"An ox is a castrated bull, trained to work..."
Andrew Broder, Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and Mark Erickson are now the Cloak Ox, a new band. Where to start? Not with "super group" -- an overused word in general but especially in the Twin Cities over the past year. Certainly not by describing the music, as there's none to be had.
We decided to just ask Andrew Broder about it.
Gimme Noise: So the project is still a mite mysterious.
Andrew Broder: That's how we roll. I learned that in marketing class.
It suits you! Have you all worked together before?
Yes, we have all worked together before. Quite a bit. But that said, this is all new shit, new songs, new attitude, new approach, etc. Like if you could back and do high school over again
So it's like Screeching Weasel.
Precisely. On acid.
Just for some background, I know you and Mark were in Fog together, where did you work with Martin and Jeremy? Keeping the circuitous paths that Minneapolis musicians cut across each other is nigh impossible.
They both played in the O.G. lineup of Fog back in the good ol days. I was also in Lateduster with Dosh. Jeremy helped record the first few Fog records. We have all been helping each other out with each others shit for a good long time now.
And this is your reboot.
Sort of. On a local level it will of course be difficult to make a clean break from Fog as a backstory, but I do want for this to be an entirely new thing, not at all a re-hash.
Off the top of my head I'd guess the music is going to be pretty cerebral, is that out of line? Other than Alpha Consumer, which was still pretty dense, your guys' discogs are pretty um, heady.
Heady, what do you mean?
STONED MAN. No just kidding. Meaning it's very carefully considered, kind of theory heavy, playful but no joke.
Mmm.. I see what you mean. Yeah, this stuff is not as cerebral, I hope. More immediate. Less fucking around. For sure. Hopefully still dropping intelligent science of course, but...I'd like to think it will be more fun to listen to. It's already more fun to play.
When did you guys start this up?
A couple months ago, but I started writing songs again maybe 6 months ago? I took a long, long break from writing songs.
I mean more or less since Ditherer came out, so like 2007-ish? I still did a lot of music, but didn't feel very song-y for a long time.
I was going to say, two months isn't a long time to put together a set...but after such a long break, i imagine you'd be bursting at the seams with ideas. All of a sudden you start writing and it's a "holy shit."
Yeah, once I got back in the groove with it, it came pretty fast. Nice when that happens. I was very stuck and uninspired for a long time, so... it was a relief to write again...
Did you have the other guys in the band in mind when the songs started coming together?
Yes, in the sense that these are some of my best friends and colleagues so I always think of them when I think of people to play with. But at the same time, my whole approach was just to get writing again, and then take things one step at a time after that, so if they didn't want to do it, I would have found another way probably, but I am thrilled to be playing these songs with these dudes.
Who wouldn't be right? Just so happens your best buds are your long-standing collaborators and basically ba'geniuses.
Well, I don't know, they make some prettty sweet synths these days -- I could probably just replace them with a synth or whatever, so it's cool. Either way.
I say that about my friends constantly.
I look forward to having only synth-friends.
Who's doing what in the band? Dosh on drums, Mark on bass, Jeremy on...?
Jeremy on sweet-ass lead guitar, me on guitar (sometimes I will take a sweet-ass lead my self). Me on lead vocal, they all sing a little bit. Dosh is always trying to bring a doumbek to practice and I'm like, NO.
I'm gonna pretend not to Google that.
Or an Oud or whatever. Some kind of Iranian violin. Then he tries to loop it or whatever.
'Hey Dosh, this isn't Dosh, what the fuck.'
I know, right? Stop Doshing!
Doumbek, you mean the goblet shaped hand drum used mostly in music originating in countries near the Middle East? Yeah those are cool I guess.
Damn man, that GED is really paying off.
How'd you know I have a GED? Getting off-topic here, sorry. Are you guys recording already? Or soon? And where?
Not yet, but very soon. Not 100% sure yet, but we are deciding between a few options of where to do it.
The Cloak Ox will not remain a mystery for long; their debut performance is taking place tomorrow, Friday December 31st, at 3PM, on Radio K's Off The Record. If for some reason that is too convenient for you, their first show is at the Turf Club on January 13th, along with the inimitable Seawhores, Makr, and Colonial Watts.
They have a Facebook page too, from which the lead quote was taken.