‘We decided to have this third record be self-titled, ’cause we feel like we really found our own sound,” says Alfred Howard of the Heavy Guilt, who will celebrate the release of their new full-length April 6 at the Irenic in North Park. “If this is the best record I ever make, I can die happy. We’re real proud of this one.”
Produced by longtime Howard collaborator Timin Murray, the CD includes guest turns from his bandmate in the Midnight Pine Shelbi Bennett, Andy Geib (the Styletones), Karl Denson (the Greyboy Allstars), and local jazz-sax player Ian Tordella. “The album cover was shot out in Campo and the antique car museum by Kassandra Lynne,” says Howard. “Our singer Erik Canzona does all the layout and graphic design.”
Currently working in four different bands, Howard says “The Heavy Guilt plays rock and roll. Our parents’ adolescence was sculpted by Dylan, Cohen, Zeppelin, and Floyd. Nirvana, Pixies, Pavement, and Spiritualized provided the soundtrack to our high school experiences. We listen to a lot of modern indie stuff like Radiohead, Wilco, Neutral Milk Hotel, the National, and a list that could take up volumes.
“We pass all those things through a filter of six unique personalities and get the Guilt.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away. “The Bad Seeds make beautifully volatile bleak music.”
- Tame Impala, Lonerism. “Just great psychedelia. It’s a rough yet lovely album.”
- Atoms For Peace, Amok. “Thom Yorke’s vocals keep me thoroughly invested.”
- King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King. “‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ is as brutal and punishing as rock and roll gets, the band is insanely tight, the tone tears flesh, and the lead riff can give you nightmares.”
“Pee before you get into L.A.”
ANYTHING HEAVY THAT YOU FEEL GUILTY ABOUT?
“I was a crappy boyfriend to a really nice gal 13 years ago.”
TOP WEBSITE BOOKMARKS?
- “I go to Paste every morning to see what the cool people are doing. I log off when the realization hits that I am not one of the cool people.”
- “I’m on Facebook more hours than I care to admit. I like to say it’s because I use it as a tool to promote the band, but really I just want to see how many people like that picture of me wearing a lady’s cardigan with raccoon ears on my head.”
- “I always go to NPR, because last year I officially got old and I live for that action.”
COOLEST THING YOU EVER WON?
“I won a poetry slam in Flagstaff, Arizona. First prize was a piece of hardened shelf fungus with a turkey vulture painted on it and a Jewel poetry book. Yep, Jewel, the singer, has a poetry book.”
WHAT’S YOUR POISON?
“I’m a peppermint tea kinda guy. Sometimes when I’m feeling wild, say, on a Saturday night, I double bag that shit.”
FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
“Watership Down. I think it’s about rabbits, and one of them is kind of a dick.”
BRUSH WITH FAME?
“I drove Davy Jones around once. He was funny. We drove by Dick’s Last Resort and he said ‘Why do they have a restaurant named after my wife?’”
MOST DANGEROUS GAME?
“When I was younger, I was kind of an alcoholic. I used to get blackout drunk and shenanigans would follow. One time, I attacked a guy from the Naval Academy, and now my two front teeth are mostly fake.”
“I don’t know why, but I hate Taken. If Taken was a guy, I’d punch him in the gut for living and I’d suggest that he see Taken.”
LAW YOU’D LIKE TO SEE CHANGED?
“I have nappy sideburns and an afro and a big ol’ turquoise necklace. I have eye-reddening allergies, and I look like a professional stoner. People often ask me for drugs, and I happen to not smoke pot anymore. So legalize marijuana, so these fools in O.B. can stop bothering me for the weed that I don’t have.”
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THE YOUNGER YOU?
“Don’t see Taken.”
STUFF YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF?
“In an ideal world, I would always have toothpaste and clean boxers.”
YOUR BUCKET LIST?
“I’d like to hit Billy Corgan in the head really hard with a tennis ball and run. I’d like to write a song that Thom Yorke enjoys. And I’d like to poop in a different country.”
“A lot of times, we’ll play with other bands, and after their set I smile and say ‘Man, that was a great set.’”
WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
“If it’s an action flick, I want them to unearth Wesley Snipes.”
SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
“I’ve seen every episode of Lost and Frisky Dingo three times.”