Stripminers (left to right)—Holland Greco, DJ Bonebrake, Scrote, Brett Anderson, Paul Stinson, Brett Simons. - Photo by Elizabeth Sloan
“OUR SONGS ARE ALL TOTALLY DIFFERENT. SO IF you hate one, you’re in luck, because you’ll never
hear one like that again,” states Stripminers vocalist
Brett Anderson (who is also a member of the
Donnas) on the band’s website. While all the tunes
on Frail Hope Ranch impart a haunting Americana
vibe, the band members—Anderson, vocalist/guitarist
Paul Stinson, guitarist/producer Scrote, keyboardist
Holland Greco, bassist Brett Simons, and
drummer/vibes player DJ Bonebreak (of X and the
Knitters)—fearlessly deploy myriad sonic textures
to embellish each work with cinematic impact. The
guitar parts, in particular, are alternately beautiful,
creepy, mesmerizing, and hostile.
Scrote: We didn’t have a framework—although
we talked about the general feel we all wanted for
the album. As Brett and Paul’s songs were all over
the map, I was very particular about keeping the production
system consistent—to use the same studio,
session players, engineers, and so on. And then the
session players became the band. It was kind of a
Stinson: Brett and I might come in with a finished
song, or we might leave openings in the structure.
But in all cases, the band members would jump
in, add their interpretations, and transform the song
into something awesome.
Anderson: There was a lot of communication
going on in the studio, but very little was in spoken
English. One player would throw out a hook, and
everyone else would follow along. We tried to touch
the songs as little as possible—to let them have a
life of their own.
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