The Smugness of Tyranny
"The Tyranny of the Smug" is our second full length album, and the first record that we've been able to do start to finish (all except mastering) completely ourselves, here at our studio, Cresthill. With our debut album, "Paleofidelity", Scott Ferguson, played drums for the record. This time, our live drummer of 3 years, Gil Roy, (now official 3rd member) was in the studio for 15 of 16 tracks. Throughout the writing and recording of our debut, Jim and I were constantly on the search for a steady live drummer that got what we were trying to do. It took 4 years of looking, but we finally jammed with Gil (who Jim has played with years ago in Full Circle), and things really clicked from the get-go. So we finally got out of the gate as a live act. But even cooler than was this sense that we started to get, a gut feeling. Hitting that sweet spot in the groove. Found a steadiness and got past our thinking, as much as we're able. Kept trying to throw everything away that wasn't about what we were hearing. Found an immediateness and intimacy to the music, that began, and grew.
...a style all our own
Where "Paleofidelity" (our debut) had a lot of acid loops and drum machines, "Tyranny..." is based centrally on the feel of a live rock trio, with all the inherent humanity and imperfections preserved. Arrangements were a three-way effort. The new songs ended up more rock than our first effort. But our style and sound that makes comparisons to other bands difficult or impossible for most of our reviewers, didn't change. In some kind of clueless-musical rapture, we seem to have stumbled onto a style all our own. That feels good. That feeling was the basis for this making this album.
...some very sexy keyboards
We again loaned from the talents of some of the same session players that graciously contributed to our first record: John Peer on some very sexy keyboards (a vintage Whurlitzer, an original Clavinet/Pianet, Hammond M3, Nord lead, and a Sequential Circuits Pro-1, to name a few.....thanks for the loaners John!), Adam Driscoll for his characteristic vocals and violin playing (which he completed all inside an hour, and essentially in one take), and our partner in a previously recorded and never-released project (The Rain), Andrew White, who played acoustic guitar in a song he also wrote, but was very much in Remedy's musical vein. Andy's sometimes-live collaborator, Brendon Power (who once played with Sting's band, as the legend goes), also lent his insane harmonica prowess to that same song, the first on this record. Andy also sings the last track on this album on a song he co-wrote with myself and Jim. That track also features our former studio drummer from Paleofidelity, Scott Ferguson (who also mastered both projects); a fitting cameo for a guy who helped make our first record come to life.
...freedom to create an art
Making this record has been a great joy for us all, at every step in the process. We had the freedom to create an art that is of only three minds, and completely sincere. We hope the fun we had in writing and recording these songs, comes through to you.
Steve Harley - vocals, guitars, keyboards James Bond - bass, loops and sound effects Gil Roy - drums
John Peer - keyboards Adam Driscoll - vocals, electric violin Andrew White - vocals, guitar Brendon Power - harmonica Scott Ferguson - drums
The Fidelity of Paleo
The collaboration that produced the unique tracks on Paleofidelity arises from a singular song writing method. The backbone of the tracks comes from first finding the basic drum/bass groove. This rhythmic, kinetic energy forms the nucleus around which all of the songs are initially formed. After creating morethan 100 such grooves, a process that involved recording all of the original free-form songwriting jams, the favorites were then picked, for the final songs of "Paleofidelity." In many cases, the guitar and bass tracks that were captured on tape during the initial writing phase were used in the final versions of the songs. In this way, the energy, freshness, and emotion of the birth of these songs was preserved right up to the final production.