Volumen 1 :: Shane Hickey
Volumen 2 :: Doug Smith
Volumen^2 :: Bryan Hickey
bKCAWCK :: Chris Bacon
Volumen Beta :: Bob Marshall

Doug Smith Volumen 2
Doug Smith

If Shane is the high school Physics Club treasurer of VOLUMEN, Doug is the affable, popular guy who toes the fine line between band dork and senior class president. Cheerleaders leak the info that they want him to ask them out, but he’s always genuinely nice to the less popular girls and boys, too. In addition to writing most of what doesn’t get written by his longtime friend and musical partner, Shane (in the platonic sense, that is—at least we THINK so), Doug’s signature wikkid lyxx and fine tenor are the yin to Shane’s yang, the butter to Shane’s muffin, the hot dog in Shane’s....well, anyway, the other half of the songwriting equation. Additionally, Doug is a beacon of calm and tranquility in his other bandmates’ roiling sea of adolescent squirreliness, and a fine cook to boot. The last male bonding I did with Doug was undertaken when we spent two days in the Montana wilderness picking morel mushrooms. Oh, the magic he worked with those little morsels...

Here's some articles and other random press for your viewing pleasure.

Montana Kaimin 03/09/2006
URL: View Actual Article
Title: Volumen celebrate new album with release party at the Raven Cafe
Author: Ian Graham

For most bands, a four-year hiatus between albums can mean certain doom. MTV audiences change interests by the hour (though some songs manage to linger for what seems like years). Youth and patience have never meshed well.

But seminal Missoula band Volumen has taken four years to follow their last release. The delay may likely help, not hinder, the band in adopting a new following.

To celebrate the release of Volumen’s fourth album, “Science Faction,” four new local bands will play alongside Volumen at “Sonic Infection,” a combination party/concert at the Raven Café. The show starts at 8 p.m.

High School-based bands Riddlin Que, Abstract Anthem and Zepher, as well as Washington Middle School’s Happy Unit Gang, will be joining Volumen on the stage. Each of the four younger bands will include a Volumen cover in their set; the band with the most Volumen votes will win a half-day recording session at the new Volumen Compound.

Josh Vanek, owner and creator of Wantage USA, the record label releasing “Science Faction,” said that the show is an attempt to blend two segments of the Missoula music scene. Because shows are often divided between the 21-and-older crowd and the not-legally-drinking-yet crowd, bands have difficulty reaching a variety of audiences. Especially in the case of high school and middle school bands, they may not reach any audiences beyond talent shows.

“We were discussing how it’s a rare occasion that over-21 rock bands get a chance to play with bands from high schools,” Vanek said. “At some point in our lives, we’ve all seen a live show that really served as an entrance to the world of independent and underground music.”

There’s no better chance than now to be introduced.

Volumen’s newest release goes light-years beyond their previous album, 2003’s “Cries from Space.” Four years in the making, “Science Faction” finally brings the exuberance and energy Volumen is known for to a clean, polished record.

Earlier Volumen albums were plagued by recording problems, said guitarist Shane Hickey, a.k.a. Volumen 1. Their two self-released albums, “How Do You Spell…?” and “Super Confident Guy,” were both recorded on dated equipment. “Cries from Space” was recorded in San Francisco, but the band had only two days to record and mix the album.

“For the new one, we had the best of both worlds,” Hickey said. “We had better gear in our studio and we had more time. We really fine-tuned the process; it wasn’t until a year or two into recording that we really got into the nitty-gritty of it.”

Keyboardist Chris Bacon, a.k.a. Volumen Bkawck!, said that having lots of free time to tweak the album helped the record a lot. The band was able to work without deadlines until they were happy with what they had made.

“Spending all that time on it gave us the opportunity to try out new ideas – whether crazy or stupid – experiment with parts and just give us all a feel for what we wanted out of the record,” Bacon said.

Hickey said that Volumen wanted to break out of the novelty niche reviewers had placed the band in. He had read that Volumen was being called a “joke band” and instantly wanted to refute the idea. He thinks this album is the perfect response.

“We’ve been called a lot of things over the years. Weird wave and ‘new’ new wave were pretty common, but I didn’t like being called a joke,” Hickey said.

Bacon said that the only reason someone would think Volumen is a joke is by ignoring their shows.

“The reviewers that called us a joke probably never saw us live,” he said.

Hickey is right about Volumen’s newest effort.

“Science Faction” is definitely no laughing matter. The “heavy wave” album is almost more metal than new wave. Songwriters Hickey and Doug Smith, aka Volumen 2, stick to their witty, geek-friendly lyrics coupled with the catchiest of catchy melodies, but this time around they don’t pull any aural punches.

The opening track of the album, “Side of a Box,” is hardly the easy-swinging, indie space-pop of Volumen’s last album. Like being in a street fight with Chuck Norris, a listener can’t help but notice the genius and talent in front of him, even as he’s being roundhouse kicked in the face.

“‘Side of a Box’ is definitely my favorite song,” Hickey said. “I just like how hard it hits.”

“The Church with No Name,” “Orson Welles Was Right” and “Magnetic Communication” re-visit the indie pop Volumen members have become local celebrities for, but also pack a bit more wallop than tracks from “Super Confident Guy.”

“We really wanted to do more heavy stuff on this album,” Hickey said.

“I Dunno” is the most radio-friendly song on the album, opening with a keyboard riff rivaling the trademark whistle of the song “Sexy Astronaut” from the album “Cries from Space.”

Bacon and his keyboard prowess keep Volumen a step above in Missoula’s music scene. Not to downplay the rest of the band, but the whistling and (especially on the new album) wailing of Bacon’s Moog synthesizer set the group apart from other indie hard rockers.

Songs like “Descolada,” “The Launch,” “Demonium” and the seven-and-a-half minute epic “Dune” highlight the strange genre-clash Volumen finds itself in the middle of.

If Devo had mated with black-metal powerhouse Cirith Ungol while listening to Ween, their offspring may well have been Volumen.

“Sonic Infection” will begin at 8 p.m. at the Raven Café (130 E. Broadway). For $5, music lovers of all ages get to see Volumen, Abstract Anthem, Happy Unit Gang, Riddlin Que and Zepher.