Faith and the Muse – Where the Land Meets the Sea

My old pals, regular collaborators and erstwhile housemates Faith and the Muse have released a retrospective compilation called Where the Land Meets the Sea: The Best Loved Songs of Faith and the Muse on German record label Danse Macabre. In their usual style, Monica and William have prepared this double CD collection with the greatest care, from the choice and grouping of songs to the beautifully detailed packaging. Read more about the collection on Monica’s blog.

I co-produced, recorded and/or mixed about half of the songs in this collection at the Eye Socket, so the release invokes a lot of happy memories for me as well. The three of us spent many hours together in the studio, and many more on the road (I was their touring drummer in 1995-96). This is an utterly unique band who ambitiously combine elements of gothic and glam rock, ethereal ambient soundscapes, and exotic instrumentation from all over the world – and somehow make it all work. For those new to Faith and the Muse, this collection is a perfect introduction.

In the U.S., Canada and South America, the 2CD set can be ordered directly from Monica’s online store. In the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, order from Danse Macabre.

Monica Richards – Naiades

My good friend, the extraordinary Monica Richards, has released her new album Naiades through Danse Macabre records. This remarkable project combines a twelve-track CD of Monica’s strongest work to date with a hardcover board book filled with artwork by a staggering array of pop and comic artists.

The album features collaborations with ex-Grey Matter member (and famous horror writer) Steve Niles (bass and guitars), Marzia Rangel (cello), Paul Mercer (violin), Steven James (guitar) and more. I co-produced, adding drums to a few songs, and mixed and mastered the album at The Eye Socket.

The accompanying book is a thing of wonder: Thirty-two pages of dazzling color artwork, nearly all of which was created specifically for this project, illustrating the lyrics, themes and emotions that run throughout the music. The artists include some of the biggest names in comic and pop art: Bernie Wrightson, James O’Barr, Bill Sienkiewicz, Kelley Jones, Chrissie Zullo, and many others.

Buy Naiades directly from Monica here or as an mp3 download here.

Monica Richards – “Pride”

My dear friend Monica Richards has released Pride, a new digital single from her upcoming album Naiades. The song features guitars and bass by renowned horror writer (and erstwhile DC punk) Steve Niles, who played on about half of the album. I co-produced and mixed it all at The Eye Socket, and added drums to a few songs (including Pride).

Naiades is a unique and very exciting project. The CD will include not only an album of Monica’s strongest music to date, but a beautifully packaged 32-page hardcover board book with original artwork from some of the most remarkable names in comic and pop art: Bernie Wrightson, James O’Barr, Bill Sienkiewicz, Kelley Jones, Chrissie Zullo, and many others! The album is set for release in January 2012 on Danse Macabre Records.

Pride is available now from Amazon and iTunes. Visit for more information.

Monica Richards – The Strange Familiar EP

The Strange Familiar EP

Multimedia performance artist, creative superforce and ex-D.C. punk Monica Richards has released a new solo EP entitled The Strange Familiar, which I co-produced, mixed and mastered at the Eye Socket.

A preview of her forthcoming album NAIADES, the EP showcases Monica at her best, effortlessly commanding a colorful landscape of orchestral majesty, gothic rock, and electronica, with her distinctive voice front and center. The EP includes an exclusive remix (also done by me) of the song “A Good Thing” from Monica’s previous solo album Infrawarrior.

Order The Strange Familiar on import CD (signed!) directly from Monica’s site, or download from CD Baby.

FER003: Viva Death – Curse the Darkness

Viva Death - Curse the Darkness
Curse the Darkness

The third Viva Death album, Curse the Darkness, is now available worldwide on Functional Equivalent Recordings. Listen below.

Our recommended download provider is bandcamp which offers digital files in your choice of high resolution formats, and includes the digital booklet with artwork and lyrics when you purchase the full album.

Digital downloads are also available from:
iTunes (digital booklet also included with album)

A compact disc version is also available from Amazon.

Viva Death also has a completely revamped website, with streaming audio from all three albums (including unreleased tracks from the first two) and an official Facebook page.

Recording notes: I co-produced (along with Scott), recorded and mixed, serving my usual Viva Death role of noises and effects. This album deviates from Viva Death precedent in two important ways. First, we set aside the “baritone guitars only” rule of the first two albums. Bass and standard guitars feature prominently (along with some baritones). Second, Scott (Shiflett) played everything — the usual Viva Death lineup was unavailable, so apart a few special guest appearances, all the drums, bass, guitars and vocals were rendered by Scott. Despite these significant differences, the sound is unmistakably Viva Death: dark, strange, angular, sometimes ferociously aggressive, sometimes spacey and psychedelic.

We tracked drums to tape (analog 24 track, 15 ips, no noise reduction) in Studio A at Kingsize Soundlabs. We moved to Studio B to overdub bass and guitars, with the invaluable aid of Trever Keith in providing gear and setting up guitar sounds (see pics on the photos page). From there, the project went to The Eye Socket where we recorded vocals, more guitars, the occasional keyboard, samples and other weirdness with copious amounts of tape echo. Satnam Singh Ramgotra lent his formidable tabla skills to one track (Love Lust Trust), and our dear friend Monica Richards (of Faith and the Muse) added backing vocals to another (Talking Backwards). We mixed the tracks at The Eye Socket, recording the masters to 1/2″ analog (an Ampex ATR-102 machine) at 15 ips. Joe Gastwirt mastered the album at his studio.