and had two drum pieces.  We used a floor tom and a rack tom with no rack set on a stool.  I still like those recordings because they sound so dirty but the music was a bit different then.

Ricky:  Our first Self-Titled full length was released on cassette.  We’ve also released two splits on cassette with P.A.T.S.Y. and Low Times.  This was back when we played with two guitars and a few drum set pieces.

Are there any plans for a full-length or any other releases planned or on the horizon right now?

Michael:  We are currently saving up to release Trash From Our Lips on vinyl right now and we’ve also started an Indiegogo for that as well.  The link for that is right here: http://igg.me/at/EetsFeatsTrashFromOurLips/x/3498641


You all have released a bunch of stuff with Aye Aye Aye Records.  How did you originally get hooked up with them?  How’s your relationship?  It seems like you all must get along pretty considering you’ve released everything except one single in your back catalog with them ha-ha!  Do you plan on continuing to work with them in the future?

Erik:  Aye Aye Aye Tapes Escapes is a DIY record label we run ourselves from our home in Austin.  There are all sorts of awesome things planned for the future.

Where’s the best place for our U.S. readers to pick up your music?

Michael:  We have our label website at www.ayeayeaye.com but if they are in town then a show would be the ideal spot to pick something up.

Ricky:  You can download our music at http://eetsfeats.bandcamp.com.

What about our poor international and overseas readers?  With the recent international postage rate hikes I try to provide an alternate way for them to pick up stuff whenever possible!

Michael:  Yeah I hate that and unfortunately the only thing I can suggest is a digital download maybe.

And where’s the best place for our readers to keep up on the latest news like upcoming album releases and shows at?

Michael:  We have a blog on our website www.ayeayeaye.com that we update to let people know what’s going on with the band and what the label’s up to.

Are there any plans or goals that Eets Feats is trying to accomplish in 2013?

Michael:  We want to have this Trash From Our Lips full-length out on vinyl, record a 7”, tour the new record and start working out a new full-length.

What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?

Michael:  We may be touring overseas with our other band Low Times fairly soon, but we’re trying to get on a steady regimen of two tours a year.

You have played with some seriously killer bands!  Who are some of your personal favorites that you’ve had the chance to share a bill with?

Michael:  TYVEK, The Coathangers, The Thermals, P.A.T.S.Y., Lisa Frank, Useless Eaters, Fungi Girls, Sonny Vincent and SNAX.

Ricky:  The Thermals, Useless Eaters, Fungi Girls, The Coathangers, Rose Windows, Rayon Beach, TYVEK, So Pitted, Heavy Cream, Holy Wave, plus tons more.

Erik:  Definitely.


Do you have any funny or interesting stories for live shows that you’d like to share with us?

Ricky:  We accidently broke into some old guy’s house on our first tour.  Some friends from the Marfa Ballroom had offered us a house to sleep.  After seeing the Marfa lights, we headed back to the house around 4AM.  Only one of the houses had a number on it, so we tried to guess which house was our sleeping spot.  We walked into what we thought was the house, when all of a sudden a naked old man ran out of his room yelling at us to get out.  We tried to tell him it was a mistake and we weren’t breaking in, but he wasn’t having it.  We bailed!  We later found out that he was the town nut and he wished he would have shot us.  What a crazy fucker!

© Miranda Imanol

Do you spend a lot of time on the road?  Do you enjoy touring?

Michael:  We don’t get to spend enough time touring if you ask me.  I love it.

In your dreams, who are you on tour with?

Erik:  TYVEK, all over the world.

Michael:  The Dead Kennedys at their prime and Kenny Rogers is our roady.

Ricky:  It’d be cool to tour with The Spits.

With all the various methods of release available to artists today I’m always intrigued to find out why they choose and prefer the particular mediums that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music, if so what is that and why?  What about when you are buying and listening to music?

Erik:  I love collecting records but I love listening to tapes wherever I go.

Michael:  I grew up listening to tapes, 8 tracks and records so I love all of those.  I don’t have an 8 track player anymore though.

Ricky:  Tapes and records are my preference.  They sound different every time.

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so can you tell us about it?

Michael:  We all have tapes and records we’ve collected over the years but we always want more music to digest.

I am absolutely obsessed with music.  I love all the facets of music.  Live shows, talking to people and most importantly I enjoy a good album.  Nothing beats having a physical object to hold in your hands, artwork to look at, liner notes to read.  It all serves for a more complete listening experience offering a brief but rare glimpse into the mind of the artists that made it; at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with physical releases?

Michael:  Absolutely.  I hate the fact that bands are starting to just give you a sticker with the album download on it.  There’s no tangibility anymore and it sucks because all of the facets you’ve mentioned are the reasons that music is so appealing to me.  It requires so many artistic elements to make a finished product and that means collaboration which is my favorite aspect of creating something.

I’m a second generation music collector, hell I’m the one that convinced my father to stop getting rid of music even though it was consuming our living space ha-ha!  But as much as I love my CD, record and tape collections I have to admit that I love my digital music.  I’ve never been able to take my entire record collection on the go before, and finding new bands has completely changed!  It’s like a whole new world of music was opened up in front of me!  On the other hand digital music has done a lot of damage to the infrastructure of the existing, or at least what was left, of the music industry.  As an artist during the reign of the digital era what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

Michael:  As mentioned before I really don’t like it when bands just opt out of putting anything tangible out but I don’t deny the positives the internet and digital music has provided for listeners.  Now people find out about bands all of the time if they choose to look, which does take some of the mysticism out of sifting through music at a shop and having to play it there to see if you like it.  The digital era has made us spoiled and plays to the idea of instant gratification but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t always downloading tunes from blogs and mediafire links.  Just like anything else it’s both good and bad.  It just depends on how you use it.

If you can’t tell I’m passionate about music and that means I’m always on the hunt for the next best thing, or at least some good tunes!  I find a lot of stuff for myself online but I basically grew up at the local record shop and some of the best tips I’ve ever gotten are from the straight from the horse’s mouth, chatting with touring musicians and store employees.  Who should I be listening to from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of before?

Eets Feats:  Moonwalks, Holy Wave, Hidden Ritual, Ghetto Ghouls, Ghost Police, Spokesmodel, PBLC, Burnt Skull, Crooked Bangs, Gory Details, Spray Paint, Naked Pictures, Feral Future, Wiccans,  Rattlesnake Milk and Dikes of Holland.

What about nationally and internationally?


Eets Feats:  Spirit Valley, Catholic Spray, Fag Cop, Dreamtime and Connan Mockasin.
















DISCOGRAPHY
(2009)  Eets Feats/P.A.T.S.Y. – Eets Feats/P.A.T.S.Y. Split  – Cassette - Aye Aye Aye Records
(2010)  Eets Feats – Eets Feats – Cassette Tape – Aye Aye Aye Records
(2011)  Eets Feats/Low Times – Eets Feats/Low Times Split – Cassette Aye Aye Aye Records
(2011)  Eets Feats/Low Times – Eets Feats/Low Times EP – 7” – Aye Aye Aye Records
(2012)  Eets Feats – Sumer Flexi Series – Flexi-Single – Rotted Tooth Recordings (Limited to 250 hand-numbered copies on yellow vinyl with scree-printed jackets)
(2012)  Eets Feats – Seafoam Chafa – Cassette Tape – Aye Aye Aye Records
(2013)  Eets Feats/Catholic Spray – Eets Feats/Catholic Spray Split – Cassette Tape – Aye Aye Aye Records
(2013)  Eets Feats – Trash From Our Lips – 12”, Cassette Tape - Aye Aye Aye Records

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013

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