Very excited to announce that Ryan Prows will be directing a short film in the form of three serialized videos for our upcoming record entitled “Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls”. Ryan has directed the feature film “Lowlife” and also directed a video for “Raise Me” from the Hotel Alexis’ last record “Raised on Fire”. Expect something cinematic in scope and narrative.
His videos are like packing a feature film into three minutes of music so imagine what he will be able to do within the scope of this ambitious, three-video spanning film. While no release date has been set, look out for this epic work in early September 2019.
We all met up in Sunapee, NH and it was hot if I recall. We actually intended this to be two different records as it was made in two separate trips to the church (more on that later, probably). Did I mention it was hot? Seeing all the old faces was wonderful and we quickly got about the business of making a record. Yorgi was at the helm but was quite generous about letting others take the wheel (this is a metaphoric wheel, there is no actual wheel) when it made sense. So Guy would jump into the control seat or occasionally someone else. I had sent the gang a bunch of songs as “demos” in various states. None of which were particularly complete or all that interesting. But we started to breathe some kind of magic into them. Some kind of alchemy between the ghosts of the old church, now pewless, the crucible of long friendship, the sweat, the electricity. As usual though, I thought it was an unmitigated disaster at the time. It always seems like that. I think it’s because it never matches the vision you have in your mind. But I’ve learned to let go of that vision a little bit (or a lot) and let the molecules of the moment seep into everything.
It started in a church. Well, actually let’s go back. It started with a fall. When I first met Michael Yorgensen who would go on to produce this record (and be one of my best, lifelong friends) I fell down a full story by stepping backwards into a hole in the unfinished floor. A nail that was sticking out deeply scratched the entire length of my body but I did land on my feet! I was dazed and bleeding and had to leave the party. It was an auspicious beginning.
Cut to circa 2017 and Michael and I start talking about making a record together, something we’d been wanting to do for far too long (and something we’d taken tentative stabs at over the years but never been able to kill).
Michael had been looking for a church to buy. His dream was – and is – to convert an old church into a recording studio offering services to those who might not otherwise have the means to make a recording (thus was born Community Recording Services the non-profit that he and Karen have formed).
Anyway, Michael (Yorgi we call him) finds this old wonderful church in New Hampshire and the owner – the inimitable, though we all try, Roger (favorite line of his “that was dryer than a popcorn fart” said regarding I can’t remember what) – agrees to rent it for a week or so. Yorgi hauls a full recording studio worth of equipment, including many guitars, amps, AND A PIANO that we’re still not sure where it came from and sets up camp in the church.
I flew out from Portland and the rest of the east coast gang converged on the church in summer of 2017 (god, could it have been 2016? It’s a bit of a blue, frankly). Karen and Michael tell us in no uncertain terms that they will be playing host and will be providing everything we need so that we can focus on the recording process. They are true to their word and Karen seems to show up with delicious snacks at the perfect moment and creates incredible full meals for us which we eat collectively in the basement that she’s tricked out into a kitchen an dining area.
While Yorgi and Karen let us know we were welcome to stay in the church with them (albeit without beds), I elected to rent a cabin nearby and the rest of us stayed there. It was hot and I am a sweater (as in a sweat a lot not as in I’m a garment meant to keep you warm, god this is getting long and I haven’t even gotten us to the start of recording yet and I have you know, work to do so let me pause this here and I will be back to fill you in on the rest of the adventure soon).