Cleveland rock band Terrycloth Mother releases debut album

Updated: Oct. 15, 2021, 10:08 a.m. | Published: Oct. 15, 2021, 9:37 a.m. (ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE)

By Anne Nickoloff,

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The four members of Terrycloth Mother — singer-bassist James Pequignot, guitarist Drew Maziasz, drummer John Panza and pedal steel player Stephen “Tebbs” Karney — work well together, collaborating easily on new music and production.

But more than two years ago, they had no clue they’d be in a band together. Formed at the 2019 Lottery League showcase, the four musicians’ names were pulled out of a hat to form a new project that would perform at the “Big Show” on June 8, 2019.

At the Big Show, Terrycloth Mother performed its 10-minute song “Bullet,” written in the preceding weeks for the festival. After that, the band could have dissolved.

“When the assignment was over, we found it so easy to be creative together,” Pequignot said in a phone interview. “When we started working on the second song, I thought, ‘Okay, it’s not going to stop being easy once the assignment is over.’ The creative process with these guys remains fun even though the novelty of the Lottery League itself is in the rearview at this point.”

“Within the first three practices we knew we were going to keep doing stuff after the Big Show,” Maziasz said. “It felt pretty natural and pretty good to be creating.”

Terrycloth Mother may have been formed by chance, but the musicians’ skills translate well into the band’s unique, wistful style of rock music showcased on its debut, self-titled album out on Friday, Oct. 15.

The vibey “The Myth of Sisyphus” showcases a laid-back buildup, while the spacey “Weight of the World” incorporates dissonant waves of sound and a dreamy trumpet part played by Antoine Canon. “Big Stick Energy” breaks out an impressive pedal steel solo by Karney, over a grunge-rock atmosphere.

The cohesive, tight, eight-track project “uses dense and dramatic musical soundscapes to shape anxiety-ridden odes to our modern world,” according to the band’s Bandcamp profile.

That sounds about right.

Much of Terrycloth Mother’s album was written before the coronavirus pandemic led to shutdowns in Ohio in spring 2020. The band continued to work on the album during the pandemic.

“We had all this ammunition but nothing to do with it,” Maziasz said. “We had no shows to play, so it gave us a reason to get together and stay busy.”

“It added an inherent structure to my life that music does for me in general, but I feel like we all really needed it at that time,” Pequignot said. “It would have been easy to drift off into worry, and instead we got to keep making music.”

Originally recorded as demos, the band was surprised to find many of its recordings sounding close to album quality. The album was recorded at The Artcraft Building, where the band rehearses, and it was self-produced by band members. Magnetic North Studio’s Chris Keffer mastered the songs.

“We recorded them as demos, all in the room together, and a little bit of overdubbing afterward,” said Maziasz. “The fact that we thought they were demos took the pressure off — how easy it was to play all those songs and feel good about them right away.”

Terrycloth Mother will celebrate the new album with a show at Happy Dog on Friday, Oct. 15, with support from The Village Bicycle and Hydrone. Tickets cost $8 and are available on the Happy Dog’s website.

With a few more regional shows scheduled after that, the band has no plans on slowing down, with hopes of going on tour in 2022. Terrycloth Mother also has a handful of new songs already in the works, likely to be released next year.

All of that, because their names were drawn out of the Lottery League hopper.

“The whole process of it is really intriguing for me, as a way to form new relationships and maybe break out of some predefined roles I had found myself in, in the past,” Pequignot explained. “I think it worked out really well.”