hopeless wanderer (gunshotbeauty) wrote in blood_pact,
hopeless wanderer

some more info and songs about the heavens

The label will be releasing the album on September 12th in North America and September 11th in Europe.

two songs are online
The Heavens-Patent Pending
The Heavens-Dead End Girl


1. Gardens
2. Counting
3. Heather
4. Patent Pending
5. Dead End Girl
6. Doves
7. Another Night
8. Annabelle
9. Watching You
10. True Hate
11. Leave

The friendship that spawned Patent Pending, the debut release from Heavens, began several years back when Matt Skiba moved to Los Angeles from Chicago, and wound up becoming housemates with Josiah Steinbrick, himself an East Coast native.

"We're both music nerds," Skiba explains. "So one day were both hanging out listening to records and Joe pulls out this cassette he had recorded with just these instrumental tracks. Even without lyrics I could tell they were amazing songs and said that we should start writing together. I had a sixteen-track in my room that I was using to demo Alkaline Trio songs, and once I fell in love with Joe's songs, I thought, I could write lyrics to these so easily."

The album itself was written in about a week in August of 2004. "I would pick up three bottles of wine and we'd head in my room to write," remembers Skiba. "I would basically go into my room and write a song," Steinbrick adds. "Then I'd bring it back to Matt's room and we'd lay it down. Matt would add lyrics to it and we'd refine the arrangements to perfect them."

"With Alkaline, I'm usually thinking Ramones and Misfits," Skiba adds. "But Joe is such an incredibly talented, imaginative player, that he built this foundation that let me feel like I could sing low in my register, and let the influences of Sisters of Mercy come out of me." With Matt's vocal influences paving the way for his gentle, almost whispering melodies, Steinbrick's distinct soundscapes were shaped under the influence of pop experimentalists such as Wire, Brian Eno, and Television.

With lyrics as pretty as they are eerie, Skiba brings us images of an almost comforting brutality, a warm razor-blade embrace filled with blood dropping from the sky and arterial sprays painting the carpets. Steinbrick offers up layer upon layer of instrumentation, which we can imagine starting out as single notes on the guitar, that build and swell and change when you least expect them to. Distilled to their separate parts, the songs seem to have emerged fully formed from two complimentary imaginations. There is real vitality amidst the images of death and decay.

Once the bedroom demo skeleton of Patent Pending was finished, Matt headed into the studio to record the Alkaline Trio release Crimson, and Josiah continued writing for Thieves Like Us. In the spring of 2005 they went into the Sunny Heights studio with friend and producer Ben Lovett to start adding flesh to the bones. While Josiah played all the instruments, Lovett programmed the drums and the two worked together to bring the albums lavish, almost fit to burst production together. Just listen to the last 30 seconds of Heather, and you'll have an idea of how much thought and raw creativity was in that tiny, basement room. Matt came in to record the vocals, after which both ventured off to do other things until February 2006, when Skiba's schedule freed up. Finishing touches were added, enlisting the aid of drummer extraordinaire Matthew Compton, and the finished product was brought to Ryan Hewitt for mixing.

Having funded and recorded Heavens entirely on their own, Skiba says the pair's partnership with Epitaph Records came quickly and made perfect sense. "I have a terrible memory, but I do remember, when I first heard Joe's music, thinking that this is something - that if done correctly - could be pretty amazing. I think part of the reason that we're with Epitaph is because of Brett's enthusiasm [label founder Brett Gurewitz]. I played this stuff for him and he said this record is fucking brilliant, every single song is killer."

With the debut release Patent Pending slated for release on September 12, and with touring plans developing for the fall, Heavens are off to a very stellar start.
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