A rare form of cancer forced Thomas Fekete to step down from his role as Surfer Blood guitarist, but he's not letting his illness prevent him from making music: Fekete has unveiled his new album Burner, a cassette-only release he recorded in his bedroom while recovery from surgeries and chemotherapies related to his cancer. Burner is available now through Joyful Noise as a digital download after the initial pressing of cassettes sold out; all proceeds go toward his treatment. Fekete also shared the lo-fi burner "Treason."
"Sometime between March and June of 2015 while healing from two surgeries and starting chemotherapy, I hunched over my four track and created this disaster," Fekete said a statement of Burner. "No multiple takes, no expensive mics, no outside direction...just me in my bedroom with a very cheap, bare bones setup."
In May, Surfer Blood staged a series of benefit shows in order to raise money for Fekete's "alternative" treatments, however the proceeds from those gigs were stolen when the band's touring van was broken into on the outskirts of Chicago. Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Cults, Real Estate and more indie artists also contributed unreleased songs, demos and live tracks to a compilation that raised money through Surfer Blood's GoFundMe page for Fekete.
"Some of these songs reflect on good times, days I'm able to walk on my own, talk, and function like a somewhat normal human being," Fekete said of his cassette. "Others remind me of barfing between vocal takes, wheel chairs, dilaudid withdrawals, and tears, from my family, my spouse, my dear friends. However, like everything in my life, I did manage to find some humor in my situation, and I hope that helps level out all the heavy stuff."
Burner Track List
1. "Loser Uncle"
3. "Weather Press"
4. "Roll on River"
6. "Knife Bank"
10. "Melk Mustache"
11. "Pick Up The Things That You Need"