Recorded, drunk and disheveled, in the Rubber Room in the space between 1996 & 1997 on the last two and a half tracks of a dying four-track. There’s a hum throughout this album, lot’s of noise, and a lot of sloppy playing/recording. I can’t blame it all on the condition of the 4-track, although that was definitely part of it. And as bad as some it sounds, it’s still one of my favorite albums. I think I was in a rush to get it recorded. There’s a lot of different songs for me here, I was trying some different things stylistically and just wanted to get them down and into people’s ears, almost like Stuart from Mad TV going, “Look what I can do!” My lo-fi percussion collection was growing, and I started incorporating metal racks duck taped to mic stands that I played with homemade broken guitar-string brushes. I also had one of those rhythm eggs that I’d hold in my pick hand when I recorded the acoustic guitars, or tape to a drum stick while I beat on a wine rack.
You can really hear the faux drums on “Schoolbus”, a song about a girl we knew in high-school. She was a big girl, who was dubbed “Schoolbus” by the group of friends she used to drive to school each day. I want to say her name was Kelly but I can’t be sure. I remember being in the back of her Chevette one night with a few other people. We were cruising down this long straight road, going maybe 50 or so when the driver just threw it in reverse to see what would happen. I don’t think Schoolbus had that many really close friends. Anyway, the song’s pure fiction. I don’t remember her actually burning down the town or anything, but if she had, I guess I would’ve understood why.
“Second Skin” was inspired by a novel of the same name that I found in a trash bin in Cambridge. And “Bly” is mostly a poem by Robert Bly that I added a bit to and built a song around. “Reunion Cafe” felt like a breakthrough song at the time. I remember being really proud of the barroom to schoolyard clique comparisons. I was really proud of the whole album song-wise, and at the same time frustrated with how shitty I thought it came out sound-wise. That kind of thing happens to me a lot. The realization is often a bit of a letdown when compared to the original idea.
The Album cover was created by my friend Scott Remilard, an extremely talented graphic designer and all around great guy. I asked him if he could make me a cover, told him it was going to be called Wetbrain, and he had this for me the next day. I’m still not sure whose head it actually is.
The soundbites are from the film Kicking and Screaming, the 1995 one, not the one with Will Farrel. It’s a great movie if you’re a fan of witty dialogue and social commentary. I think it resonated with me so much because it’s a film about recent college grads and that’s what I was at the time.