L Is For the lloyd-tones

After quite a number of years of playing bass in a rock & roll band in Austin, I quit making music for a while. The last breakup of the band (there were many along the way – we burned through guitarists the way Spinal Tap burned through drummers) was rough. Very rough. Divoice-like in its intensity. And I just had to set things aside for a while. Sure, I still played bass and guitar some, but I definitely wasn’t pursuing music with anything even remotely resembling aggressiveness.

Super Kaiju Monster Blast (the lloyd-tones' EP)Then, in about 2003 the bug bit me anew and I started making music again. Partly this was because Apple introduced Garageband, which meant affordable technology had finally caught up with me and I could write and record at home, easily and on the cheap, without having to drag myself through the aggravation and disappointment of dealing with other people. And so the lloyd-tones* were born. But why insist on acting like there was a band when there wasn’t? Why not just release stuff under my own name (a la Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen, etc.)? It’s mostly because I’m an old Minutemen-style punk rocker at heart and not a screaming egotist, I reckon. There are probably other reasons, but that’s likely the key one.

This nomenclature decision also informs my approach to making music. What that really means is that, though I’ve theoretically got an infinite sonic palette available to me through the wonders of technology, I have (and will continue to) approach writing and recording as through I possessed only a (reasonably) limited suite of instruments, amplifiers and effects. The outcome of this should be that any given album produced by “the lloyd-tones” will sound like it was made by an actual, honest-to-goodness band and not some jerk in a studio who doesn’t care about the possibility of ever needing to reproduce the music live. This is, of course, a personal taste issue (kind of like how I prefer Rubber Soul ad Revolver to Sgt. Pepper ) and not a grand insight into the world of music. But it works for me.

Unfortunately, since it really is just lil’ ol’ me doing everything (and reporting to no one), the pace of production can be painfully slow. Witness the fact that there’s really just one six-song EP and a handful of “singles” available. But hey, genius moves at its own pace. So, it turns out, does sub-genius.

*“But why the lloyd-tones?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s a funny story with a lot of variables. But let’s leave it at the fact that “Lloyd” means “grey-haired” in Welsh and this is my “old man band.”

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