Saturday, January 22, 2011

About a year and a half ago I (Bubba Crumrine) was going through some old photos from my days in Fairport/Rochester while visiting my parents. I came across a photo of me and a boy named Michael Rheinheimer from my middle school tech class. It dawned on me how many people I used to know and how I have no idea where most of them are. Fast forward to last summer at the Genital Holograms/Ailments 7" release show with our Rochester friends TUMUL and low and behold, the name comes up in our conversion.  Michael's in Rochester with his own, excellent project. As paths would have it, that band, Attic Abasement would be heading out on a month+ tour in mid-Jan across the east coast. I can't up with Michael for the first time in years in preparation for Attic Abasement's show at The GreenStar Annex this Thursday with Underground River, DAADs, and Kaboosh!.

IU: What have you been up to since we left FHS?

Michael: After high school I went to a couple different colleges, wasting my time trying to stay wasted, and finally transferring to R.I.T. I'd go to school during the day and try to catch shows at night. I made some great friends that way and ended up in a few bands. I got my bachelors in mechanical engineering and haven't used it since, really. I work at restaurants and play music.

IU: How did Attic Abasement get its start?

Michael: I was in a band called Science vs Witchcraft, playing guitar and singing sometimes. We'd write these noise rock songs, sort of intentionally ugly with lots of dissonance. Shows were very cathartic for me with that band and I tried to make the guitar sound like it was breaking. I started Attic Abasement as an outlet for some prettier style guitar playing and songs that I was writing as well, because I like pretty stuff too. It was just a recording project for a long time. It wasn't until we broke up science that i got other musicians involved to play shows.

IU: Any story behind the name?

Nothing that interesting really. I think the word abasement was in a book I was reading and I thought it would be clever. I like the name sometimes and other times I don't like the name but im not gonna change it now. So, eh, doesn't really matter.

IU: When did you first take the project on the road?

Michael: Almost a couple years ago, a few weekend jaunts. Then a tour down south as Hello Shark, A Wonderful, Attic Abasement where there were three of us playing each others songs. Hello Shark is Linc from Vermont, A Wonderful is Tim from Rochester (in Attic Abasement this tour). last spring was a pretty long Hello Shark and Attic Abasement tour playing solo sets.

IU: How many line-ups have you had?

Michael: Hmmm.. a math question! Let's see, I guess around 7 fairly serious line-ups, give or take.

IU: How did you select the current tour lineup?

Michael: Two of my best friends and favorite musicians. Tim bass/drums is "A Wonderful". He has a gift for melody and has written some incredibly beautiful songs. Erik drums/bass just knows what he's doing. He was in a band called Straight, No Chaser. look them up if you dont know them. I havent heard anything like it.

IU: Tell us about recording "Dancing Is Depressing":

Michael: I've always recorded this stuff at home, layered track by track. With the exception of the female vocals and the song 'A Werewolf' (Tim played drums, my friend Benton played bass) all the instruments are played by me (for better or worse).  I like it that way, for these (Attic Abasement) songs, because 1) I can take my time and not have to worry about using up anyone else's 2) theyre my songs and I know how I want them to sound and 3) I love recording and I love playing too

IU: Any underlying themes you were aiming for on this album?

Michael: I wasn't really aiming for anything. They are totally reflective of the different feelings I was having at the time: isolation, heartbreak, dread of the looming threat of having to work a straight job (persists), escapism. because of this the album has an overall melancholy feel and can be a bummer for some, ha, sorry. I try not to do anything without a sense of humor, though, some stuff on the album is meant for a laugh.

IU: How do you feel it differs from your previous releases?

Michael: Musically, it's less ugly. I tried to maintain a level of spacey dissonance on the others that I abandoned, although certainly not completely, on this one. I miss the dissonance though. The next record is gonna have more of that. Lyrically, it's more thought out, for sure. It's less stream-of-mind and more developed. the songs are more complete.

IU: What all do you hope 2011 holds for Attic Abasement?

Michael: I dont have any plans other than to write, record and tour. Come march I'm moving to Iowa for a little bit to be in my friend's band called Paleo. There will be tours with that band as well.

IU: Any final thoughts for those coming out to the show on Thursday?

Michael: We cant wait to be there. Let's have a good time. Can we bring beer?


thaees said...

Thanks for this, I absolutely love attic abasement and rheinheimer is a fucking music genious.