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Dead Rider Gets Rhythm With 'Chills On Glass'


Listen to Dead Rider’s latest album Chills on Glass and you’re bound to be struck by the emphasis on rhythm in each of the songs. The band’s guitarist and founding member Todd Rittmann says that rhythm is an old obsession for him. It dates back to his childhood, when his bed was near the family laundry room.

Credit http://www.deadrider.us
Dead Rider’s “Chill on Glass” is out now.

“I remember, growing up, just listening to stuff tumble around in the dryer and being hypnotized by that regularity of the weight of that stuff in the dryer flapping around," he says. "It would have a repetitious element but it would also have an organic element because it would never quite hit the same way at the same time.

“I think my brain just wants to find the rhythmic possibilities of sound in general, just out in the world. You can kind of hear that making its way into our music, too. There’s sort of found sounds that we’ll superimpose over our music, like laughter or something. That’s got a rhythmic element to it as well as an implied melody.”

Those who have followed the band’s recorded output since its 2009 album Mother of Curses have been quick to remark on the group’s evolution. Rittmann says he’s not sure about that.

“I can’t really get my head around that," he says. "To me, the last two records are really part of a continuum. I almost feel in a way that we made the same record again.”

The band tends to record itself and Rittmann says he feels like the group has become better at getting the desired sounds as time has gone on. But engineering isn’t something he studied, at least not in the formal sense.

“I’ve done a lot of recording in top flight studios with incredibly talented engineers," he says. "I’m that annoying guy in the band who’s always asking questions and taking notes. I read a lot on the art of engineering and recording. I’m a bit of a nerd on that stuff. But, at the same time, I just like to keep it loose and shoot from the hip and throw stuff at the wall and just see what happens and be ready to react to things that might not be really refined and sophisticated.”

Despite knowing all that he does about the recording studio and how records are made Rittmann is quick to add that there’s one thing he can’t predict—when, exactly, he can expect a visit from his muse. He points to what may be his favorite song on Chills on Glass as an example.

“‘Weird Summer’ was written early on and I got the first half of the vocals done in that song. That song has a really dramatic shift halfway through. It’s kind of like ‘A Day In The Life’ or something like that. It almost sounds like two different songs leading into one another.

“And the second half of that song? I just couldn’t make anything happen for the longest time," he says. "The longest time. I must have tried five times to work on the vocal part at the end of that song. I don’t know what happened. I was just having a really bad day. I just let myself get more angry and upset and agitated than I normally do.

“I came home and I just needed a punching bag. I decided to go downstairs and give that another shot and it just kind of [snaps fingers]. It turned my day around. It turned the song around. It was pretty interesting how that came together.”

Dead Rider will perform Saturday night at ICT Fest located on 622 S. Commerce St.

Full lineup for ICT Fest on Friday and Saturday:

9/5/14 Friday - 12 bands

  • 5pm: Driver
  • 5:30pm: Ryan Windham
  • 6pm: Lewelheds
  • 6:30pm: The Serpent Overlord
  • 7pm: Soleb Theory
  • 7:30pm: Brother Rabbit
  • 8pm: Escatones
  • 8:30pm: Living Ghost
  • 9pm: Josh Huber
  • 9:30pm: Hwy Lions
  • 10pm: Semblance
  • 10:30pm:Truck or Dead Horse
  • 11pm: CJ Boyd
  • 11:45pm: Tjutjuna
  • 12:30pm: The Blind Shake

9/6/14 Saturday - 16 bands

  • 4:30pm: Evasive Flowers
  • 5pm: Kill Vargas
  • 5:30pm: Deathblack Flowers
  • 6pm: Mr. and the Mrs.
  • 6:30pm: Cy J. Hamilton
  • 7pm: Daddyo's
  • 7:30pm: Twin Cities
  • 8pm: Money Badger
  • 8:30pm: American Cream
  • 9pm: Animal Lover
  • 9:30pm: Foul Tip!
  • 10pm: Darto
  • 10:30pm: Shahman
  • 11pm: Dead Rider
  • 11:45pm: STNNNG


After party at Lucky's Everyday: Flower of Flesh and Blood + The Ghouled's DJ Goth Dance Party!

Originally aired on Morning Edition on 09/05/14

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.