All Them Witches

WFPK / Vectortone / Production Simple Presents

All Them Witches

Idle Bloom

Fri, April 28, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


Louisville, KY

$12.00 - $15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 18 and over

All Them Witches
All Them Witches
In each buildup and breakdown, every riff and groove of Nashville band All Them Witches, there is a story. The

rockers’ narratives are often unspoken, sourcing musical touchstones from across the States, offering an almost

cinematic experience wrapped up in their propulsive rhythms and subtly funky anthems. “As a band we pull from

every moment that we experience,” says vocalist/bassist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., “our influence is not just

music, it’s our everyday life.”

Their explosive live show earned them accolades from their ceaseless touring schedule and festival performances

at events including their 2015 Bonnaroo debut. “None of our shows are the same twice,” Parks says, “we like not

having to get up and playing the song the same way every night. It’s like jazz, where the main parts are there, but

the rest is made up. We never say it, it just happens, we let the music talk for us.”

The band began as a project between drummer Robby Staebler and guitarist Ben McLeod, then expanded to add

Allan Van Cleave on keys and Parks on bass and vocals. In the early days of the band, Staebler says, the band’s

influences cut a wide swath. “The spectrum of what we listen to is off the chain,” he says, “but the music that

shaped the way I play early on was Pink Floyd, and jazz, especially Sun Ra, and ambient music like Brian Eno,

and Boren and Der Club of Gore.” The band’s sprawling performances would often coagulate into a singular unit,

a live-wire electrifying sound, which was captured on their live recordings and first two studio albums, Our Mother

Electricity (2012) and Lightning at the Door (2014). Those albums were a snapshot of their onstage chemistry and

started their evolution into sophisticated psych rock that lurches forward but never spirals out of control. “This

band is really like having four guitars,” Parks says, “I play bass like a guitar, Allen plays keys like a guitar, and

Robby even plays drums like a guitar: he’s doing fills and rolls. It’s almost like the percussive element of

fingerpicking, the sound of fingers on strings.”

Their upcoming album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker continues their exploration of rock music’s furthest reaches,

while grounding the sound with a solid skeleton of strong songwriting. “I like stripped down songwriters,” Parks

says, “just a guy and his instrument. But on the new album, each song seems to change multiple times

throughout; it makes a five minute song feel like a 20 minute song without the extra time being spent.”

Recorded in Pigeon Forge in Eastern Tennessee, they set up a studio in a remote cabin where they lived and

recorded their album over the course of six days. “You couldn’t hardly walk in there, dodging cables, mics and

guitars,” Parks says, “the cabin was a wreck. We immediately got up there, unloaded our 15 seater van and a

trailer packed to the brim with gear, and started moving things around, set up amps, and a mixing board.” They

recorded much of the album live, but used the studio as an instrument in itself, helmed by producer Mikey Allred

and McLeod. The location, Parks says, also had an influence on the feel of the album. “[Pigeon Forge] is tourist

central, with Dollywood and moonshine distilleries, pancake houses, and Christmas stores. But our cabin was up

on the mountain. We were the only ones there. We didn’t have to worry about anyone calling us in for being loud.

It was quiet. In the morning, the mist would be hanging over the city, then it would clear up and you’d see all these

terrible tourist shops. It was nice to know we didn’t have to be a part of it. There’s a duality that happens

throughout this record, that the solitude of the mountain and the absolute Babylon that is Pigeon Forge.”

The sound of Dying Surfer Meets His Maker mixes together a diverse sonic palette too, which Staebler says was

designed to be experienced as a full album, where “core songs lead into each other.” The album opener “Call Me

Star,” starts with downbeat acoustic arpeggios, slowly melting into grittier chords, leading into the firebrand

distorted bass of the barn-burning next track, “El Centro.” Parks says that the song was inspired by a rowdy show

they performed in the wayward town of El Centro, California. “We were in a little beer bar on Halloween, and there

wasn’t a ton of people there, maybe 20 or 30. All of our gear was in a big pile behind our drummer, Robby. Only

one microphone for all of us. Ben and I were wearing dresses. The guy in charge said ‘you guys can play for

however long you want,’ so we played for two hours. On the album, we channeled the riff from that crazy show,

it’s completely live, just us in a room, doing what we did on that night over again.”

On the cerebral and sweeping track “Open Passageways,” Parks mined his experiences living in the remote

locale of Elmgrove, Louisiana, stranded in a house once owned by his grandmother. “I didn’t have any money,

there’s one heater in the place, it was freezing in the middle of the winter,” he recollects. “Everything broke and I

was out there for four months and lost my mind. Not being able to do anything, no Internet, no TV, no phone. Just

me and my dog in this house. Then I wrote ‘Open Passageways’ in a strange tuning on a classical guitar, and it

became something I never heard before. When I brought it to Ben, we used three more songs on the album from

my time in Louisiana.”

Staebler creates all the artwork for the band, from the album imagery to the t-shirt designs, gleaning inspiration

from their travels. He says that whether he’s creating visual art or pounding the drums, channeling his creative

spirit is an almost meditative state of reflection. “Playing drums for me, it takes me to a place where everything

disappears and you accept everything that happens to you as it happens. With drawing and photography too, I

have these other tools in my bag, to keep my mind occupied. It’s when you get home from being on the road that

you begin to reflect on where you've been that those places start sinking in. Our favorite thing is to go out West

and check out canyons and mountains. We spend time there. We welcome ourselves to the space, and absorb it.”

A sense of place permeates the album, providing a kind of soundtrack drawing from each band-member’s

hometowns, from the Southern Gothic of Park’s Southern life to the coastal sound of McLeod’s St. Augustine,

Florida roots to Van Cleave’s soulful upbringing in Ohio. For All Them Witches, music is the conduit to channel

experiences into sound, creating filmic landscapes rendered by guitars, keys, and drums. “When we’re in

California, our music sounds like California, or the redwoods,” Parks says. “When we’re in El Centro, it sounds

like El Centro and the sand dunes, like where the sandworms were in “Beetlejuice.” We’ve been through all these

beautiful places you’d never get to see unless you were in a rock band, that you’d never see unless you were

travelling the country with your friends, making music, and appreciating it all along the way.”
Idle Bloom
Idle Bloom
Idle Bloom is a four-piece band that is emboldened through textures. The Nashville based project is composed of Olivia (vocals & guitars), Callan (vocals & guitar), Katie (bass), and Weston (drums). They recently completed their debut E.P, "Some Paranoia", recorded by Shibby Poole and mastered by Jade Payne. The songs are haunting yet empowering; enticing with lyrics and vocals that demand to be heard and the instruments achieve soothing qualities that, just as poignantly, become jarring.

Idle Bloom came together in 2014 and had their first show at the Exit/In on March 17th, a venue they frequented separately and finally occupied together. Prior to assembling, Olivia and Katie played side-by-side in Fancytramp and pushed each other to grow musically until they met Callan and Weston, who are fundamental in evolving the layering of sounds they have today.

"Some Paranoia" is the perfect showcase of Idle Bloom's need to explore new territory. No two songs sound alike, and yet it reads like a cohesive story. The way this band accesses different states, musicians and various art forms results in a complex sonic weave. They defy being subjected to one genre and, in turn, blow away listeners with their unique onstage presence and sound that cannot be duplicated.
Venue Information:
2100 South Preston Street
Louisville, KY, 40217