Monday, June 24, 2013

An explanation of the House of Wires 'Found Sessions'

This is in response to the flattering article written here:

We were writing and working out songs as House of Wires (HOW) after our album 'Monogamy' had been released.  We had mutually parted ways with Tooth and Nail Records, but continued to work on new material and performances in the So Cal area (though there were shows as far as Phoenix, Vancouver, and Tijuana).  Around 1999, Jeremy Ediger joined HOW and added guitar to some recordings and to our live show.  He played many of these shows and I remember that the promoter in Tijuana bought him a sombrero when we were down there.  I think that he wore it at the show!  Steve Elkins (drummer for HOW) was often on tour with the Autumns, but would play our live shows when time allowed…

Which brings us to the ‘Found Sessions’.  There are actually 6 unreleased House of Wires songs.  Only 3 of these were released as the ‘Found Sessions’ with Holiday Records.  They included Jeremy on guitar and Steve on drums.  Some of these songs, like ‘Interpersonal’, were often part of our live show.  I feel that they are some of the darkest songs that I have written and that says a lot, considering some of the Pivot Clowj songs that we released.

‘Golden Days’ is about reflecting on my teenage years and all of the friends that I enjoyed – how even through tough times, it was worth the experience and there are great memories along with bad.  This was written at a time when a teenager that I knew committed suicide.  I was reflecting on how much I would have lost if I would have done anything so tragic.  Hence the lines “Don’t wanna die young…” and the end of the track, I sing, “Teenage suicide, teenage suicide, this is getting hard to sing”.

‘Listen’ is a song about relationships and relating to a significant other, which we all have problems with at times.  The voice in our head drowns out the words that we hear and often leads to arguments or misinterpretation – I actually wanted to have a female sing the first line up until my voice would sing ‘she said’… “Listen!  Do you hear me anymore? ‘Cause I think the voice inside your head is louder and I don’t want to be ignored. She said”.  But I never replaced the vocals from the original take.  Even though the vocal and instrument takes are from 1999 or so, these songs were never mixed down.  So the mixes on the 'found sessions' are new and I was using processors and compressors that I have now. 

‘Interpersonal’ was a song about the singles ads in the back of the local music magazine.  I wondered if these singles got a lot of calls or few calls – and I imagined that there was a lot of competition and almost a race for people to get together.  I wondered how many people end up in successful relationships from these ads.  I imagined that any ""good"" matches full of kind hearted, considerate, and healthy people would be in high demand and those would be the first to go.  I never tested this theory, of course.  Hence the line “If I could get there first.  If I could die there first, then I wouldn’t have to be…  Yes, the last word is "be" and not "feel", and the "…" is intentional.  It was sort of like, *insert your own word or phrase here*! – like a madlib lyric.  Dying in this case, referred to the death of a life in isolation – the death of being single.  Maybe that was a poor choice of words, but it is there in the lyric and recorded in stone.  I often thought of the "..." as being the phrase "so alone" so the complete line could have been, "if I could die there first, then I wouldn't have to be so alone."

I would love to do an official release on vinyl or high quality .wav files of all 6 songs.  Maybe this will happen sooner than later.  Thank you for reading this and thanks again to Heave Media for the kind words and encouragement.

Also, one of the reasons that these songs sound so different from the HOW releases, You are Obsolete and Monogamy, is because I was beginning to listen to a lot of bands like Slowdive, Pavement, Chainsaw Kittens, Catherine Wheel, etc, etc.  So it makes sense that my influences started to affect my own music.  Another reason that these sound so different is that I mixed them down 10 years after I recorded them.  I have different equipment and hear things differently now than I would have then.

I have added the track 'Listen' to my Soundcloud page and have linked it to this post:

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