Back in 2009, having been on the road with the Mars Volta, we took a break from touring to work on a new record. During the break we managed to have some time at home for once. As a personal project, I had always wanted to make a “rehearsal” or “live in the studio” record on 24 track tape and release it for free. Opportunity knocked, and someone who owned a warehouse space in Frogtown (a part of Atwater Village in Los Angeles) was having an art showing. They wanted a band to play the showing, so they asked me if I could throw something together and I saw my chance to make a recording, as well as, do a fun gig in a cool space.
At the time, I was always jamming with Mars Volta’s saxophonist Adrian Terrazas-Gonzalez backstage before we would have to go on. I had a couple of song ideas that I would play, and he would use them as a solo vehicle to warm up to. I decided to use these backstage jams as a foundation for our rehearsals for this show and record it.
I have always loved Cedric Bixler-Zavalas’ drumming, whether on a De-Facto record, Big Sir record or jams we would do at sound-check so I asked him if he wanted to play with us. Cedric was down, so the last piece was asking “Money” Mark Ramos Nishita of the Beastie Boys to join in on it. Mark and I have known each other since the early 90’s and we have always had great chemistry in an improvisational setting.
We went to my ex Distortion Felix bandmate, Manny Nieto’s recording studio in Lincoln Heights for the rehearsal, and Manny threw up some 2″ reels on his 24 track machine and we recorded our practice, live! There are mistakes, start ups and such but overall, I love how we interacted as musicians.
Money Mark gave us the outer-space weirdness, Cedric laid down dubby/funky beats throughout and Adrian was uplifting us in his Coltrane/Pharoah Sanders influenced saxophone solos. After the rehearsal, we went to the warehouse and performed these tunes in front of a small audience. We even had Julliette Lewis of Julliette Lewis And The Licks (also a famous actress of course) come up and do a super tight freestyle that I wish we had recorded!
Someone had posted a video of our studio version of “Naima” with photos from that actual warehouse performance, but here is another song from that recording session! Enjoy!!!