2011 - Prairie Sun
2012 - Decibelle
2013 - Hangar
2014 - New, Improved
2015 - WHTBLDG
2016 - Orient Street
2017 - Orient Street
2018 - Public Hi Fi
Drums / Percussion:
Peter Van Gelder
Production / Recording/ Mixing
In 2011, Scott Solter and I went to Prairie Sun Studio in Cotati, CA for a little more than a week. I had more than twenty songs, mostly in half-finished form, and I was imagining a big, sprawling, uninhibited record, with all kinds of songs mixed together. I invited a bunch of great musicians, several of whom slept in the freezing and very damp cabin we had. We worked long days. We made a bunch of music but it was hard to hear a record in there. The working title was "Thou Shalt Be New."
Almost a year later Scott and I went to Decibelle Studios in San Francisco, CA, where I added some new songs and started to ask the musicians to work on lots of cross-rhythms and things like that. I brought more great musicians in. The mixing board broke. We put more sounds on the songs and things were even more unclear after this session than after the first.
The following summer, in June of 2013, we went to Hangar Studios in Sacramento, CA. We all slept in the building, a giant warehouse space by the railroad tracks, filled with figurines and long hallways and empty rooms. Some things seemed to take shape a little bit. Something about rhythm and songwriter music.
During 2014, at some point I recorded some bass, some sitar, and some guitars with Eli Crews and Mark Allen Piccolo at New, Improved Studios in Berkeley, CA. I was still working on the idea of doing a big record, an unapologetic mess of 20+ songs.
In 2015, in the summer, just before moving to Austin, TX, I worked in my studio space, WHTBLDG, trying to finish the record before the move. Some good things seemed to happen, but the sense of a record was still nowhere to be found.
In 2016 I realized that the record as I had envisioned it was not going to work. I cut more than half of the songs. I changed the title to "Latecomers."
In the fall of 2017, I called Scott and asked him to take eight of the songs I had selected and produce them - get them ready for me to re-sing them. He worked his magic at his Orient Street Studio.
In the summer of 2018 I went to Public Hi Fi Studios in Austin, TX with Grant Eppley, and tracked a bunch of vocals, some piano, and quite a few other things. Later in the summer I went to North Carolina to try to mix the record with Scott at Orient Street. We mixed some, but also decided that I should re-sing a few things. We worked remotely through the summer and fall and finally finished mixing Latecomers in September, 2018.
Dave McNair mastered it in November.