Is 2016 the year of the Grape? With a sizzling new disc in Aura Obelisk and a rockumentary ready to screen, we vote yes.
Octagrape singer/guitarist Glen Galloway is “crazy proud” of the band’s new double-record, Aura Obelisk, released January 23 on Sounds Familyre Records. The band will soon release a music video for the song “Dirigibles.” A documentary by local filmmaker Bill Perrine, Why Are We Doing This in Front of People?, documents the band’s self-booked tour. On March 11, Octagrape releases an experimental song on a San Diego Art Institute music compilation.
...off of Octagrape's latest, Aura Obelisk
When was the genesis of Aura Obelisk?
“It’s been a long time in the making and it captures several phases of Octagrape,” says Galloway. “In 2013–2014, we had a group of unrecorded songs we were playing live constantly. We were dying to get them recorded. We got this idea in early 2015 to go to Sacramento and record the songs we knew best with Chris Woodhouse. We knew him, and he’s produced a ton of our favorite records. We took these road-burned songs and went north. We did nine songs with him in approximately February 2015.”
How about making the record?
“We had been doing EPs and singles and comps. It became obvious what tracks didn’t belong on the album. There is plenty of stuff on the cutting room floor,” Galloway admits. “Rafter Roberts did a great job making it sound cohesive; even though there’s all these weird things sticking out, it fits together.”
Will you tour?
“We got some interesting prospects that we should wait to disclose. I think it’s going to be a simple West Coast tour at the end of March or early April. The people I am talking to about playing with, it’s kind of mindblowing. We have to decide if it’s the right thing.”
“I don’t know...that’s the amazing thing about booking yourself in 2016,” says Galloway. “It’s easier because booking agents have to be so selective versus 10–15 years ago, when all that was needed was a big roster. They’ve had to figure out who is going to live on the road and work hard to support. There are a lot of openings for bands who want to book themselves.
“When there is a town we want to play, we find a band we love and call them and say, ‘Let’s find stuff together.’ Rather than call the clubs. For me, it’s mid-’80s SST and Minutemen land. Who do we like? Who do we want to be on a bill with? Who wants to play with us? We’ve found great situations that way.”