This is a side project of Matt Cameron.
Damn, it's now officially a main project of Matt Cameron.
It's the first time for us here at the Soundgarden Cavern to get familiar with the fruits of the Wellwater Conspiracy's creative process. Their latest record "The Scroll And Its Combinations" got to us by a plane straight from New York City. We were honored by the TVT Records for spreading the good word of WWC in our homeland of Poland. Although we haven't joined the Brotherhood yet, we do feel almost as its members. The album has landed in Warsaw a few days before its debut in America on May 22, so we can already add some comments on it as a part of a global discussion on Wellwater Conspiracy.
The first couple of chords of "Tidepool Telegraph" bring to mind a memory of Yes, while the intro is based upon some sour tones incoming from guitars sounding like the the keyboard thing. Seconds after it's the old familiar Cameron's drums entering the place and getting the job done. The climate is becoming a little bit Pearl Jam-like. Well remembered from Hater chants like: 'who, who, who is ya?' also show up. The drums are working in a very pleasant way and this is the albums' strongest point. Matt is spreading up his wings, which are tied up strong in his other, much more famous band. And something characteristic - there are no sophisticated endings of the songs. Already the first one is cut in one point without mercy and it's similar with the others. "I Got Nightmares" is opened by rattles, while it's a very childish song. Funny, with an annoying chuckle, some screams. And a very short one as well.
"C Myself and Eye" is the biggest song on the album. It's huge not only because of its title. I'd say it's because of its mood. A bit similar to Soundgarden's "Applebite" written by Matt. Lowly crawling guitar and the guy's way of singing, which makes us feel stronger and stronger. Beautiful indeed.
The following two songs are both similar one to another - both are freaky. "Tick Tock 3 O'clock" could be called ska music by WWC. Or maybe a piece of glam rock of the '60s. The vocal is becoming nearly comical here. "What Becomes of the Clock" is anything but more clever. Derek Burns's voice (he sings also on "Tidepool Telegraph", accompanied by his pal from the Cat From Dog Mountain band, Paul Burback) is being modified here. And the music? Let's say it's a trance, although I know I'm exaggerating. "Felicity's Surprise" sounds like a song straight from a Pearl Jam repertoire and even the mysterious singer Wes C. Addle reminds Eddie Vedder (ha, ha). Cameron's wife April prepared viola for this track and her friend Justine Foy plays cello.
"Now, Invisibly" is a classic WWC song, so it gives us a chance to say something of their music in general. It's hard to classify it. It's rock - I'm almost sure. But how weird! The drums are well into a breakneck pace - one could foresee it. But also the guitar part prepared by John McBain will please every grumbler. There are so many tasty tunes, man!. But it's not like: let's have one acoustic song with a Marrakesh-like sound and after it comes a thrash-boom-bang piece of heavy sound with an electric gear. No, no, no. It's all kept in a equally mild formula of classical rock. But even though the diversity is well noticeable. Both gentlemen can handle their instruments in a such a perfect way that sometimes they're urged to play jazz or on a nearby territory. But in the same time it's so fresh, so natural, so immaculate. If someone knows the Polish band Kobiety - they play pretty the same way.
"Of Dreams" was chosen to be WWC's hit on single. It will be aired by some U.S. radio stations. And I'd say: only the U.S. radio stations. It's simply out of the so called mainstream, no one listens to such a crap nowadays. The melody is nice and everything, but would suit an American comedy series some forty years ago, I guess. Beck Hansen and all the similar freaks will like it, but no one else.
"Brotherhood Of Electric" is the most beautiful instrumental song. Variations on drums, cymbals and stuff. And the guitar is not bad either. Everything underlined by an interesting bass line. The most complicated piece of art on the record. I'd listen to it all the time. In "The Scroll" we've got a superb, intriguing guitar riff by McBain, who is charged by Thayil (his guitar tune-ups as he'd played for Soundgarden). But you'll remember best a 'doubled' vocal line of Cameron. On one of its tracks he sings properly and the other one is speeded-up, so it sounds like he'd been singing with a help of a little girl. The album is being closed up by the weakest, least entertaining song, called "Keppy's Lament". It's pretty short and bulbous, full of electronic shit. Ben Shepherd plays bass here (but I can't here the Famous Ben Shepherd here). I guess it's just a joke from the Authors' side, to glum a bit the listener's smile after a pretty amusing musical voyage.
After a grueling 75-date tour of Europe and North America, Pearl Jam ad interim drummer Matt Cameron wasted no time getting back into the studio. He and cohort John McBain wrapped "The Scroll And Its Combinations," their third full-length under the moniker Wellwater Conspiracy, and are already working another new album.
"Scroll," the band's first set for TVT, drops May 22. Although WWC's sound is not entirely free of comparisons to its principal members' past bands, "Scroll" finds Cameron and McBain switching instruments liberally, and reveling in everything from gritty garage rock to oddball instrumentals. The album also includes covers of tracks by two obscure '60s acts: Dutch band the Q65's "I Got Nightmares" and Morgen's "Of Dreams," which is likely to be the first single.
"I like picking these kinds of bands because you normally wouldn't hear these songs," McBain says. "They're just great songs that got lost." The album is loaded with more familiar faces, including Cameron's ex-Soundgarden mates Ben Shepherd and Kim Thayil, who play guitar and bass on several tracks. Cameron says with a laugh that "this weird singer dude we just kind of found around town" sings lead on "Felicity's Surprise." Actually, it's Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, masquerading behind the pseudonym Wes C. Addle. "I had no idea what he was going to do when he came in, but it fit perfectly," Cameron says of Vedder's performance on the melodically inventive, McBain-penned track. "It was also the first time he's ever double-tracked his vocals. I was really happy that he chose our band to do that with."
With no concrete plans as to when Pearl Jam will reconvene for its next album, Cameron and McBain are making the most of their free time. "We have six rhythm tracks [finished for another album]," Cameron says. "One is kind of complete, a John tune that's totally '60s psychedelic. It runs the gamut. I've got some old school grunge. It's all over the place."
And although no wide-scale touring is expected, the duo will play a show in New York in early May, opening for TVT labelmates Guided By Voices. WWC's live lineup will be rounded out by veteran Seattle producer Jack Endino on bass, and keyboardist Glenn Slater, of Seattle rock mainstays the Walkabouts.
The tracklist, as provided by John McBain, is as follows:
1. Tidepool Telegraph
2. C, Myself & Eye
3. I Got Nightmares
4. Tic, Tock 3 O'Clock
5. What Becomes of The Clock
6. Felicity's Surprise
7. Now Invisibly
8. Of Dreams
9. Brotherhood of The Electric
10. The Scroll
11. Keppy's Lament
Information on the new Wellwater Conspiracy single. It contains four tracks:
1. Tidepool Telegraph
2. Now Invisibly
3. Farside of Your Moon (Live)
4. Of Dreams
You can send a check or money order to:
Third Gear Records
PO Box 1886
Royal Oak MI 48068
The cost is $7 per copy. This includes postage.
29 December 2000
The Wellwater Conspiracy played at the Crocodile Cafe, Seattle with The New Original Sonics Sound (formerly The New Strichnines) and the Pulses. Ben Shepherd joined the band at the end of their set to sing You Do You, and Sleeveless. Kim Thayil and Krist Novoselic were in attendance.
6 November 2000
Eddie Vedder joined The Wellwater Conspiracy onstage for several songs during their set opening for Pearl Jam at Key Arena, Seattle. Ben Shepherd joined the band for two songs, Trowerchord and Sleeveless.
31 August 2000
Crocodile Cafe, Seattle
Ben Shepherd appeared as lead vocalist, fronting Brotherhood of the Electric (an incarnation of The Wellwater Conspiracy minus Matt Cameron, who is still touring with Pearl Jam), who opened, after The Heads, for Nebula. Dan Peters drummed, John McBain played guitar, and Jack Endino played bass and did vocals on "Ladder to the Moon". Ben also played harmonica.
Set: You Stole My Love, Far Side of Your Moon, Ladder to the Moon, So Come On, Think About it, No Friend of Mine, Sleeveless, Lost Woman, Alcorockic, Thing in E, Thirsty and Miserable
Notes: "You Stole My Love", "Think About it", and "Lost Woman" are Yardbirds songs. "Far Side of Your Moon", "Ladder to the Moon", and "Sleeveless" are Wellwater Conspiracy songs. "So Come On", "No Friend of Mine", "Alcorockic", "Thing in E" and "Thirsty and Miserable" were written by Fleur de Lys, Sparkles, Ben Shepard, Savage Resurrection and Black Flag, respectively. The first two songs are instrumentals.
Matt and John interviewed deeply by the Czech music press
Matt and John answer some variuos questions
Matt talking about the quake, which he (un)fortunately missed
Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directive(s)
Matt and John interviewed on Brotherhood... and their plans
Matt talking about Soundgarden, WWC, his way of work and lot more