END OF SILENCE DEMOS...
CD 1 DEMO 1991
|1||Low Self Opinion||4:55|
|4||You Didn't Need||5:40|
|7||What Do You Do||6:22|
|10||Just Like You||6:02|
CD 2 READING UK 1992 +
|1||Low Self Opinion||6:57|
|4||What Do You Do||8:43|
|6||Hole in the Back of My Mind||8:48|
|8||Hollow Man w/ Vernon Reid (NYC NY 1992)||10:06|
|9||Jam w/ the Butthole Surfers (Boston MA 1991)||9:47|
On February 10, 1991, we loaded into Graphic, a small studio in New Jersey and set up.
Theo put the mics up and rolled tape. We played the set of new songs like we had been
doing in Andrew's basement every day. Everything was pretty much one take. Vocals were
all done on the spot. Blues Jam was just that, a simple jam we did and refined
later and put on the End of Silence album recorded in October of the same year.
A few overdubs were done in the following days at Andrew's house and the songs were
mixed onto a cassette and that was that. It was soon forgotten. The tapes sat at
Andrew's for awhile and then made their way out to my place where they sat some more.
I had been thinking about the session at one point, wondering about the quality of the
music and the sound, I became curious. I asked ace producer, engineer, mixer of our last
several albums, Clif Norrell, if he would be interested in giving the tapes a mix. He had
time and inclination and after a bit of searching, we located a 1" 16-track machine and
loaded it into studio 3 at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, the place where we have
recorded a lot of material as of late. The tapes had to be baked to keep them from
shedding on playback. That being done, the tracks were loaded into a Radar 24 digital
system and mixing began.
I didn't know what to expect. I reckoned if it sucked we could leave it alone. After
Clif got some sounds up on the track Low Self Opinion I was surprised at how good it
sounded and the energy of the playing. Damn, these guys are good. There's never been a
sound like Andrew's. Sim is on fire and Chris' playing is furious and brilliant and of
course, no one could ever capture their sound as well as Theo. What a band. Things
popped up that I had forgotten. One morning when Clif was starting the mix on Almost
Real, he asked about the saxophone track on the song. Saxaphone? Oh yeah! Sim's brother
Mark sometimes played with us at shows. He came in and out some horn on the track.
Sounds damn cool and it's great to have him on a track with us. A few days later, the
mixes where all in and I thought they sounded strong.
There's a song on this collection called Human, which was tracked in the studio only
once, played a few times live and then dropped out of the set for good.
So why put these tracks out? I figure those who are interested will really get off on a
good piece of work that's not some lame knock-off. The songs and the playing stand up.
We worked very hard on this stuff. Songwriting wasn't always an easy process for us.
There were five very opinionated people in the band that makes for a sometimes tense
working atmosphere, to say the least. The songs contained in this set are a good look
back at those times and an acknowledgement of the extreme level of everyone's dedication
and considerable effort. Some of the finest people I have ever had the good luck to work
with. What a monster band this was.
So, hopefully you will enjoy this ancient blast from the past. Thanks.
All tracks produced by Theo Van Rock
All tracks mastered by Phil Klum at Jigsaw Mastering, NYC
All songs written by Rollins Band except: Do It (Twink),
Hollow Man (Rollins Band & Vernon Reid),
Jam (Rollins Band & Butthole Surfers).
All songs published by Imago Music except: Do It (MAM),
Hole in the Back of My Mind, Hollow Man, Jam
(2.13.61/Emaciated/Wrack It Jams/Rhythm Wreck).
Disc 1: Tracked at Graphic Studios, NJ, February 1991.
Overdubs done at Andrew's, February 1991. Mixed at
Cherokee Studios, March 2002. Mixed by Clif Norrell,
Assistant Engineer: Matt Petrich.
Sax on Almost Real: Mark McDonald
Disc 2: Tracks 1-7: Live Reading UK 1992
Track 8: NYC 1992, Track 9: Boston, MA 1991.
Thanks: Dan Brewer and Russo's Music, Audrey McDonald, Mark McDonald,
The ever wonderful staff at Cherokee, the Robbs, Trenton NJ, the Crystal Diner,
and Mitch Bury of Adams Mass.
For information on Henry Rollins tour dates, books, CDs, t-shirts, videos
DVDs and more, go to: www.henryrollins.com / www.21361.com
JOE COLE 4.10.61 - 12.19.91
Andrew Weiss: Henry Rollins: Chris Haskett: Theo Van Rock: Sim Cain:
Bass Throat Guitar Rock Juicer Drums
Low End Ranger
Let me begin by writing that I am really happy that Rollins decided to put this together
and release it. It is a great listen and not be missed by fans of the early 90's Rollins Band
and the END OF SILENCE. In a way, hearing this demo provides some
explanation for how the album they recorded just a few months later turned out to be as good as it is.
Rollins gives a big hint in his liner notes (see above): The band practiced these songs as a
set consistently, and also toured a few of them in 1991. What it adds up to is relentless, deliberate
preparation, which paid off in the studio. Even in February for this demo, I get the sense that this
band had played these songs enough times that they knew them back and forth, so that by October they've
totally mastered them. Result: The END OF SILENCE.
The quality of the sound for the demo tracks is more than adequate. I almost get the sense of a live
show in a very small, boomy, bassy venue (with no crowd). The performance is exhilirating. It does not
feel like a band going through the motions, it feels like a band giving their all. The songs are more or
less in the form they would appear in on the album, with little details differing here and there. In general,
the tempo tends to be a little higher here, with shorter track lengths. Low
Self Opinion ends a bit differently. The lyrics in Grip haven't evolved to their final form yet.
Tearing, You Didn't Need, and What Do You Do appear very much as they do later, and not
surprisingly these songs were included in 1991 live sets. Almost Real features the saxophone stylings
of Mark McDonald, Sim Cain's brother, something that also happened on occassion at 1991 live
shows in the Northeast. Obscene opens with some drumming that I can only described as monstrous!
Blues Jam is a special treat amongst the tracks, having that feel of spontaneity that only an improvised
jam can give. I really enjoy the experimental interaction when the Rollins Band jams this way, and
this is a particularly successful example that spawned a great song. Another Life doesn't feel fully
fleshed out yet, it sounds more unsure than the other tracks. Just Like You is an unbelievable
performance, furious and passionate. At one point, after Rollins delivers the lyric "taste my rage!"
you can faintly here someone shout "Yeah!". Human gives us a rare listen to a song that didn't get
very far, and was only recorded in this demo session. It has a different feel than the other tracks, more
70's rock than the others, and reminds me more of some Black Flag or 2000 era Rollins Band tracks.
Also, it has a sort of optimistic advisory outlook that goes againsts the grain
for this material (excepting Low Self Opinion and Grip). In some ways, it reminds me of the
kind of sentiment expressed by Shine on WEIGHT.
As if this wasn't enough, this release includes a second disc containing some great live material. The first
seven tracks are from a performance at the Reading Festival in the UK from 1992. There was a video feed
from this festival, and there are old videotapes of this performance around. Having seen this performance on video
(with less than great sound), I was very pleased to hear it on this CD. This is a excellent recording of a great,
short, intense set. A special treat is Hole in the Back of My Mind, a song that was never recorded in the
studio but was performed in 1991/1992. Its lyrical content is about Rollins surviving the robbery that
killed his friend Joe Cole, and is heartfelt and passionate about the guilt of surviving. The next track is
a jam with Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid at a 1992 Rollins Band show in New York. Reid is
a truly innovative guitarist, at times evocative of Jimi Hendrix, so hearing him in improvisational context is a treat.
Finally, also thrown in is the jam with the Butthole Surfers from the 1991 Lollapalooza show in Boston, a
track that can also be found on HAMMER OF THE ROK GODZ and the END OF SILENCE
David Tenenbaum (11.17.02)