- Sleep and Release - OLE-571 - 2003-02-18
Aereogramme release their second full length lp in spring 2003. 'Sleep and Release' will surprise those new to the band and will delight and confound those who are familiar with the band’s previous work.
“We needed to create intense music," states Campbell, "Whether it was intensely wild or intensely fragile. We have no interest in slack-jawed, faux working-class posturing or conceited, culturally aware post-irony. It’s got to be about hearts on sleeves not tongues in cheeks (arse or otherwise)."
…Glasgow, late nineties… Craig B., fresh from the ashes of Ganger, called upon long time friend Campbell McNeil to work on some ideas. In need of a drummer they found satisfaction in one-time jazz percussionist Martin Scott. Not chin strokers mind, but all proud to be beard wearers.
Recording came quickly and their first fruit was borne in the shape of the Translations single on their own Babi-Yaga label, selling out within weeks. A second single (Hatred) followed thereafter, and that too was a success.
Noticed by Chemikal Underground as they slowly started to grace stages around Glasgow in 2000, a relationship was quickly developed and Aereogramme released the magnificent Glam Cripple EP - the first outing of the labels new boutique imprint, Fukd i.d.
Chemikal Underground simply had to work with Aereogramme on a more permanent and loving basis. A deal was finally concluded and the band retired to the studio to record their magnum opus, A Story In White.
Aereogrammes debut album is a record that marries punishing metal with sublime moments of beauty. It weaved aggression and raw emotion into a new form, transforming calm into mayhem and back again without any surface glitches. It gently unfolds and envelops one completely by stealth. 'A Story In White' was an unqualified triumph - LP of the month in Rock Sound and featured in Kerrang’s LPs of 2001 - and Matador Records released the record in the Fall of 2001.
Following the release of 'A Story in White', Aereogramme embarked on a number of adventures - two American tours, a string of headlining dates across Europe & the UK as well as shows with Idlewild and Anathema, and a bizarre firework incident involving Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.
Work on the follow-up to A Story In White was constrained by touring and made awkward by living through it. “Its fair to say that six months of solid touring, upheavals in our personal lives, ever increasing disillusionment with the bullshit of this ‘industry’, had taken their toll on the band. Couple this with the addition of a fourth member which created a shift in the personal dynamic within the band - causing us at least as many problems as it solved“, said Campbell.
The fourth man Iain Cook, a shadowy figure operating within the confines of the film and TV soundtrack world, had always been there but this was unknown to all but a few. Craig holds otherwise, “Other commitments had prevented Iain from being in the band full-time, but it was becoming more important for us to match the ferocity of our recordings on stage.”
“Its fair to say that things were tense at the beginning of recording 'sleep and release' and those problems started on the road.” Campbell explains further...“It gave rise to that most classic of rock ironies, feeling lonely when your never alone. Everyone deals with this thing in their own way - booze, drugs, exercise etc. The one uniform release for us all was film and computer games. The recent (for us) arrival of ‘on the road’ dvds and computer games offered us an unreal reality where we could safely communicate with each other.”
Aereogramme walked straight off a plane into CaVa studios to work on this record. The imprint of dark films and the clinical beauty of ‘shoot-em ups’ loomed large. The resultant effect, on record, is that there is natural flow: a deeply cinematic structure - tracks move forward like scenes in a film.
Craig maintains that, “this record is just more intense all round. On the first LP we put the most crazy song after the quietest, which is quite hard for a lot of people to take in. This time we have grouped songs together, and to us it makes complete sense.”
'Sleep and Release' is also a highly charged and political record - the band are serious in their intent. “Each great civilisation in the history of humanity has been judged by its artistic output as well as its progress scientifically and politically – great art defines progress. Put simply a society that advocates the perpetual regurgitation of culture is a society in its death throes. This terrifies me when connected with current world events and there has got to be something more to creating great music than how well you can ape your dads record collection.” Campbell.
In one particularly unsettling moment on Sleep and Release a disjointed voice emanates from the speakers between “A Simple Process of Elimination” and “Older”. Craig: “This is a total fluke but someone rang Martin’s house during the last week of recording and left the message. A wake up call to just how low people can get. I guess it’s apt for this record - misery and joy share the same confusing space sometimes”.
Aereogramme should be celebrated for their breadth of vision. They have made a truly great record - one that covers the whole emotional spectrum.
Campbell's final thought….
“We release our records on two of the coolest labels (Chemikal Underground and Matador) on the planet. Europe think we fucking rock. Stephen Malkmus thinks we fucking rock. John Peel thinks we fucking rock. Ergo, we fucking rock!”
02/14/03— Album out on Tuesday
With 'Sleep & Release' about to hit the shops in 2 weeks time, Aereogramme will be playing a handful of headlining gigs on the East Coast before heading off to do a full North American tour in support of The Delgados. Currently touring the UK with the Delgados, Aereogramme have a Peel Session slated for broadcast on February 19.
An MP3 of "Wood" from 'Sleep & Release', is available for download now.
10/13/02 — Craig B reports
Aereogramme news -- Hello. We have just finished recording our new album and are trying to persuade all labels involved to allow the cover to be similar to Prince's "lovesexy", except with more hairy bits, so we will keep you up to date on that. We still have not decided on a name but "skag funky", "In gratitude" , "sleep and release" , "fear of a ginger planet" and "liver and lungs" are all possibilities. Things will be quiet for us over christmas but we will be on tour early on in 2003 to support the release of the second album so im sure we will pass your way eventually.
We have been mostly listening to our own bloody album over and over and over but apart from that -- Queens of the stone age / Converge / Oh My God ! / David Bowie / Breach / Isis and talking about how incredible a program OZ (HBO) is. We dont get out much......
07/12/02 — Aereogramme's summer tour dates announced at last -- don't miss them, they're going on right now! Click on the tour link at upper right.
04/26/02 — In the midst of UK dates supporting Idlewild, Aereogramme have just finished work on a self-produced video for “Post-Tour Pre-Judgement” — due to be added to the Matador site in the next few weeks. We’re still hoping for an Aereogramme summer tour. But you know how “hope” is, we can hope ’til we’re blue in the face and that won’t get you out of the house to see Aereogramme. But we’re not above using physical force, either.
02/12/02 — Aereogramme have just announced a trio of dates in the UK:
February 13 - Aberdeen - Lemon Tree
February 27 - Dundee - On Air East (with Icarus Line)
February 28 - Glasgow - King Tut’s (with Icarus Line)
Don’t forget the videos now up on the Matador site. Two songs live from the Mercury Lounge and two solo acoustic tracks from the Matador roof. In short sleeves. In December. Go figure.
Craig B writes: Aereogramme Tour Nonsense. For some reason, Germany has taken to the aereogramme album like a big fat duck to water so with the help of John Peel getting us over for a gig in Holland, we decided to head off to Germany for a few dates, nipping into Switzerland and Belgium for a few nights as well.
11th - Groningen - Grand Theatre - Holland
Pretty impressive wee town this. It’s hard to explain just how efficient the Europeans are at these types of festivals but the whole town square was turned into a festival site with the venues within spitting distance of each other (we know this as Martin tried to spit on the jazz nonsense coming from the venue opposite ours). We also had the utter pleasure of having dinner with John Peel and his wife and managed to hear some pretty great stories involving Rod Stewart and "whispering" Bob Harris. A total honour.
12th - Rotterdam - Rotown
Beautiful venue beside a pretty skanky canal. Dont seem to remember much about this gig. Funny that....
13th - Bielefeld - Forum
First date in Germany where we met Ollie our German tour manager who was a huge help. Our German is frankly non-existent which is shameful since every other country seems to be able to speak many languages. The hotel had a full circus tent set up beside it. Almost thought of running away to the circus but then I realized I’ve never seen a bearded clown in my life so the tour continued.
16th - Weinheim - Cafe Central
We broke down here and were stuck for two days which entertained the nosey locals. Great gig the night before though since the promoter blasted the new Slayer album and refused "new noise" through the P.A. at full volume after the show.
18th - Fribourg - Fri-Son - Switzerland
Terrible gig. My guitar was cutting out all the way through the first three songs which destroyed any hope of laying down some "mean licks" on the unsuspecting Swiss folk (and band members). A certain group of kids had come from the town of Basil, the cancelled gig the night before so they got a second boot in the baws as they witnessed our equipment fall apart. Sorry.
19th - Zurich - Rote Fabrik
Beautiful venue situated beside a huge lake with the Alps at the end towering over everything. Had great enjoyment seeing three very stoned metal fans headbanging to our heavier songs and then rolling some "funny cigarettes" during our quiet songs. No time wasted there.
21st - Dresden - Scheuene
I don’t think Dresden district council have repaired the roads in their fine city since it was flatened as I have never been thrown about a tour bus as much as our approach to the venue. Amazing venue though. Managed to get a full bottle of Jagermeister from the promoter as well. Jagermeister is the German version of buckfast. We tried to explain the meaning of "fighting wine" to the Germans after that.
23rd - Hamburg - Logo
Had a great night out in Hamburg thanks to Ollie. We also managed to find a pub with a heavy metal female D.J. who totally made our night by playing TOOL, AC/DC and many other tunes to which we instantly made tits of ourselves by air drumming to most of the songs. Martin admitted that night that he would leave us in an instant if offered the drumming job in AC/DC. Dont blame him. I’d do it as well.
24th - Essen - KKC
Second night in a row where we have been praised by a transexual. Wonder if there is a pattern forming?
25th - Antwerp - Der Singel
Another amazing festival set in Belgium this time. Played a pretty good set to a seated audience in the biggest hall we have ever seen, let alone played in. Cornershop headlined that night and suffered every band’s worst nightmare. An audience of around 1000 was reduced to around 100 by the end of their set. It was like that Trigger Happy sketch where the audience leave the minute the band start playing. It was so horrible to watch and I can only imagine what that must have felt like on stage. Yeuch.
26th - Amsterdam - Paradiso
Campbell managed to spit on the weirdest heckler we have ever had. I still have no idea if he liked us or hated us but man, this guy would not shut up and made no sense at all. He was telt by the big man, though. (Campbell, not God).
27th - Den Bosch - W2
Played this gig at 4:30 in the afternoon which was a first! Great D.J. that afternoon though. Shellac / The God Machine / Chavez etc.... Good end to the tour.
This tour, we have been mostly listening to: Converge- "jane doe" / Slayer- "God hates us all" / The Dirty Three- "whatever you love, you are" / Fantomas / Stars of the Lid- "The tired sounds of...."
We have also been laughing at all the incredibly bad videos being shown on MTV2 right now. We have never laughed so much as we did upon seeing the new Creed video for the first time. What a load of pish.
Thank you and see you soon.
01/17/02 — 4 Videos
Videos from this past month’s tour through NYC in the music section. Two songs live from the Mercury Lounge and two solo acoustic tracks from the Matador roof.
01/04/02 — Aereogramme festive greetings, Bah Humbug.
Thanks to all the lovely americans and canadians who looked after us on our first ever trans-atlantic tour (and apologies if you haven’t been able to get rid of the smell). We only finished the second leg of the tour three days ago so it will take a while to scrub the demons off.
09/07/01 — The Spiel From Their End You can check out the “Zionist Timing” video in our video section and look out for Aereogramme on tour with Arab Strap this autumn. The following is the Aereogrammenewsletter, as supplied to us by Craig B:
“Hello again. Hope you are all doing well. This is just a small note to let people know that Aereogramme’s new EP was recently released and should be available right now in your local (UK) record shops. The ‘White Paw E.P.’ contains 1. Zionist Timing 2. Motion 3. Messenger 4. The Art of Belief. It can also be bought at the Chemikal online shop.
“Zionist Timing” is the only song that will appear on the forthcoming ‘Story in White’ album on September 21st (editorial note: That’s the UK release date, take it easy. The US release date is October 9 and will include all the tracks from the ‘White Paw E.P.’).
John Peel has already played two songs off the album and we are trying to annoy the evening session into playing some stuff as well since the Scottish evening session led the way so long ago! Feel free to bother these people as well.
Any geeks looking for the "hard to find" first single? Well get yer arses along to http://www.opalmusic.com as they have the aereogramme debut single “Translations” on sale for £2.99. There were only 500 printed and they seem to think “Hatred” was the first single so they are charging £7.99 for that one. Get in there before they change the prices round. One warning though: “Translations” is not heavy in the slightest. It was before we had a decent budget so it’s all quiet and miserable. We are still proud of it though!
Gigs: There is a tour in the works for September / October but we will let you know when its is confirmed. The dates confirmed so far are:
5 - Acoustic gig with Life without Buildings, 13th Note Cafe, Glasgow
6 - Twa Tams in Perth with Degrassi
9 - Benefit gig with Bangtwister and many more excellent Glasgow bands (in other words, I can’t remember who they are), 13th Note Cafe, Glasgow
13 - London Monarch (Barfly) - XFM gig
28 - Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut - Album Launch!!!!
Hope you are all well and that some of you can make it to these gigs. Say hello if you come along. If you want to be removed from this list please reply with “dkjsfosdfowufpfweeffsddiufsjfPJFBFBnj” in the subject line. If it’s not exact you will not be removed. Hey, its only fair. Thank you for your time. Aereogramme.”
(If you want to be added to Aereogramme’s mailing list, send us your personal details and we’ll pass them along. The more personal the better).
07/19/01 — New Album Forthcoming
OK, announcement time. We’re licensing a new record by a relatively new band who record for Chemikal Underground. But anyone who assumes this band has much in common with Arab Strap or Mogwai (other than, y’know, being Scottish and really great) is in for a big surprise.
After 2 self released 7"es and a real breakthrough with their early 2001 “Glam Cripple” EP (Chemikal Underground/ FUKD), Aereogramme, led by former Ganger guitarist Craig B, have made a quantum leap beyond the sum of their disparate influences.
Masters of discipline and finesse, their loud-to-quiet-to-loud transitions are a cool enough rollercoaster ride as is. But this Glasgow trio’s songs are unusually soulful and affecting in ways we don’t associate with “post-rock” (which is just as well seeing as there is no such thing as “post rock.” If there was, there wouldn’t be any more rock and we’d be selling pencils). “They consistently transform calm into mayhem and fury back into restraint without any surface glitches or overlap” said Steve Clark of The List, but we think he’s underselling things a bit. ‘A Story In White’ comes out October 9 and if it isn’t our favorite record right this second, that’s because some of us aren’t supposed to admit we have one. The Matador edition of the album will include the forthcoming UK single “Zionist Timing,” as well as 3 non-LP tracks from Chemikal Underground’s ‘White Paw’ EP. Aereogramme’s first US tour is in the works for later in 2001.