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The Sound Of Animals Fighting

For the purposes of mystique (and, one assumes, legal reasons due to the various participants owning recording contracts), the experimental noise rock collective the Sound of Animals Fighting appear in public only in cheap creepy cute children's Halloween masks with cartoon animals on them. Furthermore, the members of the band -- really more of an always shifting musical collective in the manner of Broken Social Scene -- are referred to only as the animals their masks represent. Therefore, their debut album, The Tiger and the Duke, lists the Walrus, the Lynx, the Bear, the Nightingale, the Ferret, the Armadillo, the Hyena, the Octopus, the Skunk, the Llama, the Swan, the Dog, the Raven, the Tortoise, and the Tiger as participants. As gimmicks go, it's a good one.

Of course, in the age of the internet, no secrets stay that way for long. It's generally agreed that the leader of the Sound of Animals Fighting is singer and producer Rich Balling (the Nightingale), formerly of the southern California ska-punk act RX Bandits, and that 2005's The Tiger and the Duke was recorded by Balling in an unconventional manner that owes something to John Cage's theory of indeterminacy and Frank Zappa's late-era methods of mixing live recordings made in different times and places into a single piece of music. Supposedly, the album was recorded under Balling's supervision by placing musicians, one at a time, into the studio and having them improvise freely for a predetermined length of time without hearing any of the previously recorded instrumental tracks, all of which were eventually mixed into the completed album by Balling. Furthermore, Wikipedia and other online sources claim that Balling's fellow musicians on this album were fellow ex-RX Bandits members Matthew Embree (the Walrus) on guitar and Chris Tsagakis (the Lynx) on drums, Finch's Randy Strohmeyer (the Tiger) on guitar, and Derek Doherty (the Tortoise) on bass, with Matthew Kelly (the Llama) of the Autumns, Rich Zahniser (the Armadillo) of the Hippos, and Anthony Green (the Skunk) of Circa Survive on vocals, and Chris Fudurich (the Bear) on keyboards and programming. (The remaining six listed members were responsible for behind the scenes roles in recording, artwork and public relations.)

The collective's more accomplished second album, 2006's Lover, The Lord Has Left Us (Equal Vision), contains more structured elements alongside the free improvisation, including Karlheinz Stockhausen-inspired musique concrète, female Sanskrit singing, and passages of Italian opera. A slimmed down lineup includes Balling, Embree, Tsagakis, Green, Kelly, and two new singers, Keith Goodwin (the Penguin) of Days Away and Craig Owens (the Ram) of the Chiodos. Members of the group convened at the House of Blues in San Diego, Hollywood, Anaheim, and Las Vegas for four shows in late August that year for what were billed as the band's only live performances ever. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Fun band, I like musical collectives or large cult like groups. I like duets and unique sounds. Beautiful songs.
A green makes life worth tripping
Been a fan of them for years! I wasn't able to go to their first shows and then they broke up. 8 years later still a big fan finally able to see them. Best time ever at the wiltern theater at the front. Everything I've expected from them but even better. Can't wait for them to come back again, because it was on my #3 favorite show I've seen. (#1 circa, #2 thrice farewell tour)
Seeing them in Philly in March! Dont know too much about them but i looked at a few youtube vids and decided it would be amazing
michaelhurta d o 4 7
Must find ride to LA show!
See you at the wiltern TSOAF!
"The only 4 shows the band ever played". ...untill now, can't wait to see them play in LA march. It will be a dream♡
The Sound of Animals Fighting is different but awesome!!!!
frankv73
One of the best groups ever. Wish RXB was still making tunes
God damn.
get naked april
perform again, want to seeee
This band
seeing their show in Anaheim makes the top 5 list of things I have ever experienced! amazing band and they performed with so much passion!
cameron has a radio station of stuff he says is obnoxious as well as the bands in it. odd. maybe a change in heart?
more tiger and duke like stuff! I love it all but anthony, matt, and craig with the others were excellent
it is anthony green, along with mad other well known singers like craig owens and more
aacranz
sounds like andy green
Animals Fighting the Sound Of
musicalstyle s
how have I not heard this before? It blends all that I love about music - energy passion and intensity.
this band makes my high, higher.
rayjay92
love of my life :)
the group consists of rich balling, craig owens, anthony green, the guitarists bassist and drummer of rx bandits.
also wore the masks to get around the record label contracts for the multitude of members. Wish I was there for the House of Blues performance. Funny I seen where they got the idea for the masks somewhere but cant find it now, think it had to do with the thrill kill cult but cant recall, anywho the pic was a spitting image of their photo with the masks.
Uhhh wearing masks was not a publicity stunt. They wore masks to show that whoever's in the band doesn't matter, what matters is the music that they create.
the manner of Broken Social Scene -- are referred to only as the animals their masks represent get it now. just take one sec to read and you will know why theyave masks
the manner of Broken Social Scene -- are referred to only as the animals their masks represent read it fool dont talk crap
I like the music, but what's with the masks? Kinda a cheap way of getting publicity if you ask me.
anyone whos a sound of animals fighting hater needs to watch their live dvd...its life changing
everyone should smoke a blunt before you listen to this!!...it a great time! (ak-47) is the best to smoke with this! tRy It!!
some of the freaking band members suck! I don't really know any of the people in it, except anthony, but other than the mostly crappy singing it's pretty trippy.
I love the band, so original, so much talent - I wish they could play more shows! Especially their most recent album, makes me beg for more
My favorite part about this music is when i turn this obnoxious s@%t off
The new album is probably the best thing they've put out yet. More experimental is not always better. Personally, I'm glad they changed up the vocal delivers on The Ocean and the Sun. On that note, does anyone know which animal is Drew Roulete? I know he did the artwork on Tiger & The Duke, but I'm not sure if he's contributed anything else.
andyjudy
I can listen to their new album every day!... original, creative, and intriguing. Love these guys
arupp0
love this band (collective - w/e u wanna call it), but the new album sounds like every other post-hardcor e band out there, not experimental enough for me, the whole idea behind this band was to 'free' themselves, but the new album is a step back from Tiger & Duke re-issue, I guess to many people complainied that it was "too" experimental , not experimental enough....go listen to new Fall Of Troy or Mars Volta instead
anna0515mx_3 3 5
yes i heard their new album on their myspace they had the whole album there can't wait to buy it on tuesday....
New Album is OUTSTANDING.
truly amazing piece of expression.
I agree.
anna0515mx_3 3 5
great band, can't wait for new cd coming out soon

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