William S. Burroughs was formed in September 2009 by Austrian and Finnish artists. Soon the band gathered together in Vienna to record their first album "Flat Cat Bonfire", with the aim to record 46 songs during the recording sessions, in a relaxed living room atmosphere. After finishing the recordings the band gave the tapes to Kramer. After producing Pulp Fiction's hit single "Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon" by Urge Overkill and after working together with well-known artists such as Ween, Butthole Surfers, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, Daniel Johnston, Jello Biafra and John Zorn, William S. Burroughs Hurts seemed to be Kramer's hardest nut to crack, as you can read in his producer's notes:
Jan 1, 2010 : I receive a long & rambling email inquiry from Thomas Antonic (austria) regarding the possibility of my mastering 50 songs for an LP. email ignored.
Feb 1, 2010 : subsequent long & rambling email from Thomas Antonic demanding mastering...claims his band is called WILLIAM S BURROUGHS HURTS. email seems like Thomas might be insane. email ignored.
March 1, 2010 : 3rd and longest email yet from Thomas Antonic. definitely insane. I'm starting to worry. happy to know he is in Austria and probably too poor to buy a ticket to Florida. email ignored.
April 1, 2010 : 4th email from Thomas Antonic, approximately the size of a chapter from a Thoman Pynchon novel...detailing the circumstances under which each of the 50 songs were conceived, written, recorded, how the titles were chosen, etc....no doubt whatsoever now that he is utterly insane. starting to worry about my family's safety. might be best to respond to email. think about it for a while. email ignored.
May 1, 2010 (8am) : 5th email from Thomas Antonic, not quite as long as the last one, but more frightening. quite possible that he does not realize that i have not responded to his previous 4 emails. I send a oneparagraph email asking if he is serious about wanting me to master 50 songs, and what the total length of the CD will be..."Please keep your reply brief, Thomas. i have no time to read your life story."
May 1, 2010 (8:15am) : Thomas responds with his longest email yet. it makes no sense whatsoever. Fear begins to crawl up my spine, like spiders. i cannot move or breathe. I pull the curtains aside and glance out the window. nothing seems unusual. i accept the illusion of safety.
May 1, 2010 (8:30am) : Thomas sends another email saying that he is sending a cd-r with all the songs for mastering, "before sunset today Mr Krammer". I respond by reminding him that Kramer has only one "M", and ask once again about the total length of the cd. he responds by sending payment for the mastering via Paypal. i have now been paid. the money looks good in my paypal account, so i decide to do the mastering.
May 2-9, 2010 : Many more incoming emails from Thomas that have nothing to do with the mastering. one is about pretzels. another is some Slav he sold a car to in 1998. i begin to wonder if he is emailing me in the middle of the night from a mental hospital. i'm seeing One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in my head. i'm thinking of buying a gun. an automatic.
May 10, 2010 (morning) : Thomas emails to ask if i have received the cdr, which he claims to have sent via express on May 1. I respond by telling him i have received nothing yet. Thomas responds within minutes with an unforgiving diatribe on the Austrian postal system that includes specifics and details about his personal experiences with them. "Austria post is run
by criminals. they do not understand how to mail anything. i will kill them."
May 10, 2010 (evening) : Thomas emails to tell me that he has sent a new disc, via Federal Express Worldwide.
May 13, 2010 : I receive the cd-r via FedEx and listen to the first few songs. There is no longer any doubt that Thomas is insane. Fear rises further up my spine and begins to sting the top of my head, like scorpions. i consider getting a haircut and growing a beard and moving to Cuba, where i can live out what's left of my miserable life in some prison. I'm seeing Before Night Falls in my head. Midnight Express, too. They Made Me a Criminal. BRAZIL.
May 17, 2010 : Mastering of 50 songs for William S Burroughs Hurts is finished. I quit showbiz. A great sense of relief hangs over me darkly, like a swollen moon in winter.
May 18, 2010 : I ship the master discs to Thomas from my local post office and hope for the best. Another email arrives from Thomas..."My grandmother could deliver mail faster than Austria Post. Kill. Have you seen Iron Man 2, Krammer?"....email ignored.
May 29, 2010 : Thomas emails to ask if i have sent the masters yet. "I have not got the masters yet...did you send them?"....I respond...YES. Thomas quickly responds with a profanity-laden email about the Austrian post. He uses the words "kill" and "knife" and "bury" a lot.
May 30, 2010 : I send another package with a new set of masters to Austria. I try not to think about it anymore. I try harder. nothing works.
June 1, 2010 : I depart Miami for 8 weeks in Australia, and for 4 weeks, i do not think of William S Burroughs Hurts, or Thomas the lunatic Austrian.
July 1, 2010 : Thomas emails me in Melbourne to ask if i have sent the masters yet...."YES! 4 weeks ago!"... Thomas asks if i can burn new masters and send them again. "No, i cannot do that until I return to Florida, where the masters are stored on my hard drive."
Aug 1, 2010 : I return home to find a package from the post office; a plastic bag containing a water-soaked package that smells like a 50 year old sponge used to wipe Kurt Waldheim's ass every morning during WWII. i do not open it. I toss the nightmarish thing deep toward the bottom of the trash, and call my rabbi.
Aug 2, 2010 : Curiosity gets the best of me, so (on the advice of my rabbi) i put on plastic gloves and open the trash, where i find that the package has mysteriously risen to the top. i take a deep breath and open it. inside are two cd-r's. each one says WILLIAM S BURROUGHS HURTS. mystery solved: the package HAD made it to Florida, but had obviously fallen into the swamp somewhere nearby before being found and delivered by someone more insane than Thomas. no way to be 100% sure. I think about whether or not to tell Thomas. Does he deserve to know that Austria Post is not to blame? No, he does not. I toss the package back into the trash, and spray flowery anti-fart stuff all over it so my cat doesn't die. i try to forget about it. i try harder. nothing works. i try to go to sleep. I awake screaming. i hear police sirens. email ignored.
Aug 3, 2010 : Thomas emails..."Did you send the masters yet"? I respond...."YES, Thomas. I shipped them out to you yesterday."
Aug 4, 2010 : I ship the masters.
Aug 5, 2010 : I change my email address.
Aug 6, 2010 : I make contact with a friend in Miami's criminal underworld and hand him $1,000 in cold hard cash.
Aug 7, 2010 : My fake passport arrives. One hour later my Amazon parrot has shredded the passport. It looks like confetti.
Aug 8, 2010 : I write these "producer's notes".
Aug 9, 2010 (6am) : I board a small raft made of rubber tires and empty plastic bottles, and aim the sails for Cuba.
Aug 9, 2010 (7am) : Sharks.
- KRAMER, Florida to Cuba (summer 2010)