Mist Giant came to our attention by way of an old friend at Velvet Blue Music who was trying to sell me on checking out another album. Accidentally stumbled across this one and immediately fell in love. Glass Walls was reviewed in 8 Lines or Less recently and I blathered on to the effect of, “this album came out of left-field and made my day. Hadn’t even heard of these guys and suddenly there they are, all weird and… gloomy. This is a band with immense talent and song-writing ability putting together some strange stuff.” That rambling out of the way, click “Tuff Luvv” to start listening and read on.
1 – Who the hell are you? How long have you been around?
Just a trio of hombres who want your ears: Mike G., Dan Allen, and Mark Pantoja. We’ve been jamming for about three years now, I think.
2 – How’d you all end up together?
We started playing at Secret Studios in San Francisco. Mike worked with a friend of Dan’s who knew we were all musicians and introduced us. (Mike and I have been in 3 bands over the last 6 years.) After that, Dan and I got a pad together in the Inner Richmond in San Francisco, which is where we got our name– from the coastal fog– and recorded/produced both our releases so far, Human Tree EP (2011) and Glass Walls (2012).
3 – Where’s your band from?
We all met in San Francisco, but Mike G. is from Texas and Dan is from North Carolina. I was born and raised in California.
4 – No bullshitting, what’s your best song? What’s your worst? What’s the reason for each?
Shit, we all have our favorites. And our anti-favorites.
For me I’d say out of the crop we have out now “D-Loop” is the best. I’m also about totally sick of this song. I love it, I’m just over it. “D-Loop” was from our earliest batch of songs, what we call “The Hits” three of which make up the Human Tree EP. We wrote these songs together through jamming, and “D-Loop” in particular was written totally in the group dynamic. I like the structure, I like the dynamism, how it goes from face-melting to fragile melancholy, back to face-melting.
As for worst songs, that’s tough. Not because we have so many goldies, just the opposite, we’ve weeded out tons of shitty tunes. There are piles of them. Our process is to jam and jam and constantly work and rework the shit out of our songs, which tends to weed out the crap. We usually end up with a collection of songs that I think we’re all proud of. We don’t really start with song ideas or structures, or if we do, we mess with them so much they morph into something we’re all excited about. This tends to leave us with strong songs that are independent from each other, making concept albums kinda problematic. Thus, small releases, collections of songs we know are strong but are hard to string together into a larger context. We tend to group our releases by when we wrote them, the instruments we wrote them with, and where we recorded them.
Human Tree was written in 2010 and recorded at our home studio (Ape Room Studios) with guitar, keys, drums, vocals, and sample loops. Glass Walls was written 2011 and again recorded at Ape Room with guitar, cello, bass, drums, and vocals, with less keys and loops. Our third yet-to-be-titled release was written towards the latter half of 2011 and early 2012, and recorded at Studio SQ in San Francisco, with more concentration on keys, vocal harmonies, guitar, and drums. There’s always a mix of instrumentals as we’re all multi-instrumentalists. As for the song I like to play out the least: definitely Some Ophelia off the Human Tree EP. I’m just bored to tears playing that song. I play two bass notes. This was on purpose, to create a human feel to the constant rhythm and I don’t mind doing it, but there’re songs we have that are much stronger and more exciting to play.
5 – What have you put out? Who released it?
We self released Human Tree EP at the start of 2011 and then got picked up by Velvet Blue Music who also released Glass Walls last month (April, 2012). We have a third release coming out this summer.
6 – Why should people buy your album, or stream it at the very least?
Our songs are not easy listening, it’s true, however we’ve always tried to temper experimental textures with a certain amount of accessibility. There’s a lot of honesty in these songs. What this translates to musically is an uncompromising sound, which has garnered us heaps of obscurity. Another reason to listen is that one of us is half-Leprechaun and if you give him a handjob he’ll shoot out gold nuggets and what with the color going for $1,300 an ounce right now it’s a pretty good deal. But you have to listen to the music, and closely, cause you only get one shot. We don’t share partners. We did that once and we all got rabies.
7 – What are your future plans for the band?
Like I said, we have a third release coming out this summer. We’re also doing this Music Video Race in San Francisco in May where we’re getting teamed up with a videographer and have one weekend (72 hours) to shoot and edit an entire music video, which airs the following weekend. Should be pretty fun.
8 – Do you play live? Do you plan to? Got anything lined up in the near future?
We gigged regular into this year. We’ve got a number of side projects that we’ve been touring with and Dan is getting a solo project together, so there’s a lot of future events coming up. We cross-link all our stuff on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Bandcamp – all them shits, so stop on by to check out what’s coming up.