Brian Cook - Bass - 2009 - Present

Brian Cook is the bassist, baritone guitarist, and keyboardist for Russian Circles. He also played in the bands Botch, These Arms Are Snakes, and Roy. He has served as a session player for records by Mouth of the Architect and Mamiffer and is currently an auxiliary contributor to Sumac. In addition to playing music, Cook is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Stranger, Noisey, Portland Mercury, and Alarm. He self-published his debut novel, The Second Chair Is Meant For You, in 2014. He was voted Best Dancer in his 6th grade yearbook, which, if you've ever seen him dance, was obviously a joke by his classmates. Cook currently lives in New York with his husband Reno. 

Brian Cook's Gear Thanks go to:
Verellen Amplifiers
Ernie Ball Strings

Brian Cook Rig Rundown

Every Record I Own - Day 288: Daughters s/tI’ve been slacking on these posts in recent weeks on... 

Every Record I Own - Day 288: Daughters s/t

I’ve been slacking on these posts in recent weeks on account of being on tour. But I’ve also been slacking because I spent nearly two years researching and writing about Daughters and I’m now in the position of trying to figure out how to condense all those thoughts into one post. So instead of trying to parcel my thoughts down to a few paragraphs, I’m going to post an excerpt from the book discussing a somewhat disastrous tour we did together after the jump. Enjoy.

Read more

Every Record I Own - Day 287: Daughters Hell SongsVery few “heavy” bands truly live up to the... 

Every Record I Own - Day 287: Daughters Hell Songs

Very few “heavy” bands truly live up to the misanthropy they project through their music. But Daughters were different. Over the course of a U.S. tour together, I got to know the guys in the band pretty well, and they were a rare instance where their personalities were as fucked up as their music. Don’t get me wrong—they were all great people. But there was something inherently damaged in their chemistry. They were barely functional as a unit, but that made their music seem all the more dangerous.

A year or two after that tour, Continuum Books announced open submissions for their 33 1/3 book series, wherein authors analyze classic albums and assess their cultural impact. I knew I didn’t stand a chance, but I pitched a book on Hell Songs. My thesis was pretty basic: heavy music is typically just theater, but Daughters was real life drama, and that made their music that much more intense. As per their submission guidelines, I wrote an opening chapter. The pitch was rejected, but I wound up posting the chapter online, where it caught the attention of Robotic Empire, the label that put out Daughters’ debut LP. They offered to print the book. And so for the next year-and-a-half I dedicated all my spare time to questioning the individual band members, chasing down old tour mates, stitching together the chronology of their history, reading old interviews, and writing the damn thing. I submitted a first draft to the band and waited two weeks to hear back from them.

They eventually asked to cancel the project. There were disagreements within their camp as to how shit actually went down. And, understandably, there were a lot of grimy details that they weren’t too excited to share publicly. It was disappointing, but understandable. I figured a certain amount of rejection is inevitable as a writer, and this one at least had a valid excuse, so there wasn’t much of a sting.

Anyhow, I’ve posted the first chapter after the jump. The writing seems a little corny now, so maybe I ultimately dodged a bullet.

Read more