When the Breeders play (and curate) All Tomorrow’s Parties UK in May, they’ll have new material: The Deal sisters have “discovered the treble knob” on their forthcoming four-song Fate To Fatal EP, which follows 2008’s Mountain Battles. From its genesis, to the title track’s roller derby-themed video, and the EP’s Obama-themed album art, and the fact that the Deals are going to release it sans a label, there’s plenty to get caught up on. Kim Deal sorts it out for us. Including the Bob Marley cover.
We started with a song called “Fate to Fatal” … The Breeders were on tour all of last year, so we booked time at a place called the Fortress in London, England, and worked with a guy named Gareth Parton. At the beginning, Gareth and I were really snitty towards each other, which can turn out bad or good. And it turned out really good. The second song, “The Last Time,” I wrote, but I recorded it in my basement — we have a guest vocalist on it, Mark Lanegan. The third song is a cover of a Bob Marley and the Wailers song, “Chances Are.” Kelley and I recorded it live in Chicago at Steve Albini’s. And the last song, “Pinnacle Hollow,” I did in my basement on a four-track — tape hiss and all.
The album art was created by Chris Glass, who did the logo for Obama’s “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” as well as the photo we posted with “Bang On” last year, etc. Says Deal:
We saw a news photo of Obama and Biden at a press conference standing next to a signboard with the logo on it … [Chris Glass is] like family — we’re related by marriage, so it was really exciting and it looks really good. We’re getting some fancy craft paper for twelve inch sleeves, and Kelley and I are going to personally hand-screen the artwork at Chris’ studio, Wire & Twine, in Ohio.
And, as is becoming more common, they’re releasing the album on their own — at moments like this, Ian MacKaye must nod knowingly — although it won’t be free, because there are people to pay (“I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t think ‘free’ is the answer”). Kim again:
I started asking questions, talking to Dan Koretzky from Drag City Records, Albini, Bob Weston, and Ivo Watts-Russell who owned 4AD Records. And it seems that now, more than at any other time in the past, we could put the music out ourselves — hand-screen some cool artwork ourselves, sell the EPs at our shows and on our website, as well as get them to traditional record stores and other online outlets. So, we’re just going to press up a thousand twelve-inch vinyls.
Finally, regarding that video for the title track, the Breeders’ longtime St. Louis friend Amy Whited is part of the Arch Rival roller derby team, so they decided it would be fun to shoot a video that incorporated Whited’s team and the sport. One last time, Kim:
[L]ast October in Cincinnati, the Breeders played a ‘Vote Early, Rock Late’ rally. While we were there, these girls introduced themselves to us as the Cincinnati roller derby team. Then in November, I was doing a signing for my book [“Bags That Rock: Knitting on the Road with Kelley Deal”] and judging a craft show in Minneapolis, and one of the teams that I was judging at the craft show was the Minnesota roller girls. All this was going on and I thought, ‘this roller derby thing is really knocking at my door – I gotta do this!’ So, I got a hold of Amy and we figured it all out.
The video should be available soon. For now, there are more photos and this behind-the-scenes video:
Now all we need is some music.
Fate To Fatal is out 4/21. Also keep your eyes peeled for a Breeders documentary shot by bassist Mando Lopez.
[Roller derby photo via River Front Times]