Will McCall aka Will Heel aka shhhanthemum built Trixie’s Palace. That should be enough of an introduction and it should speak volumes. Will came back to the area recently and it was glorious. Cheers to more visits! Here’s a bit of a catching up.
Q1. Will – pleasure to catch up with you! Your solo set at Furry Frat on Friday, March 18 was magic. Get back to that in a minute. As you informed me – you’ve been away from Boston for a bit – living up in New York. How’d it feel to get back here and perform?
That show was a blast. Yea I’m living up in Syracuse right now. I bombed down I-90 for 5 hours blaring Merle Haggard and NBA podcasts on a whim just to play a basement show and sleep at the Furry Frat. Boston still feels like home…or like a weird second home. I get a beautiful strange feeling everytime I come back. And it was an honor sharing the bill with a legend like yourself.
Q2. Some might know you as a Trixies Palace (R.I.P Allston basement) legend or some variation of that, perhaps from your days in Healers Co. Would you mind giving a little history/timeline of your association with Trixies and Healers Co.? Did you have bands or projects that go even way(er)back? We certainly met there and I won’t forget the Healers set from the noise fest we did a few years back.
Its actually a funny story. I built Trixie’s Palace.
There was no house at first. Just a humble shack on a street corner in Brighton.
One night there was a great and terrible storm. The shack was torn apart by winds. And then a bright, blinding light.
An angel appeared to me. She told me I needed to build a house where musicians can play basement shows. I was afraid. Why me? I’m only 24..how could i possibly build a DIY show house?
She told me if you build it, you will start a band (Healers co.) that will one day have 61 likes on facebook. That was enough to convince me.
So yea I built Trixie’s Palace.
Then I told Johnny to come move in and the rest is history.
Q3. To dive into your sound a little bit – how long have you been interested in ambient/sample based music and were there any groups, individuals, or associations that knocked you on your ass or rather lit a fire under there to get you to want to contribute to this paradigm? There’s like a bigness to what you’re doing, set up against a background of glitches and weirdness. It’s awesome!
When Healers first started playing live we would usually play sets all the way through without stopping and I would play different jazz and opera tapes during transitions between songs to poke thru our noise. And then i accidentally acquired some tapes with 90s R’n’B mixes and Electronica mixes and that sent me down this wormhole of sampling and building new songs from the samples.
In terms of like “sample” based music that was influential.. I could point to a couple records that were big for me. Lost and Safe by the Books was one for sure. Person Pitch by Panda Bear. Quasimoto’s The Unseen.
Early in the pandemic I got into this electronic group called The KLF and especially this one record of theirs called Chill Out that’s like this weird ambient house album that’s filled with all these uncleared samples from Elvis and other big name oldies acts- the original album has never been officially rereleased because it’s chock full of all these uncleared samples and highly illegal to sell. They’re a kinda crazy rabbit hole to go down. But they have quite the band story…give it a google if you’re bored.
Q4. Let’s talk a little Eddy El Dorado. The Enemy of the State. This is a hidden gem. Seriously. Anything you want to put on the record regarding this? Did the CD sell on Craigslist? I’m getting Daniel Johnston teleportation / Madchester vibes – at least initially. But that’s an oversimplification. Beautiful rocque or folk oriented music. Did you have a homerecording frenzy during the pandemic?
There’s not much I can say about Eddy El Dorado. He’s a wanted man so I have to be brief.
I met him at a honky-tonk in the Adirondacks. He’s said some terrible things i can’t repeat but part of me thinks he’s a genius.
If he could talk i bet he’d say something like “Enemy of the State is streaming on apple music now”
Q5. American Tarragon Radio is the best radio show in America broadcasting on Spark Radio Syracuse. How’d this come about and what’s your mission statement?
Spark is a really cool community oriented, non-commercial institution in Syracuse that runs a radio station that broadcasts on two FM channels in Syracuse. I reached out to them last fall about hosting a show and they were kind enough to indulge me.
I have a weekly hour-long show where I play whatever has been pleasing me and each show is archived at https://www.mixcloud.com/americantarragon/. There’s a bunch of really good, eclectic music being played on their station. By far the best station in Syracuse.
Even if no one listens to the show i get off on the fact that i get to shoot my favorite songs out onto radio waves through the atmosphere and up into space. The electromagnetic spectrum is trippy, man.
Q6. Getting back to the Furry Frat show / where you are performance-wise. I get a feeling that you don’t feel limited in what you can do? For those who missed it and love details and techniques (but also mystery), can you give a little speel on what we bore witness?
I call it my karaoke set. I essentially just play Healers co. instrumental tracks with the vocals and synth lines cut out. Then I sing and play a few blips on the synth over top for my “performance.” I don’t take it too seriously. I kinda realized the more fun i have when i’m performing the more fun it is for the people in the room.
The full version of the Healers set will be hopefully coming this spring/summer. My best bud Jack is the other member of Healers.
It will be crazy if anyone will let us play their basement.
Also we’re finishing a Greatest Hits / Covers album that will hopefully be done in the not so distant future.
Q7. Alright Will – any last plugs, anything I might have forgotten, or updates on present & future journeys and endeavors?
Me and Jack have a new business we started called Eternal Clubhouse. It’s becoming one of the most successful pages on instagram (@eternalclubhouse – please follow us). It’s amazing what hard work, perseverance, and buying followers can lead to.
We’ve also been giving back to the community by teaching ambient musicians how to improve the quality of their music and work smarter, not harder.
Please follow us.