In the Fall of 1991 Chad Himmel and Rob Nelson had both written about 20-30 songs apiece. So they decided to go in a recording studio to record some of those songs. Crude Material is what resulted - a collection of 10 acoustic songs featuring Andy ("Man of Science and Adventure") Laska on percussion. They decided to call the band Alter Klang after a Paul Klee painting. And released the songs on cassette.
The Lost Years
A year later Rob Nelson moved to Austin and Alter Klang continued. They teamed up with Marky Sparble and Dub Burns and recorded 100s of hours of music and close to 100 songs. This was a prolific time between 1992-1994. Some of this music is stored away on reel-to-reel 8 tracks somewhere. However nothing quite materialized from the all the effort, and much of the music was lost. Somewhere in here the name of the band changed to Walter Klang.
Year of Studio Time
In 1995 the band split up, so Chad Himmel and Rob Nelson booked some more time in a recording studio - to try and document some of the music that had emerged over the proceeding 2 years. In the Fall of 1995 they reserved 2 days at Breakfast Surreal Studios in Austin - run by Lowell Smith. They managed to record 21 songs at that time. They put it together into two cassette tapes - this was later consolidated down to a single collection of 13 songs and called Whether Be Petrified.
In 1996 they returned to Breakfast Surreal twice. First in the Spring and then in the Summer. In the Spring they booked the studio for 2 days and recorded the 12 songs that make up Further Travels (of Pinnatley Frond). They released it as a cassette. It has remained unchanged.
Later that Summer they visited the studios one more time. This time booking 4 days. In an ambitious project they recorded 23 songs. It was released as 2 cassettes of 10 songs each, but later consolidated down to one and entitled The Escape of the Children
Rock is Dead
In 1997 the members of Walter Klang had dispersed across the United States - from Seattle to Nashville to New York to San Antonio. So it seemed like that was the end of the story.
Long live Rock
By 2001 three of the original members had returned to Austin - so the band reformed. Just like the 1992-1994 period they have recorded 100s of hours of music - and nothing has quite materialized. This time the music has been recorded digitally so it is not buried on reel-to-reel tapes. This site contains a database of all those recordings starting from May, 2001.