Witness a Live Duel!

Metallic heshers test Electric Church’s new mobile studio

Hard-tripping Austin quartet Duel attempts to bottle its testicular perspiration with a live LP capture on Sunday and Monday at the Electric Church. They’re taking advantage of a mobile recording unit that’s outfitted with an eye-bugging vintage console wired to track bands playing inside. It’s been christened Austin Crow Electric.

Duel’s Jeff Henson and Tom Frank (r) (Photo by David Brenden Hall)

Austin Chronicle: It’s 2018. Do live albums now qualify as a lost art?

Tom Frank: Yes and no. The MC5 had great studio albums, but you don’t fully appreciate the band until you hear the energy when they’re all playing together in front of a crowd. You get a feeling like you’re going somewhere when you listen to it, rather than flipping through somebody’s portfolio of music.

AC: What are your favorite live LPs?

TF: Like I said, MC5 has always been huge for me, but the New York DollsLive in Paris album was the first thing I bought from them, and after that their studio albums sounded so sterile to me. UFO is another one. My favorite stuff by them has always been live. With a lot of bands, I’ll actually like the live version of their songs more, because there will be something there that wasn’t on the album.

AC: You’re recording at the Electric Church. Quite the underground scene there.

TF: I went to a show there a couple weeks ago to see these kids from around town called Astral Blue. Their music is really well thought out, so it was cool to hear them there. All the little things they do that I’d never noticed before were sticking out. It’s such a dry room. It’s got office carpet and a drop ceiling, and it kind of sounds almost like a recording studio. It’s not quite so soaked up, but you can really hear the separation of everything. When we called Jese [Hernandez, Electric Church co-founder] to set up a recording there, he asked if we knew about their recording studio.

AC: Studio people really geek out over that Neve console at the Church. Remy David, who runs it, has a lengthy career in audio engineering.

TF: She’s not a rich person who found out what’s cool and spent a bunch of money on shit. Remy acquired all this shit through her profession over a half-century. She worked on that board forever and ever at NBC and later bought it at auction. She’s got a story for every little piece in there. It’s like a real Seventies mobile recording studio Deep Purple would use or something.

AC: When will we know how the Duel live record turned out?

TF: We have two weeks to master it, then our Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds presses it to vinyl, and it comes out in May. Then in June we’re doing two weeks in the States and five weeks in Europe.

Duel are joined by Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad on Sunday. Greenbeard plus Max Cherry open on Monday. Doors at 7pm and your suggested $5 donation includes free drinks.

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Duel, Heavy Psych Sounds, Electric Church, Tom Frank, Remy Davis, MC5, UFO, Astral Blue

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