Our Response to the "March for Our Lives" Benefit Show Backlash

As many of you know, on March 20th we're hosting and participating in an event to support March for Our Lives. The aim of the event is to help meet the needs of the organization, namely awareness, funding, and day-of, on-the-ground help for the actual march on the 24th. We believe a concert is an effective way to do this; it assembles people in a room, paying people who have contributed to need #2 just by entering that room. When they then buy a raffle ticket (with prizes like tickets to The Voice, courtesy of NBCUniversal), or merch from one of the bands, they are further contributing. In addition, they'll be offered opportunities to volunteer – giving potential attendees a job to do makes actually turning up at an event a lot easier for some.

But, as you can imagine, not everyone is happy with us. Some people have even been nasty and have said mean, mean words that hurt our feelings, which is crazy, because the internet is usually so courteous a place. We should keep politics out of music, or go back to being failed artists, or get our facts straight, or discontinue being a cog in the propaganda machine, all said with the same eloquence I've employed here, of course. 

So to those of you all upset and twisty about our deliberate, intentional choice to support a cause we fully stand behind, we have this to say to you:































































Yep. That's a whole lot of nothing. 

March for Our Lives: A Rally & Benefit Concert
Tuesday, March 20th @The Hi Hat, 7:00PM
100% of proceeds go directly to the cause

Why We Made a "Living Room Edition"

Our new(ish) EP "Feet in the Water (Living Room Edition)" is out now! Listen to it on Spotify or buy it on Bandcamp

Do you remember Hurry Death? Well, we remember Hurry Death. We played a lot of soft, sad music that sounded something like this

But, branding is important if blah blah success blah blah and most people, before hearing said soft, sad music justifiably assumed we were a metal band. Daniel and I reluctantly agreed when Andrew suggested we change it to Climates, and Johnny What thought this new name was "dope," but while the name itself wouldn't get anyone thinking we were a metal band, turns out Climates ACTUALLY IS A METAL BAND somewhere called England or something that probably isn't really a place. 

So we changed it again. Did I tell you this story already? Anyway, there is an existing email thread with hundreds of exchanges going back and forth over the name and well, you know how this story ends. 

So we're working on this EP, spending way too much money, agonizing over disappointing results, and generally coping with what I don't think a lot of bands would even survive. Over two years of production trying to get 5 fudging songs out, we stopped having fun. In our despair we visited some old stuff, like the very first version of SEF with different lyrics and everything, which we recorded while I was recovering my voice, and in our nostalgia we collectively committed to having fun again. 

We wrote Disaster and My Satellite and The Indian Ocean and this new one you'll hear soon called Mountainside. Our shows got better (as in I stopped getting unconsolably nervous before our performances). We enjoyed each other's company more. We went back to the beginning and tried to relive these songs when they were fun, before we tweaked and adjusted and picked them apart ... back when they were emotional and moving and ... raw. 

Don't get us wrong! We're proud of the original FITW and the team behind it. But each of these songs has multiple dimensions, and we wanted to reveal at least one more side to them before letting them go completely. 

They don't tell you that about your artistry, do they? You obsess over the tiniest details, send it back for another revision, tweak it some more, massage it into the most pleasing shape ... you pour yourself into it until you just kind of let it go. And then it's not yours anymore. You're proud, relieved, a little sad ... 

Anyway, no one cares. Our new (not-so-new) EP "Feet in the Water (Living Room Edition)" is out now! You can listen to it on Spotify or buy it here, where you can also find the [overproduced] original version (the one where we sold out). Also we're back in the studio next month, and if you'd like to support us on that journey, you can do so by becoming a BandCamp subscriber, where you'll get all our new stuff early and our old stuff for free, plus other cool stuff. 


We Made a Music Video

About a month ago we released our first single as Lone Kodiak, a song called "Calm Down" to rave reviews (from our parents). 

Check it out: 

They sure did put a lot of effort into it, didn’t they?
— Andrew's mom
The music sounds nice I just wish I knew what they were saying.
— Daniel's uncle
... pretty good.
— Richard Reines, War Road Management

Don't act like you're not impressed. Anyway, the road to getting the first single from our first EP out was so long, and so stupid. There were moves, firings, restraining orders, picky vocalists, and never mind the maddening conversation about deciding on (and sticking with) a mother falcon band name. It was (almost) enough to make us trade in our instruments for real tools you use for real jobs (whatever those are). 

One day amidst the (im)patience, Parker wrote an acoustic, sad and intimate version of Calm Down, reminiscent of the kind of stuff we were doing as Hurry Death, and even as emberghost on the NLFTE project. There was some freedom in bucking all the guidance and advice and direction from our (much loved and respected) producers, managers, engineers, etc., and we decided that in addition to the ambitious production that was Calm Down and the debut EP, we'd release a second, less produced, raw version that we'd record ourselves. It would serve as a sort of alter ego, the Bruce Banner to LK's usual Hulk.

Acoustic guitars, real piano, real strings, lots of wine ... 

We got Alex to come back for a new vocal, and speculated as to which version our (massive) following would prefer. The studio master, or the "living room edition?"

And what better way to introduce it than to invite the audience to join us in our literal living room with a video of us performing the song? It was a simple enough concept; plenty of windows and light; we had (some) equipment and (some) experience. It wouldn't cost us much. What could go wrong? 

And maybe the production trouble gods think we've had our fair share, because ... well, other than a dropped camera and a delayed tripod delivery, the shoot went perfectly. The light was good. Everyone showed up on time. The donuts were delicious. Alex's daughter Clara was quite the little diva, but it didn't matter because we weren't recording audio. In fact, the best parts of the video are her cameos. The first rough cut was done a week later and everyone was thrilled – it was exactly what we set out to do. 

Next Wednesday (8/2) Atwood Magazine is premiering the video for Calm Down (Living Room Edition), a Sault Marie production directed by our own Dainéal Parker, and we hope you'll enjoy it. After that, check back here and we'll let you know what's happening next. 

See you soon. 

- LK

PS - We need to thank Matt Tramel for taking pictures, TJ Firestone for general assistance and additional photography work, Alex Rhodes for giving up her Saturday for us, Clara Fleeman for being a perfect little rockstar, and Nare Ovsepian for making the whole thing possible. 



Why We Changed Our Name (Again)

We liked the name Hurry Death. Provocative, good story behind it. 

I don't know if the name Hurry Death represents who we are as people or what we're trying to do musically. 

Andrew was right. If we're expecting our upcoming EP (and the band as a result) to be successful, we couldn't continue to create a huge obstacle for ourselves when God knows how many potential listeners were discounting us as a metal band. But more importantly, the musical and lyrical themes had to line up with how we presented our work, which of course includes the name. 

Anxious to move forward with our rebranding, we quickly settled on Climates. We Googled it and found some defunct hardcore band in England, but they didn't have a website or Facebook page and seemed to have no substantial following.

Turns out we were pretty mistaken about that following bit: 

 This guy doesn't believe in punctuation.

This guy doesn't believe in punctuation.

In neglecting routine due diligence, we failed to check this little known site called YouTube, where the band Climates is really mad at the a forest and has over half a million views. And so ... we let go of the name Hurry Death to prevent being mistaken as a metal band only to adopt a new name that created the exact same problem. 

Like, really mad at the forest with its stupid trees and chirping birds. 

 We didn't know English hardcore dudes were so into this movie.

We didn't know English hardcore dudes were so into this movie.

Suddenly amidst yet another identity crisis, we frantically suggested names over an email chain that swelled up to over a hundred exchanges over the course of a week. We met at The Holloway in Echo Park and argued over The Autumn Sea (too emo), Grand Ambre (too meh), Sault Marie (too French), and my personal favorite, The Crocodile Dozen

 Andrew also does not believe in punctuation.

Andrew also does not believe in punctuation.

It was a frustrating, occasionally infuriating process. Most of our ideas were taken, the rest two of us liked but not the third. Others were cool but were names of brands or places and we'd never get the URLs or show up in search rankings. 

Lone Kodiak came to us when we weren't looking (of course it did). I was walking around Echo Park Lake, listening to the final vocal mixes, thrilled at how good everything was turning out. I had just read an article on bears (of course I had), in which the author had referenced the only known Kodiak bear in a part of Alaska. The only Kodiak ... I liked that. It was sad, but not without hope ... there was a story there. The Only Kodiak. Hmm ... Only Kodiak. It's a little weird to say out loudThe Last Kodiak. Sounds like a movie (The Last Starfighter, Last of the Mohicans). 

Lone Kodiak

I smiled, but kept my hopes in check as I was sure at the point that someone (Andrew) in the band wouldn't like it. Speaking of Andrew, he was on his way over to the house to listen to the finished vocals. I headed home and came up with a quick graphic and texted it to Daniel and him before I let myself get attached to it. 

There's imagery. It's at once intimate and grand. It's connected to nature like Climates was. It can mean multiple things. Also kind of sounds like the name of a superhero in the tundra.

Daniel was equally enthusiastic, and so was everyone whose opinion we solicited. When Andrew arrived we made it official. I got my debit card out and bought the domain right then and there (I'm the sugar daddy of the group). 

Most of you haven't heard our new music yet. When you do, you'll understand why this was so important to us. We've worked on 5 <4 minute songs for the better part of a year. We've revised them again and again; cut sections out; written new melodies and lyrics; we've even let people go who weren't right for the project, and we've done none of it lightly. 

Lone Kodiak. There's a story there, just as there are stories behind and within each song we write. If what we're doing isn't evocative, then as artists we've failed ...

We think our new name reflects what we're trying to do. But then again, it's just a cool band name, and when all is said and done, being cool is the most important thing. Right?