Blag'ard heads into the studio, readies Capsize 7 archival release (Tonight at Nightlight)

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Joe Taylor (left) and Adam Brinson are Blag'ard
  • Joe Taylor (left) and Adam Brinson are Blag'ard

Blag’ard has delayed the release of its second LP, tentatively titled Mach II, to the beginning of next year. Guitarist Joe Taylor now plans to accompany its release by unshelving the long lost Capsize 7 album he recorded with the old alt-rock act in the mid ‘90s before they were dropped from Caroline Records. Fusing the jagged angular spirit of Polvo with Achers of Loaf’s hooks, Capsize 7 was one of the Triangle’s most underappreciated coulda-beens. He brings a similar bristling sound to his new outfit, fueled by drummer Adam Brinson’s sizzling kit work. We spoke to Taylor about the forthcoming releases.

INDEPENDENT WEEKLY: So what’s up with the new Blag’ard recording?

JOE TAYLOR: The Blag’ard record was pushed back to an unforeseen medical situation in my family, which basically meant I had to derail my life for about a half a year. I got back on track with getting my shit together. We are going to record the record starting in October. We’re going to record with Nick Peterson and start tracking on the 6th—coincidently, the day after my birthday. So it’s a nice birthday present for me, and then we’re doing it on one-inch reel-to-reel. I hadn’t recorded with audio tape in a long time, so I’m psyched to be working with Nick and going down on reel-to-reel. We’re going to do 10 songs, and because of the fact that Fall crept around and we hadn’t recorded the record in September or August, we said, “Putting a record out in November doesn’t make any sense, so let’s just wait.” So it’s going to come out in January.

How old will you be?

38.

Where are you recording?

Nick’s tape machine is currently not operating, so we’re subcontracting through a buddy of his, and we’re going to record out of this guy’s place in Raleigh on his tape machine. Nick’s going to engineer it.

What’s the reason for putting it to tape?

I recorded with my old band, Capsize 7, in the ’90 on audio tape, and I like the way it sounds. It’s more performance-oriented from the musician’s standpoint. You have to do better when you’re tracking because it’s not as easy to edit with audiotape. With digital, you can pinpoint a micro-section down. Also, because with the loud amplifier, the way that goes down onto the tape it adds a nice a nice effect the way a loud sound will bounce onto audio tape and hit it hard and cause a little bit of distortion. It gives it a different feel.

We recorded with Nick for our last record, and that was all Pro-Tools. I’m happy with that record, but I wanted to try something different and see what would work the best to give it a different flavor. I was concerned because if we were using the same engineer and basically all the same equipment, we’d get a very similar sounding record. And there’s not a problem with that, it’s just that I wanted to put out something new and different.

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When were the songs written?

We have been playing them out live for the past 7 to 8 months. Basically, we’ve just been writing the record and playing it live since February. There are one or two songs that predate Bobcat. They’re just reworked by me and Adam to have our take on it, versus what they were originally. The one difference between this record and the last record is me and Adam have matured as a songwriting team. An idea gets more analysis and evolves more during the writing process than it used to. An old idea run through that machine sounds different. So putting a couple old songs out, I’m cool with that.

Tell me about the Capsize 7 lost album.

Capsize 7 was together from 1991 to 1997, basically. We broke up like October ’96. We were on Caroline Records and released one full-length record with them, and they picked up the option to release our second album and give us the money for it. So we went out to California and recorded that album with Mark Trombino, who went on to record Blink-182. He was the drummer for Drive Like Jehu. We recorded that album on 2-inch audio tape in a great studio, and we had the record done. After the record was finished, Caroline dropped us. But they gave us the rights to the record when they dropped us.

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That was awfully cool of them.

I don’t know how it worked out that way, but [Local 506 owner] Glenn Boothe, who was our A&R guy, he somehow finagled that. So we had the rights, but because the band broke up and because of the fact that I basically lost my shit, I couldn’t get it together enough to find new members to do the band. It just sat in the can for like 13-14 years, and then it just seemed like now is the time to do it. I called the guy up and had him ship me the tapes, and they were just bounced down to Pro-Tools. Nick is going to help me mix down the songs that weren’t mixed down, and we’re going to finish it up and put it out. It’s a 13 song album, and I’m putting it out on a limited number of CDs because I don’t know what that format is good for besides press and radio. And it’s going to be available as a download from my music site, pigzenspace.com.

I’m not trying to recreate or jumpstart Capsize 7. I just wanted to get this record out because I think it’s a good record, it would be silly not to put it out and, selfishly, I want it to shine on my new project. The Capsize 7 album is going to be called Horsefly and the Blag’ard album is going to be called Mach II.

Blag'ard plays Nightlight tonight Thursday, Sept. 24. The $5 show starts at 9:30 p.m.

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