Thursday, August 26, 2010

Animal Mothers

Animal Mothers is a stoner rock/metal trio from Des Moines and its surrounding areas. Currently compromised of Zach Walther on guitar and vocals, Clint Saunders on bass, and Shane McChurch on the drums, the band takes influence from bands such as Metallica, the Beatles, the Dead, Black Flag AND Sabbath and imbues this sound with their own sense of style and humor.

Once upon a time, that time being August 21st, 2009, in a tent at Zach's stepsister's birthday party, former guitar player Alan Larison asked if he wanted to start a stoner metal band, and of course the answer was yes. Because they didn't know anyone else that would drum for a band like this, they recruited Dan Folkers, who had played drums in the death/thrash metal band Borderline Insanity with Alan, to play drums. With Infest as an early influence on their music, this trio (Zach on vocals, Alan on guitar, and Dan on drums) began writing a stoner violence fusion style and would play their first show at the Haunted Basement on September 4th, 2009 with 515 hardcore brethren Lost Hope.

Something was lacking on the low-end of things, and sooner than later the band added long time friend Clint Saunders on bass. Clint's first show with Animal Mothers was at the Haunted Basement with Nebraskan stoner punk contemporaries Hercules and Thunderbolts, also from Nebraska but not stoney in the least bit. Animal Mothers played their set in the back alley, as smoking in an alley is as American as apple pie. Let it be known that one whole ounce of grass was smoked that night.

Now with a full band put together and songs written, Animal Mothers was ready to record a demo. Tracked at the infamous Cuckoo's Nest in the Winter of 2009 by none other than John Bramlett himself, the self titled demo would come to be a good representation of the sound the band had early in its existence. Burnt to CD-Rs placed in very DIY packaging, the demo was first available in February, 2010.

1. Tigermama
2. Space
3. Couch Surfin / Shroom of Doom
4. Solar Priestess
5. To Live is to High

Click to download.

In Decemeber of 2009, after the recording on the demo was done, Zach began playing second guitar in the band and Alan took over on vocal duties while still remaining on the guitar as well. Soon they would lose their Infest influence and harder punk influence in general, and go for a more straight stoner sound. This new sound was intended to first be experienced on December 19th, 2009 at the Haunted Basement with Lord Green and Nightingales, but after Alan consumed 3 Mad Dogs (flavor unknown) in 30 minutes and passed out by the toilet, this was not to happen.

A more memorable show for Animal Mothers would be the time they played "some dumb fest" in Earlham at the end of May, 2010. Zach, Clint, and a car full of girls drove to the small town all while on mushrooms. Dan drove separately and spent 3 hours trying to find the space that the fest was being thrown at, all the while Zach and Clint were terrified by country roads that looked like they were straight out of the movie Twister. Dan couldn't deal with situations like these for much longer, and this night caused him to leave the band.

Animal Mothers was drummerless for a mere four hours when they called up Shane McChurch, who had played with Zach in the stoner violence band Orville Sash, and asked him to drum for the band. He obliged. Not two weeks after the first practice with Shane in June did the band step into Jupiter Lava Studios, Shane's own recording studio, to record tracks for a split tape with Denver's Black Acid Devil. After tracking his vocals, Alan left the band, so in late July Zach re-recorded vocals which are used on the final recordings. On August 9th, this tape was released on Brendan Records at a show at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines with Black Acid Devil, Skin of Earth, and a Creepy Kids reunion.

Black Acid Devil side
1. Death By Cop
2. Boredom Kills
3. Doom Scrolls

Animal Mothers side
1. Demon Hand
2. Water Lizard
3. Solar Priestess

Click to download.

Animal Mothers' future plans are as follows: New demo. Touring. Recording forever and ever. Since Shane is in college in Iowa City and Zach moved to Boone, Animal Mothers shows could be sparse, so make sure to catch them whenever you can.

Check out their website here.

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