Friday, March 15, 2013

what a difference a year can make

last year, samuel started recording music in his bedroom. he was frustrated with not being able to find anyone to start a band with and decided to just do it all himself. he got a 4 track app for his phone and went to work at it. he played all the instruments and did the vocals and mixing. he won’t let anyone listen to those early recordings but they were an important part of the process. then he saved up for an actual 8 track recorder and started making his first demo, again by himself, which he put up on bandcamp under the name that sadie gave him for his “band”…deathly the dog.

he continued to make more recordings and eventually did an acoustic open mic show with only a guitar. it went pretty well but he was itching to play electric with a full band. shortly after that silas started showing an interest in drumming for him (there was absolutely no bribery involved *cough cough*). pretty soon they were playing their first open mic together as a band. having silas on the drums was exactly what samuel needed to make his dream of having a band come true AND the confidence to get out in front of people and not be nervous. he said that he didn’t think he could do it without him now. silas grew to really love doing it and is a phenomenal drummer.
they started playing open mic nights regularly at the same coffeehouse to very receptive crowds who grabbed up all their CDs and talked to them after their sets. when they finally decided to play another venue, the place was empty by the time they went on and it was a bit disheartening but it was a good learning experience. PLUS, it was the night they met another local teen band called war penguin (liam, joe, and emma). and they’ve all been playing together regularly ever since. samuel now plays drums and banjo for WP and liam has become the bass player for DtD.
a few weeks ago, samuel, silas and liam headed to a real studio to lay down tracks for their first professionally recorded demo. i was so impressed with their performance and competence, they knew what to do and got 5 songs down in under 5 hours. last night samuel went back to do the vocal tracks (they had just done scratch tracks on the first day). he gave samuel a couple “mini mastered” cds to take home and make some notes of anything they wanted to change before doing the final master.
today, we put it on the bose and cranked it up. we talked about the early versions and how different these are. these new recordings sound amazing even in their work-in-progress state. when i took samuel to work we played it in the car and even with my slowly dying speakers it still sounded fantastic. 
i’m really excited about this demo. it shows how much they have learned individually and as a group in the last few months alone. how playing live shows has made their performance stronger and tighter. i’m blown away by the talent of these young people and i agree with what my friend who recorded them said “i can’t wait to see what they do next.”

photos taken by ren allen at the down home on march 6, 2013


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