Mike Montgomery stumbled across the name by accident. He said he read “R. Ring” on a document and liked the way it sounded.
R. Ring is a joint-effort between Montgomery of Ampline and Kelley Deal of the Breeders. The pair is recording their debut album and will perform Thursday at the Bishop.
“Kelley and I both had speech impediments when we were kids,” Montgomery said. “We couldn’t say our Rs, so I thought it’d be funny to have a band name that was full of Rs.”
R. Ring has been releasing singles for the past five years or so, he said. Their first gig together was the result of an unrelated phone call.
Montgomery agreed to play a solo gig without thinking. He said he was talking to Deal about his reservations when she offered to collaborate if he ever did another.
“We both kind of wanted to play music that wasn’t really like our other bands,” he said.
Initially, a full album wasn’t on their radar since they enjoyed R. Ring’s loose, unscheduled nature, he said.
Eventually, an album seemed like the next logical step, since he and Deal had created so many singles, Montgomery said.
He said the two still have to find a way to work around their other bands, both of which are also working on new albums, but their flexibility makes it easy.
“For R. Ring, it’s just the two of us,” he said. “It’s one phone call.”
Deal lives in Dayton, Ohio, and Montgomery in Dayton, Kentucky, but they’re only about an hour away from each other.
“We’ll send ideas over the phone or email or something but then usually work on stuff together in a room,” Montgomery said. “Try to still be humans.”
For the upcoming album, he said he and Deal decided to add a cellist to their stripped down sound.
Lori Goldston, who played on Nirvana’s live album “MTV Unplugged in New York,” was a friend of Deal’s from the Breeders’ touring days with Nirvana.
“They knew each other from the ‘90s,” Montgomery said. “We just kind of crossed paths again at a show in Seattle.”
Montgomery said Goldston joined R. Ring on stage at the show and improvised her way through the full set.
“I actually booked these shows just kind of as a reason to bring her out to play a bit before going into the studio to record,” he said.
The music of R. Ring can vary from a slow folk vibe to a much more up-tempo rock sound.
He said Goldston has no problem with either. She occasionally runs her cello through an amplifier to add distortion and grime.
“We just plug her in and let her rip,” he said. “She’s real tasteful with it.”
Montgomery said he and Deal are looking forward to hearing what Goldston will add to the album.
“We’re just hoping that she augments the sound,” he said. “I’m sure she will.”
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