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Our Brother the Native - JPop.com
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Our Brother the Native

Our Brother the Native

Our Brother the Native


Our Brother The Native are two young Americans; Josh Bertram and Chaz Knapp, who have been working together as a unit since 2005, and whom FatCat stumbled upon towards the end of 2005. Having checked out a link to their site on Myspace.com, and instantly liking what was heard, they got in touch with the band and the debut they were currently writing just fell into their laps. In his sophomore year, Josh met John Michael, who was then a senior. Realizing that they had similar musical tastes Read more on Last.fm
Our Brother The Native are two young Americans; Josh Bertram and Chaz Knapp, who have been working together as a unit since 2005, and whom FatCat stumbled upon towards the end of 2005. Having checked out a link to their site on Myspace.com, and instantly liking what was heard, they got in touch with the band and the debut they were currently writing just fell into their laps. In his sophomore year, Josh met John Michael, who was then a senior. Realizing that they had similar musical tastes, they quickly became great friends, went to a lot of shows and listened to music non-stop together, eventually starting to play together.

Not much happened until the following summer, when they finally got some equipment. John Michael started making some beats on a drum machine, and Josh picked up his banjo and they started to jam, and that was the start of Our Brother The Native. Excited about what was happening, they started to make some rough recordings on an old 4-track machine. Eventually, the pair started recording on a computer with editing capabilities, and got themselves a Myspace site through which to share their work.

A friend in Holly, who ran his own D.I.Y label, heard a couple songs, and suggested releasing something, which gave the duo confidence. Weeks later they found another cool D.I.Y label in California (Chaz’s Delude Records), which they really liked. Josh and John Michael hinted that they’d love to do a release; Chaz jumped at it and put out an EP (‘Cheer Up My Dear, The Sun Will Shine Again’, 2005) and he and Josh quickly became friends, overcoming the geographical distance via frequent phone conversations. A solo release from Josh followed (the more stripped down / minimal, banjo-based ‘Pappa Bones and The Creature Children of The Forrest’ - released as JSP).

Having by then become great friends, Chaz and Josh began working together (under the name Moses Grandy), but felt they were missing something in the percussion department. So John and Josh decided to just have Chaz join Our Brother the Native. That said, the band actually met for the first time only after the album was recorded, at their first live show, a FatCat curated Festival in Hasselt, Belgium. With Chaz still living in California, and John and Josh living in Michigan, recordings were pieced together by sending parts to each other via e-mail for additions.

This very process informed and shaped their debut album 'Tooth and Claw', release via FatCat summer 2006. Josh and John Michael would begin by using acoustic and electric guitar for the basis of most songs, usually recorded straight into the computer through a Boss SP-303 sampler with built in-effects. They also use a Kaos pad, a loop station, and a couple of circuit-bent toys that they run through effects and destroy. They also search out samples of interesting sounds they can find around the house, as well as AM radio signals / static - mic-ing up the radio and running the noise through effects.

The album is also noticeable for the vocals of Josh’s mum (a music teacher), who came in and sang at the end. For his parts, Chaz uses guitar, keyboard, vocals, accordian, and sometimes percussion elements like shakers, a snare and a cymbal, and also a circuit-bent Furby. Since then, the band have made time to play shows amidst their commitments to education, and recorded their follow up LP was released in February 2008. The product of a more immediate recording process, with the band rehearsing and recording as one, 'Make Amends For We Are Merely Vesels' was self-recorded in Josh’s dimly-lit Michigan basement between May – December 2006, they were aided by Kayleen Nilsson on viola, a schoolfriend who has been in the band as an additional member for shows and some recording for the past year.

Where the previous album was all jagged / ruptured song craft, ‘Make Amends…’ is a much more fluid, immersive affair, a dense weave of layered sounds and slow building dynamics, With that there became a 2 piece once more. there next release is due to come in October as a digital only release from FatCat.The Parting Marrows EP will contain 5 tracks and will be followed buy there 3rd Full length release in 2009. http://www.obtn.biz/ Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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