Pardon the Witches
The Pollocks In the summer of 1997, I met Maryline in San Antonio, TX. She had made the journey from France to visit a close friend, and found herself at a Seven Mary Three show after hearing 'Cumbersome" on the radio. A long distance love story began. I left Seven Mary Three in 1999 and set out to re-discover myself as a songwriter. Living in France, armed with a 4-track recorder, a microphone, and a guitar, I began writing lyrics and teaching myself to sing. Early songs were whimsical and humorous, constructed spontaneously upon the events of daily life, and mostly designed to entertain Maryline. After moving to Charlottesville, VA, I began to record a few songs in the home studios of various friends, growing progressively more comfortable with my voice and my songwriting. In 2007, Maryline and I began working on a series of albums, the first titled 'Last Tender Leaves' and the second titled 'Pardon The Witches.' I bought some equipment from friends and from strangers on the Internet, and we started recording the two albums in our basement (except for the organs, which were played and recorded by Bobby Read at Small World Audio). Two Tascam DA-38's. 16 tracks. Mackie board. Shure SM-57 and Neumann TLM-103 microphones through a Grace 101 pre-amp. With this album, like the first one, I wanted to record and perform as much of the music as I could and learn the recording process from start to finish- to make real progress in the technical aspects that would hopefully mirror my artistic aspirations. This should become more apparent on our third album, which we're working on now. The songs on Pardon The Witches are the tip of the iceberg that I set out to discover ten years ago. I wanted to find a means of expressing my ideas and experiences clearly, yet poetically and, in the process, acquire the tools that would help me dig deeper into the human condition. Both sides of the coin hold equal merit, and I try to leave any judgment up to the individual listener. In this way, a song can speak to different people in different ways. Pardon The Witches is the emotional rock bottom that I thought I was hitting with Last Tender Leaves. Lyrically, the songs are about the levels that one sinks, or rises to when she/he finally realizes that something beautiful in their lives has been replaced by it's memory. Musically, they are deceptively simple melodies with sparse arrangements, built around the classic skeleton of American rock music- drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and keys/organs. I would describe Pardon The Witches as empty rooms inside broken homes, love's lost light, a holiday beach in the heart of winter, revenge, regret, quiet desperation, a honeymoon barrel going over the falls. Maryline took the picture of the sunset for the Pardon The Witches album cover, and it conveys perfectly the mixed emotions of resignation and desperate desire that accompany a turmoiled ending, and a new beginning. The Pollocks, as a band, was created in March, 2008. We began thinking about performing the music in front of an audience, and our friends and family would joke around- "we're getting the band back together" type comments- and make it clear that we really had no choice. It had been five, or six years since I had performed on stage, and having mostly forgotten the terror of first times, I decided that it was time to give it a go again. I enlisted the help of fellow Charlottesville musicians Nathan West (drums), David Bartok (bass), and Landon Fishburne (lead guitar), and started rehearsals in the Green Garage. Ian Lawler has since replaced Landon on lead guitar and Mike Clem helps out on guitar from time to time.