By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
The official release date for Fishboy's NOM EP may not be until August 18, but all nine of the EP's songs are already streaming on the band's Muxtape page, and previews and reviews of the disc are already popping up all over the Internet.
What's interesting, though, is that, in nearly every mention of the NOM EP, some remark is made about the album's unique recording process (more on that later) and the Denton-based producers behind it, The Om Nom Noms.
Already labeled "super-producers" and "Denton superstars" in these reviews, the curious thing about The Om Nom Noms is that the only articles or blog posts that refer to them also refer to Fishboy's EP. So something's fishy.
Technically speaking, The Om Nom Noms only exist because of NOM—and not the other way around. Made up of Howard Draper (of Tre Orsi, formerly of Little Grizzly and Shearwater), Mark Sonnabaum (who worked previously with Fishboy on 2005's Little D) and Justin "J.C." Collins (of Burntsienna Trio), the whole idea behind The Om Nom Noms sprang from a lunchtime conversation between Sonnabaum and Draper, in which the pair discussed how Fishboy's frontman, and nickname-sake, Eric Michener fleshes out his songs.
"We started talking about taking some of his songs and doing them for him completely," Sonnabaum says. "The idea was that we wanted to take some of his songs and make them the best that they could be without his input. Eventually, I pitched the idea to Eric."
And, naturally, Fishboy took the bait. Michener offered the producers some songs initially written—but then rejected—for the band's 2007 rock opera Albatross: How We Failed to Save the Lone Star State With the Power of Rock and Roll.
"I gave them some really hard songs that I couldn't figure out how to work into other albums," Michener says. More specifically, he went into the studio, recorded some scratch acoustic guitar and vocal takes for the songs and then let Collins, Draper and Sonnabaum have their go with them.
Like the munching sound their name implies, The Om Nom Noms chewed up Michener's songs, turning upbeat songs into droners and vice-versa. Says Michener: "Some of the best songs [on NOM] are ones that I eventually would have just thrown away."
Now, Fishboy is busy learning how to play the NOM songs before his August 15 EP release show at Hailey's. But what does the future hold for The Om Nom Noms?
"Well, to be completely honest, we kind of don't really exist," Sonnabaum says, candidly. "And, if we were to do something else, it would probably be me and Howard—but the likelihood that that would happen is very small."