Drone metal quartet Lords of the Drift invite listeners to travel the vast emptiness – or the vast possibilities – of outer space on their debut record, the three-phase, instrumental effort, The Arecibo Message (November 20, 2020, Stay Gold Records). The titular nod to the 1974 interstellar message sent to the M13 star cluster is a fitting subject matter for these sonic astronauts. Droning feedback with artistic precision, these star lords keep things mellow, thoughtful, and explorative while they guide listeners along a thirty-minute celestial jaunt.
These guys know their feedback, their gloomy distortion, their sinister sine waves, and layered, brooding soundscapes, but they join us now for this Guest Blog to explore something else. Courtesy of the band’s David Bason, Lords of the Drift are offering some golfing tips with corresponding Alice Cooper tunes. From interstellar communication to irons and drivers, keeping your shoulders square, and all the birdies and eagles one could possibly hope for, Bason guides us through an odd heavy metal and sports pairing with all the skill and aplomb with which he attacks The Arecibo Message.
“You give a musician total free rein on what to talk about and you get a piece about golf, 70s Alice Cooper and how they are related.
“I love Alice Cooper, I have since I was in 5th grade. He is the ultimate showman. He is a true artist. He hung out and made art with Salvador Dali. They made a hologram of his brain! Pre Coachella Tupac hologram and infinitely cooler. Everything about Alice Cooper has always seemed otherworldly. As a young boy, I had the live record which had a collage of images from his live show on the cover. He had a huge toothbrush he’d use to scrub kids clean, there was a massive cyclops on stage, he chopped his own head off…think about the effect this has on a young brain. He showed me and generations of kids what it’s like to mix showmanship into your music. I watched The Muppet Show week after week as a kid because I heard he had an episode. I never did catch it, but I learned to love the Muppets.
“Even after I’d discovered punk rock and wouldn’t be caught dead at a heavy metal show, I snuck off on my own to see Alice when he came to town. I didn’t tell any of my friends I was going. It was past his 70s art stage and into the hair metal phase, but he was still so cool. He used a sword to stab big white balloons filled with blood. Pre-Gwar audience splatter and just so imaginative.
“His vinyl records were more unique than any other artist. They had school desktops that opened up, they had tear out trading cards, they had billion-dollar bill inserts, paper panties, cardboard covers that hid titillating inner images of wild sailors on shore leave. A couple years ago I went to see him at a late-night television performance where I knew I could go backstage and get my billion-dollar bill signed. It’s framed on my wall.
“My dad had tried to get me into golf when I was a young boy interested in skateboarding and acting out. I heard Alice Cooper was into golf so it made it cool for me to try. I could justify it because ‘if it’s good enough for Alice Cooper, it’s good enough for me.’
“Here are a list of things I learned about golf and some songs from Alice’s golden era that, to my mind at least, are related. There are lessons in those songs, you just have to look for them.
“Number one: You have to start with a solid foundation. The golf stance is an athletic stance. Plant your legs like you mean it. Lower back firm. Suggested listening for this is “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” It will remind you that while you’re supposed to be fluid and smooth, this is not a lazy sport; you have to have to mean it.
“Number two: When you find yourself in the sand trap, hit behind the ball by a couple inches but make sure you carry your follow through all the way to the end of your range of motion no matter how short your backswing. The sand trap is the absolute worst. Suggested listening here is “Welcome to My Nightmare.” But the great thing about nightmares is that once they get too scary, you wake yourself up and you’re out of it. I think of the sandtrap as a scary place I try to avoid, but if I’m there and it’s too gnarly, I can wake myself up. Athletic stance in the legs, open the club face all the way, hit behind the ball and follow through like you mean it. That should at least get you out.
“Number three: There are several lightbulb moments that happen as you get the hang of golf. The whole thing about transferring your weight onto your back leg will happen naturally. Don’t force it, don’t rock. Keep your legs planted, don’t collapse your front leg and don’t make herky-jerky movements. If you try to kill the ball, your shot is going to suck. If you are too passive, your shot will suck. You have to hit the ball with confidence even if it’s not a full swing. That’s what makes the short game hard. Even if it’s just a little chip you have to hit the ball and follow through like you mean it. Suggested listening is “The Awakening”.
“Number four: As your front shoulder comes back, remember to keep your eyes on the ball. It’s a matter of consciously twisting your core while keeping your head down. Suggested listening for this is “Damned If You Do”. I say this because, even if you remember this simple and fundamental rule, there are still several other things that can go wrong. Your club face could not be square, your ball placement could be too far front or back, and on and on…but…if your head isn’t down, eyes on the ball, your shot will suck.
“Number five: The turn around is where you buy prepackaged tuna sandwiches. After the first nine holes you should reward yourself. You’ll also need energy for the back nine. Live a little, let loose. Listen to “School’s Out”.
“Number six: If you can keep your drive straight, don’t fuck around with a fade. Celebrate simplicity. Hit the ball, get it in the hole. Don’t overthink it, don’t get fancy. Rock and roll is better with less notes, golf is better with less shots. If you can shoot the ball straight, listen to “Hello Hooray”.
“This has been David Bason, reporting from outer space.”