Thursday, May 10, 2018

Vinyloscopy with Francis of Old Man Wizard

Old Man Wizard...what can I tell you that I didn't already tell you when they were telling us about the foods they love.

So, we'll let Francis do the talking. Here are some comments on the new record.

This album is the result of a years-long winding (and fairly bumpy) road. I started writing it before we released our first record (I think “Never Leave” actually almost made it onto Unfavorable), after which my old band, The Dread Crew of Oddwood, devoured a great deal of my creative attention and time for a few years (and I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have to Old Man Wizard). 
We actually almost recorded Blame It All On Sorcery at some point in 2014 or 2015, but Kris developed pretty bad tendonitis and we had to replace him on drums for a couple of shows. We all wanted him on the album so we decided to take a break until he was able to play again. I think that at the end of the day, all of those hurdles led to a more creative display of the songs, which have been on the back of my mind the whole time. I didn’t change any of them too much, but the time away from the band allowed me to really think about production choices and the presentation of the songs as a cohesive album. 
We went out on a limb with the whole Kickstarter thing, but enough people came through that we got the money to finish putting the album out on our own, and I can’t thank everyone enough for that. To the few of you who have been patiently waiting years for this, I apologize for the delay, and to everyone else, I really hope you love this thing as much as we do.

1. Listening to Black Sabbath's eponymous debut the night I got it blew me away. What's the album that sounds the best on vinyl compared to digital sources?

Pretty much anything that's a very dynamic record, or a gapless album. This is usually just the result of digital masters trying to be as loud as possible, though... 

If you listen to a digital master of something mastered for vinyl, it'll usually sound just as good as the record, to my ears at least. 

2. I was laying in bed one night and couldn't sleep and I figured, it was time to start buying records. How did you come to the idea that it was time to start buying vinyl instead?

I got to thinking I wanted to make records instead of/in addition to CDs, and started buying them to get ideas for layout of the songs and art in the format. 

It's really fun to listen to a record and dig through really cool art and liner notes, so I try to put that kind of experience together on records I make. 

3.For my old stuff, it's vinyl worthy, for new stuff, it's all vinyl if available. Do you buy everything on wax or do you have a vinyl worthy category?

If I'm going to buy it, it's worth buying on vinyl. I usually stream music to discover new stuff, and I'll buy it on vinyl if I find myself constantly coming back to it, or if I see the band live and they really blow me away. 

4. My second living room is where I keep it all. Upstairs, my late 90's receiver, vinyl pream, with a 70's turntable and 70's 5 way speakers. Tell us all about your vinyl set up.

I have a shelf with records on it and a pretty mediocre record player. I don't have a ton of space and most of my money goes into equipment for making music instead of listening. 

If I had a second living room, I'd probably do something like your setup!

5. Do you read the lyrics and go over the inserts when you're spinning?

Absolutely! One of my favorite parts of the format is the giant inserts and art/text in gatefolds. 

6. When someone says, I'm stupid for buying records, I tell them, thanks, more limited edition colored vinyl for me, what's your answer?

I'm stupid for buying video games or books. Hey, it's art, it's entertainment. If you like the artist and think they're doing good stuff, buy the record, don't be ashamed of it. 

7. My first album ever was Live Evil by Black Sabbath, so I'm stuck on live albums. What's the best live album on vinyl?

Tough question, but one of my favorites is Made in Japan by Deep Purple. I don't own a copy, but Rainbow Live in Munich 1977 gives it a run for its money. 

(Preorder their album HERE.)

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