Welcome to the Grunge Years.
"Young Man Volume One" is a collection of studio recordings and demos that I made in the 1990s. Three of my early bands (Norman, Kid Dynamo, the Explosives) are represented, as are the first songs ever released under my given name. Some of these songs were later reworked for "Tiger Pop" and "Mix Tape," while others are being released here for the first time. If you ever wondered what came before "Tiger Pop," this--plus the forthcoming Volume Two--should answer your question.
This is being released now for the sake of context. Touring for "Tiger Pop Ten" had me thinking about the genesis of those songs and the people with whom I made music when those songs first existed. This bunch of seemingly random tracks makes for a good cross-section of my musical upbringing--and sounds surprisingly like a real album!
I jokingly call this a grunge record, but it's obviously not exactly that. Rather, it's a document of the learning process--over the five years these tracks span, I learned a great deal about songwriting, singing, and playing. (I'm still learning, really.) I was very young when I wrote and recorded this music. Some of these were among my first "real" songs; a few even date back to high school. I wrote very quickly back then--if memory serves, "Tourniquet" and "Over My Grave" came in the same three-day weekend that also bore "Selfish" and "Security."
Rapidly processing a lot of ideas meant sometimes not spending enough time on the ones that required extra attention. These days I might revise a lyric a dozen times before presenting a song, but back then lyrics often made the cut simply because they rhymed or fit the melody--or I just thought they were funny. And, naturally, I was chasing styles in my early work, as young writers are prone to do. The grunge-metal hybrid of a song like "Tourniquet" only existed because I was still at the time equally into Pearl Jam and Pantera. (Actually, I think that's still true.)
And hence why I still perform some of these songs live. The ideas are always evolving, as am I, as is everything. Sometimes it takes 10 years or more to "finish" a song; sometimes it's done in 10 minutes. But even as rough drafts, the versions on "Young Man" sound pretty close to finished.
These recordings were remastered and, in some cases, remixed between fall 2010 and summer 2011.
The Kid Dynamo and Explosives studio tracks were transferred from the original ADATs and remixed in ProTools, with a few necessary edits (including the restoration of an accidentally erased kick drum in "Home Alone").
The songs from the Norman demo tape were mastered from the original cassette. Dig the awesome lo-fi sound.
The two solo tracks and the Norman studio recordings were very mildly remastered from the manufactured CDs.
The Kid Dynamo live demo was remastered from CDR. Miraculously, it still plays after 15 years.
Very special thanks to Dominick, Ted, Arthur Scott, Anthony, Mike, Rich, John, Dave, and Randy. And to my parents, who were awesome enough to set up that first recording session for me and my band. (That's me and my dad in the cover photo. Probably the last time I was on a motorcycle.)
A toast to the Albany rock scene of the 1990s. We were stars, one and all.
released 01 July 2011
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