Kitezh's CD release show tonight at the hi-dive will be Grant Israel's last with the band

Grant Israel and Cole Rudy have been playing together for a long time -- over eight years, in fact -- and the intricate guitar interplay they've developed together over the years was a focal point of this week's feature on Kitezh, their most recent project together, which releases its first record tonight at the hi-dive. But tonight will be Israel's last show with the band, it seems, as he's just announced that he's leaving to pursue other projects.

The news isn't all bad, though. The project Israel has elected to pursue sounds pretty cool: He's starting a brewery. "Analog Brewing Company," he says. "We want to tie everything in with music, but we also brew everything by hand -- there's no automation -- so analog ties into that, too." And as far as the music tie goes, that involves tying specific brews in with specific bands, and might even go so far as a buy-a-six-pack-get-a-tape kind of thing.

But right now, the operation -- which includes Rob Ballantyne, bassist of Tjutjuna, and mutual friend Justin Martz -- is small but promising. The three have a space to work, all the equipment they need and a few batches under their belt already; they're still perfecting their recipes, but the eventual goal is to bring it to the people.

"We have some potential leads on restaurants and bars that would carry it," Israel promises. "Right now we can't sell it, so we're just going to brew batches and have parties for people to come over and try it. Then we can get funding and get legit. It's expensive, man. Just the equipment alone is super expensive. But eventually we want a spot where we can have thirty or forty seats and a really simple menu, pizzas or something, a sasparilla for the kiddies.

"I'm just tired of working for someone else," he concludes. "I know there's not a lot of money in this, but I don't care. I'd rather work eighty hours for myself than forty for someone else."

On Kitezh's end, the band will be less a man after tonight's CD release, but Rudy assures the band will forge ahead. "Grant's doing his own thing," he says. "There's no hard feelings or anything. So we're going to continue as a three-piece, and I'm just going to add a couple of amps to the mix -- I'll be rocking two full-stacks. We've already written some new stuff as a three-piece, and we'll be trying to put out a full-length by spring."

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte