Awesome sir. What's the back story on getting Pridgatron and Adrián involved?
I haven't really spilled the guts anywhere so here it goes:
I was like 12 years old when I heard ATDI/Volta in like 2002 from a friends older brother by way of skateboarding. It's arguably the whole reason I bought a guitar. It was the first real raw shit I can recall listening to and thinking "this stuff comes from the heart and isn't just being made to sell or get played on the radio".
I started a band in Houston when I was like 15 or so in high school called Television Skies. We played at a now defunct club called the Proletariat and this guy in the crowd who heard us approached us after the show about managing us/booking shows. It was weird and bizarre to us but we just went along with it because he wasn't asking us for money or anything.
It turned out he also managed Zechs Marquise so we wound up opening for them in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio a few times in like 2007-2008. I met Thomas at a Mars Volta pre-party when they were touring Bedlam and we sort of just clicked. A couple of years later after he left Volta and was doing stuff with the Memorials he hit me up and asked if I could help book some Texas shows for them since he remembered I'd played and help promote shows for Marcel and Marfred's band.
After playing with them at Fitz's in Houston he was basically like "oh shit I thought you were just like a fanboy but damn you can actually play and write cool shit we should do something together". That was the first time this was mentioned and I was both flattered and flustered at the sentiment. Might have been 2010/early 2011.
After my dad was murdered in 2011, I stopped playing in bands but didn't stop writing or playing guitar. Focused on figuring money out to take care of my mom and sisters. Thomas was just a homie at that point. He was one of the only people who would like check in on me regularly and make sure I was doing okay. He always invited me out to shows when he was on the road with Residente or Thundercat.
I did two years of EMDR and the end result was just to basically say fuck it and go make a record to have something you're happy with. Being young and recording sucked because there's always the pressure of budget, drummers who can't play to clicks, etc. and then not having the time or money to carefully edit everything exactly the way you want. I feel like a lot of bands with conventional instrumentation stopped putting serious energy into recordings after downloading and streaming got big because frankly there was no longer a ton of money in it any more. I just wanted to do the opposite and take my time to make something I liked listening to as much as my favorite records.
Sonny and I became friends after Mars Volta abandoned him at a venue in Houston. I gave him a ride to the airport and we've been cool ever since. I go out to Hot Springs to help him with some music festivals there twice a year.
Thomas hit Adrian up after he tracked the drums and shows him the music. He did horns on some songs and electronic horns on some of the others.
Ultimately I'm just grateful for the ride. I'm not on a high horse about it and just grateful that some of those dudes are humble and honest people like I hoped they would be when I was a kid.