Percussionist Mike Weis meditates on mortality with solo album Don't Know, Just Walk

Drummer “escapes into reality” after cancer diagnosis.

Mike Weis, the percussionist known for his role in long-running Chicago three-piece Zelienople (as well as collaborations with Scott Tuma, Mind Over Mirrors and Kwaidan), has announced a solo record, Don’t Know, Just Walk.

Weis started work on the album after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, and was gearing up for a year of “man-diapers and boner pills” that he feared could be his last, explains his label, Type. [Disclosure: the label is independently operated by FACT writer John Twells.]

But his time “wasn’t entirely spent holed up in a hospital bed under the watch of urologists – Weis managed to spend choice moments in the woods or on prairies with a microphone, and in the Zelienople studio (which has long been in his basement) while the family slept upstairs.”

He used these late night sessions for Zen Buddhist meditation, which inspired the album’s title and also informed his approach to composition and recording. “I used to think that music was my escape from reality, now I think it’s an escape into reality,” say Weis. And while drums form the backbone of the record, the emphasis is on loops of field recordings, gongs, radios, home-made instruments and traditional Korean percussion.

Sample a sizeable chunk of the record, the 21-minute opening track ‘The Temple Bell Stops’ below, and look out for the album on May 19 via Type.



01 The Temple Bell Stops
02 But The Sound Keeps Coming
03 Out Of The Flowers



Share Tweet