Evan Peta, from South Dakota, has produced a slew of tapes and CDs with some of the hottest lead guitar shredding in the underground. Influenced heavily by Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin and other hard rockers, Evan rarely fails to kick my ass with his energy.
Secret Origins of a Home Taper (or ‘Why I started filling C-60 tapes with noise’ ).
Russ Stedman lived around the block from me.
( I could pretty much stop there, but for sake of a more detailed explanation of events i will elaborate).
In our teens we started hanging out alot once we realized we both played guitar.On Friday nights when I would get off from work at the grocery store (Market Hell) Russ would come over after supper(Friday night was taco night) and we would jam. It was pretty much a microcosm of ‘What does this scale do?’ trying to figure out the finer points of improvisation and what a Lydian scale was really good for anyway.
Afterwards we would strike out into the night in his car loaded up with 100’s of cassette tapes( Frank Zappa, Led Zep, King Crimson, pretty much anything and everything) drive around till 3 am listening to tunes and talking music.
One Friday night Russ pulled out a tape and said “This is something I did “ The tape started and it floored me, i could hear multiple instruments and vocals overdubbed one on top of the other. I said “How did you do that!?” Russ explained that he had a double cassette boom box and found he could tape himself on one deck, flip the tape to the other and record again and it would ‘overdub’ it together. Man the sky opened up. I had tried years ago to tape on a Sony stereo reel to reel, but the heads weren’t aligned, so it was outta sync and that was the end of that experiment. I just remember how Russ was very ‘no big deal’ about it and was just happy that I liked it.
Within the next few months Russ would bring all his stuff over and we would make up songs and record it into his boom box. I can’t remember how much stuff we taped together but I can recall one tune called ‘Black Maiden’ which we both thought sounded like a cross of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden (GET IT?)
This was early 80’s and living in South Dakota we had no idea there was a underground tape community ( or the beginins of one) It was just kids having a go at it with low fi technology.
Over the years we both got Tascam 4 tracks, then 8 tracks and now Pro Tools. The only reason I mention all this equipment is all along the way Russ was there to show me what button to push / help get me started when I was again way over my head with tech I had no idea what to do with.
And that pretty much is it, now go have a Dr.Pepper and a cookie.