Frodus "Explosions b/w Dec. 21, 2012" 7"
Label: Day After Records (Czech Republic 1997) / Carcrash Records (2008)
Buy: [amazon] [emusic]

In the player: "Dec. 21, 2012", Track 02 out of 02 Tracks from the single
The digital version contains one extra track that was only released on a compilation entitled "Extinguished" whose chorus riff was recycled for "Invisible Time Lines" on the Conglomerate International album.

Our bassist at the time, Howard Pyle, quit right before this session and recorded his tracks angrily without saying a word to us and then left us to our desires to finish the single. This became a minor underground "must have" as we sold 3000+ copies on the Czech based Day After Records. I think it became one of those Frodus records that people who only kind of liked the band had. It features our Devo cover which was a fan-fave and the first pressing was accidently pressed with two records fused together for VERY THICK VINYL! I loved the artwork the label made as it really captures the Eastern Bloc kind of cheap aeshetic and it even had a photo of the Hale Bopp Comet on the back which I remember hanging about at that time. Perfect! The B-side, "Dec. 21, 2012", captures the bleak mood we felt with us parting ways with our bassist and also was my attempt at creating an apocalypse "end of the world" soundtrack. The title refers to the last day on the Mayan calendar which I made it a point that I should remember by naming this track that. As it goes there is a lot of hype about this date now because of the internet.

Jonathan Kreinik's recording diary entry follows:

If you can believe it, this all started with a trip to the food co-op. I was helping out /hanging out at Lumberjack Distro/Art Monk Construction, where Shelby and Jason from the band Frodus spent a lot of time. Shelby was about to give Rich Kramer a ride to (I think) his job at the food co-op, so I tagged along to get some food. I had a tape of the Juniper recording and some solo stuff on me, and I popped it in the tape deck to see what those guys thought. Shelby was really into it and as it happened, was looking for somewhere cheap to record his side project Travellers of Tyme. I recorded the Travellers and maintained ties with Shelby throughout the year.

Frodus' music has been described as Spazcore . To me, they were starting to sound like frenetic guitars, muddled bass, and insane vocals over drums that were alternately Sepultura-velocity speed metal and Led Zep's Bonzo. Those aren't entirely bad traits, but in retrospect they went a long way during the band's final years of existance (that's if they are truly over).

In February 1997, Frodus wanted to record what was to be their last recording with bassist Howard Pyle. It was a cover of Devo's Explosions from the Duty Now for the Future LP (I think). Happily, I had just realigned my 8 track Otari w/ the help of Ken Schubert at Cue Recording. At the time I didn't have any decent mics. I was working as a "sound assistant" or something at my old piano teacher's restaurant/live music venue in Falls Church, VA and was able to borrow some SM-58's. The bass cabinet -- a dual 15" I think -- was mic'd with a single 58 with the cabinet behind a mattress (I had brought the mattresses out of the Juniper space when they moved out). The drums probably had my beat up Audio Technica 58-style mic with the gaff-taped on grille, in the kick, a 57 on the snare and a crown pzm taped on Jason's bare chest for toms/overheads. The guitar was a 57 on the Marshall cabinet, and a Crown PZM underneath. We blended 2 takes of guitar for what I think was the best guitar sound I've recorded. Marshall and Ampeg, mic on the cabinet and mic underneath. It was also in the laundry room. Vocals were done with an SM58 mic, with either Shelby isolated on one track and Jason's backups and keyboard on another track, or all the vocals on one track, both with reasonable use on compression and Effectron Delay. Once again, the Midiverb2 makes its way on the track as well, on the drums a little tiny bit, and maybe on some other things, just for, ya know, fake ambience. Incidentally I had to borrow a DAT machine to mix this.

This turned out to be one of my favorite recordings to work on. The results were beyond expectation from my pieced-together 8 track studio. The first realignment of my machine, recording a really revved up performance and everyone's equipement was sounding tip-top. I think I would've liked to get the bass guitar better, but that, then as now, is something I'm never satisfied with.

Howard wasn't in the band much longer and they recruited Mason, who I believe was in Enemy Soil. He was a pretty serious and quiet one, but screamed like a maniac. I found this out working on the Frodus/Roadside Monument split single for Tooth and Nail.

(Jonathan Kreinik, 1997)