Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing About Myself Shamelessly, Part 1: The Underminded, Demo.

I decided to document every release I've ever played on chronologically here in a section called "Writing About Myself Shamelessly".  Why?  Maybe I'm ridiculously egotistical and nostalgic I suppose.  I don't know really know why. Enjoy it. Or don't.

When I was 15 years old I started heavily listening to Minor Threat, Bold, Uniform Choice and Chorus of Disapproval. My identity as an angry straight edge kid was forming and taking over all aspects of my personality.  This did very little to improve upon the social aspect of my high school experience. I fell deeper into the escape of skateboarding, writing music and reading comic books.

My then punk rock band, known for doing mostly Misfits cover songs, morphed into a hardcore band.  I had no intention of ever singing/writing lyrics but finding someone who was willing to sing/write lyrics in any competent way at that particular point in time seemed impossible. Myself and the bass player of this band split the vocal/lyric duties.

I was still holding on to a good bit of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr influence, though, I was attracted to the raw, no frills sound of fast hardcore (as a result you'll hear one long, noisy, alternative rock song sandwich between all the fast stuff). The mid tempo sound of the Sex Pistols and Black Flag had become too slow for me.  Regardless of what my other two band mates were interested in playing, I wanted to do a fast straight edge hardcore band. Quite wrong of me to impose musical preferences onto two other people, yes, I know. Tunnel vision took over and I showed up to band practice with a bunch of these songs.

We found this guy at a local music store that had a Tascam 16 track cassette recorder in his garage.  He offered to record a demo for us for $10 an hour. We recorded with him 3 times in the next year, each time we had written a new batch of songs. Our playing was sub par and the quality of the production is muffled and dark. I had never recorded music before, so this was just a learning experience I suppose. He had us plug our guitar and bass directly into his board and use a distortion box for the guitar. We probably did a total of 12 songs. The only material we actually kept is what became the demo. Flawed, definitely. But it documents the time.