Shahzad’s lungs are all fucked up, so we didn’t get together till the end of May, even though he lived right upstairs from the studio. Ches was looking after his kid (Zane) while Miya worked, and I was walking around my apartment talking to myself and eating beans out of tin cans (with salsa and soy sauce on special occasions). But eventually we came up with a plan. Shahzad would set up all the mics before we arrived, then go into the control room and shut the door. Ches and I would arrive later, he by his own car, me by bicycle, at different times, enter the front room with our masks on, remove shoes, wash hands. Ches would go to the drum kit in the main room, and I would go to the isolation booth and close the door. If we had to go to the bathroom, we wore masks.
We never actually literally saw each other— but, given the excellent mics and monitoring system— we heard each other better than ever. And so we forgot about the lack of visuals, and recorded willfully, joyfully blind for four hours a day for a little over two weeks.
It made us remember what we loved about each other, about our band, and about the recording work we do together and as individuals.
It made us happier than anything we’ve done since the shut down— and sad about the forces leading those of us who work in it towards precarity long before anyone ever heard of COVID-19. (for a concise mytho/history of Silicon Valley told from the perspective of an intellectually challenged amphetamine abuser, see “Hippies Used To Be Nice”). It made me determined to fight back IRL (musicworkersalliance.org
When we were finished, we had way more material than we could fit on a CD, and we’re really excited about all of it. So, the album (with 9 of the 14 tunes) is coming out in Spring 2021, and we’re releasing the rest now as a special Bandcamp Friday EP release to hold us over.
We miss you: and look forward to a safe and sane re-opening of live performance—under a new political administration that respects human life, is capable of understanding science, and values art. In the meantime: swingleft.org
"Mourn the dead, and fight like hell for the living”.
M Ribot & Ceramic Dog