Soldiers of Fortune
NailsSeptember 9, 2015 Mexican Summer
SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE started back in August 2004 as an ANTI-BAND! The idea was – instigated by Brad Truax – to put together a cracked mercenary “dirty dozen” type of outfit, who were never gonna write songs, never gonna practice, never gonna record music, make any product for public consumption or ever hit the road!
Our only goal was to play a rare show every now and then that we could assault, terrorize, and shred, relying only on instinct, intuition and the chemistry of the band of brothers (bros if u will) in the moment of battle (show) – it was either sink or swim, or death before glory. Later that year, after the death of our guitarist brother in arms Marc Moore, we pretty much felt that was it for this short-lived band of bros. Enter a young LES shredder private Mike Bones who lit a fire under our asses and a show was booked again, then another, then another. Around this time we entered our “15 seconds of hype” (NYC/Brooklyn bands know what I’m talking about here). Labels started sniffing around, offers were made, one dinner was consumed, and half-assed ideas were entertained. Of course, at the time we thought accepting any offer would be signing our death warrant for all we stood for as the ANTI-BAND, so we declined all offers. However, at this time we had also decided that it would be okay to start recording ourselves for our own ears only… and also because we were asked to do a split 7” with Endless Boogie to be paid for by some lame-ass liquor company who wanted to tap into some hipster chic magazine shit market. Nothing was ever to become of these recordings, except one or two of the songs ended up on our very unpopular and never updated Myspace page.
Enter Keith Abrahamsson who started writing to us in 2005 (after our 15 seconds of hype). He was interested in what the Soldiers were up to, (did we have any recordings?), and made a very vague offer for a possible collaboration with the label Kemado at the time. We never did send him anything. However for the next 5 years Keith would contact us every 6 months or so asking what was up with SOF and if we were working on anything, and to let us know he was still interested in working with us sometime. Sadly in that 5-year period we hadn’t recorded a lick of music, or barely got around to playing one show a year (not even with all the original members in the same room). Remember ANTI-BAND? Sometime in 2010 Keith once again contacted us about what SOF were up to and this time we replied “Let’s Have Lunch”! We met up a week later (in person for the first time), and Keith told us about his new endeavor MEXICAN SUMMER, the limited pressings, the eclectic roster, the HEAVY VINYL, the obscure re-issues. We were INTRIGUED! After all this started sounding like the ANTI-LABEL. Months later, in August, we were in an unfinished Gary’s Electric studio on the hottest three days of 2010, and we somehow walked out of the studio with a 12” called Ball Strength.
Now here we are, another five years, very few shows, or LPs sold, later: in 2013 we got bamboozled by Keith into a SECOND recording sesh (WTF!?!), but this time we were offered “undisclosed” amount of studio time alongside the usual “carte blanche”. This of course meant string sections were hired, arrangers and composers enlisted, backup singers hit on, music biz lawyers attending mixing sessions, blowouts between the band and food delivery men, coffee pouring into the bass amp etc etc. After three weeks of this we aborted EVERYTHING, took a six-month hiatus to get over our collective S.E.N.D., Sophomore Effort Narcissism Disease, fell back in the studio and recorded a dozen embryonic ‘song ideas’, rather than jams, over an afternoon. We then called up friends who know how to sing and finished up the damn thing in like three days. The result is an LP we like to call EARLY RISERS, and beyond the core troupe consisting of Brad Truax (so many bands, but dude, Interpol?), Kid Millions (Man Forever, Oneida), Barry London (fuck yeah Oneida), Matt Sweeney (Chavez being his LEAST well-known operation should tell you something), Jesper Eklow (Meandering Tedium, sorry, Endless Boogie), Mike Bones already, and the elusive Papa Crazee (heavy early riser in team Oneida) we abused the superior vocal stylings of our Healer, Shaman and Answer CLARK “YEREMIAS” BRONSON, STEPHEN MALKMUS, CASS MCCOMBS, DAN MELCHIOR, ETHAN MILLER and MATT MCAULEY. This is the sound of utter confusion and unfocused tender hatred in song form. We have no idea if we even like it, but we definitely have no shame so here you are, crack EARLY RISERS wide open and make up your own mind. We have no interest in knowing your opinion however, so keep it to yourself, and DO NOT CONTACT US. Thank You.