October Update: Pictures, Videos, New Songs and More!

October has been a pretty eventful month for us, despite The Long Hunt not playing any actual shows. That said, It is worth mentioning that the break from gigging was indeed intentional, giving us a welcomed chance to focus on new material and a few other things that will be revealed later in this post. Speaking of shows, we have a handful of dates scheduled in November (Monotrope and Night Vapor on November 2nd and Karma to Burn and Doctor Smoke on November 19th) as well as an in-studio video-recorded performance at Mindrocket Studios for the Jimmy Fro Show. Before we get into that, here’s a recap of what we have been up to for the past month or so.


Descendants of Crom


On September 29th, we played an all-acoustic set for the Descendants of Crom Acoustic pre-fest, as part of the first annual Descendants of Crom festival (a gathering of rock, doom, sludge, and metal) that took place the following day. We debuted two new songs that night; a stripped down version of “The Winnowing Hand”, as well as our rendition of “Como Poden Per Sas Culpas”, a 700+ year old traditional song that was made popular by its inclusion in the original Conan the Barbarian movie. We would like to extend our appreciation for the positive feedback from the crowd and want to thank the venue and all the great bands that played, it was really a lot of fun. Special thanks to Shy Kennedy (of both Blackseed Recordings and Releases and Descendants of Crom) for giving us the opportunity. Below are some pictures of us playing this show, taken by Megan Williams.

 

 

 

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WRCT 88.3 FM Advanced Calculus Radio Performance


Earlier this month we played an hour long live radio performance on Pittsburgh’s WRCT 88.3 FM, as part of the Advanced Calculus program. The performance took place on Monday, October 16th and ran from 9:00 to a little after 10:00. Below is a video featuring audio taken from that performance, as well as the video loop teaser that was made for the show. The music is a previously unreleased track called “Closing the Circle” that we have been playing out at shows over the summer. We really appreciate all the friends, family, and fans who tuned in live, we really can’t thank you enough for your support. Also, thanks to Sean Cho and crew for engineering, mixing and of course for giving us this really fantastic opportunity.

 


Allison featured in Punksburgh’s Music Blog


In other exciting October news, Allison was featured on a recent post for the Punksburgh music blog. The feature includes an in-depth interview about her past and current musical projects, including her involvement in The Long Hunt, as well as a few pictures and video. Read the article on Punksburgh’s website.  Thanks Lauren Stein and Punksburgh for the great interview!

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November Shows


November is already shaping up to be busy, with our next show scheduled on Thursday, November 2nd at Gooski’s with Monotrope and Night Vapor. We’ve heard great things about both bands and are really looking forward to sharing the stage with them. Expect a night of music that is dynamic, experimental, heavy, and loud!

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We are really excited to announce that on Sunday, November 19th, we will be opening for the mighty Karma to Burn at Cattivo. If that wasn’t enough, Ohio’s exceptional Doctor Smoke will be on the bill as well, a band we’ve wanted to share the stage with for a while now. We’ll make sure to put some of our harder hitting tunes together for this one!

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Jimmy Fro Show/Mindrocket session


Last but not least, we will be recording an in studio performance on November 26th at Mindrocket studios in West Middlesex, as part of the Jimmy Fro show Podcast. The plan is to record both audio and video of two of our songs, which will then be available for viewing and listening online withing the next few months. More information on this later, so check back.


As always, feel free to like and share our content, add us on Facebook, and subscribe to this blog. Your continued support is much appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Long Hunt Goes Acoustic: Descendants of Crom Pre-Fest + New Songs and More


We’ll be performing our first-ever acoustic set as part of the “Descendants of Crom Acoustic Prefest” on September 29th at the Full Pint Wild Side Pub in Pittsburgh. The bill will also feature fellow local Pittsburgh bands Holy Rivals, Solarburn, Motormeter, and JakeTheHawk, all of which will be doing acoustic-only renditions of their tunes. Its going to be an interesting thing indeed to see what such heavy, rocking, and dynamic bands sound like unplugged. We are really looking forward to it and are honored to be playing a role, no matter how small, in the greater awesomeness that is Decendants of Crom. The Acoustic pre-fest starts Friday night, September 29th, at 8 PM.

As alluded to, the acoustic pre-fest is simply a taste of what’s to come the following day with the first annual Decedents of Crom Festival, an all-day, two-stage heavy music festival featuring rock, doom, sludge, and metal. The show starts at 2PM (Saturday, September 30th) at Cattivo in Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, and features an amazing roster of both touring and local bands. Read a recent article in Decibel Magazine about the event. Check out the flyer below for the full lineup and visit  www.descendantsofcrom.com for more information.

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New Song on the Menu: The Winnowing Hand


We’ve been brewing up a cauldron of new songs over the last few months, with one reaching a stage of near-completion. The tune is called “The Winnowing Hand” and has been slow cooking in The Long Hunt kitchen now for about three months. Originally written as a simple finger-picked theme for classical guitar, the song has now evolved into a proper tune more in the style you’d come to expect from The Long Hunt.

The scratch recording at last practice clocked in at over 9 minutes, which has been pretty typical length for our recent output. We’ll probably pare things down a bit time-wise before serving to a live audience, but it shouldn’t be too long before one can expect to hear this tune at one of our shows. Here’s a really rough solo acoustic preview of the main theme, video-recorded a few months back:


Advanced Calculus Radio Performance


As mentioned briefly in the previous blog, we’ll be playing an hour long set for the Advanced Calculus radio show on WRCT 88.3FM on October 16th. The Performance starts at 9pm and goes live until 10. Tune in to 88.3FM if you are in the area or listen online at www.wrct.org/ . More details coming once we get closer to the date. We are really looking forward to this amazing opportunity.

That’s all the updates for now, though we have a few more interesting things coming down the line in the next few months. As always, please consider subscribing to this blog by entering your email into the box on the right. Also, take a minute to check us out on Facebook and to like our page if you don’t already.

End of Summer Recap


Where We’ve Been and What We’ve Been Doing


Summer is basically over and there seems like no better occasion to give a quick recap of what The Long Hunt has been up to over the last few months and what we are planning to do in the near future.

Those who have been following our progress probably know that we are still a relatively new band. Our first live show took place earlier this year on April 1st. Although a pretty relaxed schedule by most gigging standards, it still feels like we have kept busy with eight Pittsburgh performances and one out of state gig. Check out the gallery below to see the amazing bands we were able to share the stage with and all the great venues we were able to play.

One thing to take note of is the staggering diversity of genres and styles of the bands represented in those flyers. From post-metal to doom, stoner rock to 70’s rock revival, instrumental fusion to indie-punk, and any combination thereof, it could be argued that we’ve somehow still managed to fit in. Though some could say that certain pairings worked better than others, this adaptability of our sound is easily one of our greatest assets and so far audiences have responded positively.

On that note, it seems like no better time to thank all the bands, venues, promoters, photographers, bloggers, family, friends, fans, and anyone else who has given our music a chance in these last five months or so. Without your continued positive feedback, there really is not much of a point to continue doing what we do.

Mark at Deutschtown Music fest
Photo credit: Whitney Lerch of Whitney Lerch Photography
Trevor at Deutschtown Music Festival
Photo credit: Whitney Lerch of Whitney Lerch Photography
The Rock Room, Pittsburgh
Photo Credit: Lieu Wolfe
Allison at Cedars in Youngtown, Ohio
Photo credit: Tre C.B. Maxwell
Mark at Cedars in Youngtown, Ohio
Photo credit: Tre C.B. Maxwell
Allison at Deutschtown Music Festival
Photo credit: Whitney Lerch of Whitney Lerch Photography
Trevor at Mr. Smalls Funhouse, Pittsburgh
Photo Credit: Randy Blood
Playing at Cattivo in Pittsburgh
Photo Credit: jeremy schindorff for That Local Metal Show and NWO metal Militia
Trevor at Cedars in Youngtown, Ohio
Photo credit: Tre C.B. Maxwell
Deutschtown Music Festival
Photo Credit: Stacie Seidler of stacie seidler photography
Trevor at Deutschtown Music Festival
Photo Credit: Randy Strothman

RANT 2017 (Rock All Night)


September 2nd marks our last show for the season, the 6th Annual Rock All Night, or RANT, in Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh. This is a massive three day fest with over 200 bands that we are lucky enough to be a part of. We’ll be playing at the Roundabout Brewery with a really cool and diverse lineup featuring Garter Shake, Brazilian Wax, Dumplings, and Middle Children. We are really looking forward to playing this venue for the first time and to hopefully get our music out to a brand new audience.

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Here’s the flyer for our particular plot on the local-band landscape:

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More to Come


In addition to the five songs on our Debut EP, Wilderness Tales (available on bandcamp, itunes, amazon, and google music) we also have a handful of new tunes that are either in a state of completion or near-completion. Many of these songs are already being played at shows and include the following: Negative Teeth, Closing the Circle, Ground of Being, Smoke Offering, and The Winnowing Hand. In addition to these, we also have about two or three others that are currently unnamed and in various skeletal states. It is safe to assume there will be a follow-up album available within the next 6 months to a year, at the very most. In other words, definitely sooner than later.

For the last bit of news, we’ll being doing an hour long live in-studio radio performance for WRCT in October. More information on that will be released when we get closer to the date. Check back here or on our Facebook page for further news.

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Once again, the band would like to thank everyone for their continued support. If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to this blog by adding your email to the form on the top right area of the page. Also, consider liking our Facebook page, it really helps.

 

 

Making Album Art: Wilderness Tales EP

 

Wilderness Tales, The Long Hunt’s five track debut album- released February 17, 2017- has been out for nearly four months to the day. As such, this post is one of those “been meaning to for a while, but never got around to it” types. Reactions to the cover art, featuring the disembodied head of a three-eyed deer, have ranged from “cool” to “creepy”, “mysterious” to “unsettling”. Is there a story behind the artwork? How was it made, what does it mean? Answers to these questions can be found below.


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The deer head sculpture itself started its life as a ball of wadded-up newspaper, gifted to our house by the ever generous postman. It was probably the penny-saver coupon book, now that I think about it. Masking tape helped give the ball a little form, and a shortened paper-towel roll gave shape to the nose and the neck. After I had a very basic skull structure made from the paper and cardboard rolls, I started taping wads of newspaper to various points of the skull to flesh out the cheeks, neck, and head. The eyes were balls of newspaper surrounded by aluminum foil eyelids. The antlers a combination of aluminum foil, cardboard, and tape wrapped around wooden grill skewers. The ears were cut out of cardboard and the whole thing was covered in a layer of masking tape to hold it together and give it shape.


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Completed paper, aluminum, and cardboard head wrapped in masking tape.

Next I covered the entire sculpture with a layer of Papier-mâché (strips of newspaper coated in a flower/water/glue mixture that were stuck to the head). All said and done, I ended up with three separate layers that served to flesh out the head and smooth out the surface. After drying for a day, I painted some basic features on the sculpture, many of which would eventually be covered in hair and painted over again.


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painted Papier-mâché deer head

The hair used to cover much of the head was made by cutting small sections of a long strand of either jute or hemp rope. Cutting quarter-inch sections of rope at a time with a scissors quickly made a small pile of fibrous rope “hair” that I then stuck to the head using a watered down glue mixture. I stuck the hair on in layers, painting on the glue with a brush and patting on clumps of the hair. I finished the deer by painting fine details around the eyes, mouth and nose.


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finished deer head with jute/hemp rope “hair”

After drying for a day or two, it was now time to photograph the deer. I knew I wanted to do something with long exposure, where the camera takes anywhere from a few seconds, to a few minutes (or more) to take a picture. There are a lot of ways to go about this, but usually being in the dark helps (otherwise the image is extremely overexposed). I cleaned out a closet in order to make the darkest setting I could with minimal light leakage from the outside. I covered the walls with garbage bags, put the deer on a table with a black cloth, lit some candles, and set up a black light.


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I turned off all the other lights, zoomed in close on the deer, set the shutter for 30 seconds, and hit the button on the camera to start the process. After about maybe 5-10 seconds, I slowly zoomed out with one hand while my other hand waved around a small flashlight with a red filter on it. Once I was fully zoomed out, having maybe another 10-15 seconds left with the shutter open, I shined the red light on various points of the deer to get some lighting effects. The black light, candles, long exposure, red flashlight, reflective garbage bags, and zoom process resulted in what looks like a double image with interesting light trails and other artifacts. Everything was done “in camera” with no editing effects being employed in post (save slight color correction and some saturation adjustments).

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Front cover of Wilderess Tales EP

As far as the meaning behind this work, I’ll leave that up the the viewer and listener.  I know the “how” but not so much as the “why”. Art defines itself, I simply focus on the process. Hands interpreting thoughts that rise from the deep. As always, the end result was limited by time, materials, ability and circumstance. None the less, I think the image serves its purpose and fits the music well enough. Listen to the album on bandcamp for more insight and maybe it’ll all make more sense!

 

 

May Update

Here are a few quick updates for the band as we close out the first week of the month of May. Probably the most obvious one is that the site got a new look with the triple-eye banner and tree background. Our bandcamp site got a similarly themed facelift as well. No real reason for the change in appearance, I guess I just thought it was time for something new.

Another change to the site includes the addition of a dedicated video page. Currently we have four videos up, one of our live in-studio recording of the song “Ground of Being” and three recorded at last month’s show with The Skull, Horehound, and Monolith Wielder at Cattivo in Pittsburgh, PA. The three live gig videos were graciously done by the great Jeremy Schindorff and crew of Toledo, Ohio’s NWO Metal Militia and That Local metal Show. Definitely check these guys out, they do great work and are an asset to the local music community.

Here’s the four videos for convenience sake:





We also have some show announcements to share, with our first trip to Youngstown coming up on Friday, May 19 with Analog Faze, Sexy Pig Divas, and Knife Fighters. It is going to be an awesome blend of Stoner, drone, fuzz, doom, psych and garage rock, for sure! Here’s the flyer I designed for the event:

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Here’s a link to the Facebook event page for the show. If you live in the area, please consider coming out!

Its a little ways off, but we are scheduled to play at Pittsburgh’s annual Deutschtown Music Festival, happening the weekend of July 14 and 15th. We’ll be on the outdoor stage at 5:00 on Friday. Here’s Friday’s full schedule. In addition, Allison and Mark will be playing that Saturday with Emily Rodgers Band at the JAMES STREET GASTROPUB and SPEAKEASY. I’ll no doubt be helping to haul gear and will of course be taking pictures. Its going to be a lot of fun.

We have a handful of other shows in June and July that are not able to be announced yet, so be sure to check back!

TLH on Ep. 124 of Start the Beat podcast

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The Long Hunt sat down with the super talented Brian Howe (AKA Sikes) for episode 124 of his awesome long-format music podcast Start the Beat. It was such a cool experience to talk with someone who is so committed to the Pittsburgh music scene and who is also a talented producer, singer, rapper, graphic artist, videographer, and 2,526 other things! Check out the entire 90 minute episode by clicking the link below:

http://startthebeat.libsyn.com/start-the-beat-124-the-long-hunt?tdest_id=295814

Make sure to check out and support Brian’s other endeavors with the following links:

https://greywalker.bandcamp.com/

https://sikes.bandcamp.com/

https://trashbagmusic.bandcamp.com/

The Making of “Valley of the Sun”

Here is a story about the making of the song “Valley of the Sun”. The inspiration in many ways came from a road trip Allison and I took to Utah and Colorado in the spring of 2016. The band had just started writing its first songs about a month or two prior, so I decided to take my acoustic guitar along with us to hopefully develop those ideas and maybe even come up with some new ones out on the road.

It took two and a half days to drive from Pittsburgh to Western Colorado and it more or less rained the entire time. I say more or less because we also had some light snow and hail around the Toledo, Ohio area.

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Day 1: Rain in Ohio

On the second day, the drive across the seemingly never-ending state of Nebraska was met with unrelenting and oftentimes torrential rain. After ten or eleven hours out on the road, we stopped for the night about seventy miles outside of Denver. The local news reported that there had been tornadoes in the area earlier, and that the path through the mountains, which was where we were heading the next day, had received upwards of twelve inches of snow at some elevations.

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Day 2: Rain in Nebraska
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Day 2: Rain in Eastern Colorado

The next morning we woke up to more rain, which steadily turned to light snow once we passed  through Denver and into the mountains. Luckily the snow had been successfully cleared from most of the roadways overnight, which made the three to four hour drive through the Rockies a little more manageable. Of course, as soon as we got out of the mountains, the rain returned, following us as we made our way to our first stop- the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.

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Day 3: Rain in Denver
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Day 3: Rain turned to snow in the Rocky Mountains

We paid the fee at the park gate and drove up into the cliffs that overlooked the valley. We were basically at the same level as the cloud layer, the same clouds which felt like they had been haunting us for over sixteen-hundred miles across the country. We thought the rest of the day would be ruined. Out of nowhere, the clouds parted and we saw the first sign of sun in nearly three days. Everything dried up unbelievably fast, and in less than hour it was like it hadn’t rained at all. We were able to do some light hiking, took some pictures and even had time to pick out our camping spot before it got dark.

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Rain clouds exiting the scene
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Allison and I happy to see blue sky for the first time in nearly three days

The next morning we woke up just before dawn and took a walk through the nearby juniper forest leading to an overlook of the town below. We sat there a while, watching the rays of sun inch their way across the valley floor, and then heading back to the campsite to eat a cold breakfast of granola bars and instant coffee. It was turning out to be a clear and sunny day and the remaining clouds rapidly disappeared as the sun rose higher in the sky.

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Forest at dawn on the way to the overlook

It was in that morning calm that I decided to pick up the acoustic guitar and work through some of those early Long Hunt songs. Elements of “Valley of the Sun” did exist in a very primordial form at that point (though mostly just a collection of successive riffs), but didn’t have any sort of name, and was far from being a completed song by any stretch of the imagination. Mark had mentioned that the tune reminded him of the band Sun City Girls, so the song’s final title is in some ways a nod to that as well.

Anyhow, something about the environment really fit the mood of that song and really helped actively shape its final form. The first sunny day, mixed with the vast openness of the valley and the sky, made its influence known and worked its way into the music. Suddenly space and silence was just as important as the notes themselves. Everything just spread out and each note felt like a buzzard floating on a column of hot air over that desert-like vista between the mountains and the canyon wall.

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Rays of sun just after dawn
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View from Colorado National Monument

In those ways and more, Valley of the Sun helped define the direction that the band took for the remaining songs on Wilderness Tails and also solidified a songwriting style that took my toying with minimalism -and the use of empty space as a sort of fourth member in the band- to a level it had not been at before . The song to me summarizes the quintessential sound of The Long Hunt, especially in those early stages of writing, and sets a narrative for future compositions to build upon.

A free download of the song “Valley of the Sun” is now being offered for a limited time by following the link below:

http://www.pghcitypaper.com/FFW/archives/2017/02/13/mp3-monday-the-long-hunt