It’s hard to believe that our first album dropped back in 2008. It’s even crazier to think that we started the recording process a few years even before that!
We were all around 18 or 19 at the time and all of us were completely unaware of how recording actually worked. Oh, you need to use a metronome? Is that a short guy who is really into how they look? Wait, we don’t actually play together? We play separately? You could say we were a little unprepared.
Probably the biggest challenge for us at this point in our history was figuring out a unified sound. The problem was, we were kids. So naturally, our tastes were changing. Which, of course, was manifesting itself in our music. Even then though, you could still see us circling a particular “sound”—almost flirting with it. Tracks like Hate to Say I Don’t Love You and The Rag Between My Teeth hinted at the things to come in our next album.
Another interesting thing about this album was that we were essentially self produced. We did have two great, experienced sound engineers recording us—but there were no other outside creative forces besides ourselves. Naturally, this tended to lead to some self indulgence. As a band we do a pretty good job of calling out stupid ideas on each other, but every now and then one sneaks by. I don’t necessarily regreat anything on our first album, but looking back there are some definite excesses that probably could have been reeled in.
Which brings me to the first track off of Songs for Your Mothers to Gossip About—Untitled. This brief musical introduction, if you will, sprang from my fascination with my Boss DD-6 Digital Delay pedal. The pedal has a “reverse” mode on it, where it immediately reverses any sound you make on your guitar. The totally cool and unexpected thing about it though, was that when you cranked the effect level to max, it cut out the initial “attack”. So, in other words, all you hear is the sound in reverse.
19 year old Ben loved that.
Honestly… 30 year old Ben still loves that.
Now, the excess starts to come in. I thought it would be brilliant to have a whole instrumental song based around this reverse sound. Looking back, it might have benefited from a little more time spent crafting the idea, but still, even today I feel it has a certain ethereal other worldliness to it. Or as my wife just put it, “Whats that creepy sound I keep hearing?”
Next week we’ll revisit Hate to Say I Don’t Love You.