Veteran California sludge trailblazers -(16)- have commenced recording the follow-up to their acclaimed 2012 release, Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds. Says longtime guitarist and songwriter, Bobby Ferry:
Since our last album, time has passed and children have grown. Friends have died. Family members have died, some from cancer, some from misadventure. We’ve toured, playing shows with our heroes and new friends alike. We’ve driven thousands of miles, slept in European airports, crashed at American truck stops. We’ve held shitty jobs and worked for slave wages to keep bills paid and lights on. Most importantly, though, we’ve survived, and all of this has left a mark on us and on our creative process.
Like a terminal diagnosis, the idea of -(16)- has loomed as a shadow over its members; it exists as an island of volume, feedback and riffs where our fears are articulated, confronted, and crushed beneath this musical battery we’ve spent 24 years building. This time around, we note a growing acceptance of chaos, a begrudging nod to the fact that this affliction has brought with its pain a wisdom that bleeds into our new work, makes it stronger and smarter.
We are currently crafting a darker record that’s reinforced with longer, more complex songs. We’ve road-tested some of the new material, and it’s been greeted by belligerent, confused strangers and fist-pumping fans alike. We aren’t worried about progression. We aren’t thinking about evolution. We undertake this new trip in the spirit of taking the chain off an animal that’s survived a quarter-century by feeding on the most negative parts of us and our lives, and following it to see where it goes on its own.
For the as-yet-untitled new album, -(16)- is once again reunited with producer/engineer Jeff Forrest. Following their tradition of injecting new life with new players, Ferry and vocalist Cris Jerue are also joined by drummer Dion Thurman of San Diego noise rock legends, Creedle, and bassist Barney Firks (Sylvia Juncosa). Potential song titles include “Pastor In a Coma,” “George,” “Peaches, Cream, and Placenta” and “Secrets of The Curmudgeon.”