Band Name: The Racing Pulses
Band Lineup: Kristian Iliev on vocals and lead guitar, Mike Newby on drums and backing vocals, Christian West on bass guitar
Latest Release: Our first full – length studio album came out last year. It’s called Nothing to Write Home About and it is available everywhere. We’re working on new music at the moment.
Previous Releases: A self – titled EP released in 2014.
Describe Your Sound: A refreshing, cool breeze after stepping out of a muggy, noisy restaurant. I’ve heard people say all sorts of things from Arctic Monkeys to G. Love & Special Sauce. A television executive once told me we reminded him of Green Day.
Band Origin Story: We met on Craigslist and nobody was murdered, so that was a pleasant outcome! Wisconsin has a growing music scene, and it is nice to see new venues and bands. Recently, The Frequency in Madison closed down. Other places are trying to fill the void, but The Frequency was a fun atmosphere and was also one of the first stages to book us, so we are sad it is gone. In our latest music video for “Don’t Listen” we featured shots from shows we had there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LhGlneGDsc
Favorite Venue to Play: Venues can vary. A particularly special night for us was at Maxwell’s in 2016. Sadly, this legendary venue is also closed now. Aside from the great acoustics there, the best part was that Mike’s family and friends got to see him perform. That show was towards the end of a tour we had on the East Coast. It was our first stop in New Jersey and, perhaps because of the historical significance of the venue, it was a powerful night…like “Okay, if they want us HERE, where Springsteen and Nirvana played….then maybe…” It probably sounds ludicrous when I say it like that, but all of us really felt that kind of energy there. I think audiences respect when you play those well-known venues, and there was certainly a large crowd that night to see us.
Where Did You Record? Who Did You Work With? How Was Experience? Nothing to Write Home About was recorded at Megatone Studios with Paul Schluter after we won a competition where one of the prizes was recording time there. Even at that stage we were still considering other studios, but Paul really impressed us. His saviness and awareness, especially during the mixing process, is excellent. He anticipates how to best capture sounds and has almost three decades of experience. We came in prepared to deal with any and all kinds of snafus, but there were none because Paul is a professional. In fact, his band Last Crack just signed a new record deal with EMP. My vision for the sound of the album was to capture a blend. I wanted raw but restrained guitars and drums – not too polished, not too dirty, compressed but still bouncy. Some of the songs we did not look at a metronome and this gave them a lot of life. Megatone has a very chill 1970s vibe and it is equipped with some of the best recording equipment ever made. This was perfect for recording live takes and made us comfortable, too. Doing live takes in the rooms at Megatone felt like an exciting rehearsal. I don’t think a lot of musicians or engineers craft records this way anymore, but I feel it can elevate performances. At times overdubbing was used, but the main grooves in the songs were recorded together as a group. The analog mastering was done by Adam Boose over at Cauliflower Audio in Cleveland, Ohio. Adam was also a pleasure to work with. He contributed to the darker spirit of the tracks and pretty much nailed it on his first try.
Anything else the world should know about you? People actually mistake me for Keanu Reeves, Mike has a super cool dog named June, and Chris enjoys playing five – string basses.