Strange Lines digital release and other new releases
Strange Lines on Bandcamp
Originally released in April 2001 on the short-lived label Redwood Records, Chokebore's Strange Lines EP has been out of print for some time. Made up of the songs Sections (a "prequel" to She Flew Alone, the last track of It's a Miracle), Be Forceful (an early version of another It's a Miracle tune), and The Rest of Your Evening (Los Angeles) (a new take on the final track of Black Black), it forms the missing link between the band's last two albums. This rare EP is now available as a digital download on Bandcamp!
Dope Guns 'n Fucking in the Streets 1988-1998
In January, the infamous and long out of print 7-inch compilation series Dope Guns 'n Fucking in the Streets was reissued on triple colored vinyl (in a beautiful tri-fold sleeve) and on double CD by Amphetamine Reptile. This reissue compiles the first 11 volumes of the series, originally released between 1988 and 1998, and features artists such as Cows, Mudhoney, Helmet, Jesus Lizard, Unsane, Boss Hogg, Melvins, Guzzard, Love 666, Steel Pole Bath Tub, Today Is The Day, Rocket From The Crypt, along with Chokebore, who had contributed the song Brittle & Depressing for the 9th installment of the series in 1994. The vinyl version comes with a digital download, and is available on Amazon.
New compilation featuring a live version of Police
The French music club l'Épicerie Moderne celebrated its 10 year anniversary last November with the release of a limited edition (500 copies only) double vinyl compilation of live performances recorded at the venue over the course of the past 10 years. The record, simply titled Épicerie Moderne - 10 ans de live 2005–2015, includes a live version of the Chokebore song Police, recorded in October 2011 during the band's "Falls Best" tour. Other artists featured include Elysian Fields, Alela Diane, The Black Heart Procession, The Ex, Unsane, Mudhoney, and A Place To Bury Strangers. Buy it directly from the record label via eBay!
New Troy Von Balthazar album in April
Troy Von Balthazar will release his fourth album Knights of Something on April 1st, and will be touring across Europe in the spring. The album is already available for pre-order from Vicious Circle in France or Siluh Records in Austria, and digitally through iTunes. It will also be released in the USA on New High Recordings, and in Japan on Donuts Pop.
The Color of Noise documentary and soundtrack
The Color of Noise is a full-length documentary on Haze XXL (a.k.a. Tom Hazelmyer) and his label Amphetamine Reptile Records, which was Chokebore's first record label. It features interviews and rare live footage of bands and artists that shaped the musical underground during the nineties, among which Boss Hog, Cows, Guzzard, Hammerhead, Melvins, Mudhoney, Today Is The Day, or Unsane. The movie was just released yesterday as a Blu-Ray+DVD combo, and is available online from MVD Entertainment or Amazon. Check out the trailer below:
Following up on the heels of the film, The Color of Noise's original soundtrack will be released this Friday, November 27, as a Record Store Day Exclusive release for Black Friday 2015! This limited edition double LP (one clear blue and one clear red 150 gram vinyl) features classic cuts from Unsane, Helmet, Mudhoney, Cows, Melvins, along with Chokebore's 60,000 Lbs from the 1993 album Motionless, all following the track order of the film. Get yours at your local independent record store!
20 years of Anything Near Water
Anything Near Water on Bandcamp
Chokebore's second album Anything Near Water turned twenty in March this year. Today, the band is releasing it as a digital download on the new Chokebore Bandcamp page! And if you prefer the real thing, the vinyl reissue is still available from the Vicious Circle online shop.
Troy and Jon on Anything Near Water
To mark the occasion, we've asked singer/songwriter Troy Von Balthazar and guitarist Jonathan Kroll to look back on the album and the times when these songs were written, recorded, and performed.
"Those years were all really a blur of endless touring. It was great. We were getting better musically and trying new things." — Troy
"We just had a bit more breathing room, a bit more space for experimentation and play." — Jonathan
While you're reading the interview, listen to Pink Deluxe, an outtake from the album's recording sessions that was released as the B-side of the Thin as Clouds 7-inch single.
And to read more on the subject of Anything Near Water, check out these two great articles from the site's archive:
Troy Von Balthazar contributes to an upcoming book about Nirvana
To be released on March 31, the book "I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana" tells the story of Nirvana through the memories and experiences of 210 musicians from 170 of the bands who performed with the iconic Seattle band between 1987 and 1994. According to the author, Nick Soulsby, Troy Von Balthazar is one of the book's major contributors: "Troy was one of the first people I was in touch with about his experiences on tour with Nirvana. Frankly, he was so supportive it was a massive encouragement and helped keep my morale up and keep me going through all the months of grinding work involved. I think I owe him big time for his decency and friendliness."
Describing Troy's contribution, Soulsby writes: "Troy became the most central voice in chapter 19: 'Creaking: the In Utero Tour - October 1993–January 1994.' His reminiscences cover the last nine gigs Nirvana would perform in the U.S., Chokebore having joined Nirvana from December 29, 1993 through to January 8, 1994. Troy made clear that it was Krist Novoselic's personal support that led to Chokebore being invited to join the In Utero tour. Kurt Cobain's own kindness to Chokebore earlier in 1993 is recalled alongside what were actually a lot of happy memories of the touring experience."
Nick Soulsby plans to work with Troy later in the year to write a short article specifically on Chokebore and Troy's work for his blog Nirvana Legacy using the leftover material and further research. Meanwhile, check out Soulsby's post about the book on his blog!
Blast from the past: Chokebore live at Jabberjaw, 1993
A 32-minute long video of Chokebore's 1993 concert at the infamous Jabberjaw club in Los Angeles has just popped up on YouTube! This show took place on October 10th, 1993, which makes it exactly 21 years and a day old! The video is of surprisingly good quality given its age, and features gems like Throats, Nobody, Sãdãvia, and 29 Mile Wind, topped with an early version of Narrow (full setlist here), with the band's hard-hitting first drummer Johnee Kop… A must-see for any die-hard fan! Check it out below:
At the time, Chokebore had just released its first album Motionless, and was already five weeks into the Clusterfuck tour, a six-week-long coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. with Amphetamine Reptile labelmates Guzzard and Today Is The Day. The Clusterfuck tour was funded by a namesake limited edition 7-inch vinyl compilation featuring previously unreleased tracks by all three bands, and explicit artwork by Coop. Around the same time, Chokebore had also contributed the previously unreleased song Narrow to the Jabberjaw No.3 7-inch vinyl compilation, which was sold as a fundraiser to benefit the Jabberjaw club. But Narrow didn't become the classic that it is until 1996, when it was re-recorded for the band's third album A Taste for Bitters, this time with Chokebore's new drummer Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo behind the kit.