Tuesday 31 January 2017

11 IS ONE LOUDER: Frozen Planet….1969 guitarist Paul Attard picks his top 5 psychedelic releases

Although the band name suggests otherwise, Frozen Planet….1969 dates back to early 2012! It was then that a heavy-psych jam session between two Sydney-based musicians, Paul and Frank Attard, and Canberra-based Lachlan Paine, took place.

Luckily, this afternoon of improvisation at the home of Pepper Shaker Records, Frank Street Studio, was recorded. However, it wasn’t until over a year later that the three decided they should finally mix and release some of the material they had created that day.

They decided this album would be set out like a soundtrack to a film. That film would be called “Frozen Planet….1969”. It was a digital-only release on Pepper Shaker Records. Pretty soon this one-off release would become a band called Frozen Planet….1969. The emphasis would be on improvisation. No vocals, just straight-out instrumental jamming. This band would consist of Paul Attard- guitar, Lachlan Paine- bass and Frank Attard- drums. It was basically a side-project for the three of them. Paul and Frank had been playing in the stoner-doom band, Mother Mars. Lachlan was playing in the Canberra heavy rock trio, Looking Glass. After playing on numerous bills together over the years it seemed only natural there would be some sort of collaboration between the two bands at some point.

Frozen Planet….1969 played its first show in February 2014 and it was also around this time that the band recorded another mammoth jam session. From this jam session came the second and third releases for the band, “Lost Traveller Chronicles, Volume 1” (released 20th August 2014) and “Lost Traveller Chronicles, Volume 2” (released 6th May 2015). The concept this time would be a travel journal through the constellations, with each song being a chapter from the journal! Both volumes were released in digital and physical format on Pepper Shaker Records.

Fast forward then to 11/1/2017 and with Frozen Planet….1969 releasing their latest album “Electric Smokehouse” the chemistry between the players – Paul Attard on guitar, Lachlan Paine on bass and Frank Attard on drums is stronger than ever and can be heard in each one of these new cuts. In fact, it’s not only heard, its felt, and that’s what makes this record sound so great. The music is alive, it moves, it gels, and best of all, it’s both heavy and psychedelic.

Given that the album has left such an imprint upon us here at Sludgelord acres, we decided to hook us with the band and  get them to talk about influences. So here is guitarist Paul Attard to talk through his top 5 psych based records, as we take our weekly trip to the extreme, by cranking it to 11.  Why do we go to 11,  because “It’s one louder, isn’t it?”

Hi there.

It's Paul, the guitarist in Frozen Planet....1969 here.

I have a list here of five albums loosely in the psych genre that I absolutely love and have inspired and influenced me in some way with my own music.  I tried to aim mainly for heavy psych rock but there were certain albums I just couldn't look past and they still tie in with psychedelia in some way and they fit in with the spirit of what Frozen Planet....1969 is all about.

These are in no particular order!

Jimi Hendrix “Band Of Gypsys”

A great example of a jam band and psych rock. This album was recorded live at the Fillmore East and featured Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums.  Everything Jimi Hendrix did was great but I've chosen this album because it features some amazing jamming and tonnes of soul! And it was a band that hardly had time to prepare before the show.  They just chose a few songs, got up on stage and then just jammed out.  'Machine Gun' is a stand-out if you want total heavy psych guitar. Hendrix, Cox and Miles on this album (known as the Band Of Gypsys) are just the ultimate psych-rock jam band.  Some seriously groovy bass and drums fill this album also. Only six songs were chosen for the album. These songs were taken from concerts over New Year's Eve and New Year's Day 1969/1970.  So much other great material was left out!

Hawkwind Hawkwind
Hawkwind are known more for being a space-rock band but their first album has more of a psychedelic vibe to it.  It features not only some dark, trippy psych but also some acoustic, more folky, blues sounding material- Which is more where guitarist/vocalist Dave Brock was coming from.  Bottom line is, the range of sounds on this album- acoustic twelve-string guitar and harmonica, some shuffling beats to crazy, way-out sound effects and heavier, darker guitar sounds- covers a great deal of what I like to hear.

Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band “Safe As Milk”

Certainly not a heavy psych rock album!  But this is just great.  Straight out psychedelia. And with just the right amount of blues which is what the Magic Band had been doing for a couple of years leading up to this album. And I guess it goes without saying that the blues element is a big part of the foundation of psychedelia and psych rock anyway!  Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) put together a batch of psych (and blues) flavoured songs for this album and made them all even more unique with his amazing deep voice over the top. He was always experimenting with sound too and was always evolving.  The magic band (especially in the incarnation that followed this album) were no strangers to the extended jam as well.

Atomic Rooster - “Death Walks Behind You”

This is more of a heavy prog rock album but I think you could still call it a psych rock album. In 1970 most heavy music still seemed to have a psych or blues vibe to it anyway.  Some amazing energy in these tunes and some great musicianship.  They do stretch out at times and jam.  They managed just fine on this album without a bass player with Vincent Crane covering basslines on the organ.  Crane also used a piano on this album and used it to great effect.  Overall, this album is a great example of early heavy rock involving three musicians who could improvise really well together.

Monster Magnet “25........Tab”
Also known as just "Tab".  This recording is often recognised as an EP or mini-album but I think with an opening track that goes for about half-an-hour and a total playing time of over fifty minutes we can safely call this an album.  The opening track 'Tab' features some great psych guitars and tape delay sound effects as well as some great, solid, driving, yet laid back bass and drums. And later in the song if you zone in on what Wyndorf is saying it only adds to the trip!  A great example of psych rock from the early 90's.

Band info: bandcamp || facebook