Deep origins, or the very abbreviated story of how Deep Salvage came together. Part two, writing and producing the songs.
The very first song written for Deep Salvage started as an email from Dave. In it, he described how he had a lyric that seemed to by crying out for rock music and since he didn't write rock music, he asked me if I give it a shot. I was totally flattered and went for it, but I was concerned too. I mean, even though my brain injury was nearly two years old, I was still in bad shape, and I didn’t want to promise something I couldn't deliver. I expressed all this to Dave but he replied and told me to just do what I could do, no pressure.
When the lyrics arrived, I grabbed the Maton (can I get an amen?) and very quickly, maybe only 10-15 minutes later, I had some music for the verses and choruses. I emailed Dave asking if he wanted to weigh in on the song before I went further and he wrote back and said no. And in that moment, the pattern for Deep Salvage was set: Dave would dig up an old lyric, sometimes complete, sometimes not, and we'd trade a few emails on what kind of song might be lurking in the words, and then I'd just go off on my merry way, sometimes asking for small phrase changes to match a melody, an extra verse, one less verse, etc. All of our discussions were over email, we never even talked on the phone. We also never talked about making an album, but before too long, we had four songs and I wrote to Dave about how four songs was an EP…
Every song on Deep Salvage was subjected to the same production approach, more or less. I would complete my Pro Tools demo, which would feature my trademark, slightly out-of-time guitar and bass work, simplistic drum programming and truly painful singing. Then I would send the whole mess to L.A.-based guitarist Tim Young,* and he and I would get on the phone — guitars in hand — to discuss what he should play, specifically, which bits of my takes were cool and which were lacking. We would also talk guitar tone and playing style. A few days later, Tim would send his tracks back to me (he records in his own home studio, mostly), we'd get on the phone again to discuss what he had played, maybe do one or two more rounds and then, with Tim's glorious groove as a foundation, I would head to Hyde Street Studio C to work with engineer Jaimeson Durr* and drummer Andy Korn* to create The Thump. Next, Sam Bevan* would add his bass, sometimes from his home, sometimes at Hyde Street. And finally, I would decide on a singer, which was easy for Borderline Love and Waitress Blues but murder for The Forgotten Place and Easier Said Than Done. All of which means, all of the players were never once in the same room.
The name for the album came from a photograph I snapped while I was out in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009, getting some innovative therapy for my ailing brain.
I posted the photo on my blog, and Dave commented that it would make a good cover for our album. I asked him to suggest a title and presto, Deep Salvage it would be.
Stay tuned for track-by-track notes.
To download Deep Salvage, go here. To thank you, I will send you an extra track by Dave and one by me.
* I will profile Tim, Jaimeson, Andy, Sam and a few other folks more completely when I finally release my album, but suffice it to say they are all Rock Gods.