Thursday, August 6, 2009

JPT Scare Band update

The Scare Band has been busy this year. We put out our first CD, Sleeping Sickness on our own label, Kung Bomar Records. It was partly because we didn't have control over how it was sold or how we got paid for sales and also because we didn't like the album cover too much. It had a little too much of a canine flavor to it and the flowers were not that fragrant. So, we put Sleeping Sickness out on the Kung Bomar label smack dab on April Fool's day. This is the second album that has been released on that date, oddly enough. Jamm Vapour, the album of our 2001 session was released on April first of 2007. We didn't really plan it that way but it was an interesting coincidence.

We are also very busy putting the tracks together that will go on our next album of new material. We think we're calling this next project Rumdum Daddy. We got together at a friend's studio in KC in 2004 to record most of these tracks. It really was just a blown out gonzo party with a recording session thrown in on the side. Greg Gassman came in for the fun and made every effort to commondeer the knobs but was fought off by Jabba and eventually lost all knob turning priveledges. That didn't slow things down though and we just kept on it until three days later, we had tracked as much stuff as we could come up with on the spot.

It wasn't quite as organized as the Jamm Vapour session. I came up with a few ideas and a complete song with no vocals. Rumdum Daddy is what the song turned into and then i came up with a dimented hook on the front of E Minor Exploration that sounded spooky so we kept it and then that tune rolled right into another Scare Band favorite that hasn't been released yet, Theme From the Monster's Holiday. My favorite collaboration with the boys was the intro line to Rat Poison for The Soul. I was playing stuff with my kid John and we were jamming away on all sorts of stuff like we do when we visit and I started playing the punch part and John told me I ought to do a tune with that so that's what we did. I showed it to Terry a couple days before we recorded and that gave him enough time to come up with the other part to the song along with some twisted up impromptu vocals.

Jeff came up with a very cool tune that is going on an album as soon as we can get it onto one and song is called It's Not My Fault. This has the scare band edge to it but kind of reminds me of The Band, shagged out after an all nighter at times. It's got a cool tune and great lyrics and Jeff does a nice job on the vocals too.

Terry wrote a lot of the other stuff like Acid Blues is The White Man's Burden, Bookend Jam, You Don't Want to Know and some other stuff out there on a disk somewhere. We've got a lot of material as usual and it won't all be going onto the Rumdum album so that's what we are up to right now is picking through the pile and figuring out what works on this LP. It looks like we are going to put another version of I've Been Waiting on this album. We will then have three versions of this tune. The first one was done in 1976, the second in 1993 when we did our 17 year reunion session and the third in 2001. It is darker and heavier than the others and all three of us really liked it so I'm pretty sure that one is going on it.

There was another tune I wrote. I brought it to the party but we only jammed on a couple of the parts of the tune. It turned out okay, sort of like the Acid Acetate Excursion in places, so we decided that it might find a space on the CD. It's great that you can get 70 or 80 minutes on those things because we do long songs and lots of them when we do get together and play. This bit of a song is the Bit of A-Minor Jam. Jeff does some really fun tom tom stuff on it and Terry is in fine form as well.

That session didn't go without its technical challenges and problems. It did cast rather a pall over the proceedings and at times brought the dander up and the hair on the back of the neck. We were getting downright pissed off and ready to choke the shit out of somebody! But, then the feelings past and we got back to work each time this wave of screwed up stuff swept through the control room. The studio wasn't really totally to blame either. They just weren't used to having people bring in lots of cabinets and amps and playing louder than shit. Isolation was a concept that didn't get implemented during this session. There's a lot of bleed in the tracks, but that never really scared us much in the past so we just work around and with it to come up with the stuff to go on the plastic.

Since we play so loudly, we had a problem with monitoring our sound while recording. Our buddy Rocky Rude had to come to the rescue and setup a nice work around headphone amplifier that could compete with the loud studio volume. Jeff had a kick ass set of drums to play. Len let him use his stuff and they were tuned just right for our stuff. The room was a nice drum room too, it had that big Zeppelin room sound to it, although our stuff doesn't sound a lot like those guys the sound of the drums has some of that flavor.

I freaked when I tried to setup my stuff. I had a nice bass with EMGs on it a Bass Pod and my Ampeg svt3 pro head. That was going to be the rig for the gig but there was some kind of a horrible hum or buz or something along those lines and I had to completely abort that idea and go to plan B. I ended up playing through the same gear I used in 1973, My 2-15" Rocky Rude, folded horn cabinets and the Standel MC2B through a GK power amp. I also played my Sunn Concert Bass head into a couple of David Eden, 2-10" boxes and ran a direct off of something. Anyway, I got the Rick 4001 out of its case and played that for the whole time. I hadn't been recording with that for a while, years it seemed, but it came back to me pretty quickly. I really like the Rick sound a lot and after the shock of getting used to another sound things were alright.

It would have been nice if we could have been in a closer proximity to each other, cuing would have been a lot easier than it was. Again, the sound of the room, the headphone amp and all the other weird shit contributed to the overall feel and to what we put on the disk. We were sick of this stuff after we did it and didn't go back to it for a couple of years. It just sat there looking like it would get erased one of these days to make more room for other stuff. I think me getting losing my job helped bring it out of mothballs. I was looking for stuff to do and came across this material. Terry and I had some long talks about what to do and did some listening and talking about how to fix this or change that or deal with the other thing and before long we were fixing tracks and working on the new album.

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