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MP3 Vapor Tank - Crime and Magic

The name Vapor Tank is an allusion to the spirit that lies within our perceived physical shells.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Goth, METAL: Alternative Metal

Vapor Tank began a couple of years ago when I was writing songs for an album that I had always wanted to produce. I knew nothing about recording music so Sam offered to help me get my computer set up to do so. Up until that point I had only written “Visor Down” and a song called “Crushing Fountains” that ended up not making it on the album as it was a bit too “unsettling”. Then one night, as I was going to sleep I thought, “''Wreckage'' would be a good title for a song.” The very next day Sam came over with the computer he had set up for the recording process and said, “Check out this beat I made.” As I began listening to it, I immediately knew that what I was hearing would become “Wreckage”. Synchronicity. It became the first song we collaborated on. After that, we began sending each other beats and riffs back and forth through the mail and working on tracks at our homes in different cities. Vapor Tank was born.

I hope you enjoy the album.

INVASION > Sam had sent me a bunch of sounds and textures, along with a combination of beats we had made. I found a bassline he had recorded in the mix and eloborated on it, adding a bridge and chorus. The concept of the song began as a visual idea that came from a drawing I had made. It is about how nature spares no one the reality of aging and the demise of innocence. This song formed quite easily, and after it was done, I knew I wanted it as the opening track of the album.

THE RITUAL > One of our favorites. This song also began with Sam sending me a bunch of sounds and textures, and basslines, along with a combination of beats we had made. I really let go with the arrangement on this one. It has a lot of space in it and I think it works well. The song is basically set up in two parts. The initial opening/guitar/verse section, then the funkier second section. Sam came up with the funky bassline which allowed me to be very rhythmic with the vocals. It took a long time to get the transition between the two sections right. It finally arrived when I had borrowed Sam''s Nord Lead 3 synth and nailed it down. The guitar was done on a beautifully overcast and slightly rainy autumn afternoon. I usually record late at night, but I wanted to capture the feel of the weather outside that day. I think I did.

SURROUNDING > Sam had taken some beats I had made, added some more beats, melody lines, and textures and just made them sound huge. He played it to me over the phone one night and I knew it would be a fun track to work on. This song came together pretty quickly. The guitar riff was influenced by Billy Duffy of "The Cult". I always liked simple, melodic, and tasty riffs. The song is about the endless possibilities that surround us all at any given moment.

AGENT > The main theme is about the artistic condition, and the madness that can accompany it. I usually start out programming beats and then building songs from there. But this drum line was actually made to work around the main guitar progression. It was extremely difficult figuring out all the different guitar leads on this song. I think I had a mild nervous breakdown at one point. This song is interesting because it is actually based on two other songs. The main verse section being based on "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett and the second chorus section being based on the chorus of "Don''t Look Back In Anger" by Oasis. Who would have thought?

SHELLS > This one is all Sam except for some guitar that I played on it. I liked this song as soon as Sam first played it for me. It''s got a nice chilled out feel to it. I originally tried to put some vocals on it, but it seemed to work better as an instrumental. Sam said it''s sort of an homage to The Verve. ( "A Storm In Heaven" is one of our favorite albums. ) It reminds me of "All Cats Are Grey" by The Cure. It also worked well as an instrumental because the album has so much going on, it served as a nice moment to "catch your breath", so to speak. Sam says he''s working on a couple songs right now along this line, but even better.

VISOR DOWN > This song was written before I even knew I would really be recording an album. It was written when I was working at a really crap job and was feeling really down. One night I was so depressed I felt as if my entire body was made of led. I remember practically crawling over to my guitar to try and lift myself out of what I was feeling. It worked. Twenty minutes later, I had written the whole song. I couldn''t believe it. I had never ( and still have never ) written a song so fast. I was so blown away, I immediately grabbed my 4-track and at 11:00 at night, drove down to the warehouse where I worked, set up my mic, and belted that motherfucker out. It was one of those experiences where music became power. If to no one but myself.

( The original acoustic demo of this song might be available in the future. )

PRAYER MAZE > Sort of an experiment. Any Oasis fans out there will probably notice similarities between the opening chords and those of "Columbia". ( With a slight variation. ) I wanted to emulate that song by the way the verse and chorus sections are sung over the same repeating chord progression. This was the only song on the album to have live drums on it. ( Danny Carey, Look Out. Ha! Ha! ) Low in the mix you can also hear me playing the floor of the room I was in with drumsticks. Vanguard.

CHROME > This brief song was put together by Sam the night before we were to go into the studio to begin mixing. We wanted another instrumental piece and Sam threw it down. The guitar part was actually taken from another song called "Narration Defense" that I had recorded earlier but never got used. I only wished we would have had more time to elaborate on it and make it a more proper song.

TARGET > Came together pretty quickly. I wanted to keep this song kind of simple with no elaborate structure. Very straight forward with a little more space in it. You can definitely hear my Peter Hook influence in the bass leads on this one. ( Unintentional, what can you do? ) The lyrics were inspired by the notion that your physical location is not relevant to what you are able to accomplish or become. And also by the fact that 99.9% of all physical matter ( including our own bodies ) is made up of "empty space". Or, as some have called it, "A never-ending sea of pure potentiality."

WRECKAGE > The first song that me and Sam worked on together. We did not know what the hell we were doing at the time. I think the song is basically 2 notes. Johannes Luley, our engineer, added some drums in the chorus to make it sound really big. This song had more tracks than any other on the album. Something like 75. Crazy. I wore myself down arranging this thing. The reason it''s like eight minutes long is because I didn''t know how to use the software that well yet. I started arranging the thing while looking at the wrong time clock. I kept thinking, "It''s still only 2.5 minutes long?" So I kept trying to come up with all these "breakdowns" and such. Then Sam finally comes over to my house and says, "Dude, you''re looking at the wrong time clock!" Oh well, 8 minutes it is. It''s the big finish.

I can''t help but again mention Johannes Luley for his work on this album. We were so lucky to have found him out of all the music producers out there. We brought him A MOUNTAIN of tracks that weren''t really recorded properly, ( Like I said, we didn''t know what we were doing. ) and he just dove right in and started fixing everything he could. Not only that, he had a lot of cool ideas that just made everything sound a little better. He really cared, and it shows. I shudder to think what this album would have sounded like if we had worked with someone else. If you ever need a solid producer / engineer / mixer, don''t hesitate to contact him. You''ll be glad you did. He''s a real pro.

Thanks Dr. J.

And don''t forget the strobelight!



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