Keep It Wild makes it to number 4 on Tinnitist‘s 60 Songs to Make You Feel Like a Winner Mixtape. I’m proud to be counted along with some of my fave artists like Thee Oh Sees, Automatic and even Johnny Thunders! Watch the video for Keep It Wild here.
“Keep It Wild” is an EP, but also a ‘Best of Album’. Not a ‘best of’ album, mind you, but a selection of songs from a record that should have been released in 2009. Nathaniel Fregoso, frontman of The Blood Arm, had so much on his plate with his band that the half-finished album disappeared into producer David Newton‘s drawer. In the lockdown of 2020, Berlin-based Fregoso rediscovered the songs and decided to compile some of them into an EP. In view of the original time of its creation, the result logically exudes the charm of the noughties: the title track sounds like a rough version of Franz Ferdinand, “Belarus” has the pop appeal of the Kaiser Chiefs, while “Out Of Key” is more in the The Strokes notch. Also included, at least on the promo: A beautiful cover of “Cuando calienta el sol”, originally published in 1961.
Viktoria Cichoń created the artwork for Keep It Wild and I’m still over the moon about it. I started following Viktoria’s work after seeing Laura Lee & the Jettes’ Divine Hammer single cover. We began working together last year and it was a lot of fun sending ideas back and forth. Take a look at some alternate versions of the artwork below. Which one is your favorite?
For all you Berlin punk fans, Viktoria is also the drummer of the indie-garage band Lobsterbomb. Check them out!
The impulsive title track at the start alone is worth listening to this EP! Yes, short-playing records are finding it easier and easier to appear fresh and compact. It’s easier to listen to the songs more than once. But with these just ten minutes, variety is successfully demonstrated and the desire for an upcoming album is made! Okay, maybe you can reduce the Spanish a bit… That’s why the monument on the YouTube thumbnail is very close to me!
Of course, I can’t do anything without the love and support of my wife Ali Bell who has seen releases come and go like sunsets and still loves me whether they are successful or not – I appreciate that.
I’ll have more news for you next week, but please enjoy the EP and video, and leave feedback in the comments. Have a great weekend.
Here are Thee Nathaniel Fregoso & the Bountiful Hearts at Three Clubs in 2011, playing a song from the Keep It Wild EP called “Out of Key”. This iteration of the band included Randy Billings on guitar, Becky Gebhardt on bass and Joel Isaac Black on drums. What a lucky guy I am to have played with such great musicians! Watch this rocket-fueled version below.
Keep It Wild comes out this Friday via RIP Ben Lee Records.
Video by Al Pavangkanan.
What’s the deal with Keep It Wild? Twelve years ago, I started recording an album with David Newton at Rollercoaster Recording in Burbank, California. Dave played bass, Joel Isaac Black played drums and I played guitar and keys. We were lucky to get Jessica Espeleta to lay down lead guitar on a few tracks. My brother, David Alexander, even played acoustic guitar on a cover. I was excited about the album and we were well on our way.
For various reasons, recording came to a halt and the tracks lay dormant on a hard drive. During 2020’s lockdown, I rediscovered the songs and put together the best of them for the Keep It Wild EP which will be released this Friday the 13th via RIP Ben Lee Records. Not many photos exist from this time, but today I am happy to share a few shots with you, in the hope that you get a sense of time and place. Jackie was a big part of the process as usual. Scroll through for a peek. And yes, that’s Kim Fowley in that last shot.
A big thank you goes to Dave, Bekki Netwon, Joel and Jessica, without whom I couldn’t have finished these songs. I’m still really proud of them.
One week to go until the Keep It Wild EP is unleashed into the world via RIP Ben Lee Records. Here you have the fourth and final trailer and what a fantastic journey it has been. I can’t wait to share this song and video with you!
Today is Bandcamp Friday which means that Bandcamp waives their revenue share, so anything you order on their website goes directly to the artist – that’s me. It’s a good day to pre-order the Keep It Wild EP and, if you don’t already own it, our debut album. You can find them here.
Thanks and have a great weekend!
Teaser 4 directed by Ray Mann.
There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee to get your day started right. Please see the accompanying video – teaser two in the epic four part series for the Keep It Wild EP, available Friday 13. May via RIP Ben Lee Records. Can’t wait that long? Pre-order is up and running on my Bandcamp page: https://bit.ly/3vy9lUI
Get it while it’s hot!
Directed by Ray Mann.