Hi, I’m Brian & my post rock & post-apocalyptic pop music is called Remora. Back in the late 1990s when I first bought a four-track cassette recorder, I was in a spot where I worked a crap job & would get home & record until I fell asleep every day & every two weeks buy a new crappy pedal to try out in my rig. In the end that era resulted in the creation of two of my most popular releases to date, Ambient Drones for One Guitar & Amerse. Over the years my records have become more meticulously recorded, often putting twenty hours into a single song, & I’ve lost some of the immediacy & fun I used to have when working on music.
Last fall I wrote & recorded an album in a day for a series on the label Somehow Ecstatic which really reminded me that I can accomplish a lot more by just going into the studio & having fun than I can just allowing myself to toil on an album for a year or two. So I’ve been wanting to go back into the phase of recording on a daily basis & doing more experimentation & rebuilding my guitar rig each day to find new & exciting sounds for me. To bring myself back to the point of being in love with the music I’m making & remember that any time I get to spend with a guitar in my hand is a blessing & a privilege.
That’s the impetus for Droneuary, me getting back into recording on a regular basis & recording an hour worth of songs. I want to try to write & record an hour worth of songs & drones each day for thirty days. So I will more than double the amount of music I’ve written in 20 years over the course of a month. I know it’s completely unrealistic to think I will end up with 30 solid albums over the course of just a month, but my goal is to go ahead & record this volume of material to help me level up in my recording ability, songwriting ability, & guitar playing as well as ending up with something the equivalent of a greatest hits album that will be the new Remora album Droneuary.
What I mainly need funding for is to buy some new equipment to make the recording possible. I need a power conditioner to be able to record in the house I currently live in. There’s a new keyboard I want to get to use on the recordings. I want to get a couple mics to use with some of my acoustic instruments that I’ve never been able to properly capture (accordion, glockenspiel, dilruba, autoharp). There’s this crazy German guitar feedbacker device that I want to use. So we’ll see what happens. If there’s substantial additional funding (e.g. an extra $1000 as a stretch goal) I’ll use that to make some CDs of the recordings both to sell & send out to radio & press for promotion (& those will go out for free to anyone donating over $30 if I get to that level).
I will have some guest musicians collaborating with me over the project. In studio collaborators are slated to be Michael Wood (Mister Science, SAVAS), Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise), Peter Aldrich, Jason Ward (Irata), Karla Anne Lineback, Ted Johnson, Darin DePaolo (Unspeakable Forces), & Jesse Grey (The Pointless Forest). Long distance & sample based collaborations from Nik Furious, Shaun Sandor (Promute), Bryce Clayton Eiman, Martin Newman (Goddakk, Plumerai), Andrew Weathers, Evgeny Zheyda (Thorn1), & Michael Walton (mwvm).
So my plan is to do a video stream of all of my working in the studio, a release of at least half an hour to an hour of songs & drones at the end of each day (sometimes with collaborators), & a greatest hits album made from all the recordings. I’ve got lots of backing options available according to how interested you are in the project.
Here's the video to the single "My Brother's Guns & Knives" from my album Scars Bring Hope.
Here's a live drone performance from 2012.
Here's me covering a song from a car insurance commercial.
& here's a few press blurbs covering some of the different releases over the years:
We can't help but think that if these guys were living in Europe they would already be major celebrities. But never mind that. Apparently creating music is what matters here...with money and fame never being the main motivator. (Sure wish all artists had this much integrity.) We've never heard a Remora release we didn't love.
You get the feeling that with a little exposure, if the right people hear the right songs, and if the artist himself is that way inclined, Remora could be huge.
~ Steve Dewhurst, Foxy Digitalis
Remora (Brian John Mitchell) reminds me of the infamous Jandek, the abstruse, Texas-based sub-underground songwriter who’s been regaling the world with one homemade, dissonant, idiosyncratic album after another for over twenty years. Mitchell’s fifteen year career may not be as prolific as Jandek (no one’s is) and his songs may not be as abstract or as abrasively incongruent as Jandek (no one else’s are), but the sheer size of his musical cajones is something to be admired on the same level as the J Man. The basis of Remora’s music is a minimalist link between the wonders of uncluttered melodic pop music ideals and a dark, murky meta-post-punk gothic angst.
~ Anthony Mark Happel, Impose
Dark and droning sounds slip thickly out of Scars, with hints of post rock and darkwave, yet with demented twists, like Daniel Johnston singing lead for the Swans, or Joy Division and Saqquara Dogs mixing it up with a fresh take on depression and psychedelics. Waves of sound pulsate, but with a melody and rhythm to move it forward, and lyrics that make you smile yet feel kind of sad at the same time. Sometimes you feel a little creeped out, but it works, reminding me of my youth, sitting around, smoking cloves, listening to Death in June and the Tear Garden. Oh, those were the days!
~ Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover
Remora is actually solo Brian John Mitchell posing as a droned-out darkwave apocalyptic brainstun of nasty futures, isolation, doom, and psychological distress resulting in stultified near zombie-ism. There are elements of Peter Hamill (Van der Graaf Generator, solo), Gary Lucas (Capt.Beefheart, solo), Legendary Pink Dots, David E. Williams, Brian Eno's rock pieces reduced to Ramones status, and quite a few other prog and near-prog eccentrics.
~ Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
However exhausting, apocalyptic and impenetrably dark this music is, it is also undeniably involving. This is the sonic equivalent of a good horror film, which is full of inevitable doom but impossible to turn away from.
~ Leonard's Lair
Brian John Mitchell is a genius who has been collecting scars and sounds for over a decade, and turning both into beautiful, biting music that does give one hope, at least for more music from Remora to counter the inspiration-free mainstream offerings.
~ Mike Wood, Music Emissions
Dark but also pretty and noisy rock. I’m not sure if this is the proper descriptor, but I would call this drone rock. Really cool stuff that channels late Swans - baritone, sick vocals and lush, but noisy plods. The percussion doesn’t rely on traditional snare dominance or anything like that. I can definitely hear some no-wave and Joy Division in there too. Indie rock friendly, but also for those of us who reside in the dark, twisted caverns of alcoholism and regret.
~ Adam Pearson, KZSU
Pop music this is not...but rather the sound of Remora's nightmares put to record. This is Brian Eno as a manic depressive, The Beat Happening not happening, this is the sound of tortured artistry coming to fruition. It's a bizarre and spooky ride and the kind of thing that will have you calling for priests if you listen to it on headphones.
~ The Pop! Stereo
Remora retains enough skronk to remove any artificial polish and give the work the immediacy of a laid-back live performance in his living room, but enough melodicism to prevent the work from becoming a noise fest.
~ Caleb Deupree, Further Noise
A type of shoegazy beauty that defies categorization. Layer upon layer upon layer of hypnotic, swirling guitar parts stretch any pop tendencies into a meditative sea of clairvoyant noise.
~ Ryan Hall, Tome to the Weather Machine
For pure guitar craft, there are few more interesting batches of character and experimentation than Remora. Haven’t heard of them? That’s not terribly surprising.
But it is quite a shame.
~ Erick Mertz, Kevchino
Imagine a hundred Roy Montgomery’s exploding at the same time and your somewhere near the guittar sound on this.
~ cows are just food
As a whole band, Remora is almost indescribable. There is a better chance at talking about each release as a distinct work of electronic/drone rock.
~ Semi-Urban Cartography
Remora's dark ambient clouds slowly cycle forward, heavy yet determined.
~ Dave Heaton, Erasing Clouds
Remora, led by Brian John Mitchell's glum, Leonard Cohen-ized vocals, slog out a Bedheaded breed of slowcore rock ideal for wallowing in self-pity. For better or worse, humans will always need Remora's kind of music.
~ Dave Segal, The Stranger
I only wish that bands like Remora would be picked to open for Death in June while they are on their tour so that their audience can see and hear the similarities between the old school Neo-folk and up and coming Ambient-Apocalyptic genres....
~ Azrael Racek, Gothic Revue
Risks and challenges
I know the idea of recording a ton of stuff can be daunting to someone who's never done it before, but luckily I have done it before & am sure I can do it again. However, with life potentially getting in the way, the 30 days to make Droneuary may stretch from 30 consecutive days to a few days longer to fill the gaps of the demands of life or maybe I'll end up with super productive days to get me clocking in over the times I foresee.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)