Discography : Leave An Impression
Total # copies pressed : 38 (0)
© ℗ 2007 O-Yo Records
Check out the review of our record by The Compendium!
We created a short press bio that was sent out with CD copies for review, and you can check that out here! It's our attempt at a "press kit".
Sorry you can't read this. Buy one and you can!
Notes: This record was already titled (with cover art) by summer 2002, even though none of the songs on it had been written by that time! and of course, well before the first record was even completed... I just knew I loved that picture and had to use it for a future album cover and wanted a title that was kind of a pun (much like the Breaking The Ice cover)... a couple of the others in that group of photos (from San Francisco's Preparedness Day Parade bombing) fit the bill nicely for the back of the cover, the CD tray (1st time including a photo in there, with a clear tray) and the back of the booklet, and I also ended up using another one for the inside of the booklet (though I faded the color quite a bit to allow for text)... I don't recall how I ended up finding the photographs, but the story about them is really interesting and strange, and the pictures are gold. I'm sure I was looking for historical public domain shots (of which they are not, actually) and then I think the phrase "Preparedness Day Parade" struck me as odd and I wasn't sure what it meant, so I wanted to know. there were some weird tangents to the current war in the Middle East and protests happening here, and that bombing was almost a hundred years ago. and how tame our current war protests are compared to fucking bombing a parade?! yet they still arrest people now for *yelling* and bullshit like that. anyway... also, I found some random b&w shot of a teacher in front of a class (outside, on some grass in front of a big tree) that worked for the CD itself, and that was the one on there for some time, until I was updating the packaging in the middle of recording. I figured out that I didn't have any idea where that picture came from (I usually tried to bookmark original sites or credits when I found them, for use later). Then I saw that the picture was very small in size (low-res) and wouldn't look so hot when printed, so I went looking for more and after a LOT of looking, found the one with the teacher rocking the turntable in front of her class from some random school in England in the '50s... I had a picture of beach footprints I thought would look good in the booklet as a background, and it actually was public domain - but at the same time I found the teacher picture for the CD was low-res, I realized the beach shot was, as well. So I went looking for more beach shots and after a LOT of a LOT of looking, I found some random guy's blog with a fantastic picture that he took himself, and he was from Philly - so I emailed him and begged for the use of the image and he was super nice and great and graciously allowed it. He works in advertising and art direction and the picture was pretty phenomenal for some dude's blog... and for the first time, I put a picture on the CD tray (underneath the CD) and it turned out nicely; I'm not sure why I never did it before, other than I think I wasn't exactly sure how to print it and line up correctly, but once I thought about it, it was really quite easy... actually, the original title of the record was going to be "An Everlasting Impression" and cover art was even created in an early version (see below)... but that seemed a little pretentious (or more than I wanted to be) and didn't flow as well as the second (and final) choice...
When I started this record I was still having some lingering, chronic, minor sinus problems; somewhere in the middle of it I finally got around to having it really investigated by my doctor - I got some meds which helped but didn't really get to the root (apparently I have chronic post-nasal drip), and then I started a saline nasal spray routine which has helped quite a bit (but probably most obvious in Christmas Card, there's still plenty of nasalness in the vocals, though not as much as last record)... I never had to resort to popping meds before each vocal session, and I never tried the Breathe Right strips, either (still got 'em, though), and to be frank, and a little gross, I kept a dirty t-shirt by the mic for the duration of the vocal sessions that I would use to blow my nose during recording... all of the vocals were again recorded after basically all of the music was done - I still don't consider myself a good singer, but I like to think I continue to improve and emote better on each successive album - this one especially, because we're in a more private studio and we don't feel as self-conscious about letting the vocals rip, and confidence also comes with time... and because of how my life is scheduled, I recorded probably 80% of the vocals on Thursday mornings between 9 and 11:30, because that's the only usual time when I am home alone... the recording process for this CD took way longer than it should have. We got 6 songs basically done before the big move in early '06, and then after that recording was sporadic at best, and in that time we also started having monumental studio glitches (lost tracks, complete erasure of entire songs, and some really weird shit like replacing one drum track with one from a totally different song). then there were equipment failures (electric guitar that horrendously won't stay in tune, broken mic stand) and then there was the struggle to make drum tracks for the song Either Way... that song has weird tempo changes and we tried to make it work, and in the end we decided to not even include the song because it was sub-par. but it kept erasing itself over and over and we just kept on re-recording it, so it ended up being a monumental waste of time... the problems with the recorder were really disheartening, utterly frustrating and killed my enthusiasm - I would spend hours working on something and then the thing would either lock up and just magically wipe out the entirety of what I had just recorded. usually it was drum tracks, but sometimes it was guitar tracks, and later it was ENTIRE songs, minus drums. sometimes it would erase instrument tracks only while I was working on the drum programming. it was very irregular and something different would go wrong just about every time. then it would go stretches for weeks at a time where there would be no problems whatsoever. it made me not want to record because I would always worry I would spend all that effort working on something just to have it erased accidentally. it was only time and persistence that got me over the hump, and shit even happened as far into it as the mixing stage! by that time I had started making backup files for every song, and by the time I was finished I had at LEAST 3 copies of every one at various stages of being done, and some even had 4 or 5 - frankly, it's a miracle that this thing even actually got done... we're still putting "bass" tracks on all songs but it's still just a bassy version of a guitar setting, played with our electruic guitar. next record we'll be playing an actual bass guitar (I literally bought a bass the same day I finished mixing this CD)... we had planned on putting drums on half the tracks on here, just like both previous albums which were each half & half drums & no drums. but then we did some tweaking and realized we could probably put drums on all of them. and when the two newer songs showed up, that really helped (see below). so we're totally rocking it this time around, and we're gonna try like hell to make sure all songs have drums from here on out... we're really anal about everything, and since we can't morally list the recording dates (in the liner notes where we say "recorded December 2006 - December 2007") if we didn't do any studio recording during that time, and since we weren't really doing much for long periods of time, we would literally work in about an hour of studio work on ONE day of each month and then we could say we worked on it that month, but of course over a stretch of time that adds up to SQUAT, but at least we could say we were recording for that time period without a guilty conscience - so for example, between July and October of 2006 we spent literally a total of 5.5 hours of studio time in 5 sessions over 4 months, but we can technically still say we were recording during that whole stretch... so we had about half of the tunes basically done (minus vocals) before the end of February in 2006 and then hit the wall, but we finally started picking up the pace again in 2007 after almost a full year of a lull, probably spurred on by two songs that were written in 2006 (Whiskey & Women, The No-Show) that were late additions to this record (and ironically, end up as the first two tracks)... and even after the spur of activity in early 2007, there was another lull in the middle of that year before we really got back into recording mode in late summer. so if you took the time out where were basically doing nothing, this whole thing really took about a year and a half to make, not 2 1/2... tracks 3,5,6,9,10,11 were "first halfers" and the rest were in the later half... I even had some "oh shit! I forgot about that!" moments when I would be listening to some of the first half tracks when doing vocals or mixing, when I would remember some of the stuff I had forgotten I recorded 2 years earlier... none of the songs on the CD are older than 2002 this time around, with the newer ones even getting into 2006, though that wasn't the original idea. Either Way and Just Like Before were both supposed to be on this record, but after we wrote W&W and TN-S we figured out they both should be on here, and something had to go, and both of those older songs are just not up to snuff. we hadn't done a thing for JLB so that was easy to drop, though it was tough to take EW out since we had spent so much time working on the drum tracks. we'll finish that song someday and put it on a b-sides album, no doubt. and W&W and TN-S were both written in the middle of a batch of songs that will end up on our next record (more on that next time)... originally, the last song (so we thought, at the time) finished being written for this record (And I'm Not) was completed some time after we officially began recording, which at the time was a big deal... when we started this record, we didn't even have the next record already written - a first for us... of course, by the time we were finishing this up, we had almost all of the next one ready to record... so, I guess we're almost sort of caught up... mixing for this record went much better than expected, especially since the debacle of the last one - we had a much better idea of where to go with it and what to aim for, and besides a few tweaks, we didn't have to really completely re-do anything. we did run into some bumps when mastering the transfer to disc; the first attempt was way too high and was tripping levels all over the place, but the second attempt was good to go and that was all it took... this album could almost also be called "Too Much Drums" because of all the drum fills and tom-toms I put in there, lots of pseudo-tribal drum parts; or you could even call it "Backup Vocal Overkill" due to all the extra little "oohs" & "aahs" and harmony vocals I attempted to add on, perhaps too many overall, but just trying to do what's best for each song... this is the closest we've come so far in getting a finished product out that sounds like we intended it to sound, from instrumentation to singing to mixing...
Some specific song notes...
The No-Show - the first track was actually the first-to-last one written, and written a solid year after recording the album even started (it wasn't supposed to be on there, originally). it replaced Either Way. it took me some time to figure out how to record the rhythm guitar (ended up with two main guitar parts, both electric, with added acoustic parts). I LOVE the drums on this one. the intro count-in (1,2,3,4!) took me about 30 takes to get one I really liked, and we did it in all kinds of styles (screams, accents, whispers). my voice is fairly shredded for most of this song, due to the fact that I had done Whiskey And Women just the day before, and the "Where have you gone!?" parts took soooooooo many takes, and all the background vocals were just ripping up my vocals cords.
Whiskey & Women - the first song I did vocals on, first one fully mixed, first one anybody really heard (online), the last one written for the record, and one of my favorites to play live... it's even got lots of real barre chords! I knew it needed some backing vocals, and there are tons all over it, most of which were completely unplanned until I was actually doing vocal sessions. the first track I ever really let start with a full couple bars of just a drumbeat. I'm fairly proud of this tune, and it's not even remotely about me (except the title line in the song).
And I'm Not - This one's got some really nice acoustic sounds. I dig how the song starts off as standard verse/chorus and then turns into something fairly untraditional but then comes back at the end with the opening riff to wrap it up... (due in part to the fact that the song was written in sections over the course of two years!)... some proud lyrical moments... the overlaid electric guitar stuff at the beginning and on top of most of the tune were really last-minute add-ons when this song was being recorded (which was during the first half of the sessions) - some of the vocals sound pretty nice, perhaps some of the best on the record. The extra "pass you by"s toward the end of the song were not on the song at all until the moment they were recorded, it just occurred to me that it would sound good and I love the buildup in that part of the song, where the vocals fade out but the guitars get louder. some of it's about a specific person and a specific incident, and some of it isn't.
Losing My Patience - I pretty much knew I was using the congas on this track the minute I got them (June 05), which was well over 2 years before they were actually used... I like this track because I don't do a lot of single note picking in songs I write, and the tail of the riff develops over the course of the song and grows each time it's played, and it's also got great crescendos and fades and changes and there isn't really a chorus at all. it's a very true story about a person I was really close to for a while and then the relationshiop kinda abruptly changed dramatically and I'm still not entirely sure why. the double-vocal in that jam progression ("I thought we were doing just fine") wasn't even intended to sound like it did, I was just trying to lay a harmony vocal and then got that kickass take on the second line, so I left it as more of a double than just a backing vocal, so it really stands out.
Eraser - This is one of the first ones I began to record, and at the time that it was written, the band was super excited about it - even when it was tracked, all the drums were programmed in one quick session (not the usual). We love the guitar riffs in it, and it's probably the closest thing we'll get to a pop song; it's very snappy. There's the least amount of acoustic guitar on this track of the record. Some of the rhythm acoustic tracking was re-done over 2 years after all of the instrumentation was done, which seemed very odd to be coming back to it so late, but it does sound better. This song was one of the first to use the "bell" cymbal sound on the drum machine, which also shows up in many more songs on this album. If I recall correctly, this is also the first song that started having studio trouble and the drums were completely and painfully re-done from scratch after mysteriously vanishing. Yes, they were erased.
Going To - Another one from the first half sessions, this turned out quite a bit different than how I thought it would. The breathy background vocals during the verses were totally spur of the moment when recording vocals. I also didn't particularly like how the little middle bridge came out, but it is what it is. Not my proudest vocal moment, but I like the lyrics. I was really straining when doing all the many takes I did for the elongated "I..............." vocals. I think I was most proud of the drums, which took me quite some time to program. It's also really short, so it's over quickly. I also really like the guitar riff during the last half of the song, after the elongated "I"s. If that makes any sense.
Temperature - Another one that I had to re-do a lot of the acoustic tracking and bass, but I had the smarts enough to backup the drums before I lost the whole song... this one was recorded relatively late. I have some real proud moments during the second "chorus" in this song and the harmony vocals I attempted to put down. I also really dig some of the guitar sounds I got, both acoustic and electric, during the back half of the song. Some of the timing was off during the second drum break, though.
What About Now - This song was almost my downfall. My goodness. I spent 4.5 hours programming the drums, the first time. Spent an hour doing guitar work before I lost the whole thing. Twice re-started the drums before losing everything, again. Spent about 6 hours finishing the re-do. A couple more hours doing the guitar parts, and another few hours doing the vocals. Then, when trying to edit/fix/add some acoustic stuff, I lost the whole thing again - and my backup file was complete with drums and all instruments, but not vocals, so I had to re-do all the vocals. Then, spent another couple hours doing those and finally fixing the last part I needed to fix, and then it was done. Longest song ever (in recording time). Otherwise, kinda boring in some spots, lots of guitar layers going on to try and spice it up... I did the vocals twice but neither time do I feel I really got a great performance... I love the instrumentation in the bridge, though, and I like how the two guitar breaks rock out... drums are kinda cool. The electric guitar line that accompanies the outro was a very, very last minute idea but I really dig it. That particular setting on the electric guitar was a sound I don't think I've ever used before.
Still With You - The recording of this song was fairly easy and uneventful... I love the guitar part in this song much more than the vocal. I absolutely love the second verse of this song on the recording, with the way the drums change and the extra little acoustic part that creeps in there, which is probably minimally noticeable to most folks, but I think its super cool. I totally did not intend to put on that little pseudo-guitar solo until WAY late in the process - in fact, during the last two weeks while I was doing vocals is when it got tracked, while the entire rest of the song's music was recorded 23 months earlier. But it makes the song, I think. The rest is kinda blah. It really perks it up, especially since it's a fairly whiney song, and my vocals aren't quite ready for the notes I'm trying to hit in the chorus (almost the only real chorus on the entire album!). I tried to make it slightly palitable with the backup vox. Ehh.
Christmas Card - I never really liked the middle bridge lyric on there, but I really dig the guitar part of the intro/verse. Another kinda whiney song, though. Probably my least favorite song on here, though the verse vocals sound pretty good to me. The rest kinda makes me cringe. I also never really liked the sound I was getting on the main acoustic rhythm guitar tracks, and I considered re-tracking the whole thing up until the end. It follows Still With You because it's about the same person.
Simply Because - This was planned to be the opening track for the longest time, up until the last two songs were added on (tracks 1&2) and it got bumped way to the back of the record, mainly to kinda help out the last half of the album and pick it up a bit. I like most of this song, which is the other one with almost a real "chorus". Perhaps too many guitars on there, makes it kinda muddy and blurry. I really like the bridge, though. It's a pretty rockin' tune, and it even ends sorta positively. Unfortunately, I spent a LOT of time working on the drum programming for this song, and I had to re-do the whole thing after about 7 hours of work. Other than that, no major problems. I spent a fair amount of time on the vocals, too... trying to hit the high notes on the "simply because... I AM!" parts, which were ALL supposed to be high, not like how it ended up! I ended up just sorta giving up and giving in to my crappy voice and living with only ONE of the three choruses having the high note, the last one. which kinda makes sense and adds some drama to the song. maybe.
My Sister And Her God - I pretty much saved most of this song for last in about every category... it was still in process instrumentally after I had started doing vocals, and the vox were done first to last. I knew pretty early on it would be the last song. Some people are probably gonna really not like some of the things I say in the song, so I thought I'd insult them as late as I possibly could on the record. It's also a pretty downer of a song, so I thought it would be the best location for the bummer, at the end! I'm not thrilled with the added electric parts, but I like most of the rock-out parts towards the end, and the drums (except for some of them where the timing is off). The vocals aren't bad. I had a horrible time tuning the congas for this tune. I barely touched them for Losing My Patience but for some reason they sounded off when I started tracking them for this one... but I spent way, way too much time trying to tweak them (with a wrench) so they sounded remotely in tune, but I sorta gave up by the time they were tracked. I was just like, fuck it.