Some Kind of Weather
About 1992, amongst the everyday toil of having a day job to pay the bills and looking for some release from the drudge, John Eyler called us together to jam on a Friday night in a garage in Glendale, CA. With a female drummer from an all girl band John, Richard, Heidi and I showed up with high hopes to just play. We started with three guitars and Heidi doing backup vocals. It was a great nite just getting to know each other. John and Richard played guitar much better than I did so I plucked bass lines on my guitar. We decided then to only do original songs and keep our day jobs. Richard prefers his Carvin gear, John and I stuck with Ibanez, Ovation and Fender. The next Friday, I took off from work early and stopped by a Guitar Center to pick up a Fender Bassman and a Ampeg 100 watt bass amp. The new experience gave me an excuse to get the bass and amp I had wished from some time back. We moved along with the songs and changed our rehearsls to John house. There we changed drummers and started build up our equipment and refining the songs. We moved the jams to my house. We would rehearse on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday we would do a Bar B Que and Jam. I had begun to sound proof my garage and we kept a simple set of drums setup. I remember how wonderful it was to see a song come togther. The evolution of a song would go like this: John would introduce an idea, say making music. He would give us the basic feel in the chords and tempo. Each member of the band would then add a flavor to the song. I would sustain a bass note, Joe would tap the bell of the cymbal and John would play a soft chord strum on the acoustic guitar. Along the was Heidi would empahsize the words and Richard would insert a haunting high note on his guitar. Over a 3 week period the song would take many forms and grow to show our combined personalities into one. Sure it was a long drive for most, but the song making passion amonst us was the driving force. We would use a Sony Diskman (DAT) to record the songs during rehersal and then sit around the table in the back yard and review our progress on songs. It was a very effective way to critique the band. Some band member would defend their passion others would give in to the majority.. The battles were fought in minutes.. again the passion was great to create a unique feel of each song. We played outdoor at a golf course and at a bowling alley in the valley. Didn\'t charge anything, we just wanted to perform live. Later on John and Heidi informed us that they would be moving to Oregon in about 6 months. We already had a lot of material, so we didn\'t do live shows and concentrated on the recording. After some trial and error I had come up with a sequence to record the songs that was working well. We would run through the song, All of the amps were connected directly to the AW4416 and a headphone distribution amplifier. I would use 8 mics to record the drums first. We could all hear the band and the singer would whisper the words. After replaying the drums back and we were satisfied in the timing we would review the other instruments. We kept what we could and move on to assure all the instruments were recorded. After that we would record the vocals. Having all the tracks, I would back the waves up from the AW 4416 onto a CD and bring them over to a PC. Next step was to listen and correct any tracks, one by one. Usuallly I wold have about 18 to 20 tracks. Using Adobe Audition I would listen to each track and clean it up. In the vocals I would remove any outside noises, coughs, wispering and such using the \'Silence\' feature. Once all was done here I would move the tracks over to Sonar and began doing the final mix. Here I would add effects and pan the instruments. Fianally I would save the Sonar stereo mix and review with Audition software. Stories about the songs........................ Califa A few years back before the band was even imagined, Heidi and I had hooked up with Art and his wife Rosa, for a romp down to Baja for four days of sun and lobster dinners. I had just put together a couple of progressions that I thought were cool and when we got to our destination in Puerto Nuevo I shared these progressions with Art. The progression that stuck was what became the song Califa. Art and I had the song arranged as an instrumental and it was short but sweet. Some months later Heidi found out that I was looking at putting lyrics to it and her first reaction was \'Why mess it up?\' Well, that was then. Heidi warmed considerably as she worked out the harmony part. This was the first song the band really finished. Now when we change it and mess with it is just to keep it fresh rather than try to fix it. Face to Face This song started from the simple little opening riff. Thought I was just so clever coming up with the line \'and my father who art in heaven, has a gun to my head\'. I also thought calling God and the Devil \'two trains in a wreck, they\'re the two jokers in the deck\', just pure genius. Beyond that there\'s not a lot to say, there is whatever additional meaning you wish to ascribe to it. Give it this, though, it rocks! Shine This song was real important to me as a song writer. It was the first song that actually had a guitar change that was there just to play lead over. The song began as a story of a guy getting out of prison. \'Been living in this darkness now for far too long\'. I always had trouble singing it though, it was just a tad out of my range. So we decided Heidi should sing it. Now the song\'s about a woman getting out of a bad relationship. It works and Heidi sings it much better than I ever could. This was Heidi\'s first song as the lead vocalist, it's solid, she\'s solid. 3 Strike Blues This is quite simply one of the coolest blues tunes you will ever hear, no ifs, ands, or buts. This one has it all. It\'s a great story, it\'s a killer riff. To be honest the song got it's start as I was doodling and trying to create a riff that was just painfully hard to play. Found two or three ways of doing things on the guitar that were new to me. Art cooks on this one and the harmonies are eerie good. Joe puts a great groove underneath it and Richard just smolders. O Gravity Girl There are times as a song writer when a song emerges and is done and you have no idea how or from where the song came. Musically this is probably the simplest song the group does. It is and without apologies a three chord rock song. The lyrics are clever and funny beyond the scope of the writer and make this song an instant classic. Just listen and at the least you'll have reason to grin. Send Me A story in some ways similar to the story behind High Times. This song was written years ago. Many years ago. It was originally a young songwriters attempt to write something Beatlesque. It was truly a poor attempt. So years later I rewrote the verses trying to improve the song. The band tried it in that form but there was no result that in any way sounded like music. A couple of month\'s after the band had had a look at the song and it had been decided that it needed to be changed, or dumped as was my inclination. Then one day I heard Heidi singing the lyrics in a real bluesy style. What she was doing sounded cool and over the next couple of days I was able to find a new chord structure and new melody for the chorus. The song today has absolutely no musical relationship to how it was originally written. I just glad we didn\'t dump it. Heidi sings the lead and as always she puts a great soul to it. Isolation There actually was an idea behind the lyrics on this song. I wanted the lyrics to ring true whether a from the point of view of a megastar or an assassin. The song has several pretty cool guitar riffs and a lot of things going on. When I wrote it I thought it had some fairly heavy overtones musically. The arrangement really hasn\'t changed much from when the song was initially introduced. Richard and Heidi added the lead and vocal harmonization towards the end. The Rebel Way Well the result we have here is so radically different from the originally presented song that except for the chorus, there is no remaining resemblance. The original version kind of bounced along inside a bubblegum wrapper. The story behind the lyrics is that for awhile I had become addicted to \'La Femme Nakita.....The Series\'. This is was great syndicated program that unfortunately ended just a few short month\'s after I had discovered it. My highest praise to the writers and creators of this show and though I don\'t remember a single name from the cast the blond was \'WOW\', the gal who played the second in command \'the torturess\' was also wonderfully scary. Unfortunately the show was on only late at night in my area so I missed a lot of sleep but at least got the lyrics for a song from it. Play On The main riff is a little gem from Richard, I added the riff that goes under the first set of vocals and the lyrics. After that Heidi gets the vocals and then \'make it song\'. Joe has fun with his percussion toys which helps the song keep an earthy acoustic feel. Capt Patience Inspired by Santana and the beautiful beach of Copa Capanna - Rio - Brazil... There was a large Brazilian, surf fishing. I helped him catch some sand crabs for bait and bought him a cold beer.. he didn\'t care if he caught a fish. Nice scene with the sun going down... John & Art.