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Inverter Interview By Nina McCarthy

Inverter Interview

By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio

(L-R Jeff, Jimmy, Deek, and Nina. Missing is Bill.)

 

“This interview is brought to you by Cheese Curls.”--Jimmy

“We welcome any other sponsorships.”--Deek

 

BRR: Let’s start with introductions.

 

I’m Deek, I’m the vocalist...I use the term loosely.

I’m Jimmy on bass.

Jeffrey, I’m the drummer.

BRR: And we’re missing Bill Bracken on guitar. Inverter has been around for four years now. Give me a little hist

ory from the beginning until now.

 

Deek: Long story short, it was a studio project between Bill and I where while drinking whiskey, we recorded a 9 song album where I initially did drums and vocals and Bill did bass and guitar. We put it out there and started getting gig offers and got tired of telling people that we’re not a band, it’s just a studio thing and one day we said, “Why don’t we start a band?” I ran into Jeff at The Middle East at a Nullset show. I hadn’t seen him in awhile, since he used to drum for 7th Rail Crew. I booked shows for 7th Rail a couple times and seeing Jeff put it in my mind that we needed a drummer and we should ask him if he’s interested.

 

Jeff: You guys had recorded the album and there was one song you wanted to do a video for. Originally you kicked it to me and said you wanted to hire me for the video to go nuts. We don’t have a band, but...

 

Deek: We needed a body behind the drums for the video.

 

Jeff: I can go nuts and I never had done a video, so that was perfect.

 

Deek: Jimmy isn’t even in the first video. It’s Joel Hopkins from Bloodline Theory. Joel used to be the original bassist. We’ve tried so many drummers and bassists, and I don’t even know if Jeff knows this, but we tried some session drummers who had taught lessons for years and years. None of these nerdy technical drummers had the bounce or feel. Jeff came in and was beating the hell out of his drums and we were like, “This is the guy!” We were going to use Brendan from High Karate at one point in time but he was so busy. Jimmy came in and knew every song while playing to the lyrics so I kind of had to tell Brendan that we found a guy. Both of these guys are incredible though, and they aren’t dicks either. It’s tough to find band members that you can play with and get along with that aren’t assholes.

 

Jimmy: We’ve had a lot of Jack Daniels…

 

Deek: So what I say may not be true.

 

BRR: You guys are in a mixed genre, I don’t even know what to call it. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it?

 

Deek: Honestly, we keep getting from people, especially in RI like from the guys in Joint Damage, they say we remind them of Mystikal meets Static X meets Madball meets, I don’t know... We all come from very different places influence-wise, so it’s kind of this clusterfuck of things we dig and if people like it, cool, if they don’t fuck ‘em. Whatever. We’re just here to have a good time. We’re not trying to tour the world or get any big record deal, so let’s just have some fun.

 

Jeff: I generalize to family and co-workers that it’s rock n’ roll. I know that is a very broad statement, but if you tell people it’s heavy metal or it’s rap rock, then you might scare people away. I let people decide for themselves.

 

Deek: Then we go up there and scare the shit out of them.

 

BRR: I hear some metal, nu-metal, and a little rapping.

 

Deek: The first album was a lot more hip hop. The album that Jimmy and Jeff are on, the way better album, I’ll add, is not so much. Some of the newer stuff we are writing is more of a departure from that. I’m not doing the rap thing as much. I’m not a rapper. No one even uses that term anymore.

 

BRR: Tell me about your latest album, Bare Bones, and the recording of it at Powerhouse Studios with Jaime Locke.

 

 

Jimmy: It was meant to be. Jaime came into our lives and it was a good thing. We went out to Powerhouse in Ludenberg, MA in the middle of nowhere and it all came together...We vibed and songs started to come together really nice. Jaime coming into our lives was awesome.

 

Deek: He has worked with some huge bands too. It was one of those things that was meant to be. He did all the New Kids On The Block records and Marky Mark, no bullshit. One of my favorite bands is Madball from NYC and that’s another influence of mine that he worked with.

 

Jimmy: And John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.

 

Deek: He worked with Prong, which is probably my favorite bands ever, and Obituary, Fury of Five, and B.O.D. He was so easy to work with. The first album we did with Jim Foster from Nullset and we just changed it up. The newest video we did with this guy Chris Daniele from Yucky Studios, who plays in this band called Oxen out of Northampton, MA and he was awesome. We have been lucky enough to work with good people who aren’t douchebags. It was interesting recording the album because there were a couple tracks, and we’re old bastards...well, old enough...a lot of the stuff we write is ass backwards. For example, here is this track “So Many Friends” that we call our one ballad on the album. It’s a little bit darker and twisted. We had all these lyrics set when it came time to record and before I showed up I decided I didn’t like the way I was doing it. I rewrote everything. They weren’t present that day, and I took a gamble and changed the song completely and thought they were either going to like it or think it was a bunch of crap. It is one of the songs that we get the best response from on the album. It’s a dark tribute to a lot of dead friends. Jimmy heard it for the first time and I was watching them have this revelation for the first time and Jimmy said, “This is my favorite song of the album!”

 

Jimmy: We’ve all lost friends so it was personal. Some people could say he was a dick for changing the whole thing, but when I heard the end of it, I was blown away. It really fucking touched me.

 

Deek: Bracken didn't like it at first, but he never likes anything the first time. He came around after hearing it again.

 

BRR: The video for “Surrounded” was released on Dec 10 and is pretty cool.  Discuss the idea behind the video and the filming of it in a flooded bomb shelter. [Watch the video HERE.]

 

Jeff: The location was a friend of Deek’s, who had a property in Stoughton, MA where the previous owners had built a bomb shelter and they weren’t really using it for anything. It was just on the back of their property. Deek had brought it to us as a location. He said, “I have this creepy old bomb shelter. It has thick steel doors and everything is rusted, but there is like 8 inches of standing water.

 

Deek: I said I have bad news and worse news.

 

Jeff: He said we had to try to pump the water out and get it to a reasonable,if not dry, spot. We pumped it and it there was about 2 inches of water left which was still enough to get soaked, especially with us splashing around and stuff. The way the director, Chris, came in with his lights and his cameras and everything, shot it in the bomb shelter, well, the performances speak for themselves. They came out really good. We had the idea of the song “Surrounded,” kind of loosely based on a purge or a situation where you’re being chased and you’re in a place where you are surrounded, fighting your way out. With no budget, we kind of loosely based it on that, stopped at the costume store and got cheap masks. Luckily, Deek had brought his children and some friends of ours showed up with children, so the kids stole the show with all the footage we got of them.

 

Deek: The budget for that video was like $12, aside from the director and filming and all that. A little inside story here, most of the zombies you see walking around are us too. We had 4 masks, so we have a couple trick shots where you only see in the foreground parts of bodies that are closer, also dressed in black, so it looks like there are more people than there actually was; they aren’t wearing masks. You can just see their torsos. So we had to get pretty creative. We shot that in maybe 6 hours with setting up and everything. Last minute, when we got there, we had to rig together and build a platform for Jeff to get his kit out of the water, with scrap plywood and scrap we found in their barn nearby. Last minute, I’m on the ground building everything, since I’m into carpentry...

 

Jimmy: Thank God we have a tiny house builder.

 

Deek: We tried not to get his drums wet, but Bracken kept getting so into it. Between takes we kept telling Bill to try not to kick water all over Jeff’s drums but he kept doing it because he was having so much fun and going nuts. The place was so steamed up with body heat by the time we were done. It was only 20-something degrees out. At one point, I looked over at Jimmy and there was steam just floating over his shaved head.

 

BRR: You guys recently played with Billy from Biohazard. How was that experience?

 

Deek: It was cool.

 

Jeff: It was awesome. I’ve been a big fan of Biohazard since I was a young lad. And the fact that he can come on an off night to a town that had not had him booked and book him, and a lot of local bands played. Thy Will Be Done played and killed it.

 

BRR:  I wanted to be there because I am friends with SixteenX20 too, but I couldn’t.

 

Deek:  I enjoyed them because they were more like a heavy rock kind of thing and their vocalist was really good.

 

Jimmy: Tell the story of how receptive Billy was.

 

Deek: Billy has been there and done that. He has sold a zillion records. He is a genuinely good dude. After the show he hung until they were literally throwing us out of the club, talking to everyone. He is just such a nice guy and that’s the way it should be. He has inspired a lot of people and he is kind of paying it back by hanging with these people. He answered every question for them, which is admirable.

 

BRR: Tell me about the duck taped bucket you play onstage, Deek.

 

Deek: Long story short, Bracken and I from day one always joked and thought it would be awesome to have a fifth member of Inverter, that is just a drummer, like a street performer, because I’ve never seen a band do it, and I’ve done bucket drumming in the past. That is something we just started doing on the side during some of Bill’s longer guitar solos. He has one that is like 78 measures long, so there comes a time when you need to add in some percussive elements.  

 

BRR: I’m all about unique things, so that’s awesome to see in the set.

 

Jeff: He’ll eventually graduate to Roto Toms and Octobans.

 

BRR: I know you’re very active with live shows all over New England? Have you played outside of New England and if not, do you have plans for a tour?

 

Deek: Scheduling wise it’s tough but we do want to do it. There are some people that we have talked to and maybe in 2019 it will manifest. Two years ago we went out to LA and did shows in Vegas and Anaheim and around there. It was fun and cool to play in a market where nobody knew us. We got a very good reception, especially in Anaheim. People were climbing on my back and piggybacking as I was doing vocals. It was crazy.

 

BRR: That's awesome. What’s next?

 

Jimmy: World domination.

 

Jeff: We also want to play in new markets and get some more exposure.

 

Deek: Keep playing shows and at some point in time we’ll do another video but I don’t know what the hell song. The “Surrounded” video did well so far, at least on Facebook and accumulatively, it has 45,000 views (as of Dec 31st) or something like that. I’m not complaining! We want to hit the midwest too. New England is tough for music, especially in the Boston area. The Connecticut area and central Massachusetts are more supportive.

 

BRR: Any other comments?

 

Deek: Just check us out at “InverterBoston” on Facebook and Instagram. We have three different videos online. “Suckers” was the original video without Jimmy. We play a lot with Bloodline Theory, I think they’re awesome, and On Your Deathbed is also a band we are pretty tight with.

 

BRR: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. I've seen your live show several times and I think everyone should experience it if they haven't!

 

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