Ed Kemper Trio

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Ed Kemper Trio
Ed kemper trio1999.jpg
EK3 on tour in 1999. L-R: Glenn Grant, Vonda McLeod and Kenny Johnson
Background information
Origin Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Genres Art/noise rock
Years active 1997 (1997)–2004 (2004)
Past members

The Ed Kemper Trio was an independent Art/Noise rock band based in Montgomery, Alabama. The band was formed in 1997 after the breakup of two Montgomery-area noise rock bands, Bert and He is the Queen. EK3's sound was characterized by short asymmetrical song structures, sheer volume and odd meter. EK3 played hundreds of weekend shows and completed four Southern/Midwestern tours.

The band recorded three studio albums, two of which were recorded at Zero Return Studios by Jim Marrer, who engineered most Man or Astroman recordings for Touch and Go. In addition to the studio recordings, the band released one live recording. EK3 was also the focus of the 2004 independently produced documentary People Will Eat Anything, directed by Shane Gillis. The band split up in 2004. Each former member is still active in the Montgomery music scene.

History[edit]

In the summer of 1997, Kenny Johnson (guitar and vocals) and Vonda McLeod (bass), former members of 'He is the Queen,' formed the trio with Jason Singleton, drummer for local band 41 Down. (This group later became the major label band Trust Company.) Singleton soon left the trio, and Glenn Grant (Bert) joined, cementing the line-up.

Within three months the band recorded a demo, from which one song was released on a Chicken Ranch Records (Flat Duo Jets, The Woggels, Tiger! Tiger!) compilation based in Tennessee. EK3 started touring the Deep South and conducted four independent tours of the Midwest. The band played two mini-tours with Man or Astroman, as well as shows with many noise, metal, and indie rock bands of the day including: Craw, The Flying Luttenbachers, Jucifer, Sweep the Leg Johnny, Ex Models, The Violent Femmes, The Locust, Hot Rod Circuit, Cream Abdul Babar, VHS or Beta, Pferd, Apollo Up, and others.

The band’s first two recordings were made in rural Elmore County, Alabama, by Jim Marrer, engineer for most of Man or Astroman’s Touch and Go albums. During the recording of their second album, How to Win a Sword Fight, the band was signed to Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Yawn Records. Their CD was released in 2002 to mixed reviews. That was soon followed by their final studio recording, Hack, which was released by the Atlanta-based label Moodswing Records. Hack was recorded at Sarcophagus Studios in West Point, Georgia, by Lynn Brydges, Adam Vincent and Jamie Uertz.

Due to the more experimental nature of Hack, Dave Veatch, a friend of the band, was recruited to play keyboards during their live sets. Although not a writing member, Veatch’s addition to the band in 2003 was instrumental in expanding the scope of EK3's sound.

EK3 was featured, reviewed or mentioned in several magazines including: Copper Press, Chunklet, Skyscraper, Punk Planet, Alternative Press, and Performer Magazine.

Years of touring strained the working relationship of the band and in June 2004 EK3 split up. Johnson and McLeod are currently in the band El Chupa Cobras. Glenn Grant plays drums in Unsect. Dave Veatch fronts the Rudy Banes Breakup. Johnson and Veatch are currently in Black Racers.

Members (1997-2004)[edit]

  • Kenny Johnson – guitar, keyboards and vocals
  • Vonda McLeod – bass, keyboards, samples and voice
  • Glenn Grant – drums, samples and keyboards

Other personnel[edit]

  • Dave Veatch – keyboards (2003 -2004)
  • Shane Gillis – guitars (1997)
  • Jason Singleton – drums (1997)
  • Jeff McLeod – bass (2001) (Vonda recovering from knee surgery)

People Will Eat Anything[edit]

People Will Eat Anything is a feature-length documentary directed by Shane Gillis about the rock music scene in Montgomery, Alabama. During 2002 several Montgomery-area bands worked together to put on shows or festivals each weekend of the year. The film explores these events as a kind of musical diary between 1999 and 2004.

The documentary begins with featuring the Ed Kemper Trio. They established a base and were effective in pulling other bands into the area for added strength and diversity. Midway, the film expands to explore the lives and music of other groups, documenting the diversity of the Montgomery music scene. Most of the major bands profiled in the film split up later, often within a few months of each other.

The film moves chronologically as the scene develops, gains momentum, and suddenly collapses. The live performances and interviews demonstrate the fragility of a music scene and performing groups. Included are live performances by: The Ed Kemper Trio, Last Transgression, Hematovore, Saragashum, Weak Music For Thomas, Supreme Dispassion, Pferd, Liquid Brick, Spiders and Flies, and Scifu.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Ding Dong School/Evil (1999)

  1. My Least Fav Part
  2. Grinding Down in Two
  3. Agitate To the Top
  4. Pain in Sound Experiment
  5. Scatter
  6. Man With the Tommy Dorsey Ending
  7. Moves On Its Belly
  8. Alienating the Fan Base
  9. Best Beats Even
  10. Liquid Flesh
  11. Science Rash
  12. The Very Best Finishing Contestant
  13. Debt Free and Posthumous Living
  14. Little Pink Pencil
  15. A Thing or Two About Self-Defense

How to Win a Sword Fight (2002)

  1. Killed for This
  2. Spells Devil Backwards
  3. What's New, No. 2?
  4. Scatter
  5. Even Burns Underwater
  6. And Here's Why
  7. A Blow To the Head
  8. Pain in Sound Experiment
  9. Why Death Works
  10. My Least Favorite Part
  11. Liquid Flesh
  12. Hard and Black
  13. Bleeding Strategy
  14. How to Escape from Killer Bees
  15. Agitate to the Top
  16. Little Pink Pencil
  17. The Catastrophe Event

Hack (2003)

  1. The Blacklist
  2. Walks With a Limp
  3. Post-Rock Reply
  4. My Pants, on Fire
  5. The Shoes of the Chief Justice's Wife...
  6. ...Are Some Suck-Assed Slippers
  7. A Big Time
  8. The Art of Not Listening
  9. Horns and a Tail
  10. Lower G.I. Joe
  11. When It's Too Much
  12. People Will Eat Anything
  13. #7 Needs Title

Like a Legless Baby… Dragging (2004)

  1. Stay In School Sucka!
  2. Post-Rock Supplies
  3. My Pants On Fire
  4. Kilt For This
  5. Even Burn Ubervater
  6. Breeding Strategy
  7. Walks Like A Pimp
  8. How To Escape Killer Steve
  9. Horns And Some Tail
  10. Debtors Prison And Southern Living
  11. Alienating To The Top
  12. Spells Dio Bakards
  13. Little Pink Honkey
  14. Guten Nacht

Complilations[edit]

“Jose! Ha!” on Chicken Ranch Round Up 4 (1999) – Chicken Ranch Records

“Next to You” on Many Miles Away: a tribute to The Police (2001) – Solarmanite Records

“Windshear” on Digging Out The Switch Again: a tribute to the Dazzling Killmen (2002) – Subversive Workshop

"Even Burns Underwater" on The Five Sounds (2002) - WMFT

Sources[edit]

Copper Press #14 “The Ed Kemper Trio” by Steve Brydges (Feb.1, 2003)[1]

EK3 interviews in “People Will Eat Anything” a film by Shane Gillis (2004)

Crucial Blast review of People Will Eat Anything [2]

Ink 19 article [3]

The Vanguard [4]

Hack on Buddha Kahn, a music blog. [5]

How To Win A Sword Fight on Buddha Kahn, a music blog. [6]

External links[edit]