Free download: warchalking.bandcamp.com
Having previously impressed us with two original one-man-acoustic-rock-soundscapes, 2007′s self-titled and 2008′s much loved “Stratum”, Warchalking seemingly vanished from o...
Free download: warchalking.bandcamp.com
Having previously impressed us with two original one-man-acoustic-rock-soundscapes, 2007′s self-titled and 2008′s much loved “Stratum”, Warchalking seemingly vanished from our airwaves. Now, five years on, he’s back, and this time he’s got a backing band behind him. The driving forces behind the songs are the same – sagacious wordsmithery for the mind and boozy guitar riffs for the body – but the volume has been cranked up to the maximum. Essentially this set-up sounds like potential fulfilled, foot to the floor, windows down, squeezing every last drop of daydreamer gasoline from the tank. It could quite conceivably have been a third in a trilogy of acoustic masterpieces, but instead “Diplomancy” pushes onto the next level and hopes it doesn’t crash off a cliff. Simply put, you sense that this is one record that had to be made. Perhaps not as radical as Dylan going electric, but the same idea, the same thirst for experimentation and development.
There is much to love about it, from reworked old songs to polished new offerings. It is as much a dazzling geographical journey through the new world swamps and bars of Missouri to the old world of Europe, as it is a dark psychological journey across continents of thought. Like all Warchalking records, it is chasmically and fluently deep and yet at the same time it is deliberately dumb and swaggering. I suppose it’s really up to you whether you want to dive down or else dance on the precipice.
But enough of me rambling on in metaphors. To find out what the record is really all about, I caught up with Kris Baranovic and asked him everything you need to know about it:
It’s been a while since the last Warchalking record (Stratum, 2008). What took you so long?
Life happened. It’s not that those years weren’t productive. The Kaleidonauts record was a lot of fun and a lot of work, and there’s been bits recorded here and there. After Stratum, the Warchalking concept felt too cathartic, and I was very tired of making all the decisions. Collaboration and cooperation were necessary. Tigermouse was so much fun and so creatively generative to make that the time seemed right to get a band together, even if we only played once or twice a year in front of people. Instincts were wrong, and three bands materialized and collapsed over the course of three years. Then the Phasetron project took root, and while we were recording 7=5, I wrangled those fellas and a few other friends of mine to pitch in on a Warchalking record. So here we are.
Why “Diplomancy”? Are there any recurring themes on it?
Diplomancy is the combination of “diplomacy” and the suffix “-mancy,” as in necromancy or neuromancy, implying magic and sorcery. The concept came from a collaborative poem about those moments of magic at a bar or party or social event where a person hits complete equilibrium with their substances and their chatter, and everything that comes out of their mouth is perfect for every moment. The night flies by, people leave charmed and happy, and the charmer goes home and feels for one fleeting moment that maybe they’re not a horrible person, that life has meaning, that the high points outnumber the lows. That theme is embedded in most of the songs, and is present in the settings. These are songs about being out on the town, being out of town, or trying, and diplomancy, although not always at work, is always present in those places.
On this record you’ve gone from being a one-man acoustic troubadour to fronting a 4-piece electric band. It’s quite a change. What are the pros and cons of the band set up as opposed to flying solo?
I’ve been in bands since high school, so working with people feels more comfortable. The pros are there are people to say ‘no’ to ideas, which limits some of the schlock that haunts the da