Disclaimer: The following text includes shameless self promotion. Proceed at your own peril.
This took some doing.
I’ve spent stupid money on records before, so it wasn’t really the cost. The challenge was finding a place that produces limited run or even one off vinyl pressings. As it turns out records are pretty difficult and expensive to make. Who knew?
When we wrapped recording and talked about how we were going to get the music out into the world, the discussion on vinyl was brief. It’s expensive and if the demand isn’t there, you’ve got a whole lot of records and a whole lot less money. I accept this. However, my vinyl enthusiasm (coughaddictioncough) required… No, demanded that I seek out and acquire a vinyl pressing of the first album I’ve ever recorded. Optional, this was not.
I took to google and found a place called Heavy Grooves somewhere in Europe that does exactly this for something like €87. What’s that in USD? I didn’t know and cared even less. Despite the 23.47 % chance that I was about to get scammed, I put in an order.
Somewhere turned out to be France. Ok…Why not? The whole process took about a month and a half and here it is, the (not scammed) First Edition, Limited Run, French Import LP of the Falsely Accused debut record, Compression, on clear vinyl.
We started writing about six months after Mark arrived on the scene. This version of the band started as it had been before, rock and blues covers. We had all written music in other bands, but it had been some time, so when he suggested we write some originals, Mike and I jumped at the idea. We had a handful of tunes written when March 2020 happened. Yeah, you remember 2020? Pretty swell, right? Yeah. After a few months of forced hiatus we came back to The Barn ready to work. By September we had the bulk of the material written and we laid down the first tracks in November.
The recording process took about six months. On the first day in the studio, we had eight of the ten songs written. Finding the last two took some time. As it turned out, we wrote four more songs and took the best of them for the album. The pressure was definitely there to get the last songs in the can, but we all felt it would cheapen the finished product by recording something that we didn’t love. I think we’re all glad we held out.
I’ve heard musicians talk about how the real music happens in the studio, but I didn’t really understand until I was there and saw it happen. Almost every song changed shape in some way by simply being together with a talented engineer, bouncing ideas off each other and listening. Some changes were subtle but some were nothing short of groundbreaking. When I listen to the record, it is steeped in the memories of those choices. All of which helped craft the songs, indeed the whole album into something better.
The yield was ten songs and roughly thirty four minutes of rock ‘n roll. Our influences are many, which I believe is well reflected in the music. While it is a collection of songs written by Mark, Mike and myself, being the primary lyricist, I had the opportunity to weave a thread through the album that connects some of the songs to a story. One that I wanted, perhaps needed, to tell.
It is a story that starts in hopeless darkness, running miles from demons I couldn’t escape. Running with the Devil. Holding her hand through brutal and difficult times. Times that try men’s souls. Those which I will never forget. Those demons collided with me and a Volkswagen in The Messenger, which prompted an unexpected fight for life and sanity, and joined the two struggles together. These were some of the most challenging times in my life. The line between life and death is indeed razor thin.
The demons beaten back, Phoenix is the return to life. The war cry. The fight song. Rising from the pain and ashes to begin life anew. Drones closes the album and finishes the story. Clouds rolling by, wind in my hair. I’m alive, and baby, I’m gone. The story tells a tale of struggle and survival. A message of finding strength and determination when all seems nearly lost. A message that has to be carried lest it be lost forever.
The remaining songs stand solidly on their own. No less important to the finished product. Each displaying a different influence and telling their own story. When people ask about the words, I usually say that there’s a little bit of truth in all of them. Thoughts or feelings that float through my head and get written down, later shaped into a story. As a new songwriter, this process has been extremely rewarding.
To say that I am proud of the work, and of my friends that created the music, is an understatement. In many ways I am forever indebted to them for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to find my voice, and my love for making music again. My hope is that the listener will enjoy the record as much as we enjoyed making it.
“Hey Matt, where can I find your new album?” I’m so glad you asked. The full album releases on October 31st on all the major streaming platforms. In the meantime, should you be so inclined, you can find our information here. This includes the currently released singles, demos and of course, social media.
Dude, how do you find time? This time thing? You have a job, a house a kid….
Please bottle some time and send me some.
It’s a balancing act for sure. Fortunately with my kind of work schedule I usually get some extra free time to work on other things. When work gets stupid, the priorities shift. For the most part it works out and the worst case is that my lawn is usually the last in the neighborhood to be mowed. I can’t bring myself to hire a lawn service.
A plow though? I’ll pay for that every winter.
I’ve long extolled the virtue of vinyl over CD’s or streaming (although I have sold my soul to the Devil on the latter front due to a free Apple Music subscription that came with my phone). Vinyl has a warmer, more natural sound, with none of that irritating sibilance that dogs CD’s (or used to until my tinnitus started drowning it out).
That said, I do still call Snickers, Marathons, still use postage stamps and cash on occasion, and still get paid by cheque for my contributions to Lakeland Walker magazine (fortunately, they don’t insist only all copy being written in quill on parchment and delivered by carrier pigeon). I wouldn’t mourn never being obliged to wear a tie again, however.
Sorry, due to fat fingers, I’ve posted this comment on the wrong blog (it would have made more sense had it ended up where it was intended).
Not quite sure how I clicked through to yours, but I’m glad I did, it looks fab.
No worries at all. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I do share your feelings in the vinyl vs. cd and digital music debate.. also Snickers. I find that the more the world becomes dependent upon technology the more I am drawn to finding ways to unplug from the matrix so to speak. Rediscovering the love of music on vinyl, the technology of a bygone time, has been a beautiful way of doing just that. The depth and warmth of sound from a vinyl pressing fills a room in a way that digital streaming can’t recreate, even on a humble system like mine. I am firmly convinced that those who tell me that vinyl records don’t sound as good just aren’t listening enough.
Also, ties are indeed overrated. If I could do my job in jeans and a t-shirt, I’d probably do just that.. no, definitely. I would definitely to that.
I’m glad my comment struck a chord, even if it wasn’t posted in the wrong place!
Vinyl is like valve amplifiers for guitarists. Old fashioned technology that the all the subsequent advances have failed to match in terms of sonic warmth.