Earlier this year, the Portland, OR-based Blitzen Trapper accomplished a unique feat for a rock band who has been releasing albums and touring for the better part of two decades: a staged musical titled Wild & Reckless that ran for 28 performances at Portland Center Stage. Today, the band is announcing a new album of the same title that was born from the stage production and as a companion to their 2008 breakthrough album Furr.
The album Wild & Reckless was born from the stage production that the band spent the better part of a year producing. The half musical, half rock-opera dealt with heroin abuse, desperation, true love and western power structures. The story evoked a bygone era of Portland with this sci-fi love story, featuring a rock-and-roll score that paired unreleased songs with favorites from the band’s catalog.
Following the success of the production, the band took 7 original songs from the production and developed the theme further into the 12 songs that comprise the new album Wild & Reckless.
“Joanna,” says Blitzen Trapper frontman and chief songwriter Eric Earley, “is one of the darkest songs I’ve written.” The sober acoustic number is relayed in the voice of the title character, who shoots and kills the man who sexually assaults her, a waste of space named Donny Dakota.”
The song “raises questions and gets at the riddle of what justice really means,” Earley says. “I wrote it some time ago but kept it from being released until this record, Wild and Reckless. It felt like the right time for it to see the light of day, a song that deals with sexual assault and gun violence, in many ways a fanciful tale since victims of assault rarely find justice against their attacker. In my 20s, my closest friend was a victim of this type of violence and her story filled me with such anger and confusion. This song is in ways me explaining to myself and dealing with that frustration that there is extreme darkness that exists in the world, that there are monsters, and often those monsters end up holding the power.”
Frontman Eric Earley also sees the record as a companion and extention of their 2008 album Furr. “Wild and Reckless” is something like a cross-eyed stepchild to Furr, in that it chronicles the darker dystopian stories of rural and suburban west coast death-drive via a riffing psychedelic landscape. Ten years after Furr with all its talk of murder and the end of the western world, it seems there’s more to tell.”
Blitzen Trapper is Eric Earley (songwriter/singer), Erik Menteer (guitar, keyboard), Brian Adrian Koch (drums, vocals), Michael Van Pelt (bass) and Marty Marquis (keyboard, vocals). Wild & Reckless was produced by Eric Earley and Michael Van Pelt and was recorded by Gregg Williams at The Trench, in Portland, Oregon. It was mixed by James Brown (Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Blitzen Trapper’s All Across This Land) at The Union.
Wild and Reckless will be released in Europe on British indie label Lojinx. Out on heavyweight vinyl LP, CD & digital on 3rd November.
Wild & Reckless tracklist:
2) Wild & Reckless
3) Forever Pt. 1
5) No Man’s Land
6) Stolen Hearts
7) Dance With Me
8) Love Live On
9) When I’m Dying
10) Baby Won’t You Turn Me On
11) Forever Pt. 2
12) Wind Don’t Always Blow