Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where Do We Go From Here?

Embers has been laying low since losing our keyboardist Lillian Phaeton, but there is still a lot going on. We're mixing our new album, playing some upcoming shows, planning for a tour to coincide with the release of our new album, and brainstorming to figure out what kind of configuration our line-up will become since losing both our violist and keyboardist.

The Album

We have been working on a new full length album since completing our last tour. This is the first album without Nine's viola and the last to feature Lillian Phaeton's keyboards. We have been playing many of the songs on this album live so a quick search of the web will produce some live footage of the new material. The album is being recorded and mixed at Earhammer Studios by Salvador Raya as were our first album as well as our split L.P.

Sal hard at work mixing some other bands album.
Progress on the mixing has been pretty slow due mainly to us deciding prior to finalizing the mix to start all over. At first we wanted to use only our live guitar tracks, but we decided that the tone pretty much sucked so we recorded an entire second layer of guitars. We also re-did the entire drum mix and equalization as well. Hopefully we won't kill each other when we return to re-finalize the mix. If we decided not to re-start over we should be able to pre-release the album by the end of February, but more on that later.

Upcoming Shows

So after taking some time off from live performances we have confirmed two upcoming shows. One is a benefit for Melanie Chavarria RIP at 924 Gilman with Brainoil on February 26, 2011. The other is with Alarich and Vastum on March 25 at the Church of  thee Buzzard.

The benefit at Gilman is to raise money for the child of Melanie Chavarria who passed away relatively recently.

Melanie Chavarria RIP

Melanie has been part of the Bay Area heavy music scene for many years. She sang in a number of bands most notably Exit Wound and Insidious. Kelly and I (Steve) became acquainted with Melanie when our previous band Lesser of Two shared a practice space with Insidious. She has many friends in the Bay Area heavy music scene, and is deeply missed. The benefit aspect of this event will be to raise money for her family most notably her child. Jake Martinez from Neurotoxicity is the central organizer.

The line up for the show so far is Embers, Brainoil, Neurotoxicity, Alaric, SMD, Lie Still, and more TBA.

The show on March 25, 2011 features Embers, Atriarch (from Portland, Oregon), Vastum, and Headless Lizzy. I do not have the address for Church of thee Buzzard right now so for the time being you're on your own on that one.

Upcoming Tour

Currently we are reaching out to people to set up shows in April in Southern California and nearby areas. We are only in the early stages of organizing this tour so any offers for shows in mid April are much appreciated at this time. Please contact us at

We should have new music available at the time of this tour, but we are not going to rush to manufacture product. With that said we will most likely be selling downloadable copies of our new album on tour. It is our intention to make our new album available for free for a limited time, and then change it back prior to our tour. So if you want the album for free stay tuned to this blog, and we will let you know the launch date of our pre-release online event.

The only obstacle that we need to overcome is fixing our van.

The Rhino is the blue and rusty van on the right

Our van has been on tour for a decade starting with our previous band Lesser of Two. The van is lovingly called the Rhino and we have many fond memories with her. Unfortunately the electrical system in the van has been attacked persistently with electrical gremlins. A blown fuse here, melted wires there, and a dead or exploding battery. If anyone out there is a wiz with automotive electrical systems please drop us a line because I believe the Rhino has another decade of touring left in her.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Then of course there is the big question of what we are going to do now that both Nine and Lillian are gone. Are we going to find a new violist, a new keyboardist, both, neither... The question is really up in the air right now.

Of course for the time being we are going to perform without keys and viola. Embers has been a three piece, a five piece, a six piece, but this will be the first time we've played as a four piece. We will most likely not be playing the songs Wrath nor Awakening anytime soon due to the difficulty finding an arrangement that works without the keyboard or the viola respectively. Aside from that since our first album was written as a three piece originally that should be easy to arrange. Also, the new songs were written without viola so that leaves them easier to arrange albeit with some interesting challenges. For our newer songs expect Kelly's bass playing to take a more prominent role in the arrangements.

Of course all of this may just be temporary. It will take us some time to decide what Embers' future line-up will look like. If you are interested in collaborating with us please feel free to contact us. Be aware it may take us a while to follow up on any new band members if we do in fact decide to go that route. Ideally we are looking for someone who can play a melodic instrument such as keyboard who can also do multi-media performance.

If we stay a four piece we have discussed bringing back in melodic elements in other ways. We may explore that before committing to any new band members or other collaborators.

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