EP Collection 2004-05
Jeff Slate and Marc Teamaker traveled parallel career paths for much of the nineties. This wouldn't be significant but for the fact that in early 2003 these two wandering minstrels were introduced by a mutual fan - whose name shall remain anonymous, but let's call him Tim Santiago - and the future of the New York City band The Badge was changed forever. Formed in 1997 by Jeff Slate, The Badge were immediately recognized amongst the throng of mod-leaning bands as the one to keep an eye on. Slate recruited three musicians he'd played with over the years and with whom he shared a musical and aesthetic bond and crafted The Badge's spectacular debut, '...digital retro...' Slate knew he was onto something, but as happens in the world of musicians the band soon headed in separate directions; with Dido, Jewel, They Might Be Giants, and such. Slate had been through it all before. He'd been a founder of the seminal mid-80s mod-punk band The Mindless Thinkers, he'd worked with Pete Townshend and toured with Sheryl Crow. He regrouped and put the word out that a new project was in the offing. Musicians lined up to join in the party. As the new material took shape, the new core of The Badge took shape along with it. Nelson Pla brought his rock steady drumbeat to the picture. And then came Marc Teamaker. Marc Teamaker was the 'roll' to Jeff Slate's 'rock.' He was raised on the same music as Slate - the Beatles, Who, Kinks, Small Faces, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Sly Stone - but also brought along influences as varied as Humble Pie and The Zombies to the mix, and brought a completely fresh perspective to the approach The Badge was taking with it's new material. Teamaker had helped found New York's The Powder Monkey's in the 90s, and had since produced four stunning solo albums since. The bond between Slate and Teamaker was instant and remarkable. They completed work on what was to become The Badge's next release in an eight-week flash of recording activity that marked a new phase in the life of the band. After years of struggling it had all become so easy. It was kismet. Karma. Destiny! As the project rolled to completion keyboardist Matt Kalin jumped aboard the high-speed express that The Badge had become and the musical picture was complete. In October 2003 'Calling Generation Mojo' was released on Detour Records, the UK's premiere mod label. Slate and Teamaker appeared in London to promote it and the reviewers stumbled over themselves to laud the quantum leap The Badge had made from it's much loved debut album. 'The Badge's White Album', 'Sincerity may well be a disappearing sentiment in today's music biz, but The Badge are doing their part to make sure it never becomes extinct.'', 'Listening to The Badge's excellent second album, you can't help feeling comfortable and familiar. After all, The Badge DO wear their influences, not on their sleeves, but on their chests, like medals..' In any musicians lifetime such commendations come rarely. To get them for a single work was unheard of, and the boys of The Badge new it. They hold up in Pla's studio - Sessions @ Pla - and honed their live act. They worked on new material. They recreated the Beatles infamous rooftop concert on the 35th anniversary of the event to wild acclaim. They returned to London and stormed the unsuspecting British music scene yet again. The world began to look like it belonged to The Badge. As the music industry lies dormant in 2005, with more of the same-old-same-old, The Badge are working on yet another masterpiece that they will unleash on the world in late 04 or ealy 05. Before that comes more touring. The US and UK should be so lucky. Germany, Switzerland and Austria, too. Catch them while you can in the cosy confines of your local club. Otherwise, you'd better get ready to line up to catch them at Wembley!