Localized: Famous Relatives and Conquer Monster
Utah is home to a sea of great talent in just about any electronic subgenre. This month’s Localized show on May 10 will provide a wide and refreshing variety of electronic music. Starting at 9 p.m. for just $5, the show at Urban Lounge will feature a few aesthetically pleasing electronic acts. Ischa B. will emcee the show, which starts with the haunting, space-like sounds of Mkaio before heading into the relaxed yet energetic live instrumental set provided by Famous Relatives with a backing band. The night will end with the glitchy, homemade 8-bit sounds of Conquer Monster, Salt Lake’s favorite chiptune group. The show is 21+ and sponsored by Budweiser, Spilt Ink and KRCL 90.9 FM.
Tim Myers didn’t just pick up a production software program and start working; he began his music career playing with veteran local band Palace of Buddies—a two-man project he plays with good friend Nicholas Foster—before he branched off to work on solo projects. “I’ve been recording and producing for almost 10 years. A lot of the Palace of Buddies albums have been co-produced and recorded by Nick and me,” says Myers, explaining the natural path that led him to start producing electronic music.
Palace of Buddies, a lo-fi, experimental rock group, has released multiple albums over the last five years through Kilby Records. Their upbeat and highly energetic sound, juxtaposed with the down-tempo, almost haunting sounds of Myers’ solo work, demonstrates variety in his musical taste and an interest in experimentation. “Nick has some different projects, and I’ve always had different projects on my own, even if it’s just something I’m working on at home,” Myers says of the dynamic between the two of them, assuring Palace of Buddies fans that the group is still very much intact. In 2013, Myers released his first solo album, Electric Signals, which is a smooth, lo-fi synthpop album under the name Famous Relatives —a name he says he heard and liked the sound of on a whim. “I hate band names—I’ve never been good at coming up with them,” he says.
Myers produced and recorded Electric Signals all on his own. “I like to be involved in every aspect, even mastering. It’s your own piece of art, and I feel like if I hand that off to someone else, it’s no longer mine—it’s almost like someone else influenced it,” he says. “I’ve used a couple of different softwares, but mainly , I’ve been using ProTools.” For the live show, however, Myers plans on setting up various instruments and having a live band help him perform onstage. “I do all of the vocals, but I’ll have a live band [at Localized],” he says. “The live band will consist of myself on guitar and keys, Nick Foster on drums, Scott Whitaker on bass, Stephen Chai on keys and Nate Housley on guitar/keys.”
When asked where he thinks he stands in the local electronic scene, Myers explains that he doesn’t feel as much a part of it as he does others. “I feel like sort of an outsider—I think the stuff that I do is a bit different from what some of the other locals are doing, ” he says. Myers says he’s happy with any audience that will enjoy his music, but has no specific hopes for the type of crowd he will attract. Myers has a long list of local artists he recommends, having collaborated with many of them. “There are quite a few musicians whom I admire here who do electronic stuff. I’m obviously a big fan of my bandmate in Palace of Buddies, Nick. He always writes amazing music; Jason Rabb, the Whitaker brothers, Logan [Hone] from Bright Whistles, Stephen Chai, Will Sartain, Scott Selfridge, Ryan Fedor, Andrew Glassett. [There are] so many great musicians in Utah, I’m sure that I have forgotten a few,” he says.
In addition to his band and solo projects, Myers also produces soundtracks for film. “I’ve done a couple short films, one called True Love by David Christenson and a full-length film called Ryan Baxter: Reenactor. I wrote the theme music for KCPW’s news hour and a handful of Internet commercials for the U of U, SLCC Film Festival, Ski Utah and others,” he says.
Myers is also currently working on another album under the name Famous Relatives. “I’m a little over halfway through my next solo album. The last album was slower and a bit more ambient, but the new one will be a little faster and a bit dancey-er. I’ll be playing a few of the new tracks at the show,” says Myers. He also has some good news for Palace of Buddies fans: “Palace of Buddies is working on a new album. We are really close to finishing writing the material. I don’t know the timing [of the release], but we will likely start recording in the summer/fall,” he says.
Localized will be Myers’ first performance as Famous Relatives, but he’s an old vet when it comes to performing live, as are his bandmates. As far as touring goes, Myers has no plans to perform in other places as of now, but hopes to in the future. Until the show, his solo work can be found at famousrelatives.bandcamp.com and his production with Palace of Buddies can be found at palaceofbuddies.bandcamp.com.