Artist of the day: Home
Home was, and still is, one of the most beloved bands to come from Tampa’s booming early ’90s music scene.
What had started as no-fi bedroom recordings in 1992 soon grew to a full band. Their first seven albums, Home I through Home VII, were released on cassette tape; Home VIII was an 8-track tape. These were sold out of a candy jar at Ybor City’s long-defunct Blue Chair Music for a dollar. Though the recording quality was lacking, the songs most certainly were not.
Stylistically, Home was all over the map, but a cohesiveness was there. Their psych-folk, paired with blistering noise rock and quirky pop sensibility, got noticed. For 1995’s Home IX, the band singed to Sony subsidiary Relativity Records and moved to New York in 1996. When Relativity switched to an all hip-hop format, Home was released from their contract.
Contrary to popular belief, Home never broke up. They soldiered on, releasing their next seven albums on a variety of indie labels. And in between records, the band has plenty to keep them busy.
Bassist Brad Truax is often on the road, tour-managing bands like Animal Collective, Gang Gang Dance and Fleet Foxes. Pianist/guitarist/vocalist Eric Morrison also plays in Leels and has a faux-classical project called 100% Storms Ensemble. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Deutsch has a bizarro-world avant-karaoke project where he writes songs and creates videos; people then sing along to a song they’ve never heard.
Home has been busy being Home, too. On Oct. 27, the band’s current labels, Brah and Jagjaguwar, digitally released the long-awaited Home Box Set, consisting of the first eight Home albums. And in January, the band will release their 17th album, aptly titled Home XVII.
Home return home at 9 p.m. Nov. 12 at New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave, Ybor City, alongside Flexxehawk and Insect Joy. $7. Click here to listen to Home's In My House.
Tbt* recently spoke to Morrison about the box set, the tour to support it, and how Home have been keeping busy between records.
How did it come about to put together the box set? I’m sure it’s something you’ve wanted to do for quite some time.
I kept saying we were going to do it, and we kept forgetting to do it. The tapes were just sitting in a box. We were actually recording Home XVII last year. We pretty much finished the record and the label wasn’t really ready for us at the time. Brad was out on tour with Animal Collective at the time and I said, “Why don’t I take those tapes and finally take the time to master them?” I still had all the master tapes in one Maker’s Mark whiskey box that was kept in the vault of the studio. I had to go through and take as much hiss off as I possibly could.
Some of that early stuff — wasn’t it recorded on two cassette recorders that were jimmied together?
In high school, I thought I invented multi track recording. I didn’t have any friends that were musicians or had four tracks or anything like that. I had a tape deck and I would record myself playing along on the keyboard or the guitar, just making a goofy song. Then it hit me: If I play that tape and play along with it on another tape I could totally overdub myself. I became friends with Andrew my senior year. That’s how our friendship started. He would come over on the weekends and we would do this ridiculous tape-to-tape overdubbing thing. Home I though Home III we did that way. Once we hit Home IV, we were like, “People have four tracks. There’s a much easier way to do this.”
I read that on this tour, you’ll be going out as a three-piece; you’ll be playing (or attempting to play) most of the tracks from the box set; and that Home’s original drummer, Sean Martin, will be playing the Tampa show with you.
Everything we’re doing on tour is from the box set. I think we polished up maybe 20 or 30 songs. Some of it, we’ve never played live, because we didn’t start playing live until Home III or IV. We had to go back and learn from the tapes. In Tampa, Sean is going to come out. We’ll have the full original box set lineup for the Tampa show, but he couldn’t do the whole tour. We’ve been practicing as a three-piece, just switching around the instruments and taking turns on the drums.
-- Gabriel Loewenberg, tbt*