Tag Results: brian cook
Bass Ramblings and other Thoughts: An Interview with Brian Cook of Russian Circles
Russian Circles have been a mainstay on the instrumental rock scene for around 9 years, touring their sprawling, almost filmic, compositions.
Brian Cook anchors the band with his muscular, over-driven bass tone, often stepping out and exploring other roles within the music afforded to him by his heavy use of effects, sampling & looping.
Brian has kindly taken time to answer some questions about the band, his bass sound & the difficulty (or ease?) of instrumental music.
Line Out: Brian Cook Chronicles Russian Circles Euro Tour Diary Pt. 4 w/ Deafheaven
I packed light for this trip. I can wear the same pair of jeans for the whole trip. I try to milk two or three days out of a t-shirt. Socks and underwear require daily changing. So my luggage is basically just socks and underwear. I brought two button-up shirts, and today I rip open the back of one of them trying to do a Ray Cappo jump in a music store parking lot.
Tonight’s club is another one of those converted factory/warehouse spaces. Not sure if it’s a squat, necessarily, but it definitely feels like one. The promoter is a very outgoing, boisterous, jolly German guy named Uncle George. It winds up being my favorite show of tour thus far. Good sound, good crowd, good vibes. Even Deafheaven seems to have gotten over their whole choking-and-punching incident from Paris.
Line Out: Brian Cook Chronicles Russian Circles Euro Tour Diary Pt. 3 w/ Deafheaven
Continuing on from last week…
You know what’s depressing? Cutting through a red light district in broad daylight with the prostitutes already hanging out in their windows while Adele’s “Someone Like You” plays over outdoor speakers.
Just down the street from the red light district is Hafenklang, one of my favorite venues in Germany. The people who work here are always a pleasure to work with, the size of the room is perfect, and the club is easy walking distance from the Reeperbahn. Tonight’s show is a drone festival. Two stages, six bands. And the ticket price is still less than half of the fest we played in Estonia. But ya know, as much as I enjoy listening to drone stuff when I’m at home, it’s not really the kind of music I want to spend an evening watching at a club. I watch a few of the acts before I start feeling narcoleptic. I’m not even bothering with beer tonight; I’ve switched to some sort of carbonated yerba mate drink in an effort to stay awake.
Tonight is Derek from Deafheaven’s birthday. There are plans to go out on the town after the show, but by the time we’re packed up and loaded out, it’s 3am. The other guys go for it, but Che and I opt to sit in our hotel room and eat Burger King before going to bed.
Line Out: Brian Cook Chronicles Russian Circles Euro Tour Diary Pt. 1 w/ Deafheaven
When the band I play in, Russian Circles, announced our European tour with Deafheaven for Spring 2012, Grant Brissey asked me to write a tour diary chronicling our trip. I was a little hesitant at first. For one thing, I’ve typically tried to keep my band business separate from my music writing. Additionally, my bandmates aren’t the kind of people that want all their day-to-day business made public. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that most tour documentaries and diaries focus on either the luxuries of wildly successful artists or the trials and tribulations of struggling acts. There aren’t a lot of stories of financially sustainable working bands out there. Presumably, that’s because our stories aren’t particularly interesting. We’ve figured out how to tour in a manner where things are relatively stress-free and efficient. We aren’t partiers. There’s no cocaine or groupies in the green room. We sleep in hotels and travel in vans. I can’t promise this will be particularly insightful or even remotely honest. But this is how we roll.
Seattle to Chicago to London to Prague
My flight itinerary is SeaTac to Chicago to London to Prague. I leave Seattle at noon on April 2nd. We’re scheduled to get into Prague early afternoon the next day. The rest of the band lives in Chicago, and I meet up with them at my layover at O’Hare. The last time I flew out of O’Hare, three separate strangers asked if I was a DJ. Not wanting to get caught up in those conversations again, I choose a seat at the gate next to a guy that looks like Wayne Coyne, figuring he’s less likely to ask me dumb questions.
Paste Magazine Feature 20 Musicians That Write About Music: Brian Cook of Russian Circles
Brian Cook of Russian Circles
In addition to being the bassist for the Chicago-based instrumental metal group Russian Circles, Brian Cook occasionally contributes to Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.
See Full List of 20 Musicians That Write About Music
The Bomber Jacket Interview with Russian Circles’ Brian Cook
This afternoon I was aimlessly walking around downtown Chicago. The well-to-do and bejeweled middle-aged women were in abundance, walking their dogs. The new-moneyed 20-somethings were running around in their business suits looking for something important to do. The obvious tourists with their street maps were standing puzzled at the street corners. Suddenly from out of the blue, deep, dark black clouds rolled in from Lake Michigan. With thunder and lightning and torrential downpour everyone began to scatter and run for cover. Chicago went from smiling faces and jovial conversation to utter fear and dismay. At the time, I was listening to the second track of Empros by Russian Circles, “Mládek,” and I couldn’t help but think that this was the perfect soundtrack to this scenario.
Whether you’re running into a viking battle, stuck in a nightmare that’s going from bad to worse, or watching a sunny day turn into disarray, Russian Circles has you covered. The band manifested out of the ashes of Dakota/Dakota in 2004, which was very much its predecessor, but Russia Circles took on a much heavier breed of instrumental music, delving more into melodic death metal and metalcore than math rock. Originally made up of guitarist Mike Sullivan, bassist Colin DeKuiper, and drummer Dave Turnkrantz, Russian Circles turned the sleepy idea of instrumental music that most were familiar with on its head.
Later in 2007, it was announced that DeKuiper decided to part ways with the band, and that Brian Cook (These Arms Are Snakes/Botch) would take his place. Since then, the trio has done nothing but sell out shows and receive more and more praise.
THE BOMBER JACKET spoke with Cook in anticipation of the band’s upcoming, extensive European tour.
Russian Circles’ Brian Cook Gives Seattle Rock Guy His List of Top Ten Albums & Shows of 2011
Ten albums Brian Cook really liked in 2011, in no particular order with links to stream.
Death Grips - Exmilitary
Helms Alee - Weatherhead
Christina Vantzou - No. 1
Steve Hauschildt - Tragedy & Geometry
Adebisi Shank - This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called…
Rotten Sound - Cursed
And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs
Bloodiest - Descent
Moholy - Nagy – Like Mirage
Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death - Some Of Us Are In This Together
Nice to see some of our albums on Brian’s list, to me there is no greater compliment than the praise of a fantastic musician. / SH
Ten of Brian Cook’s favorite shows/bands I saw in 2011
Rock A Rolla Featured Interview w/ Brian Cook of Russian Circles / Issue #34
You Indie Feature Interview: Brian Cook of Russian Circles
When I found out that Russian Circles would be making two Ohio stops on their Fall tour with Young Widows and Deafheaven I knew that I had to track the band down. These instrumental prog metal maestros have delivered one of the most exciting albums of 2011, Empros via Sargent House. Produced by Brandon Curtis of Secret Machines, Empros finds the band showing off a more raw and visceral Russian Circles than ever before.
During the process of tracking down the band, I received an e-mail from the band’s publicist, who turned out to be an old acquaintance – Dave Clifford (of VSS, Pleasure Forever and Red Sparowes), who I’d met years ago at Speak in Tongues in Cleveland and then again in Athens when he was pounding the skins for The Vanity Set.
If a little blast from the past wasn’t enough to put wind in my sails, when the interview questions came back, I discovered that Brian Cook was incredibly considerate and conscientious about answering our queries. But, it is no surprise that Cook is such a standup dude – Daytonians will recognize Cook from his time with Dayton expatriate Chris Common filling out the rhythm section in These Arms Are Snakes (Jade Tree, Suicide Squeeze). He also provided bass duties for Dayton’s Mouth of the Architect on 2006’s The Ties That Bind (Translation Loss).
In any event, Cook was kind enough to answer questions about the new record, the band’s move to Sargent House, our common friend Chris Common, and to tell us why he’s scared of Dayton. Here’s what he had to say…
Brian Cook Answers 5 Questions for 1,000 Knives
Interview by 1000 Knives
1. The new title of the record translates to “moving on/forward” can you elaborate why?
Even after 15 years of touring with bands, I’m still learning how to deal with the inertia of spending half the year constantly on the move And the other half of the year in total stasis. It can fuck with your head. Even worse is feeling stuck and immobile in a situation when you should be in transit. for example, being at the very end of a 7 week tour and getting stuck in Greece for an additional week when the Icelandic volcano erupted and the European air space was shut down. or getting your van totaled in Louisiana in the wake of the gulf oil leak, at which point BP had seized every available van in the area to shuttle the clean-up crews. the record isn’t actually about these specific experiences, but that feeling of static definitely seemed like a recurring theme over the last couple of years and it felt good to vent against it.
2. what are the lessons as a person and as a band from these experiences?
Always carry a good book with you. and insure your shit.
Sludge Factory (AU) Interview: Russian Circles
Chicago three-piece post-rock band, RUSSIAN CIRLCES, bring their heavy instrumental sound, fused with an energetic stage show to Australia. Monique Budd had the opportunity to interview Brian Cook, bassist. - SHOW DATES
RUSSIAN CIRLCES’ sonic narrative is mesmerising. With no use of lyric, it allows the listener to be part of the bands story telling. Brian Cook begins with the bands concept, explaining how they came to abandon the use of vocals. I wasn’t in the band in the beginning so I feel a little weird talking about the initial plans. But from what I’ve gathered, the band came together without a singer and figured it was something that could be worked in later, once some music was written. After a few songs were fleshed out, it felt like there was no real need for vocals.”
Happy Birthday Brian Cook
Today is a big Sargent House crew Birthday day. This one goes out to Brian Cook, who like Chase Ortega shares this day of birth and who joined my crazy house club in the earliest of days. I met Brian in 2006 at a These Arms Are Snakes show at the Troubadour. One minute into their set and I was hooked and became a fanatic. I convinced the ultimate in DIY bands to let me ‘try’ and manage them, as the word manager sent chills down all their punk as fuck backs immediately. Anyway, I think they came to realize I was the only crazy person they could trust in the position and hence our friendship and band mother relationship began. Now in Russian Circles he continues to blow my mind with his incredible musicianship and he’s a damn good laugh to eat tacos with at 4am. Much Love Bubbles and a very Happy Birthday to you. CP
Confessions of a Gear Nerd: Russian Circles /Brian Cook
Six Questions with Brian Cook (Russian Circles)
What is your current set up? Guitars/ basses, pedals, strings, picks, & amps. (feel free to keep any secrets you deem necessary)
i primarily play a Gibson Grabber II. i also have a ‘77 Grabber that’s pretty thrashed at this point. and i have a First Act Delgada i used on the Geneva album. my amp is a Verellen Meatsmoke. i use an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet. i use Dean Markley strings. pedals are harder to pinpoint because i’m always trying out new things. i’ve got a Fulltone OCD in there, a Digitech Whammy, an Akai Headrush, an EHX little Big Muff, an EHX Memory Toy. and i just got a Fuzzrocious Rat Tail and a Tonebutcher Pocket Puss that i’ve been having a lot of fun with.
How long have you been playing?
Russian Circles Brian Cook Interview
Russian Circles, Brian Cook sits down for a 2 hour interview with Jerusalem Radio station’s show Jekyl & Hyde. See if you can count how many times he says “Ya Know”. It’s a good thing they had Brian do the interview because I don’t think Dave or Mike could have answered all those Botch questions. Thanks go out to Oren Seigel for having him on the show and playing some rad music.