Though I've not experienced Churchill's Pub, I've heard a lot about the Florida music institution located in Miami's Little Havana. Since 1979, the bar and venue, that many call the CBGB of the south, has hosted some wild musical acts and some wilder times. Autumn Casey and KC Toimil have spent many late nights at the bar as employees, customers and bandmates. Their band Snakehole, has played Churchill's countless times and the place's noisey din of the place seeps into their new album Interludes of Insanity.
Recorded by Ben Greenberg (Uniform, Mission Bubble) in Hudson, New York's Waterfront Studios, the album has Autumn and KC plugging into some hefty noise that leans on feedback but also melody. This is a noise punk power trip that is remarkably listenable.
Piano compositions that peaked through on their self-titled 12" are given more light on "Interlude Pt. 1" and a strange, almost eerie tone floats between the cracking and loud experimentation.
Take a listen below and read a conversation we had with KC and Autumn.
Noisey: How much does your sound owe to the humidity and closeness of a Miami July?
It's not quantifiable but it's definitely present. A swamp vibe does seep in every now and then, and we've written songs inspired by our proximity to tropical insects. The song "Izardus" was written in KC's backyard while lizard watching.
Do you spend much time in the Florida Keys?
As much as we can! We recorded a music video down there at KC's family's house, where Satan comes to corrupt us in a wholesome environment. KC had a couple secret shows down there, where only a handful of people would be invited. We also love to just go down there and chill and go to the Caribbean Club.
The band is now split between Miami and Philly. Why is that?
Autumn fell in love and had to relocate. KC is still holding it down in Miami. We are both independent forces and make it work when we come together, and we have been able to visit pretty often. And we hope that having dual bases will present us with more opportunities.
Your sound has changed over time too right?
Yeah, in an ironic twist, the more we learned to play and get comfortable with our instruments and each other, the less cohesive and more wild we became. We also started off touring with Rat Bastard and we would always play noise/experimental shows, and that for sure influenced us to experiment more ourselves.
What is your craziest Churchill's experience?
We've both have been hit in the face by flying shrapnel. KC got hit by a chair during a Cock ESP set, Autumn got hit right between the eyes by (I don't even know what that was) during a Laundry Room Squelchers set.
One night, towards the end of the original owners tenure, was especially nuts. Autumn was bartending and a full on riot ensued. People were tearing at the walls as if the Titanic was going down and Churchill's paraphernalia were the life preservers. Over the years we've seen our fair share of nudity, fires, rats, possums, explicit drug use, motorcycles in the building, bodily fluids.. etc. We should write a book.
I like the track "Good Conversation". What make for a good conversationalist?
Thanks! This was actually the first song we wrote for the album. It's about social media, and sometimes because of it the lack of good conversation. The lyrics basically talk about being connected in fear and vanity to a network of people and questioning whether or not you have a pulse. It's also about the good musical conversation we love to share with each other. So maybe to be a good conversationalist you should pick up an instrument.
'Interludes of Insanity' is available March 24 on Wharf Cat Records.
Images: Jane Chardiet