Some suitable music was playing on the the stereo, some none too bad booze was being drunk and some Twitter action was going on between me (Tom - vocals in Allfather), Curtis from DewarPR (our PR guy) and Nik from Glacially Musical.
Twenty minutes later, following a chat about hustling bands, a-non existent interview request and some sweet talking by Curtis, we were arranging me to interview Nik rather than the normal, traditional approach of music writer questioning bands.
Make sense? Thought not...here's the result:
Tom of Allfather: What came first: loving music or wanting to write?
Nik Cameron of Glacially Musical: I have loved music longer than I have been able to read, write, or form a coherent sentence. My earliest memory is wearing a diaper, baseball themed socks that I "borrowed" from my stepsister, and attempting to play a harmonica. Even 38 years later, I've still not mastered it, and that kind of haunts me.
I remember playing records, owning a Grease single, and more from a very long time ago. I cannot recall a time when music wasn't a major part of my life.
AF: Was there an article or review that you read that made you think "I want to do this?"
GM: No, I didn't have any sort of epiphany like that. Writing is something I've always done. From the earliest part of the social media era I have had something going on. I've run blogs on food, sports, and beer.
I even had "job" writing press releases for an indoor soccer team.
At some point the conclusion came to me, I'm not going to get Wil Wheaton famous writing about slingers and fish frys, tasty though they are.
As I love music, I thought I should write about my personal journey returning to the world of modern music. In time record labels, PR agencies, and bands came to me and asked me to review their work.
Now, I've worked my way up to Grade A Nobody in the music business! My goal is Grade D Flunkie by summer's end.
AF: How has the internet effected your love of writing and music?
GM: The internet hasn't really affected my love of writing, but it has emboldened it. I've always loved to write. There are millions of opinions running through my head at any given time and being able to express them to an audience is very reaffirming. Growing up the way I did, being heard is something that's always been of the utmost importance to me.
As for music, it affects me differently than most people I think. Aside from a track here or there from Napster on dial up, I've never downloaded illegally and I rarely use iTunes or Amazon for purchasing digital music, but what it has done is allowed me to be a recipient and a conduit for now, hundreds of bands. I've reviewed over 500 albums and by year's end, thanks to Danny coming on board, it'll be nearly 900 albums reviewed.
I've also been able to make internet friends with PR guys, bands, and lots of people in the music journalism community. It's has been really nice to be able to conduct the few face to face interviews I've done with artists I already love like Rex Brown of Kill Devil Hill and Pantera or James Leg. Meeting the guys in Karma To Burn and Felix Martin was also totally awesome.
It's also nice that I've even gotten dressed down Axl Rosenberg of Metalsucks thanks to Twitter! I should also mention all the time spent watching music videos on YouTube with my daughter. Babymetal, The Beastie Boys, Kiss, and more. It's wonderful to have the songs at the touch of a button with my Roku Box.
AF: Rate in order of preference: Digital, CD, Vinyl, Cassette and why?
GM: This is harder question. I'll say this much, CD and cassette are the odd men out. I mean, I have two stereos in my house and I don't have a CD player or tape deck connected to either one. The big stereo downstairs is for the home theater and I hook up my iPhone or my PC to it in order to play music. I only have a single cassette tape left which happens to be the first indie band I ever bought, Crucible and old Metallica styled St. Louis local band.
The only CD player in our house is in a combo unit that basically never gets used.
Digital is how I listen to music about 90% of the time, but vinyl is my favorite, but it's partly because of what vinyl represents to me. I ONLY purchase the best of the best on vinyl. My favorite bands only get one or two vinyl in my collection, the Slug Club as I call it.
So I guess it's vinyl, digital, CD/Cassette tied.
AF: Is there an album you wanted to love but hated and another you wanted to hate but loved?
GM: I'm going to have to go with "St. Anger" by Metallica.
The first time I heard anything from that record was when Metallica was being honored and they played a verse and a chorus of "Frantic" at the end of a medley and it was heavy, boy and angry. When I heard the record though...Jesus it was a pile.
All the swagger was gone due to the recording process and having Bob Rock on bass. The nu-metal snare sound also was a killer.
Live it sounded like Metallica and I was pumped...the album sounded like fart though.
As for wanted to hate but loved, I'm going to have to go back to the Metallica well with "Lulu." Hearing "Brandenburg Gate" for the first time and I couldn't believe what I was hearing, but that didn't stop me from preordering the album.
Since then, I've come to realize that I just love pretentious concept records and that album in particular. I ordered it on vinyl from England because it had to go in the Slug Club.
AF: Sum up your personality in 5 songs.
GM: Five songs to describe myself...?
"Sway" (Rolling Stones Cover) by Left Lane Cruiser and James Leg.
"Heartwork" by Carcass
"Fur Elise" by Beethoven
"Gratitude" by The Beastie Boys
"Illy Oi" by MC Chris
AF: The house is burning down, you get to save one piece of music, what is it?
GM: Damn...that's hard. I guess it would come down to either "Lulu" by Lou Reed and Metallica or "The Boats of the Glen Carrig" by Ahab...both on double vinyl, both purchased from Europe, but in the end I think Ahab would be easier to replace and making sure that Loutallica album was saved would piss a bunch of people off.
AF: It's Friday night, you're about to go out on the town, what album goes on to get you all pumped?
GM: It would have to be "Check Your Head" by the Beastie Boys. That one's in the Slug Club and it's just hands down the best album by them. Between fist pumping anthems, amazing punk rock, hip-hop to die for, and the B5 Hammond Organ...I get tingles thinking about that record.
Gods I need to spin that tonight.
AF: Do you get writers block and if so how do you get over it?
GM: Being a person with OCD and Anxiety Disorder, yes I get writers block. There are times when I'm REALLY discouraged like when a record I love so much gets too few views or when I've had a bad week for hits.
Lots of times I'll listen to an album and think this is good, but I'm not feeling it. Typically what I do is just stop for the day and try again the next day. It's worked out quite well many times.
AF: What's the best song of the new Allfather record and why?
GM: I'm going to punk out on this question. Alex Chappo of Chappo asked me the same question about Future Former Self after a show in St. Louis and I'll tell you the same thing I told him: I don't look at songs but full albums. Ahab's "The Boats of the Glen Carrig" is one of my favorite albums of 2015 and I couldn't tell you the names of the songs, how a single song goes, but I can tell you how the album makes me FEEL.
I listen to music for albums. There have been times where before I sat down to review and album, the songs sounded terrible out of context but then sounded great when I listened to the whole thing and the reverse is also true.
Unless an album has been in my collection for many years, I just don't know singular tracks. Especially in the digital age.
The Allfather record is a wonderful piece of sludge dipped in thrash metal covered in anger. The songs made my head bob and feet stomp. I'll say the opening track, whose name I don't recall, grabbed my attention and forced me into it.