Good news! MFT friend and our favorite guitar player for My Morning Jacket, Carl Broemel
, is releasing a new record and touring through Indy in October to support it. Check it out! Jeb will be playing with Brando for this one, too.
CARL BROEMEL w/ Brando, Cabin
Thursday, October 7th
1119 E. Prospect St.
8:00 / 21+ / $10
Get Tickets Here - http://carlbroemel.eventbrite.com/
We spoke with Carl a few weeks back. What a charming fellow. He gave us the skinny on what he's up to and his new record, All Birds Say, which hits stores on August 31st:Can you give us a brief personal music history as it relates to Indiana?
I started playing in bands while attending Pike High School in Indianapolis, then went to IU to study classical guitar and recording techniques. I spent many years in various Indiana bands including: Planet Earth
, Neenah Foundry,
and Old Pike
. Old Pike made an ep for Flat Earth
and full length record for Epic, we did lots of touring then broke up after the first album.
How did you hook up with the guys from My Morning Jacket?
Back in 2003 I was living in LA, playing with various people. I wasn’t super happy with what I was doing musically at the time, when I got a call from the band’s publisher to see if I was interested in coming in to play and meet them. Of course I was interested, I had heard a few songs, and really liked them, but had never seen the band live. Unknowingly, I had actually teared up while listening to “I will sing you songs” on KCRW in LA. I just heard the end of the song, the musical coda and climax of the song, and I specifically remember thinking “I want to be doing something like THAT!!, what band is this, and how do I get to do that??!!” I didn’t even know what song it was until I bought all the records, starting learning the parts…I was already loving the music I was learning, but when that song came on It felt like the universe had given me a gift.
I also noticed that my old friend Bobby Bare Jr. was thanked in the credits of one of the records. So I called him and asked if he knew what was happening, and if I would like the guys. He explained that John and Danny had decided to leave the band, that he thought I might fit in with everyone, and that I would probably love all the guys. He put in a good word for me. Bobby was right on all accounts. I did a few song audition, I thought it went well, but you never know! and two days later, JIm called me and said “hey man….thanks so much for coming by….and uh…Im sorry…but…” I could tell he was smiling, even over the phone, so I wasn’t buying it! We all met up that night and hung out together for the first time, which was great, then Bo and I flew to louisville, rehearsed for a few days, and hit the road.
You guys seem to tour a ton! Can you share some tips on how you stay sane on the road?
No matter what you do, it is really tough to stay sane on a tour that lasts longer than a few weeks. The most important thing to maintaining an unscrambled brain is to get some sleep when it is avaliable. That means sometimes being “lame” and not hangin out, or skippin out on a cool activity in an amazing city just to hole up and rest a little. I also like to squeeze in a round of golf occasionally to clear my head and get some exercise.
What inspired this new solo record and how'd you find the time to write and record it?
I had been working on songs that led up to this album during my whole time living in LA, just on a laptop in my apartment. Some of those songs are now on MFT
as “lose what’s left.” I think this new record is a slight improvement over the first in the songs and production, even thought it too started out just as demos. I really am indebted to Teddy Morgan, who coproduced and engineered the album, and Richard Medek who played drums. They were very willing to work on it just for the fun of it, and encouraged me to keep at it. The three of us originally joined up to do some improvised jamming, we call this project “Winthorp.” After one of these sessions, I played them one of my songs, and we decided to try and record it. Because of my touring schedule and Richard and Teddy’s schedule, sometimes 6 months or more would pass between recording days. But we’d just reconvene when possible to do another song, or some overdubs. We started in 2005 and finished in 2009, but probably spent about 40 days working on it.
I’ve always loved records like “Pink Moon”, the mellow songs from Yo la Tengo and Big Star records, Simon and Garfunkle, Ron Sexmith, Paul McCartney’s solo songs like “Junk”. I think those records have seeped into my brain deeply, and probably influence the record. Also, lots of the songs were written late at night, while trying to keep quiet in the house, so maybe that played into the mood of the album as well.
What are some of your favorite Indiana-related bands or records? (past or present)
I remember being in Second Story in Bloomington, and having my mind blown by awesome bands like Sardina
, The Mysteries of Life
, United States Three
, Chamberlain, and many others. I was so inspired and educated by just being around those bands, and getting to see how its done. I think I was a little younger than most of those people, so I really looked up to them, they all had their shit together, and were just fantastic bands. I wonder sometimes what reception Sardina would get these days if they could’ve released “Presents” and had the chance to make a few more full length records. I really think they would’ve been huge and influential beyond what they were then. I haven’t seen many musicians since then that hold a candle to Lon Paul from Sardina’s drumming, or Mark Maher’s bass talents and Vess’s guitar playin abilities from US3. I still listen to MOL’s “Come Clean” and “Distant Relative” records often, and I think Jake Smith is my favorite songwriter from that whole scene.
We've had a lot of discussions about the future of the music industry on MFT. How do you see it evolving?
Man, who knows? I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about this question, although I probably should! It feels to me that most people have predicted that labels will no longer exist, but they seem to keep creeping along and surviving for the time being. So maybe we will see a hybrid of the extreme futuristic vision of “direct from band to fan” combined with the old business model of bands, labels, and fans. I don’t see the touring end of things going away too much, except for huge, huge acts that have really expensive tickets and fans that may or may not be in for the long haul.
I hope the end result of the way things are going is that bands are forced to grow independently. Bands should get the chance to make mistakes, make a few albums and truly become self sufficient rather than becoming dependent on a big label. Because if you do that, you just might only make one album, have one shot, then all go back to day jobs. I’ve seen it happen first and second hand so many times.
I also see a fidelity revolution happening eventually. I hope people eventually realize how crappy mp3’s sound in relation to CDs or, especially, vinyl. In a way, this is already happening. All we need are bigger ipods so we don’t have to compress the audio to 1/10th of its natural size. I predict that listening to vinyl will be prescribed by psychiatrists to reduce stress and force people to take a deep breath as they turn the record over….
When is My Morning Jacket going to headline The Vogue with Peyton Manning on lead guitar, John Mellencamp on tambourine and Axl Rose on drums?
All three of those guys have an open invitation to any MMJ concert from here to eternity. Bring it on!
Thanks Carl! Can't wait for the show. For now, you can download a song and preorder the record through his website below: