So it’s April. You know Spring. Renewal. All that stuff. For me, I have moved down the road from Seattle 60 miles and am embroiled in all the stuff you do when you get a new house and want it to function the way you want it to function. Hammers, nails, saws. To lovers of the arts like you this matters not. I respect that notion and we stay on the march for Monkeyland.
Which brings us to our latest release, The Navins – Not Yourself Today. The Navins are 100% guitar rock dudes. From Seattle. They favor vintage amps and vintage guitars. You might say they are somewhat vintage themselves. They have a teensy bit of organ, but sometimes that’s just what guitar-band dudes do.
Tain’t nuthin weird or freaky here – just one tight band with great songs living at the crossroads of indie, alternative, garage, jangle, twang and power pop, where absurd pop notions tinged with chemical longing meet the psychedelic, late-night creakings of the devil present in our every nature. Whew.
Not Yourself Today is their debut recording. We were going to put it out a year ago, but then “things” happened. The Navins, they don’t worry. They just do what they do – they write songs, they record songs, and play some noisy shows. It’s pure Pacific Northwest rock, straight from the garage to your ears.
Other stuff – working on getting The Queen Annes – Released! out for June. Recorded in 1997, it will see the light for the first time. Beyond that the usual suspects are making their usual progress on their latest masterpieces.
Shows that I know:
See you next month!
Not Yourself Today (GM1035)
01. Judy, you’re not yourself today
02. Take it away
03. Never wanted nothing
04. What you do
05. Piano fire
06. When we turn blue
07. Something about you
09. Better luck
10. See you again
11. Wallet full of signs
Produced by The Navins
Additional Keyboards and Violin: Corrina MacFarlane Recorded at Earwig Studios and Easylake, Seattle, WA Engineered by Don Farwell and Corey Knafelz
Mixed by Don Farwell at Earwig Studios
Mastered by Blake Bickel at Dynamic Sound Service
All songs written by The Navins
except Piano Fire, written by Mark Linkous
Published by This is Easylake (ASCAP), except Piano Fire, by Spirit Ditch Music
Photography US Library of Congress & Corey Knafelz Design Corey Knafelz
© 2016 Green Monkey Records, All Rights Reserved.
Cain Morehead – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Gary Thorstensen – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Corey Knafelz – Lead Drums, Vocals
Ron Garcia – Bass, Vocals
Bonus Q&A Session:
We thought it might be good to give the buying public a little more insight into the band by asking these quite difficult questions.
TD: Hey Navins – Heard the band started out in Yakima. True? What’s the short history?
Cain: The band started in West Seattle. Ron and Cain were friends that originally met when they both lived in/grew up in Yakima. The band morphed over the years from a three piece acoustic, electric guitar and a stand up bass player playing shoe gazer Lo-Fi folk rock to the Tweed and Rickenbacker driven fuzz it is now.
TD: Where’d the name come from?
Cain: The name came from a old family joke my wife and I shared. When we saw people dancing that had no rhythm we called them Navins. After Steve Martin in the film The Jerk.
Corey: That moment in the Jerk when the Sniper points to Navin’s name in the phone book – Sniper: “Johnson, Navin R… sounds like a typical bastard.”
TD: What is this album about lyrically? Songs about real life or made up stuff?
Cain: Half the songs are real life and the other half are 1/3 real life and words that rhyme.
Corey: It’s all divination that revealed itself to us during a ceremonial visit with Peruvian Shaman and deeply engaged with Ayahuasca brew. It was amazing, because making shit up is our spirit medicine™.
TD: Who is Navin #1?
Corey: Fucking great question. I’m pretty sure it’s Steve Martin… or Cain.
Cain: All The Navins are equal. There in no #1.
TD: Are there any other Seattle bands you like?
Cain: All of us have favorite bands. I can’t answer for the other guys but there are a lot of great bands right now.
Corey: You could probably boil the ocean with the heat generated by Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia bands—both past and present—who are criminally underrated. But hell yes. Have you seen The Sonics reunion tape live at Easy Street Records KEXP recently released? The Sonics crushed it in the 1960s and still own it 50 years later. They put weird shit in the water down in Tacoma. It’s evidently still working.
TD: What was your best gig? What was your worst gig?
Corey: I joined the band in the summer of 2013, so the worst gig was obviously before then. Though there was that one time we played a Memorial Day weekend show to the sound guy and bartender at Tim’s Tavern. They were both very complimentary. The one dude even gave me two beers, and they were both free.
TD: In your bio you cite the Velvets. The Replacements. Big Star. Hawkwind. Husker Du. Blue Cheer. The Pretty Things. Waylon Jennings and The Ramones as influences. Seven Americans, 2 Brits and zero Canadians. Do you expect to become more influenced by Canadians in the future? Any chance you may become influenced by Krautrock pioneers like Neu or Faust?
Corey: Hey now… We are fans of Canadians, too. The Nova Scotian fellows in Sloan have consistently released a steady stream of spectacular power pop records over the last twenty years. But you know, Germans can party. After 10 minutes of Hallogallo, I’m not entirely certain it is possible to imagine anything else exists. I guess it’s still possible to imagine Stereolab, so there’s a road that lead us from 1970s Krautrock into 1990s experimental art pop. One version of truth is, between the four members of this band, there are nearly enough obscure influences to keep us listening to interesting records for decades.
Cain: You could throw in early Herman Brood and always had a soft spot in my heart for Kraftwerk.
TD: What else would you like to tell the world?
Corey: We had some personnel mixups during the recording of Not Yourself Today, and a reformation shortly after its completion. We have been lucky enough to have found and recruited Seattle’s best bass player in Gwon Chang, and he’s now holding down the low end and singing both lead and harmonies on the new material we’ve been working out. There’s a new EP underway and this new lineup is proving to be the most formidable yet.