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CKIII: Triangle Music interviews Last Year’s Men

In less than a month downtown Raleigh will be inundated with the three-day onslaught of the first-ever Hopscotch Music Festival, and in the middle of the hub bub we here at Churchkey Records will have our third birthday party. They grow up so fast, don’t they? Here to get everyone excited about our Churchkey Three day party is another installment in our interview series. This week Triangle Music sat down with Churchkey’s newest act, the rowdy garage-rock trio Last Year’s Men.

Next month will mark the arrival of the Hopscotch Music Festival, a three-day musical buffet featuring artists ranging from Public Enemy to Animal Collective’s Panda Bear. If you can’t make some of the evening festivities, don’t worry. There are already several promising Hopscotch-centric parties scheduled during the day.

Durham-based Churchkey Records will host Churchkey III in honor of their third birthday. It’s a free event on Saturday, September 11, at Tir na nOg and will (naturally) feature some of the label’s fantastic artists.

Included in this great line-up is Churchkey’s newest addition, Last Year’s Men. They’re Churchkey’s youngest band—drummer Ian Rose is only 17, and guitarists Ben Carr and Geoff Schilling are 18 and 21, respectively. Ben and Geoff recently took a break from their full-time work schedules to talk to Triangle Music about just a few of the many things they have going on right now.

How did you end up with Churchkey Records?

Ben Carr (BC): Steve [Jones], who runs it with Kyle [Miller], was at a show, I guess it was at BCHQ, with some really lovely bands. He heard it and he liked it apparently, and we were unloading all of our shit from the stage–“stage,” quote, unquote—and he was like, “Well, you guys want to meet up for coffee some time, or we”ll sit down and have a meal and we’ll talk about this,” and we were like, “All right, awesome! That’s great, because we need a hand,” so…yeah. They’ve been great.
As it came time to begin work on their first record, the question of who to produce it came up. The guys got lucky, and landed in the hands of Spider Bags’ Dan McGee.

How did you get started working with Dan?

BC: That also came from Churchkey. I had a meeting with Steve and Kyle right when we first got signed, and we were talking about different ways to actually record the album, actually get the music onto a piece of something, y’know, like a piece of media. They were trying to send us to various places, and I was like, “Well I don’t really want to do them because of blah blah blah, I don’t want to record the full album with blah blah blah,” and they were like, “Well we just signed Spider Bags for a seven inch, do you want to work with Dan?” And I was like, “Well, yeah.” I’ve been listening to Spider Bags for years. I was in the car with Geoff right right after I bought my first Spider Bags record and I was super-stoked on it for like a year. So, yeah, we hooked up with Dan for that, and we ended up recording with Andy…

Ben whispers to Geoff for help, struggling to remember the name. He means Andy Magowan, leader of Durham jazz group D-Town Brass.

BC: But yeah, he’s this really amazing big band leader, but he also does some recording on the side, and he had a tape reel. So we recorded all of our tracks onto two inch tape, so we got a really cool tape hiss throughout the record. But Dan then got really into it and totally signed on as being the producer, as in like setting up all of our recording dates for us, and calling me at whatever time at night being like, “Dude, I was listening to this song, and I think you need to add this here and take away this here, it’s gonna be awesome, just trust me Continue reading CKIII: Triangle Music interviews Last Year’s Men