'Release Me' was our third and most concise album. I think that it shows our diversity while having a good flow from beginning to end. It really only has five structured songs, a few instrumental improvs and some looped based tracks. We kept it on the short side. People don't listen to entire albums anyway. This was the first time that we collaborated in the mixing process. We mixed on a Korg 3200 which allowed us to save mixes and each spend time tweaking different parts. Paul is probably the best at blending an overall sound where everything can be heard. This process allowed him to fine tune things and equalize the drums. I have a weird attention to certain details while I can overlook others. In this way we could all focus on what we heard without stomping on what the other guy did. Doug came in on his own time too, re-amped things, and ran them through various filters and effects. In comparison to our other projects this one was fun and went by quickly. I think that in creative endeavors momentum can be more important than perfection. Of course, perfection is always nice. The only recording that bugs me on this album is the title track, 'Release Me.' It's not bad. It is just another song that evolved a lot from where it is on here, as we played it live.
I think the stand out tracks are 'The Locals Are Hostile' and 'Soundproof.' Doug and I recorded 'Locals' shortly after I had written it. I think that Doug came by the studio as I was playing it. We decided to set up some mics and demo it with Doug on drums and Me singing and playing guitar. That demo is the version on the album. I think that we both added some filtered guitar noise and someone put the bass down and that was it, one of those unlabored cleansing creative experiences. Those are the ones you wait for. I think that coming up with a unique song using only a few chords is the holy grail for a song writer. It means that you found something left in the box that everyone else has already rummaged through.
'Soundproof' was another one where everybody had good input and it is hard to imagine this song any other way than how the four of us played it together. There is really not a single musical change from beginning to end, yet we change something in the dynamic or tempo with each verse. I was playing this song in a solo set about a year ago when I realized that it is kind of an 'Occupy Wall Street' anthem, but I wrote it about two years before 'Occupy' came about. I remember mulling over the lines of the third verse when I wrote it, "All the kids in the New York Night, they know how to kiss, they know how to bite.....They know how it is, they know how to kid, but they don't know how to take it home." I will be honest I didn't understand it in any conscious way at the time. I had no frame of reference toward New York other than it is a big city on the East coast, and I had been there a few times. I wasn't sure where that line came from and I only kept it because the cadence seemed to work. I think that my writing is peppered with intent and with ambiguities. Sometimes the more ambiguous lyrics reveal themselves to me years later. I was trying
to encapsulate the let down after Obama was elected. It felt like we were being punished economically for wanting a more progressive country. It was apparent that Obama was either a shill or the guys hands were tied by the people that really run things.
"All the kids on the continent
all the vitamins and hand grenades
all the changes that came and went
trying to squeeze lemons out of lemonade
all the folks that are incomplete
all those ships have run aground
all our words are obsolete
eye for an eye, pound for pound"
The refrain at the end of 'Soundproof' relates to all of it; 'Occupy,' The general feeling of kids at that time and also where we as a band were at. The sentiment was fuck it, we have all been dealt a shit hand, but we are growing. We have meaningful, creative lives and relationships. No matter what they try to do with us to keep us down...
"We're in Bloom!"
There are free versions of some of these songs available here: