Remember in my post about Lifted Bells how I said that I wanted to get all of the other bands those guys played in? Well, I got one! This is one of Matthew Frank’s bands. I didn’t know Matt before the Lifted Bells session, but he had a great time during that one, and he’s a super cool fella, so I asked him if he’d like to bring in any of his other bands, he said he’d love to have Rec Drugs come in, so we booked it!
This session came about in a fairly strange way. I had seen Western Settings’ name popping up here and there on my Facebook feed and on some sites I like to visit. I decided, “I’ll check ‘em out” so I listened to their record Yes It Is on Spotify. I really enjoyed it! Here’s where it gets a little funny. About 12 hours after first listening to Western Settings, I get an email from Vito Nurset asking if my band, The Bigger Empty would like to be on the bill for their show coming up at Quencher’s Saloon here in Chicago. Was this a random coincidence, or was Vito stalking my Spotify activity? I’ll never know. Having listened to, and thoroughly enjoyed their record, of course I said yes we’ll play that show.
LFTRR session 5 brings us Lifted Bells. I hadn’t heard much of Lifted Bells music prior to their session, but I’ve been a fan of Bob Nanna’s work for many years. I knew I wanted to have one of Bob’s bands come in for a session, so I emailed him about having Lifted Bells come in. I’ve known Bob for a while and have played a handful of shows for events hosted by his site Downwrite.com. I figured he would be game for bringing one of his bands in. (for the record, we want ALL of Bob’s bands to come in, this is an open invitation!).
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that Avenues are part two of the double session with Knockin’ Bones.
I was excited for this one as these guys have a very special place in my heart. I’ve known Vin for a while now, not even exactly sure how we met. Either at a show or on Facebook, doesn’t matter I guess.
Knockin’ Bones is the first band not native to Illinois to come into The Rock Room for a session. These guys came to us all the way from Austin, Texas! They’re also the first band in which I didn’t know any of the members personally.
This session took place the same day as the Avenues session (see the next blog post). Knockin' Bones' singer, Marc Alan, is also the drummer for Avenues so we decided to shoot both bands on the same day. This marks the first double header.
We've got one session under our belts. Now, we're veterans!
One of the first bands I thought about having in for a session was Turnspit. They're a newer band from the scene here in Chicago. I'd heard a lot of good things about them and I happen to know a couple of the guys in the band. Plus, I hadn't seen them live yet, so why not see them in the best venue in town - The Rock Room, with a capacity of about 5.
The first Rock Room session with Smoking Popes...what are we doing?
From the very first jam session in The Rock Room, it struck me that this room was special. It sounded and felt so great playing in there compared to anywhere I've rehearsed before. I recall when The Bigger Empty finished the very first song played in the room I said something like, "ya know, we could record live in here!" I'm pretty sure Jim and Reuben just laughed and kicked into the next song. I wasn't kidding though. Since the first notes were played in the space, I had it in my head that we needed to be doing something here.
Welcome to the first LFTRR blog post, here we go!
I'll start by filling you in a bit on the backstory. The room was dubbed "The Rock Room" months before it was even built. When my wife Stephanie and I moved from Crystal Lake down to Westmont a few years ago, one of the things I was most excited about was that our house had a basement that I could build a studio in.