After nearly 16 years of releasing and touring music so confrontational that it makes Stravinksy's The Rite of Spring sound like a love theme, The Flying Luttenbachers have officially decided to call it quits. Featuring a rotating cast of musicians -- such as Ken Vandermark, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Hal Russell, etc., and ending with Mike Green, Ed Rodriguez, and Rob Pumpelly -- the only man present for the entire Luttenbachers ride was Weasel Walter, a composer/producer who was described by Glenn Branca in a Pitchfork interview as "one of the greatest rock composers who ever lived, and he's struggling and living like a poverty-stricken hermit."
"I feel like people have not really begun to deal with the music the band has already made, so it feels redundant and futile for me to make any more at this point," explained Weasel Walter to TMT. "I am confident that in the future there will be a much wider appreciation for The Flying Luttenbachers' music, and perhaps then we may finally reappear. Until then, there are a lot of other things that need to be done. Death is only the beginning."
Including live albums and retrospective collections, The Flying Luttenbachers released a total of 17 full-length albums, virtually all of them self-released through Weasel's own ugEXPLODE Records, as well as through Skin Graft and Troubleman Unlimited. The last Luttenbachers album, Incarceration By Abstraction (featuring a solo Weasel Walter), was released last month on ugEXPLODE. Also released at the same time were three other albums, including a solo disc by Weasel titled Firestorm and an album from black metal group Nondor Nevai. The future will see reissues and remasters of old Luttenbachers albums, including the free jazz album, Trauma, originally released on double-vinyl only.
And just when you thought it was safe to let your kids roam free again, Weasel will continue playing in XBXRX (the band released an improvised album called Sounds earlier this year on Important) and he recently joined Burmese, which Weasel tells us is now a 6-piece, with vocals, two drums, two basses, and Luttenbacher Ed Rodriguez on guitar. He'll of course continue his work in improvised music and composing for large ensembles, while Opulence, a duo CD with guitarist Mary Halvorson, is slated for a Spring 2008 release.
I've had the pleasure of seeing XBXRX and The Flying Luttenbachers live, and I can tell you now that it all but made me realize that being visceral doesn't always have to be at the cost of intellect. While The Luttenbachers as we know them may be gone, there'll be surely enough Weasel-related projects to satiate our decadent appetites. Let's show this "poverty-stricken hermit" some support.
- MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theflyingluttenbachers
- Official website: http://nowave.pair.com/luttenbachers
- ugEXPLODE website: http://nowave.pair.com/ugexplode
- Weasel Walter's webpage: http://nowave.pair.com