Eww Yaboo “I’m Not Afraid” (Influenza)
Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: Influenza, Music.
Described as a “sleepy coal mining town,” the unlikely setting of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is where Eww Yaboo’s collective fortress, affectionately known as “The Notch,” has taken on a reputation due to the “noise” that continually resonates from deep within. But to the trio of Drew Carsillo, Nathan Andre and Pat Austin “The Notch” isn’t simply a recording studio or practice space which also doubles as a sonic nuisance to nearby neighbors—it’s also their home. Recorded there this past August by Joe Grocki, the band’s first two tracks sway between rhythmically enticing (“Don’t Change Yer Mind”) and infectiously energetic (“I’m Not Afraid”). In this edition of Influenza the boys discuss the latter, explaining the production behind the track and how the song lyrically relates to Andre’s own personal “Old Man Marley” experience (a la Home Alone). If that’s not enough to spark your interest, “I’m Not Afraid” has already spawned its own tribute video on YouTube; and if that’s not telling of how sick the song is, I don’t know what is.
Pat Austin: Recording this track was a strange, exciting process. We had only been together for two months. All of us are poor, the typical story, but we have no cash—especially for any real studio time. The three of us decided to pull our small amounts of funds and, along with the help of our fourth roommate Joe Grockie, we turned the second floor of our abode into a recording setup. We were able to scrape together enough money to rent two Neve preamps and two Neumann microphones from Joe and Nate’s friend, colleague, and former mentor, Paul Sinclair. I am probably the least techy guy in the band but I was assured on all fronts that in no way should we, with our lack of funds and much less than spotless house, really have possession of this equipment. Our house, “The Notch,” quickly became something I could have never imagined. Apparently everyone in town hates us due to the constant noise coming from the house. I have heard that the locals have given us the name “that Band House.” Nate’s room was the control room. We recorded the tracks using a free copy of REAPER recording software, due to Nate’s version of Pro-Tools slowing his computer down to a glitchy mess. Joe manned the board, and we went through a few live takes, picked the best one and layered several guitar and vocal tracks over the rhythm section. Pretty standard. For these sessions we wanted to stay loyal to our live sound. We put 10 hours of time into this track. Joe did an initial in-the-box mix and this is how it came out. Pizza and RC Cola made it all possible. The story seems rather typical but we knew we liked what we heard after this track was finished.
Nathan Andre: Jokingly introduced at our shows as a reference to the film Home Alone, there does lie an inspiration: New York City; my year of family loss, serious career confusion, and Drew breaking his ankle, thus removing his bike messenger abilities long enough to not pay the bills and we’re home, back home. Depression? Yes. But we were determined to make something of our time here (now almost two years—YIKES!) I started seeing a doctor professionally, learning to want to start breathing again and shaking off all faulty expectations. It felt like there was someone standing outside of me ready to offer me something beyond just being content in my former, although fiscally sound, yet draining and depressing NYC stint. God? Companion? Lover? There is something really awesome about finally going up to the man whose been shoveling outside all those years and confronting him with the mentality of “why fear”? Near the end of the song there is an apology to anyone I may have been a jerk to in my few years of serious post collegiate confusion. Salvation to the three of us has very different meanings, but playing and living together with these two guys is truly a part of my new found lot. We’re giving it a go.
Drew Andre: This song and this band simply represents where we are all at in our lives: Living in a sleepy coal mining town with these guys and a schizoid cat, back in the house I grew up in, trying not to lose our minds, moving forward and not being afraid of what happens in the meantime.
[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]