Watch the rough cut documentary at: https://youtu.be/xaJNFba6_FQ
Buy the album: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album//id344506354
Liner notes by Mike Munter, prepared for my friend Cindy Malone.
Shadow was a new song Jason had written on acoustic and brought to the band. The intro electric guitar parts you hear before the vocal begins are sounds from my guitar played in reverse. I recorded them using my Ebow and then used my software to play them backwards. They sounded cool, so we sampled them into the beginning of the song.
I’m the one saying “Yeah” at the end of the first verse. When we played it live, Scott, our drummer, always screamed the “Yeah.”
Jason said my solo in this song at 1:34 was his favorite. Mine, too.
Jason also liked that the song went in a different direction after every verse. Radio stations kept it off the air for the same reason. It didn’t fit their formula. We finally got some airplay on a local station later on.
At the every end of the song fade, you hear a short musical clip and Scott screaming, “Son of a bitch!” The clip is a scratch recording from “Repeat” when we were still working out the arrangement. Scott was sarcastically screaming that we played it differently that time.
Video – A friend from film class produced the video which was entirely based on a concept Jason had of a guy who does good deeds and doesn’t get recognition. Hence, he’s in the “Shadow.” I can’t remember who’s idea it was to make him from black and white to color each time his good deed was being done. The filming was a blast. Non-stop laughter.
This song originated in an earlier band with a different drummer and great friend, Josh. He and I were jamming on it one day and Josh was singing, “How high can Mike jump” cos I used to jump a lot when we played it. The working title, “How High” stuck and when we finished it with our new drummer a year later, the title remained.
Aside from Jason’s opening single note guitar solo, he never plays again until the very end and that’s why I had his stick figure cast away his guitar in the video. There’s a jetty in Astoria where Jason grew up. That’s what it’s about.
Video – The version of the song in the video is a previous mix; not the one that made the CD. I made the video using free software and it crashed so many times I gave up. That’s why toward the end, I cut to a montage of clips of the band practicing at my house.
The first song we wrote as a band. I wanted to write something like Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” that built and built and built to a great climax. I think most of the band would agree it’s our best song.
Have At It
In the year+ it took to record this album, “Have At It” was one of the last songs the band finished. We didn’t have time to record it piece by piece in studio, so I suggested we do a live take at our engineer’s house. It took 6 or 7 takes for us to get through it without someone fucking up.
The opening comment, “You need to get nice and drunk for it,” is another Scott outtake from our band banter in between takes. We thought it would make a nice intro for what was about to happen with the Wah!
In production, we all were giddy at the effect we put on Jason’s voice during his falsetto part. We liked it so much, we put it on the drums, too. Can you hear it?
The Fight Is Lying
My first crack at going deep with the “delay” effect. I wanted it to sound mushy, with notes bouncing everywhere. Jason’s opening solo is epic. I spliced together 6 different sections of him soloing to get the finished version on the record. After his wife Rachel heard the song, she said, “You guys sound like Pink Floyd.” Nice!
I was aiming for the “Echoes” with my middle bright chorus sections. I also wanted the song to be long and to build. In the end, it’s just a waltz with lyrics Jason wrote about a serial killer.
After the heaviness of the “The Fight,” we needed to lighten things up a bit.
100% Jason’s song; he wrote when he was 16. I loved the song. We recorded all of it at my house and I mixed it. It’s my debut on harmonica, which I bought just so I could play the one note 🙂 Jason’s outro, “Doodle-li do-li-do” always brings a smile.
My guitar and Jason’s voice. I join him at the end.
Video – MUST SEE. Our first video I made from pictures I took around Portland, Vancouver Island, and a road trip with my dogs in 2007 . A very, very early recording made entirely at my house. Big difference between this version and the one on the album.
Stars Are Out
Another of Jason’s acoustic gems. My main contribution is the clicky-clicky-clicky guitar solo in the middle. That idea came from a Chili Peppers song. Scott turns off his snare to give the beat a tribal sound in this song.
Wish You Away
Early in 2007, I dated this girl I thought was the “one.” She was much younger and after two months she broke up with me. My Mom had just died December 30, 2006 and I cried about these two losses for a year. Everyday in the shower.
I stole the couplet Jason sings at the end from Milton – “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Bono said he wrote “I Will Follow” from the perspective of a Mother to Son. I had never written any song from any perspective other than my own.
I wrote “What” when I was pretty down, from the perspective of God talking to me. I couldn’t play my riff and sing it at the same time, so Jason offered to sing it, which I was honored by. I’m moved every time I listen to it because of the words. It’s me telling myself to not be so hard on myself, to relax, and that I’m loved.
I don’t sing on it at all. Ryan joins Jason for the anti-chorus, “I wouldn’t lie to you.” I ripped off some classical song for the chord progression.
We opened most shows with this. This was my attempt at writing a rock anthem similar to U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name.”
Lots of glitches in this recording 🙂 I know Scott’d like to redo the drums and I’d pretty much like to shorten it a minute and tighten it up. But it was fun in concert. And I sing the second verse about one dream that came in color. Like most of my words, they don’t have literal meaning; I just liked the way the sounded.
When Jason first played this song for the band, it was slow and pretty mellow. We sped it up and turned it into a rocky, dancy number.
On the album version, you hear, “Give ’em the hot sauce” shouted from the audience. Upon hearing that shout out, “Jason the singer” shouts back, “Aw, you love it!” and the song begins.
Video – The voice behind, “Give ’em the hot sauce” is Jason’s friend – also named Jason. He also happens to be the main character in the “Shadow” video. He’s fucking hilarious, kept me laughing during the entire shoot – where he never smiles 🙂
The video recording and footage came from this video which was recorded live at the Ash Street Saloon in downtown Portland. I’ve got all the footage from this show and one day might try producing more of it.
A lot of good memories being in this band and being able to create something I can always share. One day, I might start another project.