Something funny happened on our way from Memphis to New Orleans: the sun came out.
It’s been raining in Austin for weeks y’all. And it was cloudy and rainy all the way from Texas to Tennessee. I like the rain but it’s been a lot. By the time we rolled up to the venue the weather was so beautiful I thought I might cry. We could tell it was going to be a good night.
Friday, October 26, 2018- The Steel Church (New Orleans) with Cikada, Moments of Being and Bug Lord
Despite its proximity to Houston, Omotai had never played in Louisiana before in the band’s 8-year history. There’s a lot of good bands here and it can be tough for unknown out-of-town bands to gain a toehold. That goes triple for New Orleans, which, as arguably the birthplace of pop music, simply does not need us for entertainment. We were very lucky that Oliver Watkinson of the band Crossed (and apparently a bunch of other bands) agreed to help us make this show happen. Thanks a ton Oliver! Thanks also to Bryan for putting us in touch with him.
One result of the competitive music scene in major markets like New Orleans is that venues tend to get booked far in advance, and because of a scheduling fuckup on my part, by the time we started trying in earnest to make this show happen it was difficult to find a place to hold the show. Fortunately, Andre Charitat and Nathan Coussou of FUGU Custom (available for all your metal fabrication, furniture, woodworking and blacksmithing [!] needs) agreed to hold it at their workshop. Our warmest thanks to Andre and Nathan as well.
Playing a warehouse/DIY space as an out of town band can be weird, because until the show starts it’s kind of like you’re at a party being thrown by a bunch of people you don’t know who are hipper (and in our case, usually much younger) than you. But once the music starts you’re all friends and it’s cool. So you smile through it and bide your time.
Sure enough, music provided an immediate release. As in Memphis, the show opened with a two-piece band, this time Oliver’s project with drummer Moses Eder, Bug Lord. I think this is the best band name I’ve heard this year.
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them at first- were they a drone band? But then they busted into this crazy noodly Flying Luttenbachers-style brutal prog. I couldn’t tell if they were playing songs or just going nuts up there. It was pretty wild.
One thing that was clear is that Moses was having a bit of a problem with his kick drum “walking” forward as he played.
Here is a PSA for all the drummers out there: putting a cinder block in front of your drumset DOES NOT WORK. You need quality spurs, an anchor, or a piece of wood fixed to a carpet.
If you don’t have any of those things, your best option is to have someone sit in front of your bass drum.
Bonus tip: this an ideal vantage point for video of your set.
Moses gave a pretty fun spiel about worshipping the Bug Lord or something or other right before the start of this video which I’m really sorry that I missed. I also feel like this video doesn’t adequately capture his right foot technique. Dude must be part gorilla or something, damn.
Next up was a new band, Moments of Being. If I told you their name was a Virginia Woolf reference, would you guess that they were an emo band?
These guys were shockingly good, especially considering it was only their second show. Super tight twin-guitar emo riffing with a totally locked-in rhythm section. Jamie and I both really liked these guys, partially because they really reminded of underground bands we used to go see back in the day that were in the same vein as Heroin and Orchid. I’ve heard this style referred to as “hardcore emo” but realistically I think today it would be called “screamo.” See also: white belts. Anyway I look forward to hearing the handful of 7″s this band puts out before they break up on the eve of releasing their debut LP.
That’s an old emo joke for ya guys! No charge for that one.
Extra credit to MOB’s Telecaster master Jeremy, who played this show on a broken foot after getting a giant tree limb dropped on it. 🙁 We hope he heals up OK!
We played next! With Jamie back in the fold we opened with The Savage Sky instead of Lurching Away, but aside from that we played the same setlist as in Memphis. Our sound being reflected back at us from the back wall was a little disorienting at first, but the concrete floor made my drums sound like cannons.
Cikada was on after us to wrap it up. They bill themselves as sludge/doom, but I think I would describe them more as like down-tempo thrash, a little like Iron Age or something like that. Their drummer ended up borrowing a couple of items from me, and I was honored that he did- he was sick. He had a little bit of the same fluid, riff-oriented playing style that you see from Nick Yacyshyn of Sumac. He also had the same silver sparkle Ludwig kit with a monster 26″ bass drum that Phil Woodward played in Mel’s old band Sharks & Sailors.
The centerpiece of their show, though, is wildman vocalist Rob Dillweed.
Backlit here is their substitute guitarist, whose name I did not catch but who did this show on all of two practices while their usual guy is off attending the Fest in Florida. He killed it!
And that was it! We hung out for a while, shot the shit with Rob and Andre, and decamped to Moses’s place in the South 7th Ward.
This morning we met his housemate Ashley who said she can’t find any metal bands that want her to play keyboards?? What the fuck New Orleans, y’all ain’t never heard of Deep Purple? I expect this situation to be rectified in time for us to play with her band next time we’re here. GET ON IT.
Then we went to to the French Quarter like a bunch of tourist fucks! NOT SORRY