Stark Folk Interview

It’s time for another installment in the Laconic Writer Central (LWC) sporadic interview series, this time with Brady Burkett of the Stark Folk BandStark Folk’s second album Well Oiled came out this month, following the self-title debut from 2008.  Both are available on cd and vinyl from Old3C Records and digitally on iTunes. The band is a collaboration between Burkett and Ryan Shaffer, plus other musicians to fill out the sound.

LWC: Let’s start with some history. When did you and Ryan start working together?

BB: Ryan is from the same hometown as I am. Brookville, Ohio. We vaguely knew each other, like people do in small towns, but we didn’t really connect until I was riding in the back seat of his black, tinted-window Z-24, talking about getting a band together as well as the debauchery we were looking forward to getting into that night. At the time I wasn’t even living in Columbus. I think Ryan was on break from his freshman year at Ohio State.

Also, I didn’t own a guitar or any other instrument. But, I knew I wanted to be in a band, make music, and create something, anything. I figured Ryan did too because he seemed really into the idea of creating art and all that. We were young and full of energy around it, so when I moved to Columbus during the late summer of ’96 it was on!

LWC: Stark Folk grew out these collaborations. What were the early incarnations like?

BB: Yeah, Stark Folk grew out of the A Landscape Yesterday project, starting from the first moment I picked up a guitar, learned a few chords, tried writing songs and recording. We had an actual four-piece band at one point, but it never really came together.

We got together in 2000–2001 to mix several tapes of recordings, the first one dating back actually to 1995 before I lived in Columbus. We used the fancy equipment in the basement of the Ohio Capital Building (Ryan had an internship there) to expedite the long process of getting the recordings CD-ready. They eventually became the A Landscape Yesterday: For Seasons 1996-2001 collection, which is available upon request. There are about 40 or so songs there.

There were also various other projects that we both were involved with from time to time in Columbus. Ryan once banged around in a band called The Dirty Tricks and I played animal drums in a wild upbeat three-piece called Liu Mang. All of it has informed where we are now, which for once really makes sense to me.

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New Story

I forgot to post that I finished a new piece last week, a 13,000 word novelette. It’s the first story I’ve finished in a long time. It still needs a title though.

The art comes from an article here about giant tree-size fungus from the Devonian. It’s “A rendering of Prototaxites as it may have looked during the early Devonian Period, approximately 400 million years ago. Painting by Mary Parrish, National Museum of Natural History.”

Giant fungus do appear in the story.