Demos and Sketches Part 1 – Wasted
When Dramaglider released our debut album in October 2018, we also put out a Limited-Edition Boxed Set which included “Demos and Sketches” – a special bonus CD highlighting unheard early versions of all nine “Dramaglider” tracks – along with a handmade booklet sprinkled with little side notes, details, and behind-the-scenes tidbits and silliness. Restricted to only six-pages, I made a promise to myself to revisit and expand upon some of that content when things slowed down. I figure now’s as good a time as any to make due on that promise.
In addition to experiencing my first major recording project, a personal achievement while putting this album together was that it got me making art again. Up to this point in the band’s career, I’d been handling the majority of the band’s art direction. This has allowed me to sort of dilly dally and quietly experiment without having to actually commit to anything. But with the idea of an actual real album staring back at us, it was thrilling to finally pick a lane. The kinetic dripply drip-drip you see above is an example of one of many unseen splatters and doodles inspired by this particular cycle of songs.
The album itself kicks off in rockin’ fashion with “Wasted on You“. If you haven’t heard this song yet, then there’s obviously something very wrong with you. Point your browser over HERE to give it a listen. “Wasted” is one of me and Hobbes’ oldest songs: a very 90’s sounding alternative rock holdover from when we played together in a band called A Day Without. It also marks the first time I heard Emily Anderson’s angelic voice.
The story goes that before Dramaglider became Dramaglider, there were two Craigslist ads floating around the web that eventually led to all of us meeting. Emily had recently moved to Chicago and was looking for a backing band to accompany her singer/songwriter adventures in her new hometown. And then there was me and Hobbes’ persistent crusade to find the right female rock vocalist for our loud/quiet/moody guitar assault. At the time our paths crossed, I happened to be busy working and fleshing out material with a young woman who I felt was a strong candidate for the job. Unbeknownst to me, Hobbes discovered Emily’s ad and was going about his way collaborating with her.
One of the things he shared with her over email was an old demo of ours called “Lloyd” that not only showcased some very questionable bass playing, but some disturbingly embarrassing programmed drums. What can I say? We like working this way. Even though our project was just me and Hobbes – two grouchy guitar players – this was his idea of a sort of pseudo-audition to see what she could come up with within the context of a full band.
Now keep in mind, I had no idea Emily Anderson even existed at this point. I was putting in a lot of time and effort with this other vocalist, all the while keeping Hobbes perfectly updated on our progress. So as far as I was concerned the gig was hers. But that idea was thrown completely out the window when Hobbes decided to surprise me with this track. Despite the precarious situation Hobbes’ “Elusiveness” was about to put me in, the second I heard Emily’s voice cutting through our guitars, along with the irresistible “ooh ooh” hooks* she playfully dangles through the choruses, I knew there was no way she could NOT be our singer.
Here’s that early version of “Wasted on You” exactly as I heard it – months before George, Candice, and our first drummer – Trever – would join the group and flesh out our sound:
It should be noted there’s also a stripped down acoustic sketch of this song floating around out there that you can take home and listen to via digital download by joining our Mailing List. Feel free to click HERE for details.
Next up: Everything Is Red.
MEETING NEIL IS EASY
*Oddly enough, these parts that I originally fell in love with never made the final version of the song. The pain is real.