Mono Is King!
They say that you have your whole life to write your first album. Though I wrote the songs mostly in 1996, I definitely tried to cram a lifetime of experience into the songs and the grooves. I was out to prove a lot with 'Mono Is King!' about my talent, technology, music, you name it. Oh such purpose. The whole thing is a nod to AM radio in the 70s, which I loved so well. The album is in mono (meaning not in stereo) just like the music was that came out of my transistor when I was a kid. I recorded the record on 8 track and mastered it on quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape. I rejected all special effects and digital technologies, leaving only distance (how loud something was in the mix) to make my statement. Some of the arrangements are pretty thick for such a comparatively primitive approach. In the theme of distance, most of the songs on 'Mono Is King!' were about the self-imposed isolation of ambition, and the longing for connection that always lay beneath the exterior. Many of the characters are loners that seek a single true companion. Even though Mono Is King! Is on CD, it has two 'sides,' like an LP. Each side was conceived as a complete thought and each one leads to the other. In fact, at the end of side two, I introduce the first song on side one. This was my first attempt at playing every instrument and singing every part myself on a recording. I only enlisted a drummer's help, because I didn't yet own a kit. Being alone in a studio for that long, rolling tape myself and performing each track one at a time, I started to go a little stir crazy, hearing weird things in the playback and getting punchy in the late night sessions. By side two, I had decided to document that experience, which accounts for all of the weirdness between the actual songs. I gave those little gems their own IDs on the disc, in case you don't want to follow me down. Enjoy 'Mono Is King!' I hope it demonstrates how much can be done with very little.