The Blank Tapes is now and always has been Matt Adams, a soft-spoken kid from a Southern California suburb who learned to play practically every instrument a good garage band needs, and then started making beautifully idiosyncratic records on his trusty home eight-track. By the time he left his home in Orange County for San Francisco in 2005, he’d channeled his love of the Beatles and the Kinks into dozens if not a hundred of his own songs on tape, all lovingly and painstakingly and perfectly recorded in a series of ever more modest bedrooms and sheds.
In SF, Adams continued on this DIY path, with a rotating cast of backing members for the Blank Tapes live band and a string of self-recorded, self-illustrated, and self-released albums, all accompanied by self-booked tours. By 2010, this approach was paying off, with a pair of surprise smash hits in Brazil, leading to his first tour outside North America. He shared bills with sci-fi garage legends Thee Oh Sees and home-taper extraordinaire R. Stevie Moore in Europe. He took a stripped-down Blank Tapes to Japan, got sponsored by One Coconut Water, and custom-wrote a special song for Burger Records Weiner Dog Benefit comp, doing his utmost to help a little puppy pay a vet bill.
Now relocated back to Los Angeles, Adams finds the music he’s loved since that first borrowed guitar is now the new sound of Southern California, thanks to standard bearers like the Growlers, Nick Waterhouse and Burger Records, who released a Blank Tapes full-length in 2012.
And after a year of low-key shows, he’s debuted what he calls the most fully realized version of the Blank Tapes yet—a lean and pristine trio with D.A. Humphrey on bass and Pearl Charles on back-to-basics Moe Tucker-style drums, with the kind of three-part harmonies the Wilson brothers used to love. There’s a new energy, he says. For the longest time the Blank Tapes has just been him, writing and recording as time and circumstance allow. But now, after almost exactly ten years and a new album and a new line-up, the Blank Tapes have finally become what he’s always wanted.
Antenna Farm Records is proud to present the Blank Tapes newest LP, Vacation, coming on CD/LP & MP3 May 14th, 2013.