Tuesday, February 19, 2019

an interview with Brave The Waters

DoC friend Rick Habeeb keeps a lot of irons in the fire. Not only is he busy with deathgrinders Buckshot Facelift and the long-running doom metal band Grey Skies Fallen, he and BSF/GSF bassist Tom Anderer formed the instrumental/post-rock outfit Brave The Waters. With their second album out this month, I hit Rick up to fill me in on his latest project.

Dreams of Consciousness: Hey Rick, it's been a couple years since we spoke. What have you been up to?

Hey, Adrian! Thanks for having me. Musically, I’ve been up to quite a bit. Buckshot Facelift released the full length Ulcer Island in 2016 on Paragon Records. We were extremely happy with how that album turned out. Grey Skies Fallen had been planning on recording the new full length back in 2017, but we had some delays, and finally got to recording last summer. As of last week, we finally completed recording. Now, we ship the files off to Dan Swanö for mixing and mastering.

DoC: In addition to Buckshot Facelift and Grey Skies Fallen, you have been busy with your instrumental band Brave The Waters. What was the genesis of this project? How would you describe Brave The Waters?

The new Brave the Waters album Chapter II - Days of Solitude was recently released digitally on all streaming services and our Bandcamp page. In late-April or early-May, we will he releasing that album on limited colored vinyl. We are very psyched about that, and can’t wait until people hear this album on vinyl!

We started this project back in 2014, when Tom Anderer and I were messing around with our effects pedals after a Grey Skies Fallen or Buckshot Facelift practice. We turned on the clean channel and went to town. Things sounded good after just a few minutes of screwing around, we decided to pursue this sound. I’d describe the sound as dark ambient, and atmospheric. Lots of reverb and flowing melodies.

DoC: In some ways Brave The Waters is a departure for you musically, though there is an overlap with some of your other work (in particular, the quieter moments of Grey Skies Fallen). Why the stylistic shift? What do you get out of BTW that you don't get out of your other projects?

This was just an accident, really. We were just screwing around with effects and stumbled upon a cool sound that we decided to pursue. We knew right away we didn’t want drums or vocals. This was gonna be guitar and bass and that’s it. The improvisational aspect of this project gives me great pleasure and enjoyment. I like going into the studio, getting ripped, and seeing what happens. It’s exciting. We hope to do new Brave the Waters stuff every year or so.

DoC: Tell me about the new album Chapter II: Days of Solitude - how long have you been working on it, where did you record it, and how does it compare to the first album?

This album was slightly different from the first one, in that for the first album, we had ideas for a few of the songs and winged it for the other few. There was always an improvisational element to this project, and we like that aspect of it. So for the first album, we came in with somewhat of a limited idea of what we were gonna do. This time, Tom wrote the basis of all of the songs, brought those songs to the studio, and then I added my parts on top. I improvised everything on this release. Part of the appeal of this project to me is to be able to get out what I’m feeling at that particular moment, and when I listen to the record, it takes me back to those feelings.

We recorded the new album up in Kinderhook, NY with Keith Moore. We use Keith for all of our projects. We recorded this over the course of 3 days in September, 2017. So we’ve been sitting on it for a while, getting the artwork done and preparing for the vinyl release.

DoC: Is there a significance to the album being titled "Chapter 2" (other than it being the second album)? Are the two albums linked thematically - and if so, how?

Both albums follow the same “character” through some sort of journey. We create the setting with the sounds and leave it up to the listener to paint their path. The next one will be called (surprise!!!) Chapter III.

DoC: What role does improvisation play in the writing and recording process of Brave The Waters? How clear an idea do you have for a song before you start recording it? Have there been instances where a song was scrapped because the finished result wasn't what you were looking for?

To my knowledge, we’ve never scrapped a BTW song. Tom or I will usually come up with the basic idea and then it will take off from there. For this album, like I said, Tom handled all of the writing as far as riffs and song structure. I just added my improvised guitar parts over then. For this album, personally I didn’t listen to Tom’s demos too much prior to recording because I wanted it to be really on-the-spot.

DoC: What does 2019 have in store for you?

We are hoping this will be a big year for us. It will be as far as releases go. The projects Tom and I are involved with together all hope to have new records out this year. BTW is already out digitally with the vinyl release to follow. The vinyl can be pre-ordered over at our Bandcamp page.

Grey Skies is going to shop the new record after Swanö finishes it, so that may take some time. If we don’t get any bites, we will put it out again on our own. We are used to that. It doesn’t bother us. So we are hoping the GSF album Cold Dead Lands will be out by Halloween.

Our grind/death band Buckshot Facelift is in the process of getting songs together for a new recording this year. That’s sounding sick already! And finally, there’s a new death metal project we hope to get started on soon called Crimson Dusk, that will be kind of a tribute to the Swedish bands, and will be heavy as shit. Great recording lineup too. More on that later.

Brave The Waters on Facebook

Brave The Waters on Bandcamp

The Opposite of Up:

Mixtape 9:
Grey Skies Fallen