Thursday, February 11, 2010

"The Heart" remaster, final details, and more on THE WAR ON RECORDS!!!

hey gang, some changes were made, late last minute, as usual for the TOTM camp, on the remastered re-release of The Heart Is A Two Headed Sperm. I found demos, previously unreleased, that were a perfect addition to this version of the album. In 2003, Tantrum Of The Muse reformed, with an added member, our good pal (my soon to be brother-n-law) Seth Luzier, who joined the band as a keyboardist. We did a few shows back then, and we had this idea to re-record "The Heart" songs for a brand new demo, showcasing the new versions of the band, and the new arrangements for the songs. We even thought we might send this demo out to major labels. I was planning to hop a plane, once the demo was completed, and showing up on the doorsteps of an unmentionable label, showing just how serious i was about securing TOTM in the hands of the rich! Well, haha, that demo would never see the light of day, i would never take that plane ride, and TOTM wouldn't live to see the rest of 2004! It was a dark time, there is no doubt about that. If you were to ask me to release the demos that survived that session, then...i would swiftly kick you in the butt!

But its a new day and age in my life, where my hopes and dreams of becoming a successful full time rock and roller are long gone, there is a new sense of urgency in my song writing. It is not what you might expect, not so much a concern to fulfill the mainstream view of "success" but rather, plain and simple - write strong songs, that might affect someone in a positive way, and reassure this aging bastard that there is still so much in me, still needing to be done.

I say all of this, to explain how my life's changes have affected my view of my old band's reputation, and tiny body of work. Given that i have all the confidence in the world to make new music, and play with new people, TOTM is not so - desperate, to me anymore. Sure, i am proud of the songs. I am even able to look back at these albums and see the urgency in them, for the music culture of that time. There is no question, these records did the job, they remain as small gears that helped the 1990's underground alternative machine stay spinning!!! Back then, an artist might have their own identity, and might write music that makes you think and feel (gasp) i know, so hard to believe in just a short few years, where things have left us.

So these demos...they are not that important to me. What is important, is preserving a moment in my life, so that i may look back and say "There it was, kiddies" and so holding any material from the TOTM era is foolish to me. I want my friends to hear it all, and have it all. Enough said, i think you guys will enjoy them.

So, the demos are from 2003. I was recruiting new members for TOTM. I spent a lot of time figuring out what i should do, and who i should find. I met and befriended this awesome bassist, Tyler Lambert. He agreed to play, but TOTM was not his first priority. Seth was already in the band as my keyboardist, who now ran samples and weird sounds. At this time, Rick was fresh off of his stint with The Huntingtons, and missing playing with me (shucks). I was relieved because finding a good drummer, proved impossible at the time. So now it was Rick, Tyler, Seth and myself. We were splitting up practice spots between southern MD, and Lancaster area PA. The drives were expensive. Seth actually moved from MD to PA. It was at this time that Jim had called and explained he was living in Florida, on a boat with his fiance, Deann. They had been evicted due to storms. I kid you not. He needed a place to live. I asked him if he wanted to drive to PA to join the band again, and split rent with Seth. He agreed. I explained to Tyler that we needed reform, in one area. Tyler was given the option of joining for real (before i offered to Jim, of course) and he couldn't commit, so...whalla...The original 3, +1, planted firmly in Lancaster. We recorded the demos in a barn we were renting, out in Lancaster. Jim recorded all of it, on his dying computer. The quality is fair. Its listener friendly. We felt that it was important to re-record these old songs again, to showcase how they were meant to be recorded. We NEVER played The heart" songs like the album. Not once. They always took on a different energy, once Jim joined and played the bass parts, with his fingers (and foot)! We sped them up quite a bit too, and Rick really filled out the drumming. I also found a lot of improvement room. Even though i love the first album, it is clear the songs were not existing long enough to really "find them"! Now that TOTM had been playing for a few years, and had gotten extremely tight, and extremely good at playing together, the songs sounded totally different. So, we recorded them, the way we were performing them. It is, for that reason that i release them now. To showcase the band's playing style, and the song structures, and how they changed from 1998, to 2003. If you were lucky enough to see the band live in 2003-2004 on a good night, you got the same volume and energy as any TOTM show, with added element of keyboards. It was short lived. Only a few months, to be sure. Not too many of the TOTM fans got to experience that part of the band, so...that is why i decided to find this demo, and put it on the new release.


1. Do Not Hurt Luddle
2. The Devils House Of Techno
3. Hell Is At The Bottom Of The Rainbow
4. Fatigued
5. For The Birds
6. Headcheese Recipe (Destroy The Herps)
7. Swing, Daddy...Swing!
8. My Depression Outfit
9. Gas Parade (March Of The Dead)
10. You Smell Better When You Are Dead
11. Jesus Standing Behind The Entertainment
12. Here Comes A Winner (Bonus Track)
13. Downtrodden (Bonus Track)
14. The Devils House Of Techno (Live At Tom Fest 2000)
15. For The Birds (Live At Tom Fest 2000)
16. Fatigued (Live At Tom Fest 2000)
17. Gas Parade (March Of The Dead) (2003 Demo)
18. Fatigued (2003 Demo)
19. Hell Is At The Bottom Of The Rainbow (2003 Demo)
20. For The Birds (2003 Demo)

This album, and many others, can be purchased as a digital download (only, until we can afford LP offer) by visiting the new record label, started Seth, and partially run by yours truly. The goal here is to release every and all releases that we are involved with, as well as re-release any TOTM related, or other past projects. My solo album, Sympathy For The Living has been overhauled and will be available as well. We are releasing everything as download, with optional format (mp3, wav, etc) and some of our main releases will be given full 12" LP treatment, mostly with Unteachers, King Cloud, Opals, and Elesnaphant, etc.
I am hoping, if there is enough $ and demand, to remix, remaster and vinyl-ize TOTM- Modernmu$ick(2000)! but that is ONLY if the demand is worth it. If you or anyone you know demand a vinyl release of that album, please let me know by email, or send us some donations, or pre-order money, and we will make it happen. Its a new label, and we hope that releasing downloads, and 7" splits, will help fund future LPs. For now, check out the site, and let us know what you think. The site is not finished, we are getting all of the finishing touches wrapped up in a week or so.



I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Rick is no longer the drummer for the missing band, Unteachers. The good news is my cousin, Travis Turner, former Crutch/Aletheian drummer, is the new drummer. We have been quietly working on finishing the 7" that Rick and I attempted to make. The 7" quality had some issues, and we decided we wanted to re-record the drums. We will be doing that in March. We are also planning to begin work on the full length album. We are still looking for a Christian bass player to fill in the gap. As far as Rick, he just had little time to commit, and a lot of new things are happening (good things) in his life. I am basically at a point where it is important that i do not let anyone, for any reason, hold me back in finishing my art. The art i am inspired to make and given an opportunity to make, is one that takes a lot of work and determination as well as sacrifice and support, to finish. I am a firm believer that nobody should stop your creativity. If you are given a gift, you may be the only person who sees or hears it. But, that doesn't make it any less vital to use it! In my life, it has been devastating, waiting, and being a perfectionist. The most important thing i can do, as an artist, is actually DO SOMETHING. So, i have been very stubborn with bending those rules. I am not stopping. This recording has to get finished this year. With, or without a band, i will carry out the song writing and recording. Fortunately, i was blessed with Travis's willingness, and passion, and TIME. It has been a really great opportunity for me to spend more time with a member of my family i always miss and hardly fellowship with. Of course Rick is a dear friend, and somebody i think i will always be creative with. We have plans on collaborating on recordings in the future, but for this project, it is vital that i keep moving at my own pace. I love Rick, and Travis both very much, and it has been an HONOR to have both of their talents on past projects, as well as future projects. Travis, as some of you might know, played drums on the TOTM "classic" Screw The Chri$tian Music Industry. We hope to post the 2 new singles for the 7" very VERY soon. Hang in there, this is the pain of independent art! Time, money, sacrifice, and patience!!!

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