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John        Chad       Chris

 

Cosmic Bug Loaf was formed October 2010 in the town of Spring, Texas; with the founding members being John Alton and Chad Leibold.  The Loaf went through a few member changes until a stable group was established in 2011, that being Chris Bauman on bass, Chad Leibold on drums, and John Alton on guitar and vocals. 

The Loaf records and mixes all of their own material, allowing the albums to have their own unique sound.  

 

John Alton, Chris Bauman, and Chad Leibold

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The Rocks Off 200: John Alton, the Madness of Cosmic Bug Loaf

Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community — a lot more than just musicians, but of course they’re in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
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Photos by Jessica Alton

Who? Every Cosmic Bug Loaf song sounds like your last brain cell committing suicide as the world burns around you, which is just about the nicest thing I’ve ever said about anyone. Much of that is due to John Alton, whose strange and intense guitar work feels like two different people alternately berating and coming on to you at the same time. Then there’s that voice…it comes out of the speakers like Pennywise came out of the sewers in IT. There’s just something insidious about it, even though it’s all dressed up in bright colors.

When he was a boy Alton started learning the classical guitar from his father; you can hear a LOT of Bach in a Cosmic Bug Loaf song if you listen closely. His favorite game was to set his metronome faster and faster and see if he could play the pieces perfectly far in excess of the proper tempo.

Eventually he took to the electric guitar and teamed with childhood friend Chad Leibold (drums) to form first the June Bugs and eventually Cosmic Bug Loaf. Previously he’s been signed to Esotype Records as part of a math-rock outfit called Eternal Life, and has contributed guitar to recordings by the Wheel Workers’ own Steve Higginbotham. All in all, Alton keeps busy laying down strange and wonderful sounds, so keep an eye and ear out.

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Home Base: Practice and writing sessions for Cosmic Bug Loaf usually take place by rotating between the members’ houses. Whenever Alton wants to work on solo projects, he prefers to take himself out into the woods with a guitar to write.

When it comes to playing live, he loves every venue for different reasons. Like a lot of local bands he praises the sound quality of Rudyard’s, but also enjoys the atmosphere of AvantGarden and Notsuoh. Good War Story: “I was abducted by aliens.” Author’s note: there is simply no way to know if he is joking on that or not. Music Scene Pet Peeve: Though he doesn’t cite any statistics or anything, Alton feels like the scene just isn’t as big as it used to be. Why Stay Do You Stay In Houston? “I stay in Houston because my family is close and also my bandmates are close,” Alton says. “I get a little overwhelmed with industry and cities, so I hope to move to somewhere that has more nature than humans sometime in the future. Then again, it might be too late for that.”

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Five Desert Island Discs:

  • Radiohead, The King of Limbs
  • The Doors, Morrison Hotel
  • Elliott Smith, From a Basement on a Hill
  • Pink Floyd, Meddle
  • Converge, You Fail Me

Best Show You’ve Ever Seen: “Radiohead by far,” he says. “I have seen them live three times, and every time it blows me away.” First Song You Ever Fell in Love With: Portishead, “Half Day Closing” Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

What’s In a Name?

Cosmic Bug Loaf: The Death of William Shatner Via Spiders

By Jef With One F Fri., Jun. 21 2013 at 7:00 AM

Categories:     What’s In a Name?

It’s a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here on Rocks Off we’re trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.

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At my day job I have a coworker who makes fun of me because I like what he calls “primitive minimalist” music. By that he means that doesn’t see the appeal in a band like the Legendary Pink Dots which is mostly droning weirdness that can’t decide on jazz or pop so does both while making exactly no sense at all.

Cosmic Bug Loaf reminds me of that… at least if LPD had Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar. It’s a bluesy psychedelic explosion that shows off some tremendous skill on the strings but really gets going by invading your mind like a fever dream. Take a song like “Springwell,” which is equal parts hard blues jam and caterwauling call to the elder gods. You fall through the haze they produce, going mad all the way. I bet someone gets murdered to this band one day. It just feels like that’s going to happen.

But that name…Cosmic Bug Loaf… seriously? It’s like they asked mushrooms what a good band name is. Don’t get me wrong, they play the exact kind of music you would expect a band called Cosmic Bug Loaf to play, but it almost too perfectly screams, “We will blow your mind, maaaaaaaaaaaan!”

There had to be more to that, so I sent off an email looking for answers from the band.

“The name arose from a combination of deep infinite space and the wise words of Shatner,” was the reply I got. I don’t know what I was expecting, really.

KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS (1977) – Trailer

Sucks to be CBL, though, because I know exactly what they mean. It’s all about Kingdom of Spiders, a ’70s big-bug flick that Shatner starred in back when he was still acting rather than just playing William Shatner. It’s a good nature-gone-wild horror film that doesn’t have any of the playfulness of Arachnophobia, instead going with visceral screaming and horrific (If not very gory) death. They released a good letterbox DVD a while back, so it’s not that hard to find.

Spoiler, though, in the end Shatner and the survivors are holed up in a hunting lodge waxing philosophically and hiding from spiders. The camera pans away to see that their entire town has been overrun with webs. The spiders win, and it’s only a matter of time until our man Will and his friends are cocooned and consumed as cosmic (Star Trek) bug (Spiders) loaves (Food) themselves. All the Cosmic Bug Loaf stands for is that the world will be eaten and changed as the madness of spider death overtakes us all.

So you see, hippies! I deduced the truth. Now get back out there and make some more brain damage so I forget I know all this.

FINAL DEFINITION Cosmic Bug Loaf (n): 1. Bluesy psychedelia. 2. The death of Shatner. 3. A hippie code.

Cosmic Bug Loaf plays Springboard South on Saturday, June 22 at Warehouse Live with Hazy Ray, Jesse Roach, Clinton Ashley, VerseCity, Branden Mendoza, Celeste Kellogg, Mike Terror, Dewey Wayne, Sophi, Rainchild, Abby Gough, Celestial Centerfold, Black Queen Speaks, The Dead C Scales, and Last Ones Left.

Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards or connect with him on Facebook.

Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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November 26th 2011 Grim with Uglocal “A Journey to the land of “Cosmic Bug Loaf””

I don’t remember very much from last night…. I’m not sure how I got home…. I’m not sure that I didn’t make a complete ass out of myself, and I don’t care because what I do remember, besides running out of gas and having to walk a couple of miles to get to the show, was the music.  The smokey room. The haunting vocals.  A Groove that was so thick, you could cut it with a spoon.  “Cosmic Bug Loaf”….  This Houston trio (quartet with the return of their keyboardist) having formed not even six months ago, showed up to a knife fight with a bazooka.  Its not very often that you hear a band and can say “this is why we listen to music” but I believe that these guys may very well be one of those bands.  If your in the Houston area and you get a chance to see them jam, definitely take advantage of it.

November 26th 2011 Hillary Marek with Houston Undgerground Radio

Had a great time last nigh with Cosmic Bug Loaf and Justin Meadows.  If you have never been to a Cosmic Bug Loaf show then you have no idea what you are missing!  The only thing I can compare it to is possibly being in the studio during the recording of the Beatles white album.  It was like no show I had ever been too it was not a show that is an insult to this band no, it was the Cosmic Bug Loaf Experience.  I had a euphoric music high that lasted well into today!

 

December 3rd 2011 Grim with Uglocal “Another Great Show Last Night”

Cosmic Bug Loaf has a great show at Acadia,  Tons of Energy!  The return of their keyboardist/rhythm guitar player (Jonathen Martinez) added a new level of awesomeness to the already mind boggling intensity that these guys bring to their performances.  If you haven’t had a change to check out their live show yet, then you are missing out!

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