This is the first album featuring our newly acquired horn section. We found Dave, Will, and Nate through a variety of search options. Craigslist, myspace, facebook, word-of-mouth... so on and so forth. We actually had quite a few people show up and try out, but these three really stood out and we asked them to keep showing up to practices and like the saints these men are, they did.
Jeff had most of these songs in his head and was waiting for us to be a full ska band again before recording them, so, that was convenient. It was also the first time we tried recording an entire album ourselves. We went out and bought instrument mics, a mixing interface that hooked up to Jeff's computer, and basically using all that and protools, we set off to make this CD.
Everyone had input on it, and I even wrote a song from scratch. Naturally it is the worst song on the album. I got the idea for the name while coming up with merch ideas one day. Looking through a ton of different logos to turn into Suckerpunch shirts, I found the Department of the Interior logo above and thought, that there would make a cool shirt. I changed one letter. History was made.
We took forever making this thing. Literally all summer of '08 and aiming for a Halloween release, time was our enemy. With the tracking complete but the bells, whistles, and mastering not quite done, we got offered a huge show and felt that we needed to bring copies of the CD with us to sell. Only problem, again, some songs simply were not finished. So, we left them off. yep. Sold a CD missing tracks. BUT, to be fair, we did include a download code in each one that allowed the buyer to get the entire CD digitally on Halloween.
This was easily the most DIY thing we'd ever done. From recording it, to burning the CDs, to making most of the merch run ourselves, to literally buying rubber stamps for our logo and the name of the album, we did everything. Those were late nights. It was exhausting. However, it was fun. You take out the stress, and that was one of my favorite times being in this band. All of us working together, everyone doing their thing to make it a reality. In the end, it would be the last full-length CD the entire band did while intact as real life would soon cause the great schism, sending some of us to the far corners of the US.
Not every song on here is a winner, that is the theme of the entire history of Suckerpunch, but some of them I stand by as the best songs we ever wrote. Teenage Zombie probably should have been pushed as a radio song. Rubix Cube to this day is probably my favorite song we've ever written. The horns on here really added to some songs, including the re-recording of Hangnail. Not to mention Dave's backup vocals on Wolfman sound amazing every time I listen to that. Plus, there were some very old, but very much crowd-favorite songs that got added on to this just because they had never been recorded properly, such as "Clowntown," "Lesser Value," and "No, seriously."
Finally, that awful track I contributed? It's the title track. And do yourself and me a favor. Just ignore that it exists. I guess I could have left it off, but, maybe somebody out there wants to hear the worst song ever written featuring yours truly trying to sing in an angry faux-British accent and losing it about halfway through the song. Ol' Johnny One-Takes strikes again...
PS: Noise Level Down was a song Jeff wrote about me that pretty much guaranteed we would be best friends forever. The title of that song gets credited to our good friends Jackie and Jill, together known as Jillackie, who named it after a somewhat hilarious incident at the Gainesville Lodge during Fest weekend many, many years ago.
released October 31, 2008
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