Let’s play compare/contrast!
AM/FM started as a little side thing in my bedroom as Franklin was, more or less, coming apart at the seams. Inspired by the less is more mentality, I believed perhaps that I might be able to spread my wings a bit and write my own songs with little or no thought and be struck with unimaginable creativity. You see, one of the best things about being a young kid in a band with no real talent or musicianship is the undeniable opinion and inspiration that anything is possible. Franklin was very much like that when we started. Any noise at all was an accomplishment and its very rattle sounded right.
After awhile, your perspective changes. You start to consider musicianship and song writing. Once you know how to play a C chord properly, you begin to ponder the craft of creativity which in some ways kills it. The second you’re aware of trying to create, trying to slide something into place to fit a preconceived notion of the end product, you’ve pretty much lost the very thing that made it exciting and explosive to begin with.
So, after 8 years of Franklin, learning seemed for the birds and simplifying and not thinking too hard about the process seemed like the way to go. I’d try and write a song a night not worrying about whether or not it was any good. Just record it and see what happens. I was restricted by only having a Tascam 4-track with only 3 operating tracks. In addition, I didn’t know how to bounce tracks so we’re talking seriously limited capabilities.
Somehow, I eeked out a cassette worth of demos and recordings. Ultimately, those demos encouraged Mike Parsell to say, “Hey, I kinda like these songs, let’s play them together!” Then, they encouraged some folks to let us put out some records and go on some tours.
Odd how things happen. Or perhaps it’s luck.
I’m posting two songs today. The first, Boys, Girls & Surgeons was one of those 4-track cassette recordings. Mike and I recorded it in his parents basement with him on guitar and me on the drums. Maybe it took 30 minutes to write and record.
The second song, Our Night, was one of the last recordings Mike and I made as AM/FM. It was originally slated to be released on the Our Day EP that never was completed. This song might represent (what I consider to be) my most complete songwriting effort, our best recorded performance and my most competent vocals.
I’m not sure which I like better.
p.s. – I should mention the AM/FM photo up top there was taken in Sea Isle City by Tim Owen. In addition, the bass playing on Our Night was by bass lord, Josh Mills.
Boys, Girls & Surgeons