Modern Drummer: Zach Hill’s Death Grips Drum Cam

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Check out this footage of Zach Hill playing the song “Lost Boys” from Death Grips’ upcoming album The Money Store. According to Zach, “The album track started with a live drum take, so when playing to it live, I’m actually playing and improvising over myself. I’m not using in-ear monitors; it’s pretty a raw setup. I’m keeping time by what’s blasting out of the monitor.

“The song is in 4/4 for the most part,” Zach adds. “The chorus goes half time and has a strange stutter to it.”

Hill is playing a three-piece setup consisting of kick, snare, and floor tom, with a single pedal. “The trashier-sounding cymbal on my right is a stainless-steel Three Belled ride,” he explains. “The snare is stainless steel as well, and both were made for me by Gregg Keplinger.

“This was filmed on February 29 at our rehearsal studio in Sacramento, California. The song itself is inspired by the legendary punk band the Wipers.”

ZACH IS THE MAN.

Alarm Magazine Names Their Top 50 Albums - We’ve Got 5 in there

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We can always count on Alarm Press for their great taste. So it’s not a surprise that they picked 5 of our albums on their Top Albums of 2011 List. Including: Adebisi Shank, And So I Watch You From Afar, Hella, Russian Circles & Zechs Marquise. Sadly the list is referred to as the Unheralded Top 50 because they are one of the few publications that look beyond the same cut and paste lists of those other Music blogazines. We are so happy that Alarm is going to be relaunching and expanding on their magazine and going back into print with the full size Magazine format again coming out every two months with more coverage on Rock and music and art culture. We will be their first subscribers. We back them hard. Click HERE to see Full Lists

Adebisi ShankThis is the Second Album from a Band Called Adebisi Shank (Sargent House, 3/15/11)

Released to European acclaim in 2010, the aptly titled second album from Irish electro/math rockers Adebisi Shank achieved North American release this year thanks to the peerless Sargent House.

The management company / record label describes the trio as a blend of Fang Island’s shredding riffs with Battles’ electronic quirkiness and rhythmic playfulness. That description isn’t off the mark, but readers won’t get a sense of the band’s real abilities until they hear its hyper-melodic, polyrhythmic, and — most importantly — jubilant songs in full.

Second Album delivers a maelstrom of zany electronics, unusual distortions, and triumphant, rapidly ascending scales mixed with vintage synths, marimba, horns, and other accoutrements. This is all packaged between and around gloriously catchy and powerful rock riffs, resulting in a manic and buoyant sophomore effort.

HellaTripper (Sargent House, 8/30/11)

In 2002, a wild math-rock duo named Hella released a much-ballyhooed debut that sounded impossible to perform with just two members. From there, guitarist Spencer Seim and drummer Zach Hill expanded their sound (and level of complexity) with synthesizers and additional members.

Now, following a few years off to pursue other projects, Seim and Hill are back as Hella’s core, releasing their first album based around guitar and drums since Hold Your Horse Is, that 2002 debut. It’s a welcome return to original form, one that is both “accessible” and melodic despite being highly technical.

Russian CirclesEmpros (Sargent House, 10/25/11)

In 2009, instrumental rock trio Russian Circles released Geneva, an album that both introduced the worming bass lines of Brian Cook (of These Arms are Snakes) and showcased the band’s balance of metallic fury and melodic beauty. Complementary strings and horns also dotted the sonic landscape, creating a superlative post-metal opus.

Empros cuts away the complementary pieces of Geneva, instead focusing on the trio’s interplay. Cook has further ingrained himself in the Russian Circles sound, allowing the galloping rhythm section just as frequently to play the lead as Mike Sullivan’s effects-heavy, overdubbed guitars. And the usual ear for dynamics is present once more, building moments of tension and release to go with the killer riffs.

Zechs MarquiseGetting Paid (Sargent House /Rodriguez Lopez Productions, 9/27/11)

El Paso-based psych-prog five-piece Zechs Marquise is three-fifths Rodriguez Lopez, a surname that gained music-industry notoriety from Omar, the prolific Mars Volta guitarist.

Though its official debut album, the 2009 effort Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare, was a much more experimental and atmospheric work, Getting Paid fully focuses on the groove. Each of the album’s nine tracks moves at its own pace, venturing into an alternate sonic universe at a moment’s notice. Abrupt tempo shifts, an inexhaustible junk drawer of textures, and a healthy obsession with ’70s prog fusion culminate in a truly shape-shifting record, albeit one that consistently rocks. Zechs Marquise knows when to give into its sweaty, twisted vision-quest dalliances and when to let a groove ride.

And So I Watch You from Afar: Gangs (Sargent House / Richter Collective, 11/8/11)

Zach Hill joins Boredoms in Australia for 11.11.11 BOADRUM

111 Boadrum

Like they did on 7/7/07 with 77 Boadrum, 8/8/08 with 88 Boadrum, ’09 with Boadrum 9, and last year with, you got it, Boadrum 10, the numerological experimentalist heroes of Boredums will assemble another world-class drum circle this year, on the corresponding date, with an appropriate number of percussionists. This site has details (via P4K) These things are an incredible amount of fun — I caught the original in 2007 and saw it again two years later at ATP (where we had most of them recreate it on arcade games) — and if I were a man of leisure and means, I’d probably book a ticket to Australia because the photos for its location, Island Ferry, look properly drum-circleable, and also because trips to Australia are generally a great idea. This year it’s 11 drummers (including Boadrum vets Hishaam Bharoocha and Zach Hill) and 100 cymbal players. If you want in on the cymbal action, the application to join is here. And if you want to see some Boadrum vets do something pretty Boadrum-esque, check out this clip of Bharoocha with Man Man’s Pow Pow and Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier at this summer’s performance of IIII at Union Pool.

Fun Fun Fun Fest - Austin Texas - HOUSE PARTY! // LIVE BROADCAST

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Sargent House is heading to Texas for some FUN x 3 and some FUN Nites.
We have a lot of our bands playing including Boris, Russian Circles, Tera Melos and Le Butcherettes w/ Omar Rodriguez Lopez filling in on Bass! Of course we also won’t be missing seeing the incredible Death Grips either, there are so many bands we can’t wait to check out. Below is the schedule of where I will be for sure!

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT, WATCH ONLINE CST TIME ON PITCHFORK

Friday - November 4th @Auditorium Shores
Russian Circles - Festival / Black Stage at 6:30

Saturday - November 5th @Auditorium Shores
Death Grips - Festival / Black Stage at 2:30pm

Sunday - November 6th @Auditorium Shores
Le Butcherettes - Festival / Orange Stage at 1:20pm 
Boris - Festival / Black Stage at 7pm

FFF FEST NITES

Friday - November 4th - FFF Nites / Empire Automotive
Death Grips
  at 11:50pm
w/Kool Keith, B.L.A.C.K.I.E. & Trash Talk
- All Ages / FREE with Festival Wristband!

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Saturday - November 5th - FFF Nites / Red 7 
Russian Circles at 1:15am - 2am
Tera Melos at 12:30 - 1am
Boris at 11:15pm - 12:05am
- All Ages / FREE with Festival Wristband!

ZACH HILL ALL MONTH SALE! Check It

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In honor of our love of all things Zach Hill we thought it appropriate to share his bounty. So we made a Vinyl and CD deal so you can have all three of the releases Sargent House has put out of his for a mighty fine price!  All this month we will have the Zach Hill Ultimate bundles in Effect!

Featuring
Hella - Tripper
( The New Album from Hella! Zach Hill & Spencer Seim)
Zach Hill - Face Tat (Why Haven’t you Already Got this!)
Bygones - by - (Zach Hill and Nick Reinhart join forces, the outcome = sweet)

and you can add a Zach Hill or Hella T-Shirt to the pile as well. Nice.

Rolling Stone : Hella “Self Checkout” DL

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imageClick here to listen to Hella’s “Self Checkout”

"Self Checkout" was the first song Hella wrote and recorded for their fifth record,Tripper, says drummer Zach Hill: ”Technically, it was the first song we’d written together in three years, so in many ways I feel like it created the path for the material that followed.” If the fast-paced instrumental is any indication of what’s to come, it’s sure to be a chaotic good time. 

Tripper is available in stores now, but you can download “Self Checkout” here
Courtesy of SARGENT HOUSE

Hella Tripper Released Today! Getting Hella Great Reviews

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Make sure to pick up a copy of Hella’s great new album Tripper in either Vinyl (w/download card) or CD! Also available on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify and of course directly from the band on Bandcamp in any file size. 

Check out some reviews by clicking on the logos below, word on the street so far has been great!
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Sound Colour Vibration Interview: Spencer Seim of Hella

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image Sound Colour Vibration interviews Spencer Seim of Hella

Conducted by Erik Otis
All photos from Spencer Seim
Spring of 2011

Hella is a two-piece band that started out about a decade ago in Northern California. The two leaders (and members) of the group are drummer Zach Hill and guitarist Spencer Seim. Over the many obstacles and mutations that Hella has had, they have always achieved a heavy amount of power and spirituality. There is a time when a band rebirths a certain nostalgia to take precedence for their fellow fans and music lovers. Now is that time, and Hella is that band. – Pouya G. Asadi

SCV: Hella is a band of yours that has been around for over a decade and has seen an expansion in line up for the past few years. Zach and yourself decided to bring the band back to its roots with the two piece line up. On the new track you guys released called Headless, there is the same interaction that makes you guys so unique in my opinion. Did you guys record the album in a short window or did this project take awhile?

Spencer: Ha, well… both I guess. We wrote, recorded, and mixed Tripper in only 16 studio days but we did it in short 2 or 3 day sessions spaced a couple of months apart each.

SCV: The new Hella album coming out this year called Tripper is scheduled for a release in late August, are you really excited with the stripped down 2 piece format the group has again?

Spencer: This is my favorite Hella record. I think Zach and I played really well together on it and I like the new approach that we used. Each song was recorded the same day we wrote it. All the music was captured at its freshest point.

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NPR Song of the Day : Hella “Headless”

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Hella: Scribbling Outside The Lines

Hella’s Zach Hill and Spencer Seim don’t just color outside the lines of rock ‘n’ roll — they scrawl all over the page, across the tabletop and into the next room. Depending on your perspective, the result is either a dazzlingly unruly abstraction or an unholy mess.

The Sacramento instrumental duo has basically one setting, and it’s full-speed-ahead sensory overload. Hill’s polyrhythmic drum assault and Seim’s jittery, Beefheart-by-way-of-Bad Brains guitar parts volley and tangle frenetically, battling to occupy every square inch of sonic real estate. Needless to say, it’s not easy listening, but with a little patience, unsnarling the duo’s dueling lines can yield exhilarating rewards.

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The Quietus: Relentless Raw Movement: Death Grips Interviewed

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Death Grips are the singularly most exciting new thing we have heard in 2011. John Calvert asks Flatlander about their methodology, hip hop, Odd Future, California and mental illness. Image courtesy Death Grips.

imageBrutal, bodacious, ugly like twisted-metal, obnoxious as a shot-out kneecap, completely barmy. Lightning Bolt are great aren’t they? If only they made hip hop like that. And as if by magic… For a neat description of Death Grips’ ungodly racket you need only take a stroll through MC Ride’s diseased mind, essentially the de facto setting for the West Coasters’ Exmilitary, the most scintillatingly confrontational hip hop album to emerge in years. Between foretelling divine wrath, blatting out nightmarish free associative imagery and remonstrating with nearby squirrels, the interfacial, disembodied MC Ride - a damned soul in a twisted bind - will proffer the odd phrase perfectly in step with the acid bath terror-ride unfolding around him. It might be in the context of eating a dead dog he found behind the house, but there’s something self-reflexive about talk on ‘Guillotine’ of “relentless raw movement” and “hidden art, between and beneath” or “serial number, killing machine…stomp music seriously!” - the later of which more or less nails it. Put’ em all together and you get the idea: murder spelt backwards is MC Ride and if pain be the great educator, it’s back to school with you. Guillotine… Yah!

Bona fide hip hop phenoms, MC Ride, Mexican Girl, Info Warrior, back-room tsar Flatlander and polymath drummer Zach Hill are collectively the masterminds behind what after three months of listening still seems like a freak occurrence in the genre. Exmilitary reboots the very form itself, engineering an unconstructed, wires-exposed killing machine for the despatching of rap’s moneyed dandies, and a constant, indeed relentless source of delight for extreme music fans. The purest affront on cashmoney culture you could conceive of, their incendiary mixtape outguns, outwits and quite simply puts to shame their domesticated counterparts in the trebly heights of chintzy Diamante-rap.

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Delicate Steve & Zach Hill - Create “Many Moods” For Japan

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Steve Marion aka Delicate Steve and Zach Hill have collaborated and created the song Many Moods

** All Proceeds go to The Japan Chernobyl Foundation (JCF). ** 
We’re very happy to get the chance to help the JCF with this song. We set it up as a ‘pay what you will’ download, with all proceeds going to the Japan Chernobyl Foundation. Any donation would mean a lot to the organization who are currently very active in the earthquake and nuclear accident relief effort. You can read more about it here: jcf.ne.jp/about/about7.html. The track is also available as a free download. Thanks for listening~~~ 

Midtown Monthly: Interview with Zach Hill

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I’m just going to say it: Zach Hill is the most extreme musician in Sacramento. A self-taught drummer and founding member of the deconstructionist duo Hella, Hill has earned accolades and fans both here and abroad for his signature brand of hyperkinetic drum destruction. 

Hill’s double-kick crunch has found him collaborating with a veritable who’s-who of indie-rock: Marnie Stern, Wavves, The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodríguez-López, Prefuse 73, Deftones’ Chico Moreno, Matmos, Pinback’s Rob Crow, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, and Joanna Newsom (to name but a very, very few).

Hill’s artistic endeavors also include his illustrated book, Destroying Yourself Is Too Accessible, (which came packaged with Masculine Drugs, the Zach Hill and Holy Smokes album) and a line of T-shirts for Altamont, the clothing company featuring his graphics.

Currently, Hill splits his time between his solo work, the Japanese drum juggernaut Boredoms, and the rap-punk of Death Grips.

Midtown Monthly: When did you first start drumming?

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COS Features Hella’s Headless / Fan Video

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With a title like “Headless,” you’d think the official fan-made Hella video would be a little creepy. If so, you’d be right. Director Bootleg Jedi has a simple concept: film an inflatable man. But the frantic speed of the action makes it look far more disturbing than it should be. Rather than seeing the jacket slowly inflate due to an attached pump, it looks like something strange and alien is happening to the man. Throw in some quick, shaky cuts to other inflatable things like a parade floats and you’ve got a freaky video out of something that’s a little offbeat.

“Headless” is off Hella’s debut album, Tripper, due out August 30th through Sargent House.