May 04, 2007

Tomahawk to record ancestral music

Tomahawk Actually Starting To Sound Like An American-Indian Band

Group consumed buffalo and whiskey 'to get in the mood,' guitarist Duane Denison says."I got to see a lot of current American-Indian bands, and to be honest, I was usually just sort of disappointed at how normal they sounded," explained Denison, best known for his work with the now-defunct Jesus Lizard. "They were playing like, country or country rock, Southern rock, blues, and it seemed just far more mainstream than what I'd hoped. I figured there must be native music somewhere that was more aggressive, spookier and more kinetic."

So, Denison began doing research on ancestral music created by North America's indigenous people. Eventually he came across some books—dating back to Theodore Roosevelt's presidency—that contained transcriptions of several American Indian tunes, but no information concerning the songs' composers.

"When we were throwing concepts around for the third Tomahawk album, I liked the idea of taking older music from unknown sources and putting our own stamp on it," he said. The forthcoming Tomahawk LP, due in stores June 19, is appropriately titled Anonymous. "It sounded like an interesting, unusual and different idea, and I didn't feel we were plundering anyone. It wasn't like we were stealing from some blues guys or something, because as far as I know, this stuff's never been recorded. I brought the idea to the rest of the guys, and there was no warming up to it. It was pretty immediate. [Frontman Mike] Patton flipped over it right away. It wasn't a stretch for us—after all, we are Tomahawk."

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