The Tobacconists are Scott Foust & Frans de Waard. They have known each other since the late 80s when they started to trade music from their own labels, Swill Radio and Korm Plastics. In 2005 Frans joined Scott's band Idea Fire Company on their European tour (as documented on 'Vital - Live In Europe' CD). In 2009 Scott returned to Europe for a number of screenings of his feature film 'Here's To Love' and teamed up with Frans to do a new music project, The Tobacconists. They rehearsed 10 hours a day for a week and came up with six pieces of music, touring that set around Europe and eventually recorded the 'proper' studio versions when they returned. They decided to keep The Tobacconists a going concern and in 2011 recorded, via e-mail exchange, a radio play "Smoking Is Green", a "Radiophonic Opera In Four Cigarettes". It was released in early 2012 as a CD along with the LP of the same title, which contained the studio versions of the music played on the first tour. To support that album, another tour was planned (Amsterdam - Paris - London, among other places), playing a live version of their Opera. In tow came Mike Popovich, former bass player of Y Front and The Pickle Factory. He was the MC for the evening, as well as the much needed technician. In the week before the tour started, much new material had been recorded by the trio, which was mixed in the second half of 2012. "A Secret Place" has been released by A Giant Fern and Fabrica Records. Another LP from these fruitful sessions is as yet unreleased.
While on tour The Tobacconists landed a day in Antwerpen (Belgium) where they performed their opera and a day later met a rainy and cold Antwerpen and nothing much to do. They wasted no time and set up their equipment at the headquarters of the infamous Ultra Eczema label and recorded another six pieces, using synths, radio, bottles and cans. Of all the 2012 output, this is the only bit that is released as is, unedited but mastered: the Ultra Eczema sessions. Available on cassette from Powdered Hearts.
"Two excellent puffers - Scott Foust and Frans De Waard - making smoke machine noises at the behest of Dennis Tyfus. There is less robotic coughing than you might expect, but one can almost smell the excitement of the blood rushing around their damaged lungs. Beautiful abstractions, shorn of cliche. Extra points for perfectly blown rings of space-burble."
(WIRE MAGAZINE, January 2015)