Trail of Dead to Rally Against Tea Parties with
10/27/2010 -- by merlin
Texas (AP) -- Politically-motivated independent rockers ...And You Will Know
Us by the Trail of Dead are issuing a progressive caterwaul ahead of next
month's United States midterm elections by doing what they do best: hitting
the proverbial Texas road.
Facing a rip tide of fringe
conservatism, Trail of Dead frontman and small business magnate Jason
Reece is setting out with the goal of asking a weary electorate a
question he believes poses an immediate threat to modern American
society: "How old
is too old to have a make believe tea party?" His query comes with
genuine concern clearly evident in his voice. "I've seen groups of
people, regular-sized adults mind you, having tea parties on their front
lawns, in parks, and in Wal-Mart parking lots. What sort of
message does that send to our children? That it's alright to live
in a dream world? That it's alright to be crazy well into your
fifties? Someone has to take a stand and say, hey, what's
happening to my country? When did we all get sucked down a rabbit
hole? I don't know how it is for other people, but I stopped
having tea parties when I was nine years old."
Despite maintaining a lower musical profile over the past several years,
Trail of Dead has remained profoundly active in various political causes
spanning the length of the globe. "We played Moscow a few
years ago to protest injustices against Chechnya and about a month ago we headlined a
major Communist Party festival in China," said Reece proudly. "I would like
to believe that we've had a similar political impact to people like [Bob] Dylan or [Pete] Seeger in the 1960s, or John Philip Sousa at the turn of the century."
Reece, stressing his band's positive domestic campaign
credentials, insists he's simply working for the greater good. "We worked closely with bands like [the] Arcade Fire
during the 2008 election to
ensure George W. Bush didn't get a third term as President and I think it
Trail of Dead's string of tour dates starts tomorrow night in Dallas and
ends with a Halloween rally in Austin.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsToD Nominate Themselves for Independent Music Awards
12/10/2009 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas-bred independent music giants ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have taken one for the proverbial team and nominated themselves in two separate online categories at the 9th annual Independent Music Awards.
Speaking during a media conference call setup to promote the obscure awards ceremony, Trail of Dead elder statesman and primary press point man Jason Reece explained the band's curious decision to nominate themselves ahead of dozens of other deserving independent bands and artists. "It's nothing personal," Reece declared. "We love and support fellow independent artists as much as the next bunch of independent artists, but we felt very strongly about lending some credibility to this new awards thing. Before they asked us to be part of the nominating process, I had never even heard of the Independent Music Awards. A few people outside our inner circle suggested the weight of the Trail of Dead brand might make the IMAs seem a little more important than they actually are. I mean, we've been nominated for all sorts of huge awards before, right? The words 'Trail of Dead' are synonymous with musical credibility."
IMA spokesperson Lauren Veteri responded to claims of vote tampering by defending the band's choice to nominate themselves, claiming music fans at large would ultimately make the final decision. "Trail of Dead are nominated in two categories-- Best Pop/Rock and Best Album Packaging for their album 'The Century of Self.' They are more than deserving of their nominations for both. In the end, a nomination is just that. It in no way suggests, implies, or guarantees Trail of Dead will win either award. We allowed them to be part of the nominating process because we felt they would be fair and excellent judges of quality independent music. They picked from a vast pool of potential nominees and we're happy with their decisions. To suggest we used the 'Trail of Dead brand' purely for self-promotional purposes is absurd. If we wanted to do that, we would have worked with a much bigger band."
Fan voting is now open in select IMA categories. To vote for Trail of Dead, click here and here.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsToD Tour America with Secret Machines, Future of the Left
08/21/2009 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- After nearly six full months of lurking listlessly in industry shallows, Austin-bred artisans ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead stand poised to revitalize their relationship with rapturous American audiences through a fall tour in support of their critically-reviewed album "The Century of Self."
The 29-date North American roadshow will see the Texas sextet ply their trade in all corners of the continent, with stops confirmed in New Orleans, Boston, Edmonton, and Seattle. Frontman and artisan-in-chief Conrad Keely lauded the upcoming tour and assured fans this would be his band's best yet. "We're really excited to get back out there again," said Keely. "Our booking agent did a great job with this tour. He's lined up our friends in Secret Machines as an opening act for the shows on the east coast. It's fantastic because we haven't had the opportunity to play with them in a very long time. A few years ago, after they got caught-up in an overpowering wave of hype and hysteria opening for U2, we thought we'd never see them again. But as soon as the wave passed and the H.M.S. U2 set sail, they went overboard and started treading water. From there, well, everyone knew we had to swoop in and offer a friendly hand."
During the western leg of the tour, Trail of Dead will be supported by Cardiff-based comsymp outfit Future of the Left. "I love the Welsh," romanticized a buoyant Keely about his new support. "There's just something about their traditional culture that seems to click with my taste. I've been looking to tour with a Welsh band for ages." Keely, while still visibly happy with his new tour mates, silently lamented the loss of the band's first choice. "We had intended to ask Mclusky, but I guess they broke up a few weeks ago. Everyone says this Future of the Left is the next best thing. They sound alright to me, although I think the lead singer must be related to the guy in Mclusky."
Trail of Dead's North American tour with Secret Machines and Future of the Left begins September 12th in Houston, Texas and wraps up six weeks later on October 23rd in Oklahoma City.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsTrail of Dead Have Change of Heart, Plan Australian Dates
03/17/2009 -- by merlin
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- In an unexpected turn-around nearly two weeks in the making, sentimentality-fueled Texas art-rockers ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have heeded emotionally-charged calls from their Australian fans and scheduled three dates on the island at the tail end of their tour through Europe.
Several weeks ago, reports emerging from Sydney had suggested the band were considering a possible early winter return to the continent for a string a shows. These unconfirmed reports were quickly quashed in the press by an apparent spokesman for the band, but Trail of Dead frontman and worldwide media darling Jason Reece, speaking at a recent show in Seattle, distanced himself from last week's controversial story. "I don't know who this dude was who said all that stuff, but he wasn't speaking on our behalf. I think he was fired by the label or something." Reece took the time to confirm the band were planning on touring Australia in the near future. "Yeah, we'll be there in May for a few shows. We love our Australian fans and we appreciate their love. Livid [Festival] was great and we've wanted to come back ever since, things just haven't worked out. This time we'll be back for sure. It's totally confirmed. I don't know about anyone else [in the band], but I loved Crocodile Dundee."
Having followed the story closely, Sydney Morning Herald music columnist and avid fan Frazer Cahill thinks last Friday's story was fed to the media in good humor by the band and its promoters to create a buzz in anticipation of this week's tour announcement. "There's no doubt in my mind they did it to stir up controversy," Cahill declared. "A few of my compatriots got all worked up and lost their heads over a clear non-story. Trail of Dead have a long and well-documented history of misdirection in the media. Interviews, press releases, promotional materials-- I'm actually surprised more people didn't see it coming." Cahill admitted he got the joke almost instantaneously. "When I read last week's story in the papers down here all I could do was smile. Anyone who could believe such an obviously fabricated story needs to have their head examined."
Trail of Dead's headlining Australian tour begins May 28th in Brisbane and ends two days later in Melbourne.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsTrail of Dead Deny Reports of Imminent Australian Tour
03/06/2009 -- by merlin
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Well-traveled musical castaways ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have categorically denied rumors they are planning a major tour down under in support of their newest release "The Century of Self", insisting they have no desire to tour Australia in the future.
Reports had surfaced suggesting the band were in advanced negotiations with major Australian promoters for a nationwide tour this May, but Trail of Dead spokesman Colin Wilson, working for Richter Scale Records in Sydney, moved quickly to quash the unsubstantiated rumors. "Any reports of confirmed shows in Australia are fictitious. This is tabloid journalism at its worst. Trail of Dead have absolutely no intention of touring the southern hemisphere any time soon." While retaining a relatively large fanbase within the country, Trail of Dead haven't set foot on Australian soil since playing the Livid Festival series in late 2002. Wilson admitted financial concerns, not band enthusiasm, were the driving force behind the decision to stay away. "Touring Australia is expensive. Flying in band members along with all the equipment and support staff makes the tour financially unworkable. They'd have to tour the country for six months just to cover the travel expenses."
Wilson alleged he knew how the rumors got started. "We're not stupid," he declared. "Inconsolable fans in Australia, ignored for years and remarkably desperate for contact with the band, pretend to book dates and run to the press hoping to stir up public support for a long, arduous tour by falsely announcing shows which won't be taking place. They advertise the plans with fleeting hope the band will see the outpouring of interest and go soft, booking an expensive and totally impractical string of shows, playing in front of a dozen people at each stop. It's cute in an Alice in Wonderland meets Crocodile Dundee III sort of way, but I guarantee it'll never happen."
Asked when Australian fans could next expect to see Trail of Dead live and in person, Wilson responded unsympathetically. "As soon as they move off this island and into the real world."
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsCanadians Protest Delayed Trail of Dead Release Date
02/18/2009 -- by merlin
TORONTO, Canada (AP) -- Clad in red and shouting slogans in a melodic slurry of angst-ridden English and French, several dozen sign-wielding protestors gathered outside Justice Records offices in downtown Toronto early Tuesday morning to express their vehement disapproval of the label's decision to delay the Canadian release of "The Century of Self".
Demonstrators are at odds with the independent label's decision to postpone the distribution of indie-scene favorite ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's newest release "The Century of Self" north of the border. The album's Canadian release date has been summarily pushed back to March 3rd, two weeks later than the release date in the United States, over what the label is calling "practical and uncompromising logistical concerns". Local music store owner Becky Princeton, who joined the demonstration later in the afternoon, said she was dismayed by how many potential customers she had to turn away because the album had not yet been released. "I had people streaming into my store this morning hoping to buy the new Trail of Dead album. I had to turn them all away," Princeton lamented. "It's frustrating because I'm losing business. I've never heard of this little label before, but clearly they haven't had much experience dealing with Canadians. We don't like being pushed to the back burner and we don't take being slighted with album releases very lightly."
Justice Records spokesman Phil Lyman said the fans had every reason to be upset with the delay, insisting the label did everything in its power to get the record out on time. "Everyone here [at the label] tried to make this happen in tune with the United States. Ideally we wanted to have a uniform release date throughout North America, but a few things happened and a few wrenches were thrown into the spokes." Lyman deflected criticism away from the label's distribution partner Universal, revealing the delay had nothing to do with business and all to do with bureaucracy. "Times have changed. Security is tight. Once in a while you just can't predict how long it will take to get merchandise through Canadian customs."
Law enforcement agencies are set to remain on alert after protest leaders threatened further demonstrations at upcoming Trail of Dead shows in Montreal and Toronto early next month.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsTexas Professor Predicts Hysteria Ahead of Album Release
02/16/2009 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Foreshadowing what could become the proverbial critical clean sweep, a leading musicology professor at the University of Texas has predicted waves of mass hysteria will converge upon the public in conjunction with the release of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's newest album "The Century of Self".
"It's most certainly a return to form," says Texas professor Albert Brown of Trail of Dead's latest full-length effort. "I think once people actually hear the album and let the full scope of its life-altering aura sink in, there will be no stopping its momentum. Like ripples in a pond or plague throughout the middle ages, this thing will spread." Brown recalls the worldwide hysteria surrounding the release of Trail of Dead's major label debut "Source Tags and Codes" and the critical kowtow which followed. "In early 2002 this band could do no wrong. Critics were infatuated, fans were impassioned, and the music industry was brought to its knees. Everyone was expecting them to build on that momentum, follow-up immediately and with purpose, but they stalled as a collective unit. Nearly seven years and two vanilla albums later, these boys are poised to pick-up right where they left off. Mark my words: the dam will break on Tuesday."
Brown explains his theory behind Trail of Dead's re-emergence as a coalescence of positive reinforcement and the band's return to tried and tested method. "This album is far more scientifically balanced than anything they've done recently. With their last two albums they alienated portions of their fanbase who weren't looking for tame progressive drivel. They wanted a mixture of slow, heartfelt ballads and in your face, evil maniacal punk rock. It's logical balance and counterbalance. From my point of view, the whole situation can be broken down into a simple mathematical formula. More Jason Reece equals greater success. His soothing Henry Rollins-esque vocals represent an insatiable beacon of allegorical fluorescent light, drawing in unsuspecting flies for the slaughter."
"It's really as easy as shooting fish in a barrel."
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsToD Play Private Benefit for Underprivileged Spin Staffers
02/13/2009 -- by merlin
NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- Texas-based socially-conscious prog-rocking ultra-humanitarians ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead played a benefit show this past Tuesday in New York City for needy staffers of Spin Magazine, an outlet struggling to remain relevant in an industry now dominated by zines and 24-hour news blogs.
The private concert, dubbed Spin Aid by those closely involved, seems to have come as a welcome distraction for the oft-overlooked staff of the magazine. Sherry Davis of New York community outreach group New York Cares helped organize the free show at Spin's new downtown office and feels such charitable gestures can go a long way towards boosting morale in the city. "A lot of them [at Spin] don't get out much, so this rock and roll concert was a breath of fresh air. Everyone needs a boost now and then." Davis continued by stressing the importance of volunteer work, especially in these volatile economic times. "A lot of people aren't doing as well as they were eighteen, twelve, even six months ago. Some have lost their jobs, others are finding it difficult to hold on, and a few have faded into obscurity entirely. Sometimes all it takes to get a person back on their feet is an extended hand of unconditional friendship."
Trail of Dead multi-instrumentalist Jason Reece insists the volunteer project wasn't a publicity stunt and hopes his band can set an example for other musical acts looking to contribute to their communities. "We did this knowing full well what it involved and how many lives we would be saving. I can only hope other musicians follow our lead. I mean, why shouldn't we help our peers? The whole music industry is in trouble. Magazines, labels, bands-- we've all taken a hit with this recession. There are so many people out there with high opinions of themselves who could really use our help."
Trail of Dead's new album "The Century of Self" will be released this Tuesday in North America and a week later in Europe.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsToD Guitar Hero Arrested, Released on New Year's Eve
01/05/2009 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Soft-spoken and normally restrained ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead lead guitarist Kevin Allen was detained by Austin police late Wednesday evening after he caused several thousand dollars worth of damage while playing the popular video game Guitar Hero at a downtown bar.
Austin police were called to an incident late on New Year's Eve at 7th Street's Beauty Bar after a patron, later identified as Allen, smashed a television with a gaming accessory and threw the console at a passing car outside the bar. Eyewitness accounts tell the story of a frustrated, perhaps intoxicated Allen, repeatedly striking a large plasma screen television with a small plastic guitar until the unit fell to the floor from its lofty position on the wall. "The television just quite exploded," recalled one stunned onlooker. "I've never seen anything like it. Three or four times might have been enough to take it out, but he kept pounding after it had hit the floor." Another shaken Beauty Bar patron had a hard time understanding Allen's intentions. "I mean, I get the guy and his band smash their equipment after gigs and stuff, but I don't really see the point to smashing a little plastic guitar."
Multi-talented Trail of Dead member, friend, Beauty Bar owner, and licensed intermediary Jason Reece refused to press charges against Allen and tried to provide an insight into the blowup. "I've known Kevin for years and he's one of the most competitive people I know," Reece declared. "He was trying to prove to one of the guys in the Sword that he could do that crazy DragonForce song 100% on expert and he messed up during the long solo. You know, the totally over the top, masturbatory three minute solo towards the end. I can relate, man. The game has an effect on people. I guess he just got a little frustrated and decided he didn't want to play anymore."
Allen was released later in the evening on his own recognizance after Austin police determined he no longer posed a substantial threat.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsKeely Endorses Blue Ballpoint Pens on "The Century of Self"
12/11/2008 -- by merlin
NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- Artistically eccentric ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead frontman Conrad Keely is poised to shake the art establishment and break down music industry stereotypes with the artwork for his band's new album "The Century of Self", done entirely in blue ballpoint pen.
Trail of Dead's sixth full-length studio album isn't due to be released until February 17th, but that didn't stop Keely from vociferously defending his album art months ahead of any potential mainstream criticism. "It's my favorite medium," he said of blue ballpoint pens. "I can't for the life of me understand why artists and critics don't take it seriously. It's art in its purest form." In an interview several months ago, Keely admitted he was considering doing the artwork for "The Century of Self" wholly in blue ballpoint pen. Despite most taking this seemingly innocuous comment with a heavy serving of salt, Keely insists he was serious about the project from day one. "It's funny because a lot of people thought I was joking around. Nearly everyone," he confessed with a laugh. "I don't think anyone really expected me to follow through and actually do it. That's what made everything so rewarding in the end. It's like a middle finger to the institution."
Will this album be remembered more for its musical content or its unconventional artwork? The artist isn't entirely sure. "I haven't the foggiest idea," conceded Keely. "Although I would hope it would be somewhere in between-- a mix of the two. Both represent a considerable change in our approach to making albums. In a sense, the last two albums weren't really Trail of Dead. They were Trail of Dead trying to redefine Trail of Dead and it didn't work. This album is Trail of Dead. No more square pegs in round holes."
"The Century of Self" is as follows: "Giant's Causeway", "Far Pavilions", "Isis Unveiled", "Halcyon Days", "Bells of Creation", "Fields of Coal", "Inland Sea", "Luna Park", "Pictures of an Only Child", "Insatiable I", "Ascending", "An August Theme", "Insatiable II".
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsUniversity of Texas Awards Jason Reece with Honorary MBA
11/19/2008 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The University of Texas at Austin made history on Monday by presenting long-time Austin resident, business investor, and mainstream musician Jason Reece with an honorary Master of Business Administration degree, the first such honor bestowed upon a non-Texas native in the school's illustrious 125 year history.
University of Texas President William Powers presented Reece with the degree at an intimate ceremony just outside the McCombs School of Business. In his remarks, Powers made reference to the historic nature of the presentation and paid tribute to Reece's long-standing relationship with Austin's business community. "Whether it's with his timeless music, fearless entrepreneurial spirit, or consummate and enduring kinship, Jason Reece has been a respected and valued member of our community for the better part of two decades. His selfless attitude has served as inspiration for countless disenfranchised youths who would have otherwise been tragically lost in a barbarous world of debauchery and perpetual grief. His stern yet comforting presence in each diverse aspect of our financial district has served to promote growth and good faith between industries. Without his contributions to our great community, it's perfectly safe to say Austin would not be the wonderful place it is today."
Reece, who moved to Austin in the early 1990s after having spent most of his formative years in Hawaii, was gracious in his acceptance and acknowledged the scope of his award. "I'm truly at a loss," he declared. "I really don't have a clue what to say. I can't thank the people at the university enough. Sixteen years ago I could have never envisioned anything like this happening. To be honored in such a massive way has truly brought everything home. I look forward to staying here in my adopted hometown for a long, long time and working even deeper within the music and business communities to help keep Austin on the straight and narrow."
"After all, no one wants to see us turn into Houston."
>> Older Trail of Dead News"Festival Thyme" Release Show Marks Symbolic Transition
10/15/2008 -- by merlin
NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- Far-travelling alt-rockers ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead will make history this Tuesday with an appearance at New York's Generation Records; it's their first record release show outside of Austin since the band's inception.
"It's sad," said band member turned small business investor Jason Reece in a press release. "I think, in a way, in its own way, it's symbolic. It kinda confirms that we're no longer a fully-fledged Austin band. We're a band with multiple home bases. Austin, New York, Nashville, Afghanistan-- we have band members all over the place. I don't think it will ever be the same." Since Trail of Dead was officially formed in 1994, each of the band's record releases has coincided with a show in their adopted hometown of Austin, Texas. Tuesday's show in New York will be the first time one of these shows has taken place outside Austin. Despite the seeming nostalgic devalue, Reece felt such change was inevitable. "Bands evolve and change as time goes on," he explained. "Sounds change, band members come and go, you leave labels in fevers, that's life in the industry. Sad or not, it's life, man. We'll move on and just keep on keepin' on."
Industry observer, renowned scholar, and Trail of Dead fan Oliver Wright isn't concerned with the band's symbolic cross-country shift. "I don't mind at all. To be honest, it's healthy. If you look throughout music history you'll find that the most successful, longest-lived artists have each changed and adapted to the times. The Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson-- they each re-invented themselves multiple times to stay in the game. Whether by choice or by no other choice, they made it work and they were able to push on. It's a healthy, wonderful thing in the music industry and with all that's happened recently, I'm glad to see Trail of Dead have realized it."
"Without change life wouldn't be worth living," stated Wright. "It would be like living in the South."
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsKeely Bucking for Final Fantasy Job with New Album Art
10/08/2008 -- by merlin
NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- Polished album cover bon vivant and regular ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead contributor Conrad Keely has admitted he would be prepared to consider a change in careers should his series of original CG booklet art ever pique the interest of Square Enix Company executives.
A longtime admirer of Square Enix's Final Fantasy series, Keely confirmed in a recent interview he may be ready to move on from his full-time musical career given the proper situation. "It wouldn't be easy to step away," he acknowledged, "and it certainly wouldn't be a decision I'd take lightly, but everyone has dreams, ambitions, whatever, and this would most definitely fulfill one of mine." The multifaceted artist confesses his musical career has at times been hampered by his preoccupation with Final Fantasy and other computer games. "I don't think my [obsession] has done the band any good. When Fable came out on Xbox in 2004, I couldn't pull myself away long enough to work on the new record [Worlds Apart]. It may have even been why we were forced to delay the release by four months. Whenever something new of that sort comes along and I find out about it, forget it. I'm gone."
In recent years, Keely has found inspiration in computer-generated art and has made an effort to push himself away from the gaming community. "It's a different way to get my fill. I guess it's more fulfilling to create a character or a world than it is to muddle around with someone else's creations. Maybe that's why I'd consider doing something like that full-time. Music is great, don't get me wrong, but it isn't life's be all and end all. There are other things out there and it's important for me, as an artist, to go out and insert my ZIP drive in all the wondrous USB ports life has to offer."
"Who knows," Keely declared, "I could just drop the ball point pen art from our new album and do some more CG."
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsNew Trail of Dead Album Likely to Be Delayed for Months
10/01/2008 -- by merlin
NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- Despite recent reports of finality, bohemian Texas troubadours ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead now appear poised to delay the release of their newest album for several months, citing a crowded New Year release slate.
The as-of-yet untitled follow-up to 2006's critically unacclaimed "So Divided" had been penciled in by band members and management for an early January release, but financial uncertainty and looming industry turmoil has forced the band's burgeoning self-financed label, Richter Scale Records, to reconsider their bearings and hastily scribble-erase the penciled "January" in favor of the more frugal "to be determined". Recurring Trail of Dead frontman and apparent Richter Scale Records Chairman Conrad Keely tried his best to explain the rational for delaying the record's release date. "It happens sometimes in the industry," he lamented. "We just didn't want to feel as if the record was being swept under the rug."
"We're done recording, it's mixed, mastered, and ready to go," Keely continued. "Everything [with the record] is finalized except the title and the packaging. January is plenty of time for me to doodle out a few ball point pen sketches for the album artwork, but when we sat down and took a look at the release schedule for January, we realized we would be competing with several bands and artists who are more or less on par with us in terms of stature and popularity. In our present situation, what with the market as it is, everyone got together and agreed it would be better to step back, compose ourselves and do what's best for the record. We need to give it the best possible chance to succeed. We can't afford not to. Literally."
Despite the fiscally unavoidable delay of their full-length, Trail of Dead's teaser EP "Festival Thyme" is still expected to be released in digital format and 10" vinyl on October 21st.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsNewly Liberated Trail of Dead to Headline Austin's FFFF
07/21/2008 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Transcendental Texas treasures ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead will emerge from their catacombs this November long enough to headline the third edition of Austin's Fun Fun Fun Festival.
Over the past few months, the reclusive Austin alt-rockers have been penning a new full-length album under the direction of multiple mid-level producers with the intent to release independently inside six months. The new album looks set to be the first release on the bands own, freshly-established Justice Records imprint, Richter Scale Records. Serial frontman and primary band protagonist Conrad Keely spoke of his pending excitement in a recent candid interview with local Texas public access television station channel Austin. "We're all looking forward to the release," acknowledged Keely. "I'm not excited yet, but I'm getting there. If I could make a comparison, I would have to say it's very much like moving away from home for the first time. You're over the moon about being on your own and at the same time, tragically neurotic about your potential to be homeless and out on the streets within a year. It could be really exciting."
Despite his impending nervous breakdown, Keely admitted he was relishing the opportunity to return to the stage and headline a festival in his former adopted hometown. "We co-headlined the Siren Festival on Coney Island with Death Cab for Cutie a few years ago, but other than that we haven't had many real opportunities to top a high-profile bill like this before. It's a bit comforting to know we can be out of the limelight for such an extended period of time and still have a certain amount of pull in the industry, especially away from Interscope. Obviously we'll be up for it. It's an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to a larger, more open-minded audience. Who knows, this could turn out to be the catalyst for a new era in our careers."
"I mean, our friends Spoon headlined the festival in 2006 and then had a top 10 record. So how hard could it be?"
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsNew, Independent Trail of Dead Album Due in September
05/12/2008 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Longtime indie heroes ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead stand poised to return to their roots this September with the worldwide release of an as-of-yet untitled album through a smattering of independent labels.
Trail of Dead multi-instrumentalist and band spokesman Jason Reece hailed the return to independent labels as a "liberating experience" and concluded it would be the masterstroke of the band's career-revitalizing pièce de résistance. "It feels great," culled a typically idealistic Reece. "Having behind-the-scenes things sorted has really allowed us to push forward. The last few years with Interscope felt like we were sailing into the wind or plodding up a steep slope with people rolling giant boulders down on top of us. Now that we've kicked those people aside, we're definitely over the top and starting to roll victoriously back down again." While still admittedly ambitious, Reece is making sure to keep his short term goals within reach. "We're not out to conquer the world," he declared. "We just want to put out a record our fans will enjoy, a record to surprise non-fans, and a record we can be proud of. I think we're in a great position to do that."
Though the identity of Trail of Dead's independent imprint in the United States remains unannounced, German-based Superball Music will serve as the band's outlet to the European market. "Superball made us a great offer we couldn't refuse," said Reece. "Even though they're just starting out and looking to establish themselves as a viable independent label, we were impressed by their enthusiasm and affinity for grassroots promotion. That's how you sell in Europe, with enthusiasm, buzz, and word of mouth. If we lay the base, kick out a great record and tour until the end of our rope, they've promised to get down on their knees and do us a few favors."
Trail of Dead will hit the road again starting this Thursday with a show at the Academy in Dublin, Ireland.
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsTrail of Dead Rebuff American Festivals in Favor of Europe
04/28/2008 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Festival-faring favorites ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have declined several offers to play two of this summer's largest American music festivals, preferring instead to save themselves for the larger European festivals.
The Texas-based vagabonds reportedly turned down incentive-laden offers from two of the most prominent American festivals, Chicago's Lollapalooza and Austin's own Austin City Limits Festival, to leave the door open for potential appearances during the summer's European festival run. While completed lineups for the biggest European festivals have already been in place for several months, Trail of Dead focal point and lyrical frontrunner Conrad Keely feels cancellations are inevitable and hopes his band will be called on to make a fill-in, show-stopping appearance. "It happened a couple years ago in Belgium or something when we were asked last minute to replace the Mars Volta who had pulled out," recalled Keely. "The festival organizers called us the day before and asked if we could help. We had already been booked at a smaller festival for mid-afternoon, but they paid to fly us out after our first set and we made it in time to close the stage."
"Things like that happen all the time over there," Keely continued. "You don't get it over here [in America]. There simply aren't enough festivals. There isn't any sort of camaraderie between the bands, the fans, and the promoters. When we played Lollapalooza [in 2005], the promoters gave us a nice trailer before the set. As soon as we got off stage, we went back to the trailer only to find they had given it away to another band. What message is that supposed to send? I don't know about other bands in our situation, but I don't appreciate being pampered, used, and then tossed aside like a one hit wonder. That's not something easily forgotten, especially when they come crawling back three years later. We're keeping our options open."
"Besides, who would want to go to Chicago in the summer? I'm a pacifist. I couldn't stomach being around all those murders."
>> Older Trail of Dead NewsToD Consider Releasing Digital Greatest Hits Album
04/07/2008 -- by merlin
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Enduring Texas-bred hit factory ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are in advanced talks with several major online music retailers over the possible release of a digital greatest hits compilation after finding inspiration in an unlikely source, greatest hits champions Eagles.
Many high profile industry insiders had predicted a greatest hits or best of compilation on the horizon for Trail of Dead after their split with long-time providers Interscope Records, but part-frontman Jason Reece revealed the process was never that cut and dry. "We decided a while back when Interscope [Records] came to us and said they wanted to do a 'best of' physical release that we weren't into it. Nobody wants greatest hits CDs from new artists. They only want the classics." He continued, citing positive offers for digital alternatives. "After we left Interscope, we had conversations with iTunes, Rhapsody, places like that, about doing something digitally. There are a lot of different angles we could take. I mean, we looked at a band like the Eagles, looked at what they did back in the 70s. They put out a greatest hits album of their first five years together and it went on to become the best selling record in the United States. That sort of thinking was off the beaten path, looked odd at the time, but it worked. Maybe we could do something similar."
Reece went on to proclaim the prospective Trail of Dead "best of" record would only include songs selected by each individual patron, creating what might presumably become the first à la carte style greatest hits album in music history. "We don't want to force songs down throats," he said. "Something we think is great and ground-breaking might be hated by a good portion of the fanbase. We don't want anyone's first reaction to be 'oh, this song sucks, why is it here' or 'I hate these crappy pretentious pseudo-prog fillers'. If we give them a choice, let them choose a few from each album and actually enjoy the process of picking and creating, they might look at [the songs] in a different light. Music is meant to be a visceral experience, you know. Everyone should experience it in their own way."
"This isn't the Catholic Church," alleged Reece. "We're not into sheep."
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