Mist Giant
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Mist Giant

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Homegrown: Meet SF’s Mist Giant"

San Francisco trio Mist Giant are, true to form, covering the city like a blanket with a hazy, thick and persistent blend of post-rock, electro and space-rock.

Guitarist Mike G jumps in like a pressure system and shines a little sunlight on the hows, whys and whats of the band.

Mist Giant is an awesome band name. How did you come up with it? What is your “origin story”?

Why, thank you. Normally people think it’s an odd name, at best.

The name was sort of a collaborative effort. Mark (bass, keys, cello) and Dan (vox, drums, samples, keys) were standing on the back deck of the house where we have our practice and recording studio on one of those San Francisco days where it’s almost surreal how much fog there is.

You could see Twin Peaks from the deck, and somehow they started talking about giants coming out of the mist on their way from the beach, stepping over Twin Peaks, and going about their merry way. When I showed up later, I was standing in front of one of the massive windows in our practice room that overlook Geary Blvd., making a massive racket with my guitar and some effects pedals while the fog was, literally, pouring down the street behind me. And the legend of the Mist Giant was born.

You are a three-piece and describe yourselves as a post-rock electro band. Can you talk a little but about what it means to be a post-rock band? What specifically moves Mist Giant beyond the realm of standard rock groups and into the “post” category?

We aren’t trying to be a rock band, but we are trying to play music with the intensity of rock music a lot of the time. We like to experiment; that’s really where all our sounds and songs come from. We don’t stick to any particular song structure, and we try to use our instruments in ways that go beyond just riffs and licks. Most of the time, for instance, I’m trying to use my guitar so that it doesn’t sound like a guitar. That, from what I can figure out, is what “post-rock” seems to mean.

But I guess the short answer is: I just don’t think we are “rock.” We like bands that get called post-rock, so we used that, too. Labels are nonsense, but handy.

Your first release, a 12? EP, Human Tree, was self-released in January 2011 and then re-released by Velvet Blue Music in September. Where did you record and how does your song-writing process usually unfold?

We recorded it at our home studio. It’s in the Inner Richmond. We call it Silent R Studios, but it’s really just this big ass house that we share with two of the guys from a dope local hip hop crew, the Fist Fam.

Our songwriting process normally consists of taking an initial idea—whether one member of the band came up with it or we kinda all came up with it on the fly while jamming—and then playing that over and over until it goes somewhere interesting. Then we take those ideas and play them together over and over until it goes somewhere else interesting. We really like noise, of the analog and digital variety, and we like to play with how those noises sound rubbing up against each other. At some point, we usually start to consciously intervene and structure the pieces, but our songwriting process is always very intuitive.

How do your recordings translate to a live setting? How much of your set is pre-recorded or triggered on stage?

It translates pretty damn well, if I do say so. But don’t take my word for it: Come see us yourselves! We play a whole ton of instruments on stage. We all have keyboards and synths, plus guitar, bass, drums, electric cello and two Roland SP-404 samplers. So we make a lot of the noise ourselves, but we quite frequently do have drum samples that Dan is playing to on his acoustic kit. There’s something about electronic drum samples with someone bashing along on acoustic drums that sounds so great, and that kinda forms the core of our sound. We have some other ambient or droney sounds that we trigger, but we try never to let the samples overwhelm the songs. We play as much as possible live.

What are some releases that came out this year that you found to be particularly inspiring or progressive in terms of pushing the rock and roll envelope? Do you all tend to share a similar taste in music?

There’s a lot of overlap in what we all like, but we all have our own preferences, for sure. We all went to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Crystal Castles earlier this year, for instance.

Mark and Dan are into a lot of modern composers, which I don’t know much about. I’ve got more of a metal side than they do, I’d say. And me and Mark are really the post-rock fans of the band, including Godspeed, Mogwai, From Monument to Masses, those types of bands. For me, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, the new Explosions in the Sky album, was one of the absolute best releases of the year, hands down. The new Radiohead is pretty good. too.

I assume a full-length is in the works? When will that arrive and any plans to tour to support it?

No full-length just yet, but we do have two new EPs coming out in the spring. They’re both going to be around 30 minutes or longer, so they’re the equivalent of a long player. One was recorded at our studio; the other was recorded at Studio SQ. We consciously chose material to fit both of the recording spaces we’d be working in, so there’s a distinct difference between the two sets of music, both stylistically and in terms of production. That’s why we’re not putting this collection of songs out as an LP. We’re gonna think about touring once we have the release schedule for these EPs worked out.

Let’s talk future. Where will Mist Giant be in 2014?

The short answer: Hopefully touring the world. But, one step at a time. We re-released our debut EP on Velvet Blue Music earlier this year, and we’re hoping to work with them on our next release as well. Then, who knows. I’m real glad to say I can’t predict where we’ll be or what we’ll be doing. It’ll be a surprise to us all.

Mist Giant play the Hemlock Tavern Friday, December 16 opening for Bad Bibles and Phantom Kicks. Doors are at 9:30 and tickets are $6.

- Pulse - SFStation.com music blog

"CD Baby Music Discovery Podcast 09/20/11"

Recently signed to LA’s Velvet Blue label (home of Music Discovery favorites Seryn among others), San Fransisco’s Mist Giant just released this 3 song EP and are taking the town and the country by storm with their moody, synthy pop. - CD Baby

"NorCal Report: Mist Giant"

The band is called Mist Giant and they’re from San Francisco and whoa, did they create the perfect soundtrack for San Francisco’s own mist giant: the fog. Sonically, the track begins with lengthy digital drones, like watching the fog slowly building from the coast. Then, added to the base of digitalism, comes downtrodden guitar playing, like the dim vibe of the fog pausing atop the city, hiding away any semblance of blue sky. Lastly, the suspended vocals mark the frustration any San Franciscan has experienced wanting to scream, “What With?!” as the murkiness disappears above the East Bay.

Without a doubt, Mist Giant has got the NorCal city’s soundscape pegged and surely, any fans of the temperate fog are destined to enjoy the music of this new group. - The Owl Mag

"Latest Addiction: New Mist Giant EP, Human Tree"

Mist Giant are one of those bands that sound too good to be from your city and still be new to you. And now they just released their new EP, Human Tree, at last week’s SXSW fes­ti­val in Austin.

Given the slick pro­duc­tion of the record, it’s sur­pris­ing that Human Tree was recorded and mixed entirely at their house out in the Richmond dis­trict. Bassist Mark Pantoja and singer/drummer Dan Allen live together above an empty store­front, sand­wiched by a garage and Korean restau­rant. Somehow they’ve man­aged to score a rare apartment/studio combo in SF, which they call Ape Room Studios. The third mem­ber, who goes by Mike G, works at the Rainforest Action Network and is a con­trib­u­tor to the Wiretap Music blog. He plays gui­tar and works the sam­pler in the band.

Mist Giant — What With

The EP has an enor­mous sound which the band also man­ages to pull off live (check out this Wiretap video of a per­for­mance at their house). Mist Giant’s songs walk the line between pop melodies and worm hole open­ings into drony delir­ium. There are a few times on the record where this bal­anc­ing act threat­ens to take a nose­dive, but the band’s restraint and vision come through to keep things on the level, even mak­ing the down­ward pitch seem intentional.

From start to fin­ish, Human Tree is a well-paced, cohe­sive effort. The band will have to push them­selves to carry the qual­ity level they’ve estab­lished into an LP, but I think they can pull it off.

By Keith Axline - The Signal and Noise

"EP Review: Mist Giant - Human Tree"

Opening with a warm ambient hum, "What With" sets the tone for Mist Giant's debut EP Human Tree and lays out the foundation for their pensive electronic indie-rock sound. Smooth ambient synths, subdued rhythms, and a peppering of wistful guitar melodies bring to life Mist Giant's brand of drone-y pop. Borrowing some of the musical practices of trip hop, Mist Giant has created an exciting and austere soundscape with this EP.

Minimal and well-crafted, Human Tree is a wonderful surprise from a band that seemed to pop up on my radar out of nowhere. With the chugging ambiance of “What With,” the eerie sounds and electronic drums of “Empty Archipeg,” and the pulsing heartbeat rhythm of the “Some Ophelia,” Mist Giant have delivered an intricate and thoroughly intelligent set of songs. Human Tree comes highly recommended for anyone in search of a brief respite from the Bay Area’s great garage revival.

-Ada Lann - The Deli SF

"Mist Giant"

In 2008, my coworker Mark and I were sent to Point Pleasant, West Virginia to sample several groundwater monitoring wells. It was one of those projects where anything that could go wrong did. Luckily, Mark was there to keep me company (sane) during 11-12 hour days of sitting in a car watching water pump from a monitoring well to a steel drum. Most of our car time was spent talking about and listening to music and music podcasts. This makes sense considering Mark is a member of a band, Mist Giant.

A couple weeks ago, I downloaded the digital release of Mist Giant's 12" vinyl EP. It's fantastic.

If you're headed to SXSW, they're playing three shows:

March 14th @ Red 7 - No Cover
March 16th @ The Vortex
March 17th @ The Liberty - No Cover

Let me know what you think! They're good, aren't they. - Noodles and Waffles


Human Tree EP (2011, Velvet Blue Music / Silent R Records)



Mist Giant is an indie electro post-rock band from San Francisco. The sound conjured up by this three-piece strikes a balance between accessible indie pop and experimental sonic exploration. Analog and digital textures frequently coexist, rubbing against each other and creating soundscapes at once familiar and alien. At times the music is dark and droning, at times it's triumphant and soaring, but no matter what tone the composition may take the result is always organic and engaging.
The band credits Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Animal Collective, Radiohead, and The Books in particular as sources of inspiration for its far-ranging sound. Mogwai might come to mind as well, perhaps in a moment of particular starkness, but Mist Giant, while seemingly cold and minimal at times, still has a warmth at its core. There is also a timelessness to the songs, which are often hard to pin down to one time and place. This nebulousness is heightened by the vocals which, while affecting a nonchalance, seem to arise from a place of real urgency. It's these subtle qualities that make the band stand out.

Human Tree is the band's first official offering. Its 3 tracks clock in at just over 16 minutes and are available to download or as a 12" vinyl with a beautiful etching across the B-side. The band has been in the studio recording new material and we can't wait to hear it! Their live show is a sight to behold as well, and they plan to take it out on the road in the coming months.