September 18, 2012
“The simple answer is that I have the time to do so. I have missed tweaker,” says Chris Vrenna about why he’s taking his band out of hibernation since 2004 and releasing the new album call the time eternity via Metropolis Records. Partnering up with programmer/guitarist collaborator Jesse Hall, Chris left his post as drummer for Marilyn Manson last fall and returned to focus on his own career. “tweaker has always been my passion project,” he explains. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have been overly busy in the last several years and had to repeatedly back-burner the new record.”
His third album and first since the critically-hailed 2 a.m. wake up call eight years ago, call the time eternity sounds like an electronic journey through darkened paths, themed by machine-gun staccato percussion, strings and synths and occasionally punctuated with ethereal guest vocalists. “Every tweaker record is a mix of instrumental music and vocal songs,” Chris describes. “During the writing and recording process, tracks will naturally evolve into one or the other.” Feverish and dreamily pitched in impenetrable shades of black, call the time eternity offers aural texture to the seedy underbelly of a dark and dank environment. From the midnight stylings of the instrumental intro “ponygrinder” that incorporates found samples into elongated drum n’ bass rhythms, to the creepy industrial soundtrack of a serial killer’s basement in “areas of the brain” to the gauzy and pastoral “grounded (feat. kaRIN)”, the album blends multiple atmospheres alternative pop/rock and electronica into a densely cohesive mix. The almost sunny and cheekily named,“this is ridiculous” would be the perfect lead-in to a surprising cover of Phil Collins’ “i don’t care anymore”… had it been done tongue in cheek and not with reverence. “I do love Phil’s drumming! He really broke new ground both in the grooves he created, but also in the way his drums were recorded and sounded,” he explains with nary a wink or a nudge. “I especially loved the darkness and sadness he explored lyrically in his solo records. While working on tweaker, ‘I Don’t Care Anymore’ began haunting me. For a few weeks every time I got in the car, it came on the radio. It happened so many times that I took it as a sign.”
Garnering a name for himself in the early days of Nine Inch Nails, Chris Vrenna added his indelible mark into the industrial and underground music scene by producing or co-producing various artists including Marilyn Manson, Rasputina, Cold, providing remixes for U2, Nelly Furtado, and Rammstein, among many others, and soundtrack work. In 2001, for example, Vrenna composed the dark, eerie instrumental soundtrack of the icon-breaking American McGee’s Alice. And it was also in 2001 that Vrenna unveiled his tweaker project. Now, he’s ready to unleash it again… Chris explains about the album and its title, “I have gone through several serious losses or ‘goodbyes’ over the last several years…the passing of my father, a bitter divorce, leaving Manson. And my close friends have all had similar experiences. Whether positive or negative, good or bad, happy or sad, final ‘goodbyes’ are always difficult and bring up many conflicting emotions. call the time eternity explores all of those things.”
“It’s a passion project, so I only write and record for it when I’m not busy with other work. That’s why there are always long gaps between the albums,” Tweaker mastermind Chris Vrenna tells Noisecreep. The multi-instrumentalist is referring to call the time eternity, Tweaker’s upcoming album, and first in eight years.
Throughout his colorful career, Vrenna, has left his stamp on modern rock as a member of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, and he’s also a sought-after producer and remix artist who has worked with the likes of U2, Rammstein, Slipknot, Guns N’ Roses, and many others.
“When you work with other people – no matter if it’s producing a Marilyn Manson session or remixing a track – there is always someone else, like an A&R guy, giving their opinion on it. With Tweaker, it’s all good. We get to do whatever we like and that’s a nice change,” says Vrenna, 45, who is joined by programmer/guitarist collaborator Jesse Hall on call the time eternity.
“I think this new Tweaker album hearkens back to the sound and feel of our first album [2001’s The Attraction to All Things Uncertain] as opposed to our second one [2004’s 2 a.m. wake up call], and this is also our saddest and most unhinged album [laughs]. Our fans come to Tweaker for a certain type of sound and it’s always been like that. I wouldn’t just start doing dubstep because it’s big right now. In two years people will be asking, ‘Do you guys remember dubstep?’ That will happen.” We guess there won’t be a Tweaker/Skrillex collaboration track in the near future.
Famous in musician circles for his hectic schedule, Vrenna found more time to work on Tweaker after leaving his position as the drummer in Marilyn Manson’s touring band in late 2011. The Erie, Pa. native was an important member of the Manson world, also playing keyboards and co-producing 2009’s The High End of Low album and this year’sBorn Villain. “It was 2004 and I just had finished a Tweaker tour when Marilyn’s manager called me and asked if I wanted to fill in for their drummer [Ginger Fish], because he had injured himself after falling off his drum riser in Europe. They were promoting a Greatest Hits album [2004’s Lest We Forget: The Best of] and needed me to start rehearsing with them right away and it went really well.”
After the Lest We Forget promotional run was over, Vrenna joined Gnarls Barkley as their touring drummer, but then came back to the Manson camp to play keyboards. Vrenna Noisecreep his relationship with Manson goes back awhile: “I first met him when I was in Nine Inch Nails, so it was around 1990. It was a lot of fun to work with him, but he likes to work in what I call “Manson time,” which is nothing like most people work [laughs]. He likes to work through the night and sometimes he won’t sleep for days. It just became too exhausting for me. I’m talking about the lifestyle and the whole thing around it, which he makes no bones about. If you’re not careful, it can take a toll on you. After the mixing was done for the Born Villain album, I just kind have had it. I was mentally burnt out and just physically exhausted. I also felt like I had done all I could have done with them, artistically speaking, within the rules of what makes Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson. That’s not a bad thing either, but I wanted to do other things.”
Vrenna says he still feels the effects of his stint in Manson’s band: “It’s been what, 8-9 months since I left the band? It took me 6 months to just be able to go to bed at a normal time. We would start working at 8PM at night, so it was like a autoworker working a third shift. I used to get excited when I would get home before the sun would rise. Just doing everyday stuff like going to the bank or doing your laundry was not easy during those years. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Tweaker’s new album, call the time eternity, will hit stores on Oct. 23 via Metropolis Records.
02. nothing at all (feat. Jessicka Addams)
03. a bit longer than usual
04. areas of the brain
05. hoarding granules
06. getting through many a bad night
07. grounded (feat. kaRIN)
08. this is ridiculous
09. i don’t care anymore
10. wasted time
11. fine (feat. Abhorrent Derelict)
Chris Vrenna was born on February 23rd, 1967 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Vrenna
February 23rd, 1967
2 + 23 +1+9+6+7 = 48 = his life lesson = Touring. On tour. Rockin’ out. Chris rocks! A man on a mission. Doing what he was born to do.
February 23rd, 1967
2 + 23 = 25 = his core number = Adventurous. Restless.
February 23rd, 1967
23 +1+9+6+7 = 46 = his “secret” number = A kid at heart. Forever young.
February 23rd, 1967
2 + 23 +2+0+1+2 = 30 = his personal year (from February 23rd, 2012 to February 22nd, 2013) = Having a sense of style.
30 year + 12 (December) = 42 = his personal month (from December 23rd, 2012 to January 22nd, 2013) = Everybody loves Chris.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
38991 495551 59
his path of destiny = 59 = Catharsis.
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