Fred Abong has announced his new solo release – the ‘Pulsing’ EP. This six-track offering will release on March 8, the same day that his UK tour with Kristin Hersh kicks off. As a solo artist Abong will be supporting Hersh on this tour. But he will also be playing bass in Kristin Hersh’s live electric trio, together with Rob Ahlers, drummer in the Hersh-led power trio 50FOOTWAVE.
Best known as former bass player for the influential art-punk band Throwing Muses and Grammy-nominated alt-rock band Belly, Abong has been immersed in academia for the last eight years or so, completing a Ph.D. in Humanities and working as an adjunct professor in the Religious Studies, Philosophy, and English Departments at various universities.
“it was inspired by life and life events. You can fill in the blanks here to your satisfaction – relationships, loss, death, ecstasy, identity, longing, transformation, frustration, desire, love, hate, etc.,” says Fred Abong.
“Songs are only one possible manifestation of the inspiration that informs existence; and if that’s true, then maybe focusing less on the specifics of the inspiration behind someone’s songs and more on the pervasiveness of inspiration in each of our lives would be of more benefit and utility. Your own life, in other words, is just one song after another. You should listen to those first. If you want some company after that, then by all means give the songs on Pulsing a listen.”
Prior to being in Throwing Muses and Belly, Fred was active as a drummer and bass player in numerous bands centered on the Newport, RI hardcore punk scene, which gave rise to bands like Vicious Circleand Verbal Assault. Partly because of these DIY roots, Fred left the music ‘business’ after the release of Belly’s ‘Star’ in 1992, choosing instead to quietly and independently pursue his own music.
Abong’s music has been described as cross between “ragged Replacements and lyric-driven Bob Dylan,” and as “Elliott Smith with balls”.
Most recently, Fred contributed bass on Kristin Hersh’s new ‘Possible Dust Clouds’ album, released in late 2018 via Fire Recordings, as well as working with Rhode Island-Boston collective The Pull of Autumn, for which he contributed ‘Vanishing Spell’.
Earlier, he worked with Tanya Donelly, former bandmate in both Throwing Muses and Belly, on the song ‘Snow Goose and Me’ for her 2016 ‘Swan Song’ series, a track that ABC News dubbed “a moody, expressive bit of songwriting that will demand repeat listens”.
Fred Abong’s album will be released digitally via Bandcamp, with CDs to be available exclusively at shows during his UK tour. Show and ticket info for all shows can be found at www.kristinhersh.com/
5. Meet Me
6. The Wire
“LIVE AND LOUD” TOUR 2019 with KRISTIN HERSH
8th Mar: Engine Rooms, Southhampton, UK
9th Mar: West End Centre, Aldershot, UK
10th Mar: Bush Hall, London, UK
12th Mar: Bush Hall, London UK
13th Mar: Sub89, Reading, UK
15th Mar: Holywell Music Room, Oxford UK
16th Mar: Philharmonic, Liverpool, UK
17th Mar: Cluny, Newcastle, UK
18th Mar: Perth Theatre, Perth, UK
19th Mar: Mono, Glasgow, UK
20th Mar: Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, UK
21st Mar: Left Bank, Leeds, UK
22nd Mar: St Phillips Church, Salford, UK
23rd Mar: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, UK
24th Mar: Glee Club, Nottingham, UK
26th Mar: Tramshed, Cardiff, UK
27th Mar: Phoenix, Exeter, UK
28th Mar: The Fleece, Bristol, UK
29th Mar: Arts Centre, Colchester, UK
30th Mar: St Paul’s, Worthing, UK
31st Mar: Quarterhouse, Folkestone, UK
1st April: Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, UK
‘Snow Goose and Me’ with Tanya Donelly https://youtu.be/
Portrait photos by Peter Mellekas. Studio photos by Fred Abong.