March 2014 Q&A
Andrew C. Schlett
Andrew: Who played all the various instruments on all these tracks? I know you're the guitar player, but I'm hearing drums, bass, keyboard, etc all throughout. Did you work with a band, various individual musicians, or just a mid-90's version of Pro-Tools?
Wes: Everything heard on MCMXCV is me and me alone.
Andrew: It sounds like several different singers are singing on different songs through the record, [and] none of them particularly sound like how I would imagine you to sing. Did you have people come in to sing, or is this all actually your voice? It doesn't sound anything like ratbastard, bro.
Wes: The cornerstone of most every vocal track I've ever done reflects a blatant theft from the pages of the Lennon/ McCartney cookbook. I am not a very good vocalist. I try to cover that up by mimicking complexities beyond my means.
To my ears, former-ratbastard front man, Jan Mundorff, has a most distinct, hybrid-vocal styling. Look here... try and imagine Oderus Urungus and Jello Biafra making sickly-sweet love in a pool of rancid
pudding and soon after shitting out a tragically deformed alien trashcan baby sporting a multi-ethnic foot. That baby would talk the way Jan sings.
Andrew: Some of your lyrical content leads me to believe that this period in your life was shortly after going through whatever [personal bullshit at the time]. Is this correct? If so, how much impact did it have on these recordings, and did you feel somewhat purged when you had completed them?
Wes: Lyrics can often be a creepy means of personifying those dark places in which we sometimes dwell. In that regard, when your job and your wallet are adversely affected by months and months of continuous rainfall, I suppose its not much of a surprise to find the pen doing what you perhaps cannot do verbally.
In 1994, the Magnolia/ Tomball area experienced an anomaly known as a 500-year flood. At one point, we ventured from our Magnolia home on a Tomball pawn shop run to buy a camcorder so that we might film the ensuing carnage. The raging waters made their way into the floorboard of our car as we crossed Spring Creek Bridge (Harris County/ Montgomery County line) into Tomball. We were in and out of the pawn shop in less than ten minutes, however, DPS had the bridge barricaded off by the time we attempted to cross back over. We found ourselves quite literally marooned at a makeshift Red Cross shelter set up at Tomball Elementary for the next three days. The historic 500-year flood of 1994 later proved to only be the beginning of record rainfalls that punished the region well into 1995.
Andrew: This entire effort is a radical departure from anything I've heard you do before, as I may have indicated. Where do you think it will fit into your overall body of work in the long run? What relevance do you believe it holds to Wes Dodson as an artist?
Wes: One of the single most exhaustive labors that I've taken on in recent times has been the research and archiving of a back catalog spanning more than two decades. It is in many ways an archaeological case study of a grossly misspent life. Being of little commercial value, the timeline entries still very much serve as a testament to this paupers legacy.
This has been my life.
Wes Dodson: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, mandolin, vocal
MCMXCV (1995) is a thirteen-song collection of Wes Dodson 4-track materials written, recorded, unreleased, unheard, and forgot about for near two decades.
Recorded in a one bedroom efficiency apartment that overlooked Lake Conroe (Montgomery, Texas) during the first half of 1995, MCMXCV accounts for creative output between the October 1994 release of BZ and the September 1995 recording of the first ratbastard 3-song (see timeline below).
This material has not been circulated on any previous release.
A companion release, spanning the vast output of ratbastard-era demos and outtakes is currently being drafted.
Recorded @ Snug Harbor
January May 1995
I Get Drunk in a Hurry
My Lucky Peppermint
Recorded @ Studio M.B.R
29 Pamela Way
CHEESY DRIP (1993)
REVEREND JIM (1994)
REV. DR. DUBB DIABLO (2012-2013)
Specifically for this project:
Guitar - Aria Pro II XX Deluxe (outfitted with Carvin active module)
Amp - Carvin X100-B
Hohner PSK-35 keyboard
Vintage Hofner bass (circa early '60's)
1970's Gretsch trap kit
1970's Harmony Electric Mandolin
Effects - Electro-Harmonix Small Stone
Fostex X18 Multitrack Recorder (recording, 1995)
Tascam MF-P01 Portastudio (remaster, 2013)
___In Eternal Memory___
GERALD AUBREY ADEN
01/08/1943 - 10/10/2010
MARY ANGELA BARRERA
03/03/1957 - 01/30/2012