Nine Bands Share Their First Recording
Page 7 of 9
For musicians of all ages, one of the most exciting things in the world can be digging your teeth into a brand-new project. With fresh faces and skill sets, the experience can make music feel brand new again for many. So we appreciate it when bands are willing to step back and share earlier works that haven’t seen the light of day.
We asked eight acts, including Rubblebucket, FAWN and ARMS, to share their first recordings as a band and talk about this process, and they were generous enough to revisit their beginnings. Feel free to share your own first recordings in the comment section below.
7. Social Studies – “Dante & Corey War”
Social Studies’ record release party is on Nov. 13 at San Francisco’s The Independent
“’Dante & Corey War’ was the very first song that we completed as a band. We were still searching for our footing, exploring genre and experimenting with sound, not quite sure what we would end up, and I can still remember the feeling that we had hit upon something good when we completed this song.
Dante and Corey were the names of two boys who led warring factions on Michael’s childhood block in Oakpark, Chicago. The song is a pretty bitter critique of the culture of competition, and references the fallout of young men who try to prove themselves through battle and machismo, whether it’s against their peers, or in the military, and ultimately wind up damaged, alone and helpless. I was still coming to terms with my life as a new adult, fresh out of college, and feeling a bit disillusioned by my options in America, and a lot of our early songs reflect that anger and resentment.
Musically, we were really trying to write outside the rules. We were rebellious, tried to skirt convention, and obsessed over structure. We wanted to flaunt in the face of verse-chorus-verse-chorus, but still write something irritatingly catchy, and I can hear all those impulses in this track.
There are so many unique and interesting touches that I still love years later! We have always been meticulous perfectionists, often to the point of overworking our songs, and it really shows in this arrangement. Every part of every song needed it’s own mark. As I listen to this song I want to yell “SLOW DOWN!”. At that point, the tempo of the songs was set by our relative excitement, which was quite frantic, energetic, and lively. So the entire EP was well above 120 bpm. We’ve tempered these impulses over time, thankfully. I would also force myself to lower the song about half an octave. It’s so fun to hear my voice on this recording because I sound so young."—Natalia Rogovin