Thursday, February 16, 2012
This was Stressors very first release, and the only to feature our first bassist, Eagret. We recorded two sessions and used the second. "Dr. Edquard's Lair" is Collin's (Zero Progress/Skull Stomp) garage. I can't remember where the name came from. Unfortunately, the only copies of the tape's J-card that I have are photocopied from a photocopy, so they're faded. I guess the kinkos guy didn't know how to do what I wanted.
I do, however, have the original J-Card with the words cut and glued that we used to make all the copies, so here's that.
We thanked Collin for recording us, Ed and Neil for driving us around in the beginning, Bill (Strung Up/Instant Asshole) and Sadaf (she lives/d(?) at Burnt Ramen, a venue in Richmond) for getting us shows, Malignus Youth for inspiring us (though that's only apparent in one song), and Kendar (our friend Kendra) for....I guess nothing, I just decided to put her name on there.
While the standard edition has that creepy lady on the front, the "tour edition" features an alternate cover. The same thing applies for this one, I only have the original J-Card used to print all the copies.
We hastily assembled ten copies for Ecoli and Migraine's 2010 summer tour. We gave them to Sean (Ecoli's drummer/Migraine's bassist) in hopes that he would distribute them. Instead, he sold 3 and lost the rest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The person that had them emailed Noah and offered to re-turn them, but our follow up email received no response. So they're probably lost forever. The thanks on the tour version is shorter, and we took off Ecoli in the standard edition. I guess we were thinking of Sean when we added it, as it was him alone that tried to help us on tour. The only picture of the tour version i've ever seen is from Harry, a Pennsylvania resident. He ran/runs a really great blog but at the moment has has deleted it and left a message explaining why. You can view that here
30 copies of this tape exist, 10 of the green tour cover and 20 of the standard edition (10 with red covers and 10 with blue). We originally planned on printing two J-Cards on one page, but had to scrap ten of them when photocopying the photocopy caused the covers to appear faded. That's when, at the last minute, we decide to print ten of them on blue paper. The unexpected color change caused some confusion when we were numbering them, as already having sold some caused us to forget which number corresponded with which particular tape. I think Neil just started putting infinity signs after a while.
On the tour version, the word at the bottom of the track list means "fuck off" in polish. On the standard edition, the phrase in the same place means "may the worms eat you" in gaelic.
Now on to the songs. This particular release doesn't have a lyric sheet. I can, however, tell you about the songs I wrote, and a little about the ones I didn't. "Public Transportation" features a sound clip from The Toxic Avenger, which was Collin's idea. Noah wrote the lyrics for it. This is also one of the only songs that John wrote the music for. The song itself is about a woman that Noah and I used to see on the bus (though we were never on the bus at the same time when we saw her). She was always mumbling to herself and sometimes yelled at the bus drivers and other passengers. In fact, one day I decided to jot down the words she was saying in my school notebook. My terrible handwriting probably adds to the creepiness.
I wrote most of the lyrics for "Mind Death" in school one day. Noah wrote the chorus. The song goes:
Dull throbbing pain
in the back of my brain
A push pin is pushed in
the back of my head
It comes and goes
It stops and slows
and then we know
that we are damned
It gets stronger
as the day goes on
Until i see everything
Through a filter of red
Someday you'll see the same way
Someday you'll feel it too
It starts creeping
up the back of your skull
And you won't know
what the fuck to do
the chorus chops what was originally a single verse in half, losing some of the rhyming pattern, but oh well. I'm also pretty sure some of the chorus is incorrect, but it's probably close.
In the beginning, Noah and I wrote the lyrics to "To Serve Man" line by line, alternating back and forth. It's about cannibalism, and named after an old Twilight Zone episode. Originally I wrote the verse guitar part as kind of an intro song with no lyrics, but we added them later anyway. I wrote the first line and it went on from there until the second verse, at which point Noah finished the lyrics on his own.
Pangs of hunger
An arm and a leg
Feeding on flesh
On my dish
"Stuck In The Desert" is our one and only political song. I believe it's about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It's also the only song where Noah actually sings a little. This song is the one inspired by Malignus Youth, because it's sort of melodic. Noah wrote all the lyrics, and I can only make out the chorus.
This is your home
You are stuck in the desert
Fighting for your life
You'll be safe with me
"Impostor's" general message is that we can all be ugly on the inside, and what would happen if that fact was physically exposed. You see your true ugly inner self in the form of mutilation. A car crash victim stares back at you from within the mirror. It's about the things we do and things that happen and how it changes us without us realizing it.
One day looking in the mirror
Someones staring back at you
Cut up, bloodied, mangled face
Not the one you thought you knew
Then you start to realize
It was back then when you died
Going on but no one knew
Now you don't know what to do
Walking down the street
Broken arms, twisted feet
Half man, half beast
Aren't we all?
Noah, John, Collin, Josh (Collin's brother/Zero Progress) and I provided the back up vocals to "Impostor." We did them twice and layered them on top of each other. I like the rough sound they have, though it was achieved unintentionally by standing too close to the microphone.
The untitled B-Side to the tape is an instrumental. One day Noah, John and I were sitting around and thought we might make a song for the B-Side since we had some room left over. I recorded our conversation discussing that and other stuff. Then Noah started playing a bass riff he made up, and I joined in on my electric guitar. John played my acoustic guitar. After that we put some echo on everything and I added some short wave radio chatter on top. We've definitely grown as a band since this tape but we still play some of these songs occasionally.
As you might have guessed, this tape is sold out and has been for a long time. I don't even have any.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
This was our first official release. The tape release show was good, but we missed the first band (Dust Ward) because we were hastily assembling them in the van. We ended up only having 3 or 4 to sell. At our own tape release show.
Anyways, the first edition (the first ten or so) is the same as the second except for the back. The first edition's back cover featured a black and white picture of people sitting around a table trying to conjure spirits. Spirit photography. However, because of the dimensions of the image, it fit awkwardly no matter how I cut it. The second edition features a little girl trick or treating. I never scanned the back cover so here's the tapes, as Ed arranged them, before taking the last of them on Zero Progress' full US tour last summer.
This is probably my favorite Stressors release recording quality wise. Sometimes the cymbals get lost in the noisiness of it all, and the bass is a little low, but overall all it comes together pretty nicely. Here's us playing at The Hazmat in Oakland, which was sadly later closed down for health code violations. If you ever saw that place you would see why.
I made a collage for the release in my dorm room late one night, using mostly images from 80's movies. There's also a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) card, Pat Robertson, and some old unsolved Zodiac Killer codes. I wanted to include Ally Sheedy, but there wasn't much room left, so I scattered parts of her face throughout the page. We're in the top left corner of course, our heads pasted on characters from The Goonies (my favorite movie).
I wrote most of the lyrics besides Pariah, Man On My Lawn, and the last verse of Wailing & The Gnashing Of Teeth, all of which were written by Noah. I think he wrecked the second verse of "Internal Critic" by changing the words when he lost the lyric sheet. That particular song is about the figurative voice in your head that tells you when you screw things up. By changing the lyrics to include "bind torture kill" it associates the song, at least to me, with the BTK Killer, some old loser who strangled women in the 1970's. An interesting subject, but irrelevant to the song's main topic. Enough complaints though, I'll go over some of the other songs.
Death Valley basically came from talking to Ed and Matt about "The Scene" here. It's about how the Bay Area used to have bigger bands that everyone was into and went to see, but they've mostly broken up and moved on to other stuff. Now it seems more fragmented. Midnight Convulsions is about night terrors and sleep paralysis. Man On My lawn is horror movie stuff. Bile is about the kind of people I hate, who I feel are making the world a worse place to live. False Identity is about people who try to define themselves through merchandise and what they wear, and the companies who try and do the same. The chorus was "sung" by members of Stressors, Assumptions, Zero Progress and Easy Living. Wailing is about hell, and is named after a bible verse. The beginning and end features one of Noah's friends speaking in italian. There were 50 of these made, and a few are still available for purchase at Vinyl Junkie Distro
Last summer we played with Vile Gash on their tour. I think that show got people to notice us on a larger scale. I made the flyer using an image from The Dead Zone movie. Miriam from Maximumrocknroll saw us and reviewed our tape.
We also started showing up in MRR's top ten list thanks to Robert from No Statik, who's awesome band we later played with on Noah's 21st birthday show.
Oh, I almost forgot. The french phrase above the picture of demons in the center means "we worship nothing." The "thanks" was cut from San Francisco State school newspapers. The demon drawing was done by Noah's friend Elaine. I think this is my longest post yet. Thanks for reading and I hope you like the music.
The Suicide Dragons were a garage rock band with the patience of a hardcore band, which is why I like them. Only two of the songs on this album reach the minute mark. I like this style with the added bonus of no drawn out songs or long guitar solos. Their lyrics are generally light hearted and simple. My favorite songs are the opening track, "Awesome Death Blues" and the first song I ever heard by them, "Silly Girl" (it's not a Descendents cover by the way).
One of my old bands played with them at the skatepark in Walnut Creek, in maybe 2008. We didn't really fit in with the rest of the line-up. Good show though, for being outside. I think the cops came when a noise band started playing.
Their last show was March 30th, 2011, but I had forgotten about them by then. I don't remember what caused me to seek out their album about a year ago, but i'm glad I did.