To celebrate we’re releasing some really fun covers of songs on the EP!
Check it out:
I honestly can’t believe it’s been 5 years.
I feel like people don’t take me seriously enough when I talk about the entirely DIY nature of this record. I used the term “home studio”, sure, but what I meant by that was a computer on an Ikea desk mere inches from the kitchen in our 1br apartment running Windows XP and an outdated version of Digidesign Pro Tools.
I used an ATARI 2600’s sound chip to create most of the “blips and bloops” (‘Chiptune’ is a term I heard for the first time nearly a year later), used various pieces of software synthesizers to add the orchestration and recorded all of the guitars and vocals using one Shure SM-57 (AKA the “snare drum” microphone) in my kitchen, unplugging the fridge to get rid of any ambient hum but staying far enough away from the computer’s fan to avoid interference.
One day I was having a conversation with singer / songwriter Vincent Do who offered to let me borrow his pre-amp. I thought, sure - why not? Try to get a better sound? When he came over I also conned him into doing a few backing vocal parts (tracks 2, 3) which added a nice texture to the songs, and made him the first person other than me to be involved in Quail. Kind of funny to think about that now, especially when we were a 7-piece for a pretty large chunk of time.
The EP was originally going to be 6 songs:
1) Somedays We Sin
2) Yesterday I Watched The World End
3) The GLOW
4) Something Under The Bed is Drooling
5) Secret Lives of Retail Monkeys
6) Making Circles Square
The GLOW and Something Under The Bed were the furthest behind in terms of mixing and arranging them the way I wanted them to sound which was a source of frustration because, well, the EP was named after one of the songs. I hadn’t intended After All to be a song on this record at all but when it became apparent I was looking at only a 4-song release in order to make the iTunes deadline I threw the demo of it in the rotation of my 40gb iPod Color to listen on my breaks at Starbucks. It worked. It fit the songs better than I’d imagined, and instead of gearing up to release something I felt weird about, I was inspired to not only push out the 5 songs but also save those other two for .:INSTANT GRATIFICATION:. as their part in that albums story made more sense than throwing them out early with less context.
I mixed the album in a hurry, did all of the post-production in less than a day and rushed it to distribution as fast as I possibly could for a mid-March release when the CDs would arrive…and then iTunes went and released it a whole fuckin’ month early.
Then it was time to book shows, which was complicated since no one seemed to “Get” what I was doing:
Guy and acoustic guitar? Ohh, ok, it’s folk. Wait, there’s keyboards and samples? Oh so he’s like a DJ? What’s “looping” mean?
Here we are 5 years later and I listen back to the songs; there’s things I would have done differently, or spent more time on and I think that’s the wonder of art. Once it’s released, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. I could have kept these songs to myself tweaking and perfecting them for years, and instead I put it out into the world and there are those who love it, those who hate it, those who don’t get it, and those who’ve never heard it. It’s theirs now, and I’m glad it’s taking a life of it’s own.
To clarify; the song The GLOW ended up on .:INSTANT GRATIFICATION:. , and during THAT production cycle the song Instant Gratification wasn’t ready in time…so it will be the lead-off single (and second track) of our new record AFTER THE LIGHTS FAILED.
BUT! We broke the cycle. The first track of that record is actually the title track.
We did it, guys.