Jim Putnam interviews John Schmersal

Watch a video interview with Vertical Scratchers' John Schmersal and Jim Putnam. Vertical Scratchers' LPm "Daughter Of Everything" comes out 2/25 von Merge.

John Schmersal of Vertical Scratchers and Jim Putnam of Radar Brothers first met in the early 2000s as labelmates of the See-Thru Broadcasting label. We invited the two of them to hang out at Caveman Records in their shared hometown of Los Angeles to talk about music, recording gear, and inspiration.

Vertical Scratchers is John Schmersal (ex-Brainiac/Enon, live Caribou, and Crooks on Tape) and Christian Beaulieu (ex-Triclops!/Anywhere). Their debut album Daughter of Everything will be released on February 25.

Simplicity was the inspiration for Vertical Scratchers: get in the van, rehearse in the van, tour in the van, stay mobile. This impulse to keep things moving is reflected in the songs themselves. Most Vertical Scratchers songs clock in under the two-minute mark but often go in twice as many directions as your average-length song. Pop deception. Think the Kinks with a Buzzcocks brevity.

Daughter of Everything was recorded live in Los Angeles at local DIY institution The Smell. The special guest appearance lead vocal from Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard (track 12!) was recorded at Waterloo Sound in Ohio by Todd Tobias.

Vertical Scratchers will play Noise Pop in San Francisco on March 1 and the finish-line festivities for the Merge 25K in Durham, NC on March 22. We have more tour dates coming very soon! Listen and share “These Plains” now.


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