Helmet was formed in New York City in 1989 by founding members Page Hamilton, Henry Bogdan, Peter Mengede and John Stanier. The group signed to Amphetamine Reptile Records, and released their first full-length album, Strap It On, in 1991. Interscope Records soon came calling and signed the band in 1992. Read more
Helmet Return with “Seeing Eye Dog”
Posted by Helmet on Jun 27 2010
Seminal rock band HELMET return September 7 with a new full-length album SEEING EYE DOG, their first since 2006’s critically acclaimed Monochrome — and will tour the U.S. immediately upon its release and then Europe (dates TBA).
Marking their first release on the indie Work Song label (with physical distribution by Redeye and direct-to-fan digital delivery by Topspin), SEEING EYE DOG is their seventh album overall and was produced by band leader, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Page Hamilton, with additional production by Toshi Kasai and vocal production by Mark Renk.
On songs that consistently cut deep, Hamilton’s guitar is on fire as always and his vocals are as wicked as ever. The album’s 10 tracks include the title cut, “Welcome To Algiers,” “White City,” the mostly instrumental “Morphing” and a cover of the Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing.” HAMILTON is joined by drummer KYLE STEVENSON, guitarist DAN BEEMAN and bassist CHRIS TRAYNOR; Helmet’s live bassist is DAVE CASE.
“The Helmet musical vocabulary is well established at this point, but I continue to work on a variety of musical projects that inevitably influence the Helmet songs,” says PAGE. “I’ve been working on movies with Elliott Goldenthal and co. for 17 years now and had never really experimented with incorporating these soundscapes (or shit sculpting as I prefer to call it) into Helmet songs. We had a much better recording situation in which I felt much less time pressure and was working with an engineer who was patient and very creative (Toshi Kasai) so away we went. I started layering upper parts of the chords and was digging the sound so I went with it.”
He adds: “It’s so important to have great musicians in this band as we track the music with my guitar and the drummer and then overdub the 2nd guitar and bass. I can’t stand the sound and anti-human feel of edited rock music. People have always commented that we sound like our albums live. This has a lot to do with it. Humans playing music will always be better than chop shop rock so one has to find the right players.”
SEEING EYE DOG — as bracing as anything released by “a band that made important connections between indie-rock and metal…” (New York Times, September 12, 2004), is being issued in five formats (see below), each of which will include a bonus live album recorded in 2006 in San Francisco.
– Digital Only (new album plus 1 live album)
– Two-disc CD (new album plus 1 live album) + digital
– Limited Edition Double 180g Vinyl (New album plus 1 live album) + digital
– Limited Edition Deluxe: New album and 1 live album on two-disc CD, new album and 1 live album on double 180g Vinyl, custom HELMET USB key with four more live albums, signed package + digital of new album + 1 live album
– Super Deluxe: Same as Deluxe but includes gold laminate/tour access component
Meanwhile, HELMET has just released a digital-only deluxe version of their third and much beloved 1994 album BETTY. It includes 14 original album tracks plus 5 bonus tracks (“Flushing, “Thick,” “Pariah,” “Biscuits for Smut [Pooch Mix],” and “Biscuits for Smut [Mutt Mix]”), all available through the helmetmusic.com website. The additional tracks were originally only available on the 10″ double gatefold LP and 12″ single for “Biscuits for Smut,” released by Interscope in 1994.
Says PAGE of BETTY: “It was written on the heels of the “Meantime” tour after a Grammy nomination and gold record which were strange and totally unexpected for a Lower East Side band. The whole thing threw me for a bit of a loop; my life was in total upheaval after a split with my then-fiance now ex-wife. He continues: “It was a fuck-you to the music biz/mainstream that had discovered our indie world of Amphetamine Reptile, Sub Pop, Touch and Go, Discord, SST etc…etc…I never considered myself indier than thou but I never embraced the crap that grew out of Helmet or Nirvana or Fugazi or The Jesus Lizard or Melvins etc… Anyway, it was a weird time but the album holds up musically so it’s being re-issued.”