Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jun 30th 2008 5:00PM by Jonah Flicker
Reatard's 2006 solo debut, 'Blood Visions,' finally began to pick up accolades and gain attention almost a year after its initial release. He wasn't surprised, as his goals for the record weren't very lofty to begin with. "It's just some songs I wrote in two or three days," he says. "It was a transitional thing. After a while, I got bored and decided to tour for it. Once I did that, it started growing. People started finding out about it and reviews started coming out for it six months after its release."
Glowing reviews and fan appreciation ultimately lead to a deal with Matador Records, with Reatard releasing a series of limited-edition 7-inch singles that will eventually be compiled into a CD release for those not keen on vinyl. Though his first proper album for the label isn't due until next year, In the Red recently released a collection of singles he recorded from 2006-2007 called, appropriately, 'Singles 2006–2007.' The album is chock-full of Reatard's catchy quirk-punk, like the zombie-themed 'All Wasted.' "Memphis has our version of zombies, these massively dehydrated crackheads," Reatard explains. "If you drive down Cleveland Ave. at night, you feel like you're in a Romero flick or something."
Some pre-album 'Blood Visions' songs are included as well. "I did those really fast before we went on the road [with my band at the time]," he says. "I listened to them in the van, trying to figure out what I could do better. My band members got pissed I was doing a solo record. That's partially why we broke up."
This past year, Reatard toured with the Black Keys and while he enjoyed the experience, he's eager to get back to playing smaller venues. "On my list of things to do before I die, opening up for bands isn't really up on the top of the list," he says. "I prefer to play the 200-300 capacity clubs than playing in front of 3,000 people who want to kick my ass after the show's over."
He probably won't have to worry about catching a beat-down over the next month or so as he heads out on a tour of more appropriately sized venues. He's also finishing up his singles series for Matador, a task he enjoys immensely. "Since 1998, I've put out five or six singles a year," he says. "It's exciting to make artwork, make the record, get it in the mail. It was an afterthought: 'Well, maybe people might want these.'"