The Late Heavy Bombardment
“The Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) is a theory that the Earth, and the entire inner solar system suffered through an intense spike in asteroid bombardment roughly 4 billion years ago. … If life originated in environments on the Earth’s surface, it only could have happened after the bombardment stopped.”
I began writing what would become TLHB in late 2018. I was about to go on a world tour with Peter Murphy and David J. of Bauhaus, performing all Bauhaus material for their 40th Ruby celebration. Like a lot of things in life, my plans went in a different direction. I wound up with an intussuscepted small intestine and a good probability of a visit to the hospital for resection to boot. Fun stuff, good times. Needless to say I would not be touring anytime soon and I had no idea what was going to happen next.
About a month later, I finally got off the couch and started recording and compiling lots of new song ideas. Things were coming out quickly and I had almost an entire album of new songs ready to go by the beginning of 2019. I then took a minute to sit with the material
I was back on tour with Nena in 2019 and getting back into the swing of being on tour and travelling again and I put the album on the back burner for a minute. I was still tinkering with the songs and I was starting to play them for a few people to gauge the reaction to the new material. The songs were coming together and it was time to think about recording them properly.
In early 2020 I sent the new songs to my good friend and longtime musical comrade, Ken Rich. Ken is a bonafide musical genius. He owns Grand Street Recording in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. G.S.R. is like a second home to me, having worked with Ken on numerous projects and having recorded the last Loudboy album there (Ultra MK). It was the only place I was even considering recording at.
Ken and I had spoken about starting in April of 2020, with Sterling Campbell on drums, Ken on bass and myself doing the rest. Jake Lummus would be engineering along with Ken. That was our plan and we were ready to go but 2020 decided to take my plans, along with everyone else’s, in an entirely new and unforeseen direction.
Ken and I then started exploring what we could get done by recording remotely (this was and is still the deal if you want to work with colleagues recording music safely in the time of corona) so we started sharing files. Ken would cut a bass track on top of my home demos and we would then send the tracks to another good friend and longtime musical comrade who was drumming on the 40th Bauhaus Ruby Tour with Peter Murphy and David J., Marc Slutsky.
Marc would take the recordings that Ken and I had already put the guitars, vocals and bass on and he would then track his drums at his home studio, Slutsky Drum Studio in North Hollywood, CA. We were working a bit backwards from the traditional way of stacking instruments but the knowledge we all have of each other musically would prove to be an invaluable asset in getting a tight and cohesive band recording. That was essential as we weren’t going to be in the studio together.
So the three of us dove in as the core band members and started working on the songs, emailing tracks back to Ken and Jake at the mothership in Brooklyn where Ken would produce and mix the tracks, assisted by Jake.
More songs were written by me as we went along and other dear friends and longtime musical comrades were recruited and enlisted for their musical talents and badassery.
Arne Augustin of the Nena band joined in on all kinds of keyboards, synths and buzzsaw madness. Todd Horton played a variety of trumpets and flugelhorn and is featured on a track called, “Wake & Bake”, alongside Chris Eminizer, who accompanies Todd with saxophone and clarinet.
Song by song we carefully went along with much care until we got what we were looking for.
After all the tracking was completed, Ken produced and mixed our collection of 12 songs with much love and consideration for all things sonically beautiful. Ken then recommended that this process of beautiful sound recording continue by enlisting the amazing Michelle Mancini of Demifugue Mastering in North Hollywood to perform the mastering duties.
Michelle mastered the album with the same love and detail that we all shared and with the final step of mastering completed,… we now have a finished album to present to all you listeners and purveyors of fine music everywhere!
The title of the album came from some documentary I was watching where they were discussing ‘The Late Heavy Bombardment’, and how these asteroids were slamming into all the planets in our solar system. I started thinking, could these asteroids with their amino acids act like the sperm of the universe, impregnating planets with the stuff of life? So all the lyrics kind of spun off of this idea and a narrative of life. A day in the life of the universe, of ourselves, of my own life and the lives of loved ones, of our lives collectively in the time of a virus. Our lives were certainly challenged in a way that they’ve never been challenged before. It seemed, and still seems, like a rather timely subject to riff on…
So without further adieu I’m proud to present, ‘The Late Heavy Bombardment’ in all of its illustrious and beautiful rock and roll sonic soundness.
Enjoy and Crank it up!!!!!
recorded entirely remotely in 2020
Pickers and Grinners:
John “Loudboy” Andrews: guitars, vocals (recorded at Zensonic Sound. Lexington, NY) Ken “Lion” Rich: bass guitar, programming, celeste, marxophone (recorded at G rand Street Recording, Brooklyn, NY)
Marc Slutsky: drums, programming, background vocals (recorded at Slutsky Drum Studio, N. Hollywood, CA.)
Arne Augustin: synths (recorded at Mama’s Weed, Berlin, Germany)
Todd Horton: flugelhorn, alto horn, trumpet (recorded in Philadelphia, PA)
Chris Eminizer: saxophones and clarinet (recorded at W oodshed Music in Patterson, NY)
Ken Rich: produced, mixed and engineered the album at G rand Street Recording, Brooklyn Jake Lummus: was the assistant engineer at G rand Street Recording, Brooklyn Michelle Mancini: mastering engineer at D emifugue Mastering, N. Hollywood
Art and Design: Laura Rutter Ireland
All songs and lyrics composed by John Andrews ASCAP 1706081
©2021 SOMETIMES HONEY SOMETIMES ONION MUSIC 476503737 ASCAP
An enormous and gigantic thank you to Ken Rich for keeping us all on the good path by focusing on the music and not the insanity of the Twilight Zone happening all around us. Big hugs and to Marc Slutsky for his attention to the songwriting and for being incredibly musical and awesome. A huge thanks to Jake Lummus, Todd Horton and Chris Eminizer for your professionalism incredible musicianship. Thank you to Michelle Mancini for her amazing mastering skills. Thank you to Chiara Natalini for all your warmth, hospitality, friendship and incredible film making. Thank you to my long time dear friend Laura Rutter Ireland for taking my crazy ahrt and making it real. And last but not least, a giant and loving thank you to all of my family and friends. I love you more than all the stars in the sky and I’m eternally grateful for all of your support, wisdom and guidance.
Much love and good health to you all.
NYC rock band Loudboy are proud to announce the release of their second full length album, Ultra MK. The album title is a word play on Project MK Ultra, the code name for the U.S. government’s human research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans. Ultra MK consists of 13 songs written by international session guitarist and singer songwriter John Andrews (Peter Murphy, Nena, Gavin DeGraw). Andrews, after completing the material for the album, called upon his good friend and esteemed colleague, drummer Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls, Violent Femmes), to join the recording and live band. The result is not just another rock band, but a real, formidable powerhouse of epic proportions. Brian’s brilliant, aggressive and lyrical drumming add the perfect balance to Andrews’s unique skills as a songwriter and architect of colorfully acrobatic lush layered guitars and vocals. The music on Ultra MK begins with just a whispery creep. Slow, quiet and dreamy. A musical invitation for you to relax and let yourself let go and flow into the world of “The In Between” a musical introduction and staging point for the inevitable thrusting of the listener into the sonic barrage of “All Fall Down”, “King Of The Fleas”, and the many mysterious musical twists and turns that lie ahead. Recorded in Brooklyn, New York, alongside bassist Jason Binnick, keyboardist and film composer Michael Montes and sound engineer and mixer Ken Rich, Ultra MK is the perfect soundscape and release for and from the technological dystopia of our society today.
John Andrews is Loudboy, a nickname given to him by Helmet’s Page Hamilton after a short stint in his band. Andrews, longtime guitarist of New York’s Independent-Rock-Institution Botanica, has quite a few things to say on his self-titled debut. And having guest vocalists like Nena and former Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy on the same album is not the only unusual fact about this recording.
But first there’s a room where all things are happening. Someone’s counting in and a fat distorted guitar is sliding into a bone-dry blues-scheme with a bright pop chorus and shimmering guitar-solo, as if Clapton was still 19 and Harrison still alive. Andrews’ vocals perfectly match that tricky harmonic tapestry like an unraveled, electric Elliot Smith.
Andrews’ stylistic spectrum as a guitarist coming along with increased sensitiveness and great chops is definitely not ordinary. The band is damn tight consisting of musicians being still eager after all those years.
“Welcome to my story / I have some things to tell / about waking up and dreaming still / sometimes I just can’t tell.” (Rabbit & Turtle Take The City)
This being the programmatic opener to a dynamic and determined rock album which is about seeking and self-assessment in times of nuclear meltdown. Hello, this is about present tense.
Experiences, feelings, emotional options… spiritual notions and delusions… irritations, self-alienation, drugs, loss, consolation & hope. 13 songs written with traumatic metaphors for survival – an open visor instead of self-deception. Agreement instead of ego-trip.
“In & out and in & out / my mind is burning up with doubt / (…) / I’m blind to see that I can’t control my reality.” (In & Out)
“Wonderful” draws a scenario of endtimes in physical images like W.S. Burroughs did: “antibodies piss and glowing makes my skin itch and crawl,” while a sparse “Underhill” carefully plays around with oriental ornaments before turning into the big rock-ballad.
“Pretty Bleak” is moving slowly with a dark twinkling enriched by Peter Murphy’s sinister second voice. Nena, whose unmistakable timbre is softly blowing through that gentle closing track „Hiding“ like in a lullaby, hired John Andrews in 2006 while Murphy called him up in 2009. Big names’ offerings for Loudboy like real friends do.
P.S.: “We made some contact the way we’re feeling / and today I feel a little more / ’cause the space inside me is filled with a love / that I can’t contain anymore.” (Rabbit & Turtle Take The City)