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pre-Anacrusis

Whereas SUFFERING HOUR was a mixed bag of old and new material, REASON was us beginning to find our own identity. This album hasAnacrusis 1990 some of my all-time favorite ANACRUSIS songs on it. We had originally begun with a eight song demo which contained "Quick To Doubt" and "Child Inside" (twomore re-worked Heaven’s Flame songs w/new lyrics), "Terrified", "Pendulum" (a song from our Annihilation Complete demo which would later get some new music and lyrics and become the bonus Reason sculpture phototrack "Killing My Mind"), "Wrong", "Silent Crime", "Not Forgotten", and "Injustice" (also a leftover from the first demo). As anyone who is familiar with the album can see there is a shining absence in "Stop Me" and "Afraid To Feel". Both of these songs were written very close to the time of the album’s recording. In fact it wasn’t until we were in the studio that the other guys actually heard a finished version of either of them with vocals. These two songs were to become a blueprint for the direction we would later take lyrically and musically. I can only imagine how different an album REASON would have been without them. I had always been a huge Pink Floyd fan (especially THE WALL) and wanted to try and bring some of their dynamic range to heavier music. I remember at first no one knew what to make of "Stop Me". We weren’t sure if it would come off as being too "wimpy" and had always intended to have "Terrified" be the first track on the album. One day Kevin and I were talking before band practice and we decided, "hey what if we put 'Stop Me' first?" We thought it would give the album a completely different feel, and I think it did. The sad thing is I think these songs also are two of our worst recordings. The playing is very sloppy, the mix is muddy, and ultimately, they did not turn out nearly as good as they could have. This album was also hastily recorded in a total of about ten days. It was recorded the same way our demos were usually done, with me and Mike laying down drums and a 'scratch' rhythm guitar, followed by bass, guitars, solos and vocals being added later. I think the sound of the mix can best be described as an overcompensation for the lack of effects and layers of overdubs on SUFFERING HOUR. That, and the fact that I was constantly listening to DISINTEGRATION by the Cure at the time (still one of my favorites). Both DISINTEGRATION and REASON have the same sort of big, muddy sound, which I have come to appreciate as having given Reason band photothe album its distant, Reason US covergloomy atmosphere. As a whole, this album was ANACRUSIS trying to stretch the norm of what was considered 'Metal' at the time. The ironic thing we used to often talk about was, on one hand we were trying to be different, but on the other hand, we were not quite sure why no one was catching on. I think it was always a little suicidal on our part to almost force people not to like us because we were too 'different'. I remember making a conscious effort to have the arrangements in the songs not be the usual "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, repeat 2nd verse and chorus to the fade-out". Our writing was definitely more fragmented at this time, and would remain that way until the next album when I began to use a drum machine to arrange and record most of the demos. Up until REASON, we usually would come up with riffs at practice and then we would just stick them together without a lot of thought about transitions from one section to the next, or even one tempo to another. While this made the songs more unpredictable, I think that sometimes it also made them almost unlistenable. Later we would try and use different textures, whether vocally, lyrically, or musically, rather than unpredictability, to stand out from the crowd.

 

 

It was also at this time that a lot of changes were happening in our personal lives. When we Video Sheet Metal recorded SUFFERING HOUR, Kevin and Mike were barely out of High School, (I had only graduated the year before). All but John still lived with our parents and as the responsibilities of "real liD.R.I Tourfe" began to clash with our 'full -time hobby', we all began to put some serious thought into our individual futures. This was when Mike decided that touring around the country in a broken-down van, playing for no one was not exactly what he wanted to spend the next several years doing (who could blame him?) He decided to leave the band after our first tour opening for D.R.I. in the (very hot) summer of 1990, and join the Navy. This was a decision that he quickly (and admittedly) would come to regret. We always kept in touch with him and missed him being around (one of the funniest people you will ever meet), but we respected his honesty in not wanting to continue with the band half-heartedly. The strange thing is after he got out of the service he went back to the drums, playing in a few different local bands and the last I heard, he had moved to Las Vegas and now is the only one of the four original members of ANACRUSIS still active, musically. For anyone who doesn’t know, REASON was released with one cover in the U.S. and a different one in Europe and elsewhere. The European version is actually the one that I came up with and Kevin did the layout for. At that time we were still signed directly to Active Records and had not even secured an American distribution deal for SUFFERING HOUR. Mike Owen & van It was just before we recorded REASON that Metal Blade picked up the fist two releases. Reason European Cover Because Metal Blade released SUFFERING HOUR after REASON was already being completed, this caused some confusion with U.S. fans as to when, exactly, these two albums were recorded. When we were trying to come up with ideas for the cover, we knew we wanted it to contain a 'human element', as this is what the songs always dealt with lyrically. Since REASON was very much about the confusion and apprehension associated with everyday life, we wanted the cover to reflect this mood visually. When we sent the finished artwork to Metal Blade, for some reason they did not want to use it. In fact they had some sort of technical excuse as to why the layout wouldn’t print properly (obviously Active had no problems with this) and the wanted their art department to put together a cover from our suggestions. So, after many telephone calls and much discussion, they came up with... a photo of us sitting there. Pretty creative stuff, huh? The worst part was none of us ever even saw the cover until we walked into a record shop the day it was released. Spinal Tap II. This would not be the last disappointment we would face over the next couple of years.

 

 

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