Zach Hill Face Tat on LP
According to legend, people with tattoos on their face are certified crazies, volatile and unable to function properly in society. It's fitting that the sophomore solo album by massively talented and incessantly collaborative drummer Zach Hill is called Face Tat. The 13-track collection, which features an impressive list of interlopers, is a schizoid blast of occasionally frenzied, occasionally sullen and thoroughly captivating excess.
Zach Hill is certainly well known for his versatility (Hella, bygones, Marnie Stern, Wavves… see a comprehensive list of his myriad projects here), and Face Tat is the burgeoning result of working with multiple talents. Face Tat includes contributions from Devendra Banhart, No Age (Dean Spunt and Randy Randall), Guillermo Scott Herren (Prefuse 73), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Carson McWhirter (Hella), Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos, Bygones) and Robby Moncrieff (Raleigh Moncrieff).
Hill explains the origins of Face Tat: "This record was titled prior to any of its music being made, based on an article I had read about people with facial tattoos potentially having a higher suicide rate than those without. I have friends with facial tattoos who are some of the most positive people I know, and have friends & family without facial tattoos that have taken their own lives within this past year. I found that idea very interesting and metaphorical on many levels -- whether true or not - and began using my personal thoughts on this as a muse/concept that could be applied to many different contexts. Musically, socially, politically, the Internet, whatever else… generally the idea/concept of 'platforms'.
"These thoughts were just a starting point and motivation for me though. The music itself is of course the focal point. This started from myself and friends making the kind of abrasive/forward music in 'pop' form I'd want to hear, but hadn't. There's an emphasis on experimenting with 'destroying' sounds so that the source of the melody, rhythms, vocals, etc., is not recognizable or traceable, and then building these things into abstract forms of pop music with conventional structures. Some of the most melodic aspects to this recording are coming from things like the sound of pissing/urinating on a stack of Rolling Stone magazines (I have a subscription), kicking in the screen of a computer, arguments on the street, etc.
"Lyrically, many of the songs started from me writing down a lot of out-of-context sentences I'd hear in passing or from personal exchanges that I found really visual, stimulating or to which I felt a connection. So, I wrote stories out of things I'd gathered - in line at the store, in a dream, visiting family in jail, after a show, on a plane, talking with the homeless, etc. - and formed them into songs and shaped them into subjects that I relate to. I like the idea of making these very real but obscure moments that are otherwise unknown or gone forever into their own weird little worlds. So, I'm very stoked about this record & I'm very excited for other people to hear it and as always I hope that people will gain something positive from it."
“Drummer solo albums are rarely good–this much Ringo taught us. But when the drummer in question plays like virtually no one else alive (our only reference point being Keith Moon, if he’d been into prog) and is known as a consummate collaborator (see: Hella, Marnie Stern, Boredoms, Wavves, etc.), those reservations can be comfortably cast aside.” – RCRD LBL
Zach Hill Face Tat Track Listing:
1. Memo To the Man
2. The Primitives Talk
4. The Sacto Smile
5. Green Bricks
6. House of Hits
8. Burner In the Video
9. Dizzy From the Twins
10. Gross Sales
11. Total Recall
12. Face Tat
13. Second Life