It will be Valentine's Day 1995 in thirteen minutes. Today we spent the day hanging posters in and around Philadelphia to promote our show at the Theater of Living Arts and the release of As the World.
Brett bought his first tube amp today, but forgot to get the power cord from the store. We also received eight new e-mail messages today, one from Texas and two from Korea. Tom's blue car was put to rest this morning and Ray is still grieving the loss of his bass. Chris bought direct boxes for his new mixer and is happy because his current hair cut allows his to leave his apartment without turning on a hair dryer. Paul and I decided to move out of the 309 house today. There's a lot of echolyn in that house. I still remember laughing at Brett while he was yelling at a club owner who wouldn't book the band...so he handed me the phone. That was over four years ago.
I can't believe As the World will be released in just twenty-two days.
"A flurry of thoughts
Set in motion
Through lyrics and sound
Hoping to share with all the world
Each song and it's message
We've captured these moments
Ones we feel show promise
Reach for more and
Look beyond tomorrow
Defining who we are today."
All Ways the Same
CHRIS: We had talked about writing an intro to the album, and knowing we would have access to real strings for Entry and Never the Same, I decided to sit down one night and try something. Stylistically I wanted it to be indicative of the rest of the music on the album, as well as create an atmosphere for the listener - as this is the first piece of music one hears on the album. Within an hour the string parts were complete. I added the three-part vocals the following day (in an effort to tie together the heavy vocal theme on the album). For those with curious ears, the repeated chord progression before the final cadence is found elsewhere on the album.....it's a variation and chord theme that "settles in" later on.
BRETT: I love using real strings! We almost didn't use them because we were running out of time with the union players, but Chris held it together and we got it down on tape - despite moans and groans from some of the players. Our vocals were recorded later in a much more relaxed atmosphere!
RAY: Unfortunately I missed the recording of this one due to a couple of friends and a large bottle of wine the night before.
GREG: Many, many...many hikes! The blue West Point sign is like a marker for our home base or the echolyn fort. I remember going to the Astor Diner with Tom and Mike for tea while we waited until some of the morning mist burned away. These same tracks also appear on the back of the CD sampler.
As the World
CHRIS: As the first song written for this album it's only fair that is comes first and titles the entire project. It was completed not too long after Suffocating the Bloom. I remember really wanting to make this tune very powerful and 'in your face' - complemented by quieter dynamic sections - which in turn make the return of the forte dynamics that much more effective. The "fashions and fads" vocal section was inspired by my desire to write crossvoiced parts over a constant.....so while Ray holds down the 'main theme' Brett and I weave our way in and our of his tonality....one of my favorite sections to perform live! The keyboard break in the middle was written over lunch one day while I was teaching at Germantown Academy - who says nothing gets done on lunch break?! ....and the 2-part vocal ("I'm not really big...") that follows is my vocal tribute to the band XTC.
TOM: One of the most fun and challenging songs on this album to play. The dizzying 3-part/3-way vocal syncopation will probably end up being sung in the car during Wayne's World III.
BRETT: This was the first song written for the album. I started working on it around Christmas of '92. Presidential campaigning was going on and MTV was shoving the "Choose or Lose" philosophy down the throats of every able-bodied voter that they could. This got me thinking about the power of the media to shape the way people think; from fashions to politics to music to what we eat! It's amazing how many people are influenced by the media.
PAUL: Boy this is a fast one! I really like what I play in this song. It's got a lot of boom-bodo-do-dat-dos (drum talk) in it which I like. It's a great opening song for the album and lately it's been working well as a beginning "bang" for our live show. I dig the way Brett, Tom, and I groove very tightly throughout the song...and Chris' keyboard solo...man! (I wonder if he wrote that one down?) Well, anyway, stretch your ears and enjoy.
RAY: Right now this is Ed's favorite song. Go ahead, sit back and blend into the scenery. There are so many outside influences, it's hard to remain your own person.
GREG: With a photo of an apple being carved, I was able to tie back into the cover. Paul's dad helped by modeling his hands. Some parts of Paul's camera popped off while we were working on this shot, but we laughed and muddled through.
CHRIS: Another powerful groove-like song...cheers to the rhythm section! Again for those with a curious ear....my left-hand bell part during "I feel like a Charile Brown look alike..." is foreshadowing for the next song's chorus (How Long I Have Waited) - the first three chords I play are the first three chords in that chorus. The piano break was originally about 2 minutes long (it was a whole other piece I was working on at the time), but with some tasteful editing we used half of the original all the way through to the guitar solo, which again is that sneaky theme and variation reharmonized on piano to the earlier opening theme. We used the random talking voices as a 'Philip Glass' segue into How Long....; an idea that originated with Here I Am on Suffocating.
TOM: Henry Rollins said in regards to childhood bullies that "they're either plotting your downfall or paving your road to glory." I've taken great pleasure in seeing what has become of the thugs I dealt with throughout my childhood. (Their young, clenched fists served as great preparation for holding the squeegies they now use to clean car windshields when begging for a quarter.)
BRETT: This song encompasses a lot of our influences. The talking at the beginning and the end is triple tracked meandering reading by the five of us and Glenn (our producer). I think I was reading from a 1975 Yes tour program that Glenn had brought in.
PAUL: Great solid groove. Lot's of big band riffs that kick butt! This song has so many nice changes and really shows off the band's arranging skills. I love to hear slide guitar and Brett pull it off nicely. The keyboard patches that Chris and Glenn came up with are crusher. Lyrically everyone can relate to an experience they might have had as a kid. The vocal three-part in the middle of the song ("What if I told you I was sorry....") is one of my favorite sections.
RAY: Here's a story about "Milt." Milt, like clockwork, would methodically torment me on my way to and from school. Early one summer morn my mother thwarted his villainous antics with an eight foot bullwhip around his neck.
GREG: A simple sketch...made sense though. Kind of looks like Ray doesn't it?
How Long I Have Waited
CHRIS: As the title states, this is my lyrical explanation describing my past four years at echolyn studios. I remember Brett had the M7 rhythm riff for a while and didn't know what to do with it. I wrote a chord progression about it and put the panflute keyboards melody above it, and we were off! The choruses came easy (as per my explanation in Uncle). I used rhythmic expansion to come up with bridge in the middle section ("The alter ego....") with a l.h. repeated osinato (a rhythmic variation of the opening riff) which then leads into the solo section, a programmatic (keyboard/guitar) tip-of-the-hat to Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny. Back to the last verse, and it's a wrap! (notice the last two words of the song....a little positive thinking never hurts).
TOM: Distinguished as one of our most straightforward and driving songs. This one will come as a great relief to those who have previously experienced back trouble trying to dance to our music.
BRETT: It's the songs with the simplest grooves that are the hardest to record! We had to get the groove tight to make it work. ("One for the Show" was the same way.) Glenn took us to another level in tightness.
PAUL: This song really speaks for itself. In the studio it just seemed to take forever. When we first put it together it was so simple, easy to remember and smooth and well....you know. I really learned a lot with this tune about tempo and control. There's open space in this one so you can really hear the drum kit....and man, it sounds nice.
RAY: Easily our most played song during the recording process. I lost count after 15 takes. Chris used the number of each verse to start off the idea for each verse, while relating his version of what it's been like getting this far.
GREG: Chris has loved the clock ever since I first showed him the photo. Nice bronze color. Why is is st at ten minutes after six?
CHRIS: With my parts I tried to capture a syncopated rhythmic effect with the synths during the verses, and then a rhythmically augmented feel on the piano during the choruses - giving the songs a forward push. The piano break section is one of my personal favorites on the album....lots of harmonic and melodic movement using r.h. piano; l.h. piano; guitar; and bells. Another experiment was for the band to groove with me, rather than the band with Paul or Tom.....and then to add vocals ("I am for now....") to push it to the next level.....a very powerful ending with a chord progression that winds its way right back to the good old key of C Major!
TOM: Will I still be me? Will I still see me? When I'm 64!! bump! bump!
BRETT: This song came together pretty quickly. The words were inspired by "A Letter to My Age" by my brother Greg. It's a letter to myself to be read when I'm 25 years older. Hopefully it will mean something to me then.
PAUL: Cool acoustic beginning. This song just flows right lyrically. Very unique and clever. Near the end I get a good opportunity to go off and have fun.
RAY: This was the first time I tried to sing one of Brett's leads in the studio. P.U. Perfect set-up song for the whole "Letters" idea.
GREG: Perfect picture for great lyrics. With the lawn clippings stuck to our sweaty legs, Paul and I followed through on an idea that was well worth the bother. The baby's shoe is Brett's and the foot belongs to our grandfather. He became seventy-five years old that day.
The Cheese Stands Alone
CHRIS: By far my favorite groove (and maybe song) on the album. To me this song captures all the trademarks of echolyn in one neat 5-minute package. I had been working on this one at home for weeks when I finally brought it over to the studio. We sped up the original tempo a bit and it felt great! The r.h./l.h. piano chase sequence and the trombone/clarinet section are all theme and variation sections of the chord progression under "It seems that lately...." with emphasis on different parts each time. The chorus vocal harmonies are purposely reminiscent of Alice in Chains, another band we admire. A concise song that's powerful from beginning to end.....and a great one to play live.
TOM: I think my favorite line in this song is "Stuck in a truck for days." Picture 7 guys crammed into the back of a WaWa delivery truck in danger of being crushed by toppling instruments, while driving 7 hours to play Shades at a club where everyone is more interested in hearing "Achy, Breaky Heart!"
BRETT: This was one of those songs that just sort of fell together perfectly. It is our autobiography. I thought I'd throw in some lines from the nursery rhyme "Farmer in the Dell" to add a little curiosity. A great live song.
PAUL: I think this in some of the most creative songs on the album in all ways, and it reminds me of one of my favorite snacks! I do a lot of 3-over-2 kind of grooves that are neat. It's cool because we all play this with so much aggression, when it's finally over I'm kind of out of breath.
RAY: Said best by Brett as being our true biography. It's a tale that speaks of our early troubles with clubs, the labels that we have been given, and labels we have given to other bands. All in all, it's a positive vibe in the same way that As The World is, in remaining to be our own people.
GREG: Ah the man made from cheese. You can see him through the corn field in the "Audio" photo.
CHRIS: The title given to the next five songs on the album. This section represents the decisions and choices one must make in life. As each of us approach that final moment of judgment, how will we face and defend a lifetime's worth of actions and words?
BRETT: To me these five songs represent our choices in life and how we are accountable for them.
CHRIS: As the beginning of "Letters," this piece tends to meander tonally (due to it's lack of chords) until the third section, where it finally establishes a definite tonality....a direct correlation to the early years of life as we find our place in and among our surroundings. I originally wrote the first third of this piece for strings, but we wanted to play it live, so we played the parts as a band instead (violin 1= r.h. piano; violin 2 = guitar; viola = l.h. piano; cello = bass [we used an upright bass sample...sorry all you realists]). This entire opening section is actually the chorus from A Short Essay, without the chord progression underneath it.....but if you listen closely to A Short Essay during the choruses you'll hear the violin 1 line (performed by our good friend Katie Shenk) above the chords. The middle section was written by Brett and we pieced it all together to make it one piece.
BRETT: This is a short piece in three sections. I had the middle and Chris came up with the intro and the ending. This is a style I'd love to pursue more.
PAUL: When we first stated working on this I had a heck of a time coming up with a drum part. I remember we put it on the back burner for a while. Eventually more of "Letters" came together and it all just clicked. Letting things sit is all a song needs sometimes. This short piece is a pretty way of starting "Letters" off.
RAY: Glenn Rosenstein in the studio: "That's perfect, let's do one more!" So we did three takes, and chose the second.
GREG: Obviously some unused railroad tracks. They rest in West Point behind the Deli and the Post Office. We shot the CD sampler photo about twenty paces to the left and the "All Ways the Same" photo about half a football field further up the tracks.
A Short Essay
CHRIS: This piece ws perhaps he hardest to write. Brett and I had thrown around several ideas and sections for a while. Finally we got the piece to its final stages....only for our producer to suggest more changes....which in the long run were best for the piece. A great example of the interplay of dynamics and how effective they can be in making a piece very emotional and powerful. I remember writing the chorus (and the original string parts for "Prose") in Tonya's parents' basement on a very out-of-tune piano....it made the job challenging, but very unique and fun.
TOM: In an age when we are exposed everyday to things that were merely taboo rumors to our parents, it's hard not to become jaded in one way or another. If we could all revert back to some basic biblical lessons we could possibly find a better place later on.
BRETT: I went to my parent's church one Sunday and the sermon was called "The Age of Accountability." It sparked the tone for my contribution to the rest of "Letters." I played five different guitars on this one: my Martin D-18 for the beginning and choruses, my Alvarez nylon for the little guitar break, our assistant engineer's Gibson 12-string electric for the bridge section, my Gibson SG for the solo, and Glenn's Chet Atkins for the very end. This took a long time to get the arrangement. Glenn helped pull it together.
PAUL: I absolutely love this arrangement. I remember we spent a lot of time with Glenn on this, and it really paid off. I get goose bumps every time. If you have ever seen this one live you can actually see me float above the stage at the end of the tune with lasers shooting out of my eyes and.....right!
RAY: Chris cried when he finished his piano parts for this song. "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"...never forget that.
GREG: This was a last minute shot, as was the One For The Show picture. These were the last pictures we submitted to Sony. The books are Brett's and Ray's. All their lyrics are in there.
My Dear Wormwood
CHRIS: I remember Brett playing the chords to the verses of this one over and over as we tried to get the right feel and groove underneath it, (and then I added the syncopated running-phrase over top, which messed it all up again!). I had the syncopated 'stab' chords that followed sitting around for a while and they finally ended up working here...the guitar 'wah-wah' part over top of them is a melodic inversion of the chords I'm playing....it returns at the end of the songs under an entirely new chord progression. The 'ba-da-dah' vocals sections are imitations of a horn ensemble....they tie in with the random synth brass stabs at the end....which eventually resolve back to the original chord progression (at the end of each original verse), only now with four newly added chords (organized chaos I like to call it). The quiet section ("And in a moment....") doubles as the chord progression for the solo section where Brett and I do a harmonized lead line....leading back to the original guitar 'wah-wah' line reharmonized chordally on piano.
TOM: This is one of those bass lines I came up with wherein I loved the sound of it in my head, but didn't realize I couldn't play it, but went ahead and played it that way anyhow. Someday I'll get it right! Until then, enjoy the version wherein I play the open E string, a la Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.), throughout the entire song (just kidding).
BRETT: Inspired by "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. The story is about a demon named Screwtape and his letters of correspondence to his nephew (a lesser demon) Wormwood. Wormwood's duty is to sway his human patient's soul away from heavenly salvation. If he fails he must pay the price to his uncle and the infernal police.
PAUL: Did you know that wormwood is actually the hardest of all woods? This song has my favorite groove on the album.
RAY: Destined to be a classic slow-mosh number. I found my own personal hell in this tune. There was a certain note I could not find, and proceeded to lose it.
GREG: Yet another apple? I finished an oil painting...carried it outside...wiped gasoline on it...and lit it on fire. My roommate helped by taking the picture while I fell back from the ignition.
CHRIS: This was a piece that began as a piano piece and just kept growing and growing.....culminating with full band, 11-piece orchestra, flute, and vocals. The ultimate in composition! This one really came to life when we added Ray's words and the three-part harmonies throughout. I love the way this one starts at a piano level dynamic and by the end becomes fortissimo with the entire ensemble 'riffing' together....sound layered on sound layered on sound - I get a little more out of it every time I listen to it. It then recaps the original chords from the opening of the song, with the strings now playing (and harmonizing) the opening melody in its retrograde (reverse) and resolving to the first chord (E Major) of One For The Show.
TOM: Like Shades and "The Suite," this song becomes more intense for me everytime it's performed. If Pink Floyd did this song a big mirror ball would rise up from behind the stage during the keyboard solo.
BRETT: A very old man in a nursing home contemplating his situation. My favorite of Ray's lyrics and Chris' music.
PAUL: I think this could be the most melodic bit on the album, matched with very touching lyrics and wonderful string arrangements (nice goin' Chris). I don't know why, but this song often reminds me of my old neighborhood as a kid growing up. I guess it has something to do with the "Errol Flynn, Robin Hood" part. I think that's the cool thing about this song - everyone gets something different out of it. It's Ray at his best.
RAY: This is a song about my Uncle Joe. While recording this one, one of Paul's cymbals cracked and we had to take a break and buy a new one. Anyway, I was sitting outside when Edward W. Yates whistled up and gave my 2 pieces of marble, saying "You must give something away before inheriting something else." I carry my piece in my briefcase and gave the other to Chris.
GREG: This was a picture of Ray's parents on their wedding day. Works well with the lyrics. They got married in February 1945.
One for the Show
CHRIS: Another groove-oriented song. A great ending to "Letters" as it winds down the entire musical journey we just traveled through. A fairly straightforward song with lots of little nuances and namy melodic lines throughout. My piano solo was inspired by Bruce Hornsby's album Harbor Lights....a great album from a great musician.
TOM: I like to thing of this song as going through the tunnel of light (the one we've always heard about when we die) in a Porsche. The groove is very fluid and uplifting. Like Peace in Time and "Cactapus" this song gives me an opportunity to slip around on the fretless.
BRETT: After the man dies his life is played before his eyes like a huge surround-screen drive-in theater. Everything becomes clear to him concerning his rights and wrongs. He sees his past and can practically taste his youth like it was yesterday. He is alone and accountable for the choices he has made.
PAUL: A great song, and a great one to end the five-piece suite "Letters." The lyrics in this one really get me going - especially when we play it live. It could be the most straightforward groove, but it was hard to lay down in the studio - I guess because it's so simple, I don't know. I also love the very last hit of this song - it's so powerful.....you'll see what I mean.
RAY: By the time we did our vocal parts for this song it was late April and we weren't lasting as long. My ears were numb and I couldn't get these songs out of my head. It was the best feeling in the world.
GREG: Admit one to where?
CHRIS: This was originally a 7-minute piece from my senior recital at Moravian College. I titled it The Wiblet because it reminded me of having a nightmare (the title which I based on Brett's parents' childhood stories). I was playing part of it one day and Brett asked what it was - it wasn't a piece written for band, but we took a small section from the third movement and expanded on it. It is loaded with 12-tone, bi-tonality, atonality and lots of humor...it served as the perfect introduction to Audio Verite.
TOM: The best way to describe my reaction when Chris first presented this piece to us is by moving my index finger in a oscillatory fashion up and down against my lips while humming, thus rapidly repeating the letter B. You'll understand when you hear the song.
BRETT: The Wiblet was something my parents said was under my bed at night! The majority of this piece was excerpts of a piece Chris had written for piano. We adapted it for the band. The middle section was a 12-tone guitar solo that I had that Chris wrote a piano accompaniment to.
PAUL: What 'let?
RAY: 45 seconds of tightly arranged noodles served with a salsa beat to boot. At live shows it gives me a chance to shine while playing the whistle part.
GREG: Well, well...the wiblet. I am still laughing. Psst! Mike, I want you to look at something. Shoot it and I'll bet that it goes into the booklet. Maybe it was Old Wibur in Mr. Nagel's tomato patch all along.
CHRIS: Brett had the opening riff to this one, an within a day or so this piece was off and running. The intro simply runs around chromatically in E and D Major throughout - and the ending solo section utilizes a variation of the opening line - now played in the bass/keyboard parts. The chords during the verses and choruses had been collecting dust in my "new music" folder, and when we augmented the rhythm they immediately found their home in this piece. The "Promise me..." vocal sections are three independent melodic lines that come together to create a harmony...I begin by playing Ray's and my vocal parts of keyboard, while Brett plays his part on guitar...Tom and I then change the bass line to change the harmonization the second time through. During the middle section in 13/8 I figured I'd have some more fun with the vocal harmonies over the B-3 stabs ("Spoon fed...") ...why not take a section that's already wild and jazz it up even more...enjoy!
TOM: The message in this song is simply: do not criticize when you don't understand. This, of course, does not apply to "Boom, boom boom, let's go back to my room!" ...everyone has their limits!
BRETT: A friend of ours came over one day and told us how he didn't understand the lyrics to one of our new songs. He said it reminded him of a lyrical version of a thing called verite, which was akin to stream of consciousness. I thought the song Entry 11/19/93 was one of the most down-to-earth and most self-explanatory song we had! Ray retaliated by writing songs about our friend and his opinions. The musical intro is rhythmically and tonally "out there." The verses and choruses that Chris came up with pull it back down to earth.
PAUL: Great big Brett guitar riff, va da dum, and off we go. Welcome to Verite land! Man this song just kicks and burns and kills everything in it's way. Probably (now being December '94) my favorite song to play live. I must also admit that this was my hardest song, hands down, to record for this album. I had a tough time. You see, when you're in the studio and it's your turn to do your thing, you've got to maintain accuracy, timing, energy, etc...you get to be very tired. You've got to really concentrate and it might take you several times until it's right. Well I'll tell ya, I was never happier when I hit the last note, looked up and saw Glenn through the glass smiling saying, "Yeh, we got this one!" Enjoy it. If you listen real close you can hear the grunts and groans.
RAY: Definitely a sleeper for me. I was never really sure about my parts for this one. I had changed the words at least twice. Because of this I saved my leads on this one for last. After playing this song live a few times, I can see the attitude the song has taken.
GREG: When the guys signed with Sony I thought I'd have to raise to a grander level myself. I kept thinking this project must be big, big, BIG! I put together a five month monstrosity complete with a woman coming through a wall, framed by money, a golden slide into a sandbox of army men at war, plenty of roses, painted characters, and an alcohol sun, a man-made corn field and a crow eating tinsel. Utter confusion. Ray liked it for Audio Verite and I think it is fitting. You can barely make out the alcohol sun behind the corn. The orange paint with the bottle neck on the back of the booklet, under The Anatomy, is a close up of an orange portion of the sun. Moe helped me pull the corn stalks...I think he thought I was loosing my marbles.
CHRIS: I love using real piano, and for me this song epitomizes what classical piano in rock music can be. I had a lot of fun writing the parts for this one...as a song this pieces many sections and dynamics, but fits together very well. You'll find hints of Entry and All Ways The Same buried in here too, and the bi-tonal character of the instrumental piano lines towards the end were inspired by Charles Ives. It was also great to layer real Hammond B-3 underneath all of the chourses...it adds a nice touch to the texture of the piece. Glenn also saved this one with some helpful editing from the original.
TOM: We said it once and we'll say it again: "with our own hands and our own brains we've gotten this far!!!" (lyrics modified for plural possessive) Any artists that compromise their music to satisfy the whims of their record label have only themselves to blame.
BRETT: These are the best times of our lives. The opportunities we've been given are a gift, but as more and more people get involved with the band, a feeling of helplessness begins taking shape. Being the control freaks that we are, this feeling doesn't sit right. I want to be a reflection of my own achievements. To fail or succeed because of my own actions - not someone else's. The arrangement of the three sections, ending with the first section, flows beautifully.
PAUL: My favorite song lyrically from Brett. Also another example of what I call a great arrangement. This song has so many changes and mood swings it just has a little bit of everything in it and a lot of echolyn.
RAY: After singing my background parts for this song I understood what Brett meant when he said that on the next album I would be doing the high harmonies.
GREG: A quickly taken at an airstrip behind the 309 house. While Mike was shooting this one I was kicking corn cobs and wondering what they'd look like spelling echolyn.
A Habit Worth Forming
CHRIS: This piece was an exercise in maximizing a small amount of music, and letting the ideas you already have help you make more possibilities. I based the song on only two chords (the first two you hear on the piano) and the whole thing came together in one night...arranging all the sections was another story! The 2-part vocal lines in all the choruses, and the three-part vocal bridge ("I don't want...") were inspired by a band called The Story (Jonatha Brooke is the writer)...Brett and Ray's vocal lines literally cross and then end up juxtaposed...a neat effect that is really tough to sing, but very effective when performed correctly. Again this song ends with a heavy instrumental/echolyn trademark. Brett and I finish the solo in harmonized leads (using the opening arpeggio line) over a variation of the opening chord progression...fading to silence, and readying us for the stylistically different Never The Same intro.
TOM: "huh! huh! huh! He said breast!"
BRETT: A beautiful song with wonderful 2 and 3-part harmonies. I pushed myself for the solo at the end. I had to know it well because I wanted to double track it!
PAUL: I love this song. I get to use my glockenspiel - and it sounds nice too! The two-part harmonies are awesome, and the middle section kills me everytime. Then the whole thing is capped off with my favorite guitar solo from Brett. Great job by Ray on his vocal.
RAY: The harmonies in the chorus of this song really pushed my ability to go falsetto. If we were not right on it sounded like crap. So, I learned to concentrate better, and yes, even practice a bit.
GREG: Who is that? And what is she doing? And why is there money framing her entry? What?
Never the Same
CHRIS: Brett had Never The Same just about completed and was showing me the chords to the chourses...I suggested a string and flute intro at half the original temp to "set the mood" for the piece using the chords to the choruses. After working with his original chords I changed the bass line in the second half to harmonies with the chord progression (i.e. AM: b4/2 : e7/A : Cadd9 changes to AM : b7/G : e7 : Cadd9 etc.) thus allowing more melodic movement for the three-part vocals in the body of the piece. Since the piece was based around acoustic guitar I decided that the best thing for me to do was to write and play the string and flute parts live on my keyboards...which gave me another reason to write and arrange parts for the string orchestra and flutist we used in Nashville. When we play live I can't play all 4 parts at once, so I've picked certain "key lines" and phrases to use at shows. The only thing I miss about this piece on the album we use when we play live...however when it came to a vote most of the band and our producer opted for the fade...all in all it's a great way to end the album and leave you, the listeners, wondering what echolyn will do next.
TOM: This song offers a more positive view about death. When mourning the loss of those close to us we should keep in mind that they are alive and well in a greater place of existence.
BRETT: This was the last song written and mixed for the album. Chris came up with a string arrangement at the beginning using the chord progression from the choruses, he just slowed it down a bit. The 12-string guitar part was tough to play without and string noises, but I did it. I never wrote a song for anyone before, but I had to get it out of my system. It's for a friend of mine who's younger brother died. The first two lines of the bridges ("Do not stand...") were from the poem that was read at his funeral (author unknown). This is one of those Velveteen Rabbit, Memoirs From Between songs that I have to have on every album.
PAUL: Excellent! It really moves me. Very intense to play live. A great way to end the album. Enjoy this!
RAY: The last song Brett and I sang together for the album. If I had to choose, I'd say this is my favorite song to sing. Brett lost a friend in Craig Terry, which gives the song a certain attitude (one we can all relate to). For me, I get a chance to say hello to a couple of old friends.
GREG: I thought Tom was wearing his pajamas as he came across the field that morning. The field is about a five minute walk from the 309 house. The sun rose many mornings for us there. At one time Brett, Paul and I lived together. Sometimes we were just getting home from gigs when the sun was coming up. Thanks to Mike we will have one to remember always. Beautiful orange colors.
GREG: I carved the first head sitting on a bank at Green Lane Reservoir. It was Independence Day (July 4th) 1994. I'm glad the guys liked them. We shrunk the apple heads in a "beef jerky maker." The idea isn't original. Most of you have done this as children. I saw it for the first time while living at an artschool in Elkins Park. Actually Brett did the big one with hair.
TrayCard (Back of CD)
GREG: Once on a hike, we declared ourselves a free and independent country. We went out from the 309 house, followed the power lines, passed by the space shuttle, walked through the corn fields, fell into cricks and pricker bushes...and arrived at the airstrip. On the back of the CD it is corn cobs, but usually everything we do spells echolyn.