High tide - Page 2

Wooden Shjips ride waves of blogoscopic acclaim with lo-fi psychedelia


"We're actually having goals thrust upon us," said Johnson, a Wallingford, Conn., native who works as a systems administrator at CNET. "We're sort of drowning in goals at this point — a lot of offers to put out records, show offers."

It's a radical change from Johnson's last, late '90s band, Botulism. "We would pretty much clear rooms," he recalled. The first "iteration" of Wooden Shjips, which began a few years ago, consisted of nonmusicians. Johnson wanted bandmates who would bring the willingness to learn but leave the ego at home. "Musicians are a pain in the ass," said the grinning guitarist, who confesses he did want to "dictate a little bit." Unfortunately, nonmusicians also didn't often come with the dedication. "In fact, in the first version our drummer quit because we started talking about playing shows," Johnson added, chuckling.

Making music — white label or no — continues to be the focus: Johnson, Jermier, "nonmusician" keyboardist Nash Whalen, and drummer Omar Ahsanuddin have already begun recording on a creaky eight-track reel-to-reel in the SoMa practice space they share with the Fucking Champs. And perhaps Johnson will find use for the box of Botulism singles he has in his closet, selling them as Wooden Shjips juvenilia. "I'd rather just revert to the old plan and put them on bus seats or in the library," he said with a smile, "and see if people discover them on their own." *


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