Puppets - Centaur Noir Release

Centaur Noir has embraced change as a constant from its inception. The band began as an acoustic solo project where Burns wrote songs and played them on his guitar. Experimenting with electronic music on his laptop led to implementing new sounds as he began recording more at Sound and Vision. The electronic sound of Centaur Noir just slowly evolved from there. Their new CD, Puppets, will be released Friday, March 20 with a celebration at The Backroom Comedy Theater.

“The great thing about Centaur Noir is that it's always evolving and it doesn't ever have to be one specific style.” Explains Burns, “it's a great way to write because you don't have to feel like any one genre is off limits. So we can mix together whatever elements we want.”

Jon Burns welcomes new addition Lora Wegener as the latest step in the evolution of the band.
“It has been great transitioning from a solo act to working with Lora. She brings so much to the table as far as writing and recording and live performances. It's great to have someone to work with in the studio and to have someone to feed off of energy wise while we perform live. I think it adds a lot more depth to Centaur Noir's sound and I think we really work well together.”

Wegener began performing with Burns as a guest on some songs, and eventually became a full member of the band in early 2014. As it turns out, the release of the new CD coincides with her one-year anniversary as a member of Centaur Noir.
“It was both super easy and difficult at the same time. The transition to being a guest on some songs to in the band was really easy. The difficult part for me, being kinda bashful, has been to accept this as my project too. I was so worried about stepping on his toes, making too many suggestions, or really claiming this as mine for a long time. But now I think we're hitting a stride together. I'm still so excited and happy to be in the band & writing with one of my best friends.”

The duo has had an exciting year, which included a Daytrotter recording session. Daytrotter rarely does sessions with QC area bands, so they were flattered at the opportunity. Daytrotter recording engineer Mike Gentry is a friend to the band, so the session was very comfortable for them, even considering the understandable buildup of nervous excitement at the thought of recording with Daytrotter.

“We really admire what they do there and were honored to be a part of something that so many great musicians have been a part of,” says Burns. “Sean Moeller has always been a really nice and supportive dude and we're glad that he is doing a lot of different stuff around here to elevate the culture in the Quad Cities.”

Lora speaks to the inevitable nerves at such a prestigious opportunity:

“I had never really heard of local bands doing a Daytrotter session so I was surprised and excited and flattered to be asked to do one. I was also really (REALLY) nervous...up to the very moment before I stepped in and put the head phones on to record. But the fact that Mike was recording us helped me a lot. He made it really easy and comfortable. I would definitely love to do it again.”

Speaking of recording, there’s that new album they’re celebrating this week. Puppets was recorded at Sound and Vision in Moline. A collective of musicians, Sound and Vision is set up for local musicians to write and record, using Ray Malone’s studio set up. Malone has taught artists the ins and outs of recording, and the collective includes artists such as Chad Gooch from Tambourine.

Wegener has a couple of favorites on the album, track two: Don Juan and track five: Fling. She leans more towards the back and forth and easy groove of Fling as her number one though. “. I love the bounce between the slow groovy slide of the verses and the pulsing beat of the chorus. I think the lyrics are great. I love the back and forth that Jon & I do throughout the song. And I love the guitar parts our friend Chad added.”

Puppets will be released at the Backroom Comedy Theater, with a celebration that includes the art opening for some of Jon’s artwork. George Strader from the Blacklist had approached Jon about doing an art show and Centaur Noir show there. The timing worked out that the album was going to be ready for release about the same time, so that precipitated the release show. George Strader’s band, the Homeless Romantics will also perform a set, and the show will be opened by Keely Filgo,a singer/songwriter originally from Davenport who has recently returned. “She’s a real QC treasure and more people need to enjoy her music,” says Burns.

Centaur Noir is planning “release shows” at various venues, including a show in April at Rozz Tox that will feature a premiere of their newest music video. Expect to see the duo branching out in the Midwest region, as well as working in the studio on more music, with Lora doing more lead parts, and another album maybe by the end of the year. They’re also pretty excited about some upcoming music video shoots as well.

For more information about Centaur Noir, the Backroom, and Jon Burns' artwork, as well as the music video for Don Juan, check out the following links:

DON JUAN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra2BWneyhKs

Photo Credit - Chad Gooch, Provided by Centaur Noir