- Closing In - ole-648 - 2005-10-11
Early Man: Two Pentecostalists from Columbus, shielded from pop culture their entire lives, discover rock at the age of 19. Kicked out by their families and ostracized by their friends, their adopted kin are the works of Judas Priest, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, Minor Threat, Diamond Head, Motorhead, and Head of David. Nurtured and warmed, they move to New York City and start a band whose elemental street thrash recalls a time before metal splintered into 54 micro-categories.
Mike Conte alternates between a '73 Gibson SG and a white '84 Jackson Randy Rhodes Flying-V, pre-sharkfin inlay. The Jackson is Sandimas-built, of course. The guitars feed through 2 full stacks: a Marshall JCM 800 and a Peavey 5150. Full German-made Bogner cabs.
Conte occasionally uses an MXR Distortion Plus pedal, but in general, he remarks, "All my distortion is natural -- as it should be." Similarly, he says, "Purposefully (mainly for the sake of pissing off the nu-metal world) I do not use ANY alternate tunings, such as drop-D. If it can sound thunderous in standard tuning then I've accomplished my goal."
Adam Bennati plays a five-piece Zickos glass acrylic drum kit manufactured in 1972 only. It weighs over 500 pounds.
Early Man recently toured the West Coast and Midwest with Mastodon and are in the process of auditioning a new bass player. Following the release of their debut album, 'Closing In,' on October 11, they'll be touring constantly through March of 2006.
MIKE CONTE: guitars, vocals
ADAM BENNATI: drums
"The guitarist/barefoot drummer duo go straight for early heavy-metal muscle, riding back to capture early Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden in sinewy tracks with no pointy-headed noodling."
-- The Stranger
"Early Man bring the hott rifffs without seeming clinical or showy, and they pray to the dark lord without having that cheeky tone dominate the music."
News From The Matablog
OK, while past years have featured a half dozen or more former Matador recording artists performing at South By Southwest, this year's batch of ex-lovers is a shorter, but no less spectacular list. In addition to Early Man playing the Ale House on Thursday night at 1am, 18th Dye (above, as seen in New York last Autumn) are playing Submerged on Thursday at 11pm, and again Friday at Vogtsberger House (1402 E 2nd St) at 1pm.
We really oughta do these more often. Don't call it a comeback, these folks have been here for years. Or somewhere else for months. 1) Early Man. Touring like crazy and there's a new EP on the Jarboe-tastic The End. 2) Jacob Morris, formerly one of the key characters beyond the dearly missed Double. New EP on Rcrd Lbl 3) 18th Dye. New album and US tour.
HEY DUDES Fucked Up will be playing a free party at Santos Party House in New York tonight. It is free to get in and the band goes on at 11pm. Email email@example.com to try and get on the guestlist! FUCKED UP 11pm VAMPIRE WEEKEND 10pm ANDREW WK Says Whats Up 12am JAY REATARD 7pm
If you've not been following the adventures of the recently evicted Mike Conte of Early Man, a quick scan of the amazing videos posted at the new Early Mike.com should sort you out. However, what might arguably be the site's highlight are the "Ask Early Mike" clips, the latest of which was posted this Monday. [myspace]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=27643811[/myspace]
3/2/07 — Head’s Up Tom Menino! Early Man Are BACK
The following was culled from Early Man's mailing blast, but is far too delicious to remain un-cut and pasted:
Early Man has teamed up with the fine people who create the best show on television and contributed a song for the upcoming AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATRES!!!
The new song is entitled "More To Me Than Meat And Eyes" and is about the ATHF character MEATWAD.
The soundtrack, which along with Early Man includes songs from Mastodon, Andrew WK, Schooly D, and Unearth, will be available everywhere on 4/10/07 (Williams Street) so go pick up a copy.
If you're from Boston, this is not a terrorist attack. I repeat, this is not a terrorist attack. It's just a bunch of songs for a movie. Put the guns away. Thanks.
11/30/06 — The Genius of The Early Man Blog
Early Man Mike: rennaisance man of metal. Sure, the record slays. And the video podcast has me convinced Mike is the Walter Cronkite of metal news. But with the recently reactivated Early Man blog Early Journey, Mike pulls some serious Macguyver shit. Armed with mere text and photos, he still conjures up a level of kick-ass that is pure Early Man. Want proof? Here's a taste:
It appears to me that a young man by the name of Robby has made a desicion to get THE GREATEST TATTOO I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. What we have here is a skull wrapped in a banner that says: 'DEATH IS THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS'. Notice how HUGE the tattoo is. Take a look:
This totally blows any and all Early Man super fan 'look how crazy I am for Early Man' stories completely out of the water. Don't get me wrong. I mean I really appreciate it when people email us and say things like 'dudes, I totally wore my Early Man shirt to the game' or 'I used one of your condoms to sleep with my brother' or 'I fully went to school with the drummer' or 'I played you guys on my radio show man...all 7 people listening were stoked' or 'I've killed people while jamming Closing In' or 'I think your singer impregnated me, we need to talk...seriously' or 'I drove 7 hours to see you play and missed the show' or 'you guys have really inspired me, so much that I've decided to start recording tons of poorly written songs, here's a demo' etc. etc. etc. you get the idea. We love all of you and love hearing the stories. But just for the record, YOU'VE ALL BEEN TRUMPED
Read more of Mike's missives HERE.
10/02/06 — Early Man Mike's podcast
Bringing it straight to the fans, Mike has posted the first episode of his own Early Man approved video podcast. Click on the link to watch it, and keep your eyes peeled for live footage featuring Chavez's Matt Sweeney on bass.
9/25/06 — Demolition Derby video part 3
Part three of David Kleiler's short film documenting the assembly and entry of the Early Man sponsored entry in the Wayne County (Utah) Demoltion Derby is now up on Early Man's music and video page.
9/13/06 — Derby Finale: Late? Sure, but still out before Mondo Manhattan
In the history of motion pictures, there is no shortage of lost classics. Be it Erich Von Stroheim's "Greed," or Orson Welles' original cut of "The Magnificent Ambersons," coulda, shoulda, woulda been masterpieces have slipped through the cracks of time for as long as movies existed. But for the past 3 months, no lost classic has been so lost, or so classic as the 3rd episode of the Early Man demolition derby. Metal fans, fans of crashing cars, and especially fans of crashing cars while listening to metal have been walking around with an Early Man shaped hole in their hearts, seemingly destined to wait in cruel anticipation forever.
The wait is over my friends.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present the electrifying conclusion to the Early Man car-wrecking saga. Once thought lost for all time, a print was discovered behind some stuff in our office. It is presented here, in sumptuous streaming video, for your viewing pleasure.
08/29/06 — Early Man & Venom: A marriage made in hell?
Early Man will be playing two dates in New York and Philadelphia supporting black metal legends Venom. We can only hope a star-studded duet on "Aaarrgghh!" ensues. Check it out here.
08/16/06 — Discography updated
Check it out here.
06/01/06 — New tour; Letter from a satisfied customer
Though you might think things have gone a bit quiet for Mike and Adam as of late, you'd be mistaken. In addition to preparing for a massive US tour in support of Three Inches Of Blood (see tours), Early Man received the following correspondence:
"So a few months ago I went to one of your shows. At the show you guys gave out free condoms in a matchbook-esque package. I thought "bitchin' souvenir!" But last night I had run out of condoms and all i had was the Early Man Condom. at first i thought "I'm not gonna use my Souvenir" But then I thought "Hey My girl's fuckin' hot! Early Man would want me to do this." And so quiet as is kept I did the deed. BEST TIME EVER. Thank you for your high quality profilactic that enabled me to achieve a performance of olympic proportions!!!!!! Next time you're in Dallas, a 12 pack of Guiness on me."
04/27/06 — New merch; new merch sightings
After a somewhat grueling stint criss-crossing the USA with the Sword and Priestess, Early Man are preparing for more US dates this summer. We'll have the debut of Mike Conte's podcast very shortly, but until then, you're encouraged to check out the vast array of Early Man merchandise available from their site.
The new limited edition tees designed by the geniuses at WOWCH are quite fetching. And by that, I mean fetching the money out of your paypal account:
"Death Is The Answer" and "War Eagle" have both been featured in recent episode's of FX's "Thief". I haven't watched the show yet, but it features Andre Braugher who was so insanely great in "Homicide" for so many years. He wasn't nearly as good in that stupid Nicholas Cage-as-an-angel movie with that rotten Goo Goo Dolls piece of shit power ballad, but I digress. Andre Braugher is one fucking amazing actor. If he's down with Early Man and you're not, maybe there's something wrong with YOU.
Sadly, that isn't the only celebrity connection of note this month. But if the Boz wants to hop on the Early Man bandwagon, his money is as good as anyone else's.
01/24/06 — Alex Conley joins on bass duties on tour
With New York City's premier street metal quartet about to embark on a nationwide tour with Priestess and The Sword (sponsored by Decibel), we're pleased to announce that Alex Conley, most recently of the Ohio combo Deadsea, has now assumed the bass playing duties in Early Man. I could've said "chores" but that sounds too much like raking leaves, doing laundry and the like. There's nothing remotely chore-like about an Early Man show.
Meanwhile, catch "Death Is The Answer" on Headbangers Ball next week, and we promise we'll have the third installment of the demolition derby up soon.
12/19/05 — Coast-to-coast tour Feb-Mar; plus extras!
Huge coast-to-coast tour with Priestess and The Sword in Feb-Mar announced on the tours page. And check out the extras page for an amazing screensaver, plus wallpaper and buddy icons.
11/21/05 — Video posted
Watch the video to "Death Is The Answer," directed by David Kleiler, on themusic and video page.
11/12/05 — Aquarius on Early Man; Derby Footage Part Two; win an Early Man skate deck and more
Are Early Man a great American metal band or the greatest American metal band? I believe Stephen Colbert has been posing that very question to his guests this past month and don't think we don't appreciate it!
photograph by Michael Lavine
Kudos as well, to the folks at SF's Aquarius Records who acknowledged Early Man's 'Closing In' with the following review:
"These guys hit us last year with a three-song ace to the face taster of their very VERY heavy metal music, and we've been waiting to get hurt with more ever since. Now is the time. That utterly ass-kicking demo (released as a cdep on Monitor) led to this NYC based duo getting signed to Matador, who have just released their debut full-length album. It's already in our mental list of top ten metal discs of the year and we recommend these eleven songs (including one, 'Death Is The Answer', reprised from that ep) to everybody and everybody with a headbanging bone in their body. These songs are just so darn heavy and aggressive and catchy, with real vocals, sing-along refrains, and plenty of energetic, killer riffs. Can't argue with the riffs. Simply classic stuff.
"Our pal Josh holds that music is never really 'about' anything, other than music itself, referencing and commenting upon prior musical forms and examples (he should know, having been the guitarist for The Fucking Champs, who've always been very upfront about admitting and celebrating the influences they synthesized into their own distinctive sound). This notion certainly seems to apply to the music of Early Man, big time. And perhaps it could act as a defense against those who will accuse Early Man of sounding too much like certain other bands. Which it can't be denied that they do -- Early Man makes it easy to spot their influences, as was already made plain by that ep release last year. You'd have to be deaf, or I guess really old, not to hear the Metallica and the Black Sabbath in there. But hey, what's wrong with that? Metallica's NWOBHM influences (a la 'Am I Evil') have also trickled down to Early Man for sure. So, if you dig the Sabs and the 'tallicatz and the NWOBHM (don't you??), you should definitely give Early Man a listen. Likewise if you're into such current bands as Wolf, High On Fire, The Champs, and Sheavy who keep the '70s and '80s metal spirit alive. Packaged in a digipak, with a nice stencil included so you can more easily spraypaint Early Man graffitti all over your neighborhood."
You can catch Early Man on their first full-scale US tour at the following venues:
11/11 - Blank Club, San Jose, CA (with Fu Manchu
11/12 - Casbah, San Diego, CA (with Fu Manchu)
11/14 - Martini Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ
11/17 - Axis, Fort Worth, TX
11/18 - Emo's, Austin, TX
11/19 - Sanctuary, San Antonio, TX
11/20 - Engine Room, Houston, TX
11/25 - Jackpot Saloon, Lawrence KS
11/26 - Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS
11/28 - 7th St. Entry, Minneapolis, MN (with Priestess)
11/29 - Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL (with Priestess)
11/30 - Magic Stick, Detroit, MI (with Priestess)
12/3 - Bowery Ballroom, NYC NY (with Priestess)
12/13 - Mercy Lounge, Nashville TN
12/14 - Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA
12/15 - Doug Fir, Portland OR
Part two of David Kleiler's short film documenting the assembly and entry of the Early Man sponsored entry in the Wayne County (Utah) Demoltion Derby can be now seen here:
For your shot at winning an Early Man prize pack including a limited edition Early Man skate deck, Early Man stencils, condoms, limited edition 12" versions of "Death Is The Answer", a CD copy of 'Closing In' and Suicide Girls merch, enter here.
For those of you are, y'know, into this kind of thing, you can sign up for 3 months of Suicide Girls access and receive a 4 fourth month for free by using the promotional code: SGERLYMN. Don't say we never did anything for you.
10/28/05 — And yet more dates: here's the full run
Here's the full fall tour starting in 2 days:
Sun, Oct 30 - Baltimore MD - US - Ottobar
Tue, Nov 1 - Columbus OH - US - High Five
Wed, Nov 2 - Louisville KY - US - Headliners Music Hall
Thu, Nov 3 - Chicago IL - US - Abbey Pub
Sun, Nov 6 - Denver CO - US - Larimar Lounge
Wed, Nov 9 - Los Angeles CA - US - Spaceland - with Fu Manchu
Thu, Nov 10 - San Francisco CA - US - Slims - with Fu Manchu
Fri, Nov 11 - San jose CA - US - Blank Club - with Fu Manchu
Sat, Nov 12 - San Diego CA - US - The Casbah - with Fu Manchu
Mon, Nov 14 - Scottsdale AZ - US - Martini Ranch
Thu, Nov 17 - Fort Worth TX - US - Axis
Fri, Nov 18 - Austin TX - US - Emo’s - with Black Earth - Lions - Atomic Bitchwax
Sat, Nov 19 - San Antonio TX - US - Sanctuary
Sun, Nov 20 - Houston TX - US - Engine Room
Fri, Nov 25 - Lawrence KS - US - Jackpot Saloon - with Lethe
Sat, Nov 26 - Lawrence KS - US - Replay Lounge - with To Be Eaten
Mon, Nov 28 - Minneapolis MN - US - 7th street entry - with Priestess
Tue, Nov 29 - Chicago IL - US - The Empty Bottle - with Priestess
Wed, Nov 30 - Detroit MI - US - Magic Stick - with Priestess - The Sights
Sat, Dec 3 - New York NY - US - Bowery Ballroom - with Priestess
Tue, Dec 13 - Nashville TN - US - Mercy Lounge - DATE CHANGED
Wed, Dec 14 - Costa Mesa CA - US - Detroit Bar - DATE CHANGED
Thu, Dec 15 - Portland OR - US - Doug Fir - DATE CHANGED
10/26/05 — And yet more fall tour dates!
Confirmed tour dates just coming in:
11/14 - Phoenix, AZ - Martini Ranch
11/17 - Fort Worth, TX - Axis
11/18 - Austin, TX - Emo's
11/19 - San Antonio, TX - Sanctuary
11/20 - Houston, TX - Engine Room
10/24/05 — Confirmed tour dates
Confirmed tour dates just coming in:
Sun - 30 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
Mon - 31 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brave New World (in-store performance), time to be announced, at 3495 Bates St. Call 412-682-5007 for more info
Tue - 01 - Columbus, OH - High Five
Wed - 02 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
Sun - 06 - Denver, CO - Lorimar Lounge
Wed - 09 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland with Fu Manchu
Thu - 10 - San Francisco, CA - Slims with Fu Manchu
Fri - 11 - San Jose, CA - Blank Club with Fu Manchu
Sat - 12 - San Diego, CA - Casbah with Fu Manchu
Mon - 12 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
Tue - 13 - Portland OR - Doug Fir
Wed - 14 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
More dates to be confirmed. Keep your eyes on the tours page, where they're likely to appear first.
10/11/05 — Album out today! Early Derby footage
'Closing In' comes out today and if you're not already down with the program, an MP3 of "Death is The Answer" is now available for free download. We'd comment on how the new Early Man fearsome foursome obliterates the feeble competition in the increasingly fragmented hard rock sphere, but to be honest, we're not sure there's any competition. 'Closing In' might be the greatest driving-around album of all time --- especially if you're bound and gagged in the trunk.
After a handful of shows supporting Turbonegro, Early Man have the following dates planned for more US and overseas action planned for late '05 and early '06
October 11 - Webster Hall, NYC, NY (with Turbonegro)
October - ROUTING ONLY - Chicago
October - ROUTING ONLY - Louisville
October - ROUTING ONLY - Baltimore
October - ROUTING ONLY - Columbus
November 9 - Spaceland, LA CA (with Fu Manchu)
November 10 - Slim's, SF CA (with Fu Manchu)
November 11- Blank Club San Jose, CA (with Fu Manchu)
November 12 - The Casbah San Diego, CA (with Fu Manchu)
December 9 - Molotow, Hamburg DE, Molotow (with Blood Simple)
December 10 - Mudd Club, Berlin DE (with Blood Simple)
December 12 - Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA
December 13 - Doug Fir, Portland OR
December 14 - Mercy Lounge, Nashville TN
January 15 - December 15 - North American coast-to-coast tour, details to be announced soon
as mentioned last month, the Early Man-sponsored car, driven by the death defying Kade Blackburn, was in the midst of some brutal action of its own last month, as part of the Wayne County (Utah) Demolition Derby.
Our good friend David Kleiler saw fit to document this momentuous marriage of rock and motor sports, and the first part of his series of video vingettes about the weekend can be seen here.
Finally, keep your eyes out for the Early Man condom, which is black and comes in a handsome envelope that looks something like this:
10/06/05 — Second MP3 posted; album out on Tuesday
The second MP3 from the Early Man album has been posted; it is entitled "Death Is The Answer" and is on the music page.
09/26/05 — Tour dates in Oct, Nov and Dec announced
Early Man will be touring in October, November and December... with Turbonegro on the East Coast, Fu Manchu on the West Coast, and then headlining dates. Check the tours page and keep coming back... more dates will be announced.
09/07/05 — First MP3 from album posted
An MP3 of "Evil Is" has been posted on the music page.
09/06/05 — Demolition derby, Turbonegro dates
|photo by Adus Dorsey|
Though we're counting the seconds until the release of Early Man's thunderous full-lengh debut, 'Closing In', Mike and Adam recently took time out to sponsor Kade Blackburn in the Wayne County (Utah) Demolition Derby (above).
We've already heard the jokes about a Jayne County Demolition Derby, so please give us a break.
Currently rehearsing with a yet to be unveiled four piece lineup, Early Man will be supporting Turbonegro on the following dates
7 - Baltimore, MD at Sonar
8-Worcester, MA at The Palladium
10-Philadelphia, PA at Theater of the Living Arts
11-New York, NY at Webster Hall
Further US dates and a return to the UK are planned for this autumn.
A sneak preview of 'Closing In' can still be heard here in convenient medley form. An MP3 will be up shortly.
09/02/05 — Vice party in Hamburg
On September 9th, check out Early Man performing at the Vice Germany launch party in Hamburg witih the PAnthers, DJ Optimo, Munk, and Oliver Koletzki. Time is 23:00, and it's at KdW, Nobistor 24, Reeperbahn, Hamburg. SonyConnect will be giving away badges with the opportunity to download a free Early Man song.
07/27/05 — Medley released; blog, album done
Mike and Adam have completed work on the hotly anticipated Early Man full-length debut, 'Closing In', scheduled for release October 11, along with a synapse-snapping medley of said album's highlights that will be falling into the right hands on a far earlier date. Information junkies, ambulance chasers and the culturally aware can do themselves a favor by becoming regular visitors to http://www.earlymanarmy.com. The "Early Journey" portion of the site is a virtual treasure trove of found objects, objectionable sentiments and intense interaction with Early Man's growing legion of fans. It also puts about 99% of all blogs to shame, but find out for yourself, please.
And you can sample 'Closing In: The Medley' at this special page.
06/08/05 — Album almost done
after punishing audiences across the USA on their April tour supporting Mastodon, NYC's Early Man have completed recording for their full-length Matador debut, scheduled for Autumn release. Recorded with partner in evil Matt Sweeney, we'll have titles, art and and a playable preview for your edification, shortly.
04/28/05 — Monitor EP out; album progress
Perhaps you've had your head torn off watching Early Man on tour with Mastodon and the Burning Brides. Or maybe you've come across their recent Monitor EP, "Fuck You If You're Talking To Me". In any event, both of the above are a mere hint of what you can expect from Early Man's forthcoming Matador full-length, due this Autumn.
03/24/05 — Latest news
After making the UK debut supporting the Melvins in London last month, then tearing things up at ATP, Early Man are about to hit the road for their first US tour, this one in support of Mastodon.
Saturday, April 2 - Built By Wendy - 7938 W. 3rd Street (1 block west of Fairfax) - 10 PM
Tuesday, April 05 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
Wednesday, April 06 - Orangevale, CA - The Boardwalk
Friday, April 08 - Portland, OR - Dante's
Saturday, April 09 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
Monday, April 11 - Salt Lake City, UT - LoFi Cafe
Tuesday, April 12 - Denver, CO - Rock Island
Thursday, April 14 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground
Friday, April 15 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
Saturday, April 16 - Lawrence, KS - Bottleneck
Sunday, April 17 - Sauget, IL - Pop's
Early Man's debut CD EP will be released shortly by the mightyMonitor label; the band continue to perfect their full-length debut for Matador, due sometime this Autumn.
02/11/05 — Upcoming tour dates
Seize the opportunity to catch Early Man's revelatory live performances -- at the Monitor SXSW show on March 18th, at ATP and supporting the Melvins in London in February, and -- just announced -- suppporting Mastodon for 10 days on the west coast leg of their April tour in the US. Full details on the tour page.
01/24/05 — Early Man signs to Matador Records
Matador Records has the privilege of announcing the signing of New York's Early Man to a worldwide, long-term recording contract.
The duo of Mike Conte (guitar, vocals) and Adam Bennati (drums) have laid waste to the clubs of NYC in recent months with an intricate, high velocity metal attack that's as elemental as it is physically punishing. These guys are no slouches in the modern anthem department, either, as their forthcoming CD EP for Baltimore's Monitor Records shall reveal.
photograph by The Cleve
In the weeks ahead, Early Man will be playing the Slint-curated ATP in Camber Sands, England, hitting Austin, TX for South By Southwest, and following that with a full US tour. Their debut album for Matador (produced by Chavez' Matt Sweeney) is tentatively scheduled for Autumn 2005.
For more details, see the new Early Man section. The official website (below) is still officially under destruction.
Their biography can be found below:
Early Man solidified in the New York City summer of 2003 when Mike Conte (Guitar, Vox) joined forces with Adam Bennati (Drums). They knew each other from years of playing in underground bands in Columbus, Ohio. Mike had been recording Early Man songs by himself over the previous 4 years with a 4-track and a drum machine, refining a very particular sound that he wanted the project to have. It took's Adam's arrival in NYC to kick Mike Conte's street-metal vision into three dimensions.
Downtown magnate Spencer Sweeney, who helped book their first shows at NYC's The Hole, descibes the Early Man sound as 'a heavy metal roller coaster with fretboards instead of tracks'. The band often plays as a two-piece. Their live shows are infamous among drunk New York fuck ups. Their show at The Hole actually sold out of beer.
In September of 2004, Early Man, who are not independantly wealthy, got eight hours of free studio time at Empire View Studios. In that time they recorded and mixed three songs just to have a decent representation of their music so they could get more shows. They pressed up a few hundred demos and quickly sold out of them at New York record stores. The heads at Baltimore's Monitor Records offered to officially release those songs as an EP. Early Man said yes. The EP will be out in April.
The band will be in the studio again early in 2005 to record their first full length for Matador Records followed by extensive touring in both the U.S. and Europe.