Knever is... Jason Ourso - Vocals Rusty Laughlin - Guitar Jeremy Pourcy - Bass Jon Maher - Drums THE ABSOLUTION by Jason Ourso It was a cold Feb. Morning. I awoke wide eyed, and revved up with adrenaline from lack of sleep, It seemed that was always the case. But this time my lack of sleep was due to a strong mixture of nervous energy and excitement. Two low quality recordings and a year and a half ago we would have never dreamed we would be ready to cut a first demo in a professional studio. After stumbling to the living room I could hear my phone ringing under the loud barking of dogs in my neighborhood. It was Rusty, he was as anxious as I was. I entered his drive way at 7:45, we were supposed to be at Socket studios in Baton Rouge for 8:00. I had overslept and was less than fashionably late. Rusty was standing next to his house with only a single piece of paper in hand. He flopped into my truck empty eyed and half asleep, the circles under his eyes told me the story of last night. Out of curiosity I asked what the paper was. It was simple: On a Uhaul schedule sheet, Rusty had mapped out the entire recording session hour by hour. It was a detailed graph filled with numbers/times, recording ideas, and much needed lunch breaks. That very piece of paper said more about Rusty Laughlin than anything I could put in writing. He put so much thought into organizing the days of our recording right down to fine detail. That's the role Rusty plays in Knever. His interests and hobbies in life reflect his strong tendencies toward methodical thinking. His guitar riffs are an extension to his personality in many ways. Even his most simple riffs can be very complex and his leads almost never follow any standard blues scales. Other than Rusty explaining the crumpled piece of paper now (and still is)lodged in my glove compartment. The rest of the ride was relatively quiet... but I knew what Rusty was thinking. There was no need for words that morning. After picking up our equipment we arrived at Socket around 8:35. The thing that set Socket apart from the rest of the warehouses in the industrial area of Baton Rouge was it's blood red door. It called out to me as I drove by like some crimson omen of destiny. We rapped at the door like Jack Nickelson in the shinning until a tall, lanky figure opened the red door. The strange man led us through the studio. We passed a lush area that resembled a futuristic waiting room. And that's exactly what it was. There was a nice 20 inch TV with a Playstation and a VCR. The coffee table nearby was littered with up-to-date, hip music magazines and a mini fridge filled with drinks to boot. After walking through a few short hallways The man led us to the actual studio and opened the door. Everything smelled new and looked like something you would see in a movie. The mans name was Devon Kirkpatrick. He was not an ugly man but there was something strange about him (not in a bad way). Don't get me wrong I liked Devon, it's just that he was quiet and sometimes hard to read. Whether or not I liked him was irrelevant because we were stuck with him for two weekends. Aaron (our now X bass player) showed up next and our drummer Jon rolled in shortly after. We started moving drums into the sound room almost immediately. I could tell Jon was a bit nervous because he was quiet and a bit snappy. I understood though, he had the most difficult task of pulling off drum tracks in one session, which is difficult because of the nature of his instrument. If Jon was to continuously mess up on his tracks he would eventually become too tired to record adequate tracks for the other songs. Jon did a really exceptional recording job. After working on mixing the drums, Jon and I were off the hook because he was done and I didn't have to record until last. We hung out a bunch and made up for a lot of lost time. We spent time eating candy and watching Fight Club. Speaking of fighting, Jon has a tendency to get into fights with in adamant objects such as buggies and VCRs. In laymen's terms; Jon likes to f*** shit up. On many occasions I've seen Jon destroy something for fun which makes the drums perfect for his destructive tendencies. Like the drums his role in the band has always been that of a back bone. He has been very dependable in both live performance and recording. In many ways Jon is an analogy for his own instrument. The drums are the most independent instrument in that they do not produce notes (to some degree). Jon embodies this independence in his relationships with the members of Knever. Though independent he is always there when we need him. Luckily Jon felt no need to mess with anything at the studio. Rusty was recording his guitar tracks And I spent some time alone for a while working out lyrics and vocal patterns, pretty much just finalizing every aspect of my job. I thought a lot about how far we had come and where we were going. I thought a lot about my life and the memories and dreams that inspired the songs on our album. Everything I had been through in both my personal and musical life had come full circle to this very moment in time. At this time I also gave our CD a title, Dead by Design (Other areas of our web site go into detail on the themes within the album). For a while I just sat back and watched how happy everyone was to be there, just recording music. To many of us it was like a 2 weekend vacation. I can say for the rest of the band that recording was very important to us. Unlike many local and signed bands we enjoy practicing and writing music/recording as much or more than playing in front of people. Knever is not, and never has been about making music a popularity contest. A few weeks after the recording session we sent it to KMH studios to have it mastered. I used this time to plan art for the CD cover, inserts, and back. I wanted the CDs art to match the theme of the CD so I opted to go with a sci-fi look. Jeremy Pourcy was a close friend and knew how to use 3D rendering software on his MAC so I asked him do the art for the CD. Jeremy had been a long time fan of Knever/Quarantine so he was excited about working with us on our CD. It wasn't long after we recorded that Aaron was going through many changes in his life. Things weren't going the way he imagined the band both personally and musically so the band and Aaron discussed him leaving. Aaron had helped shape Knever's material and it was a great loss to the band to see him go. Even after he left, Aaron continued to play shows with Knever as a favor and eventually joined back officially. Unfortunately, things didn't work out so he left again to pursue his own projects. Jeremy helped to shape the CDs visuals because his interpretation and my idea for Dead by Design was strikingly close. Jeremy also had always helped us do many things like putting up fliers and various other band related things. One day after Aaron had left the first time Jeremy said I'll play bass. Because I knew Jeremy only had minimal musical experience, I didn't take him seriously. But he kept pressing the idea upon me so I tested him. The first thing I tested was his timing, which at the time was not up to par. He left disappointed but not stirred. For an entire week all he thought about was timing, and somehow in a just a few days his timing improved. Jeremy wanted this. In the weeks to come he continually impressed me with both his ability to learn and his strong will and perseverance. I taught him a lot about playing music and music in general, but Jeremy has taught me something in return, how to find confidence in my music again. I see how much love and confidence he has for us, a confidence I lost through the torture of bullshit critics and bad shows back to back. Through all the shit even Jeremy's been through, his love for our music is as strong as it was before he joined the band, and that I envy. Jeremy worked damn hard to get into this band. So hard that sometimes I felt he would break and give up. I was so hard on him sometimes, I was afraid he would grow a secret hatred for me, but it was all for his and Knever's ultimate benefit. Looking back, when I listen to Dead by Design I am not completely happy with the mix, or even the recording quality, or even the tones. But there is something in that recording, an absolute understanding of what our goals as a band were and most importantly, what direction we were taking our music. It is hard for many people to understand what Knever is trying to do with our music. We are too heavy for some but to light for others.The bottom line is, we do what we want and we will continue to play and write whatever we feel like playing/writing. With our first demo we achieved an important goal by leaving many doors open. Some parts of our CD are extremely heavy yet other portions of our CD dip down into a cold, ambient vibe. Finally we were hearing back what we had been putting in for so long and it was working. The music we had created was our brethren, our child and we will continue to love and defend it from the preying bullshit of pop society. In a world of simple musicianship, we will continue to write technical music because we like music in that fashion. In an industry overcrowded with regurgitated alternative acts that insist on recreating songs from the grunge era, Knever will try to convey a feeling of sincerity within our music and lyrical content. But I guess that's my role.