Today is release day for “Previously,” the new record by my band, Cold Holiday.
And yet, it’s also new at all.
“I’m all caught up in this again” is one of the lines in a song called “Darkroom,” which I wrote back in 1994, when I was not quite 18.
Back then, my friends and I rented an 8-track reel to reel recorder and a mixing board from the local music shop, and we set it all up in the basement and made an entire record in a month.
Our band was called Streetcar and we named the album “Chapternext.”
The songs were catchy and loud and we played them pretty well.
But as is so often the case with high school bands recording themselves in the basement, we had some limitations. We were scrouging up whatever microphones, pedals and instruments we could borrow from people, and I mixed the album by staying up all night and listening through a pair of broken headphones.
In other words, I botched it.
That was 26 years ago, and every so often I’d listen to those songs and think, if only we’d had all the digital equipment available now with us in the basement back then.
At first I thought about trying to remix the original record, but I haven’t had any lucky finding a reel-to-reel machine like the one we rented in 1994. (If you know where I might be able to borrow a working Fostex A-8 machine, though, get in touch!)
So I decided to try again, to re-record these songs and see if I couldn’t make what I heard in my mind finally show up in the recordings.
That’s why the record is called “Previously.” It’s a 21st century album and a 90s album at the same time.
The songs are still catchy, they’re played pretty well, only now you can hear them. And I hope you will hear them – stream them, download them, share them, enjoy them, but most importantly, play them loud.
And if I still didn’t quite get it right? Maybe I’ll try again in another 26 years.