My drummer buddy Steven Fox came up this weekend. In early 1989 he'd come into the Kinko's where I worked in college when he was playing with a San Francisco band called Show & Tell. He needed fliers. Almost two decades later and I still haven't been able to shake him.
I saw Show & Tell open for Voice Farm at the Stone in SF. Shortly thereafter, Show & Tell reformed into Atomic Snakes (my favorite incarnation). They were making solid, clean, new wave-style alternative rock in the age of Nirvana and Soundgarden. You might guess what happened to that project. Then Steven began drumming for Riots, kind of a club/rave project. For whatever reason, the dude has just never been in the right place or time to sieze a particular zeitgeist and get signed. So now he happily plays at the "hobbyist" level, despite a great talent and a warm, friendly and non-elitist personality (a rarity of in almost any genre of music).
He was hanging out at our Fremont, CA home studio when the first And Tears Fell album was being recorded. I'd been wanting to collaborate with the guy since forever, and aside from sampling some of his drums for my various Starbug/Impetus works, we'd never actually played on the same album together. So it was a real treat when he accepted my invitation to play drums on the And Tears Fell "Requiem" project.
I can't tell you how awesome it was to have my old friend show up in Seattle to bash out all eleven tracks in less than 4 hours. Considering that ATF had always used programmed drums, it marked a technical first. And after 18 years, we've finally been able to collaborate. We even broke for lunch at one point and headed around the corner to the restaurant where Muriel was working, so the two of them were actually able to meet. All in all, we were in the studio from 10AM until almost 2PM, broke for an hour and then went back in to go over a few bits and pieces - we were gone by 5PM. And even as much drumming as Steven did, I think I was more exhausted just from having watched him play.
I put him on the plane back to San Jose today. We both have a good feeling and a real sense of completion about this album. Now to finish up the fiddly work.