The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. -T. S. Eliot
We like to joke about our past albums and refer to them as our “children.” Like all good mothers we say we love them all equally. But catch us on the right day and any band that’s been around the block a few times might have some more discerning feelings about their various offspring. I Dream Of Teeth always felt like a middle child. It was an ambitious album for us. The one that proceeded it, Poseur, felt like a refined extension of our first record, including some of our best received songs like Bad Music & Swamp Thing. But we were looking for something different with Teeth. We started experimenting with longer song lengths and different genres. Our home studio was allowing us more space to experiment with production in ways that we never had before. Our process started to become much more collaborative. Nan was talking more about melodies. I was talking more about rhythm. The lofi pop honeymoon was over. We were figuring out where to go from there. If you listen closely you can hear us searching and growing with each passing minute. What we would come to discover years later is that there were some good songs in there as well.
Flash forward to early 2014. We were working on a batch of new songs. For whatever reason (this time) the process was stalling. Experience has taught us not to linger when feeling bogged down creatively. So, as an exercise we starting hacking away at a pared-down version of the song Sidesaddle, from I Dream Of Teeth. It had been years since the last time we played it. We broke the song down to its core elements. I played acoustic guitar and Nan was using hot rods, (which are a light drumstick- thicker than brushes but not as heavy as regular drumsticks). We were amazed to discover how natural it felt. It was like we had just extracted this new song from the shell of its former self. We were trusting ourselves more with the material and connecting more while playing, which was always the juice behind Schwervon! to begin with. We started applying the same “broken down” treatment to 5 more songs, all from the album I Dream of Teeth. It felt good.
We decided to throw some mics up in our practice room and see what happened. The result was a more intimate “Home-Fi” version of these songs. It was a remarkable experience in getting back to basics. I feel like this project will have a profound effect on some of our new material and it’s going to be a fun listen for the people who are already familiar with any of our back catalog. But even if this was the first Schwervon! recording you ever heard, I think it could serve as a great introduction as well. An official release is planned for the fall on local KC label Haymaker Records.
MMMIn the mean time check out some pics from the Broken Teeth home recording sessions here: