Greige Travail – Mr. Only Has A

This cassette came to us in 1989. It came with a note which read:

We are Justin Hughes and Zak Sitter. We are located in Atlanta (as is Bangaway). We hope to have a 4-track soon, although this tape was all normal tape recording. This is our 5th tape. All our stuff is available on Bangaway. We also have tracks on “Immunity By Inoculation” (Bangaway), “Bring the Noise” (Low Life) and “Low Life Free Tape.” Zak is also in Dairy Queen Empire and both of us are in (were in) Nature Protein Biscuit.

Zak Sitter of Greige Travail


Real crazy stuff, this. Quite a bit of this tape is experimental guitar. Sometimes there are real songs. These are good. A couple were even noteworthy. But this is really a couple guys having fun recording. That’s all. Flirts with cacaphony and noise quite often, when things seem to get out of hand. Part of the fun, I’m sure. See also: Coz the Shroom.

Bryan Baker, GAJOOB #6

Stream from the Internet Archive

Make Something New!

Secret by Decaying Machine

Feel free to download the source audio files and make something new. Use and/or abuse the sounds as you wish. Use one or all of them. Share them with us so we can share them here. We’ll make a compilation album when we have enough contributions to do so.

2010 Interview by Bryan Baker

hmm: Technical question first. It seems there are like, 2-3 extra songs on side two, if I separated the songs correctly. They sound a little different, but like they belong at the same time. What’s up with these? (this is the Bangaway release).

ZS: One side of our master would usually end up shorter than the other, so we’d dump filler on to give folks their money’s worth. We think the stuff here was mostly taped off the radio.

[the extraneous material has been left off the archive]

hmm: Tell me a little about the recording.

ZS: Everything ran through a Kustom PA60 300 watt PA mixer with Aptus 3 pre-amps. We usually recorded two instruments at a time to cassette, then played that cassette back and played along, repeating the process until sufficient impenetrability was achieved. Tape recorder contingencies (plus those Aptus pre-amps, of course) were a big part of the Greige Travail “sound.” Answering machine tapes were also a big inspiration.

hmm: I read the DQE interview in Writer’s Block 1991. It doesn’t mention Justin as a member, but his profile does. Was he?

ZS: DQE started out as Chris, Grace, and Zak, but has had many different lineups since then. Justin played in the band for several years.

hmm: Were you both in the Rock-A-Teens as well?

ZS: Nope, just Justin.

hmm: What kind of synths are you using on this album?

ZS: Casiotone MT-100, Seiko DS-250 additive synthesizer, an old Moog, and a Casio SK-1 sampling keyboard.

hmm: What about the percussion?

ZS: Mostly a POS drumset, pawnshop vintage ca. 1980. Also a toy piano.

hmm: What do you remember about the sessions?

ZS: In 10th grade, we started going over to Justin’s house after school to play music. Pretty quickly we realized we were as interested in playing with tape recorders as in making music and started recording all kinds of noise. We put together cassettes every few months which Zak released on his tape label, Bangaway. Mr. Only Has A came out after about a year of this, so our fourth or fifth tape maybe? It’s hard to remember stories specific to one tape, since we recorded pretty constantly for about three years, but usually the tapes were a mixture of songs we wrote and recorded more or less the way we wanted them to sound, plus a lot of beautiful or silly accidental noise gobbets that accumulated in the course of recording.

hmm: Where does the band name come from?

ZS: Two pages from a 1988 word-a-day calendar.

hmm: Who is Mrs. Marmy? [the tape credits say “Thanks to Mrs. Marmy”]

ZS: We really couldn’t say.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *