Post-metal guitar virtuoso Mike Gallagher (Isis, Cast Iron Hike), has unearthed long-buried sessions for his emotive project Mustard Gas and Roses (MGR).
The tracks, now in the form of a three-song EP Awakenings, stem from a near-decade-old recording session in 2014.
Decibel is proud to premiere the end result of those creative meetings of the minds between Gallagher, Josh Graham, Josh Holt, and BJ Graves.
“During the spring of 2014, Josh Graham asked me if MGR would open for A Storm of Light on a tour that was going through the EU, UK, and Russia. At that point, I had been making more of an effort to play shows with MGR so I jumped at the chance. When I started to work out a set for the tour, I felt I was missing the connection and intimacy that comes from playing with other musicians. At that point Isis had been broken up for almost four years and I had only been playing shows with MGR as a one-man band, so it was feeling a little lonely,” Gallagher shared of the EP’s origins.
“I asked Josh if I could “borrow” three of his band members so we could re-sculpt MGR into something that involved more than just me. Josh Graham, BJ Graves, and Josh Holt – all from A Storm of Light – agreed to help out with guitar, drums, and bass, respectively. While on the tour, I felt very proud of what we had accomplished in a very short time. I became aware we had a day off in London and wanted to document our experience by recording it in a studio guerrilla-style.
“A few days before our time in London I reached out to Isis’ booking agent Jodie Cox for recommendations for someone who could help out with this last-minute request. He put me in touch with Tim Cedar from Part Chimp who also ran Dropout Studios in Camberwell London. He graciously accommodated us, and on May 1, 2014, we rolled into Dropout Studios around 4 p.m., set up, and were done tracking three songs within a few hours.
“This session was very important to me for two reasons; one, it marks a very large shift with the sound of MGR, and two, working so quickly in the studio to get the recording finished was counter to anything I had done before. With both Isis and previous MGR recordings all of the writing and recording was very methodical and carefully done. This experience was different because two of the songs were written a week before we left, we only practiced twice before heading to Europe and we finished recording in a few hours with people we had not previously met. It was a very liberating experience and I’m thankful to all involved.”