I have been meaning to mention this for awhile – I have sent the sepi sessions to a few friends out there in the nether regions (US). From the beginning of these sessions, it has been about getting friends involved in the process. And now that I have a band of gentlemen to help me finish these off, I am getting to a place where I can start alerting the calvary and lighting fires under their asses – including mine – and we can start to get this done (no blue darts, Chris!).
Lowdown on the transcontinental collaborators:
Michael Bridavsky – Push-Pull / Russian Recording
I met Michael the angry russian on the Electrical Audio site and later found out he had been advising AJ, our keyboardist, on mic purchasing choices. Push-Pull is an excellent band and I look forward to recording at Russian sometime in the future.
Ryan Heise – System and Station
Ryan and I have been friends for over 15 years now. Big Mud Wagon was basically the first band for each of us and he has had continued success with System and Station for probably close to 10 years now. I look forward to his contributions to the sessions.
Jeremy Miller – Lowbelly (among others) / FortHazel (studio/label)
Jeremy and I have also been friends for more than a decade. He released my first solo album (cassette) as the Lonnie Giles All Star Team on FortHazel, I have appeared on an early Lowbelly record and they have since included my bands on many of their fine compilations. He is a swell fella and a swell addition to the world of music.
Daniel Naiman – Solace Bros. / Watercloset Sounds (studio)
I have been friends with Jon Polle since the old days in Boise when he played in Treepeople/Stuntman. Jon has since moved to Tucson and started The Solace Bros with Daniel. I ran into these guys backstage at a Built to Spill show and we were able to catch up a bit. Next time they came through town, we were set to play with them. Unfortunately, it was just a few short days after a horrible tragedy and we were unable to join them for the show and had to cancel. They have since made it back around and the *joesepi* band played with them then (Devil’s Show) and I was able to get them the sessions disc for some possible collaboration.
Lowdown on Sessions
You can find out more about the recording details here as well as listen to the latest mixes. The gist is that I have had a few songs that have been around for awhile (some more than others). And when I got the chance, I booked some time up at Reelsounds to put em down on tape. With my big mouth and too many drummer friends, all of a sudden I had 5 drummers and only 7 songs. And so, I divided them up and we went up to the studio on various days to put down respective songs. The drummers included some very close friends:
Michael Dahlquist – Silkworm
[songs: Windowsill Again // Frail Common Animal]
|| blurb || Michael and I were quickly becoming best friends before his untimely death due to a tragic car accident. (We also lost John Glick and Doug Meis – I had asked Doug to play drums on an upcoming recording as well.) Michael was so great to have in the studio and while he was such fun to be around, he took the task seriously and helped with arrangements and dynamics, taking both songs further. It was a great pleasure to say the least.
Dan Smith – Salvo Beta/Century Rocket Building
[songs: Dear Jessica // That's All]
|| blurb || Dan has been a good friend for a while and we have been courting him to join the CRB team for some time. He has finally accepted and is an immensely valuable addition. As well as being a super nice guy, he was also a real pro in the stu. I think we challenged him with subtle techniques and mild left turns.
Mark Brunner – Reelsounds (studio)
|| blurb || Another old friend, Mouse (mark) is like a brother to me and Reelsounds is like a second home. (He has also subbed in for CRB as drummer at shows and as drummer in recordings for Bearhawk.) He has recorded every band that I have been in in Chicago (or at least the good ones). He was funny when we recorded this song – after laying down the music tracks with a scratch vocal track, he says alright, that should be good when you get all the vocals in there, not realizing what he had heard was all the vocals. (I only sing on the last 30 seconds of the song, which is over 5 minutes long.) He says “shit, I would have played a little ‘differently’ had I known that.” It sounded good to me…
Joel Braun – Cornfed/Rang
[song: Sweet Lil Jesus]
|| blurb || Joel and I have collaborated on many fine adventures and he has been a key element to me making music for the last 8 years or so. When I was doing the solo thing under the moniker Lonnie Giles All Star Team (since being in Chicago) he was the drummer – except for the one time when we had a very cute friend try out. For a time it was just a two man band until JonO joined in. And Jonny played bass on this recording essentially re-uniting the original trio line-up.
Dean Bernadini – Chevelle/ex-Liftpoint
[song: Heliocentric Model]
|| blurb || Dean has been a mainstay up at Reelsounds ever since I introduced 50Grit to Mouse. He has been crucial in the construction of the studio and a great friend too. After 50Grit, he played with Liftpoint and is enjoying some real success with the critically acclaimed, Chevelle. I worked with Dean for a bit on Joel’s 3-flat as well. Always a good guy. And he helped re-arrange this song elevating it to new heights.
Of course, it must be mentioned that without the great help from JonO and JimMac, these things would not have been as successful or possibly even have moved forward at all. I owe them an immense debt of gratitude. Fig has also been there almost every step of the way and he deserves the highest of fives for continuing to be a fine twister of knobs and the best of friends. Another friend, this one down in Austin, also added his mark: James Olsen put some vocals and percussion to Dear Jessica. And one Antoine has added some keys to Favorite.
Stay tuned for more…