Team the Best Team

Team The Best Team
Doomtree fans love the crew’s collaborative family spirit, but we don’t always see the men and women behind the curtain. Team the Best Team will feature brief interviews with Joe Mabbott of The Hideaway, Bruce Templeton from Magneto Mastering, and other backstage players.

Young Baby Ander Other

Tell us about the work you do with Doomtree.

I listen to the music. I boost morale. I coordinate and sell merch at events. I provide my agency for direct-to-fan communique via the Internet. I make the best-looking promotional videos. I create assets for the web and maintain our website and social media outlets. I use new technology to our benefit.Ander Other [Photo by Ben LaFond] I handle a laundry list of other unglamorous tasks and errands with respect to helping an independently-owned-and-operated record label subsist. I DJ sets sometimes and help whenever and however I can. And I kill it all. This is a fraction of what everyone tells me I do. Eyewitnesses with detailed accounts of an ongoing series of remarkable events. Young Baby. Wunderkind.

Ah, man. One? Nah, many. My favorite is some combination of the magic of Blowout 6 & Snowout last year, the last night of the 2010 Wings + Teeth Tour, and this entire year so far. I spent a lot of time on the road this year, mostly with Sims, which was incredible. Every tour I went on except for this last Dessa one. I got to play Maschine with Lazerbeak as part of the Ensemble of Legendz at the Turf Clurb; I even kept the set list. I did hypes for Cecil at the Cabooze when he was sick and close to losing his voice. I DJed for Sims when he was on tour with Astronautalis (you ain’t never been to waffle house). I got to run Mike’s set at the Triple Rock in August and that was really fun to do, and the lineup was phenomenal. It’s all awesome. I’m having lots of honest fun. That’s just since I’ve lived in Minneapolis. The week I finally decided to move was, like, one of the best times ever.

What’s your favorite Doomtree song?

My favorite Doomtree song is probably “Knives on Fire.” That was the first, like, leaked track I heard from the pool of songs being considered for the first crew record years ago. It didn’t make it to the proper full-length, but its on that crew False Hopes with the bird on it and is still my ultimate jam. Totally glad I got to help (maybe) retire that song earlier this year.

Mary Thayer

Tell us about the work you do with Doomtree.

Anything and everything I can do to help. It is my job to make sure as many people as possible know about them, listen to them, buy their music, and attend their shows. I specialize in publicity and focus on getting press coverage online and in print, which consists of sending out press releases, confirming features, setting up interviews, album reviews, contests, and show previews. I also handle the day-to-day album promo requests, mailing out music to press and radio stations–I spend a lot of time at the post office. I’m also in charge of the street team, which will have a big push around the upcoming winter tour. Since I’m now in the Minnesota area, I make sure local stores and coffee shops have Doomtree flyers and posters hanging up as well. On a more motherly note, I also like to make sure they are well fed while on the road, so I spend a lot of time baking cookies for them to take on tour. Gotta keep everyone happy.

How do you sell Doomtree to people who don’t know about them?

Working with Doomtree differs slightly from typical band promotion.  If people haven’t heard of Doomtree as a collective, it is likely they have heard of one of the members individually, or one of the other projects they are involved in (Gayngs, Marijuana Deathsquads, etc.).  Each of them have worked so hard to make a name for themselves both as individuals and as a collective, so it makes my job much easier.
Mary Thayer
I try and let the music speak for itself. It is just a matter of getting people to listen to the music and cutting through the clutter. You can put the “hip-hop” genre label on the music if you want, but sometimes I think that turns people on or off before they have even given the music a listen. When it comes to Doomtree, confining them to a genre label doesn’t do them justice. Assets like videos are always a good tool because it can present the music in a visual manner that will hopefully catch people’s attention. Catch one live performance and you will have anyone hooked on them.

What has been one of your favorite moments from working with them?

They care about their music, they care about each other, they care about everyone they work with, and they care about their fans. I have never had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people.  One of the best moments so far was the release of No Kings. It has been a project I’ve been working on for months and it was awesome to have 11/22/11. FINALLY No Kings was out for everyone to hear, share, and react to.

I also think some of the greatest moments are yet to come. This year will be the first year I will be attending the Doomtree Blowout. I’ve been to so many Doomtree shows (going to shows is probably one of my favorite parts of my job), but I am really looking forward to this week. There is no better feeling that being at a show and looking around at the crowd who knows every single word to ever single song. Kind of makes you feel like you are doing something right and a part of something very special.

Isaac Gale
Music Videos

Isaac Gale
Tell us about the work you do with Doomtree.

I’ve “worked” with Doomtree forever. Some of them have been my best friends since junior high school. I’ve made music videos with the entire crew. I think I might have made P.O.S.’ first ever music video. I’ve been on tour with some of them for months at a time. Some of us play in bands together.

What are the Doomtree members like on camera?

Doomtree is totally great on camera. Just look at their videos. You can tell they are awesome at it. They get better and better with each new video they do. They are amazing live performers, and I think that translates for them in front of the camera. Also, conveniently, most of their friends who have been in videos are fantastic performers (i.e. Rick Patone, also known as Plain Ole Bill).

How do you come up with concepts for and develop Doomtree videos?

I usually listen to the track they’ve given me a million times. Driving in the car or doing some menial chores with it playing in the background is especially important. Then I usually freak out because I can’t think of anything. Then the next day after the freak out, I get like three ideas. Then I pitch the ones that seem the best. Doomtree is great as a client because they are willing to let me do what I do as an artist and run wild with ideas. I think our working relationship has led to some really happy results.

Joseph Mabbott
The Hideaway

Joe Mabbott
Tell us about the work you do with Doomtree.

I’m the owner of The Hideaway Studio in Minneapolis, and I’ve been working with Doomtree since the P.O.S. record Ipecac Neat. I mixed his record for him and started building a relationship then, and have been working on all of their records ever since. I’ve recorded or mixed all of the crews’ solo records and collective records to date.

What was your role in making No Kings?

It was originally to just mix the record because they were going to initially do all the vocal tracking themselves, but time was running short, so to kick everyone into gear, we decided to do all the tracking and mixing in a short period to make sure we met the deadlines for the release.

What are the Doomtree members like in the studio?

There is the right amount of professionalism and fun during their sessions to keep things running smoothly and efficiently, but still have fun and be loose and relaxed about it.

Bruce Templeton
Magneto Mastering

Tell us about the work you do with Doomtree.

I’ve been the mastering engineer for Doomtree on every official release (I think) since the first crew record in 2008. I really enjoy what they do musically and, of course, they’re lovely people. Also, due to who they are and the “collective” nature of how they operate, they are really loyal to people who they’ve worked with over the years, and I appreciate being a full member of the team when we’re in the studio.
Bruce Templeton
What was the mastering process like for No Kings?

As I alluded to before, over the years, we’ve developed a very collaborative process. For No Kings, Dessa and Lazerbeak came to the studio, listened through the songs with some sonic treatment already in place, and then we fine-tuned everything together. Dessa and Lazerbeak make a great tandem in that Dessa listens more specifically to the voices and Lazerbeak to the beats (big surprise there). It builds a nice balance into the system. If they both leave happy, there’s a good chance we’re done.

How does mastering affect the sound of a record?

Mastering is the final step in the process of making a record (prior to actual manufacturing). It is the bridge point between the “rarefied environment” of the recording studio and the real world of the listening public. Mastering sets the overall frequency or tonal balance of the record so it sounds consistent across the widest number of playback systems and environments.

Ben LaFond

Tell us about the work you do with Doomtree.

Documentation of happenings. Every chance i get, be it at solo shows, crew shows, or just hanging out candid stuff. Spent 10 days on tour with them last November as a photographer. (That was pretty much the best thing ever and it went way too fast. I would go again in an instant.) At my real job, i work as a screen printer at Burlesque of North America in Northeast Minneapolis. We’ve designed and/or printed several of the posters for Blowouts, as well as a bunch of other limited edition merch items (DOOMCUBE box set for the Art of Doomtree show at CO Exhibitions that included Paper Tiger’s Doomtree Standards mixtape, T-shirt, a set of photos I shot, and a test tube with a feather and a shark tooth inside. I also made a screen printed photo book of shots I took last year to sell when I was on tour with them, prints for Dessa to sell on her tours, prints of Cecil Otter’s artwork, lots of other things.)
Ben LaFond [Photo by Erik Hess]
Can you think of a favorite photo you’ve taken or a favorite show you’ve shot?

That’s so hard to narrow down! I really enjoy getting the candid stuff that people don’t usually get to see, but at the same time, shooting them on stage is an always amazing time. Last year’s Blowout 6 was just unreal. Each night had a lot of very special moments and I felt very lucky to be at all three of them. Fuck. I pretty much feel lucky to be at any Doomtree or Doomtree-related show any time, any place. Such an amazing group of friends making great music together. So thankful I get to play a very small part in what they do.

What makes a great band or concert photo?

Anticipation of moments.