Brett Petersen is ‘the Daniel Johnston of metal;’ an eccentric loner who dabbles in musical genres as diverse as doom/sludge metal, drone/ambient, acoustic, folk, blues, lo-fi, punk and plain ol’ rock’n’roll. He’s been at it since 1998, recording with his buddies on a boom box in his parents’ basement and playing in bands such as Aluvium, Dynamite Pleasure Chair, Blank Slate and Raziel’s Tree with no sign of slowing down.
Drenched in fuzz and psychedelic mysticism, Raziel’s Tree doles out hefty portions of feedback and sonic experimentation with a dollop of sludge for dessert.
Blank Slate is actually Brett Petersen’s first band. His father Glenn detected an aptitude for drumming in nine-year-old Brett and decided to buy him a used drum kit. Since Glenn played guitar and sang, he hoped that his son would one day be able to drum for him.
Fast forward twenty years.
Glenn has retired from his thirty year teaching career and Brett’s band Dynamite Pleasure Chair has recently broken up. Father and son seize this golden opportunity, recruit bassist Pat and revamp the formerly hypothetical band Blank Slate into a performing act. Since 2015, the band has played several local venues and aims to expand its horizons in the near future.
As far as their sound goes, Blank Slate fits pretty snugly into the ‘classic rock’ pigeonhole although they are influenced by everything from Husker Du to the Stone Temple Pilots and Led Zeppelin. A little Sabbath might’ve seeped in somehow, but the guys are fine with that.
The bottom line however, is playing music that rocks. Blank Slate will continue to rock ‘n’ roll until, like the creatures of the Triassic Period, they become the clay on which future generations will stand.
A band whose name came about as the result of a game of chance, Dynamite Pleasure Chair brought energy, chaos and wacky Dr. Seuss and video game inspired hijinx to the Capitol Region of New York State for a solid four years. With songs like “Dr. Mario,” “Why Don’t You Make Like a Tree and Get Out of Here,” “Cyanide Sugar Bear” and “I Wanna Be a Cage Fighter,” the band laid its sonic eggs in the brains of the populace and they are continuing to hatch long after the breakup of the band. Though they may have gained some haters toward the end (due to drama and bullshit extraneous to the music,) the legacy of D.P.C. still remains in the form of their full-length release “Sudden Impact,” as well as their live recordings and memories kept in the hearts of true Pleasure-Heads (all two of them, *laughs.*) Whether one laughs at or with D.P.C., the fact that laughter is evoked at all is concurrent with their original goal: to simply have fun. D.P.C. was a fun band. May the fun R.I.P.
At their peak, Aluvium was a two-piece blues band inspired by the White Stripes, the Gories, the Stooges and other manifestations of minimalist trash-rock. Singer/guitarist Ryan LeGere would hop around stage like a mummy with its bandages on fire and drummer Brett Petersen would bang on shit with his companion, a red cup filled with beer and whiskey, always at his side. The band would go down in at least a few people’s history books for playing drunken ragers in sketchy Schenectady neighborhoods where Ryan’s amp would short out and Petersen would jump up and down on his kick pedal in perfect time with the music before tearing his drum set apart, throwing it across the lawn and smashing a few beer bottles for good measure.
They broke up after Petersen was institutionalized for hypomania. It was probably for the best, considering that if he had continued his lifestyle of drinking, smashing bottles and worshipping G.G. Allin, he would’ve ended up having a bad time.
As for Ryan, nobody knows what happened to him. Some say he disappeared on a gust of wind. Others claim to have heard rumors about him forming a band called Krowe. If this band is real and has any recordings, please get in touch with Brett Petersen: he would very much like to listen to anything they have produced.