June 2006: SPOTLIGHT ON...

The Gospel According to Bill

2000 - 2002: bad timing

After Maledictions was released not much happened; we didn’t tour as much as we should have, and the album didn’t blow up (like some delusional people thought it might). We did manage to get the label to buy us a recording device; the Oswald 15 track. So at the beginning of the new millennium we were playing shows around New York City and working on demos which we released online as Precision Exits – most of which we would take to Fridmann’s studio for the recording of Bad Timing.

Precision Exits

Spending a lot of time in my Long Island City, Queens apartment working on new songs, we were mindful of keeping the “roll” in our rock and roll. We thought that the intangible “roll” was to be found in pounding pianos, Chuck Berry riffs, gospel organ crescendos and one-note guitar solos. The ‘90’s were over, we were off of the major label, and we now viewed our sampler with scorn – considering it a talisman of bad luck and pure evil.

Since getting dropped from Slash/London in 2000, the boys no longer had a steady income and took on a combination of jobs – blue collar, white collar, amd black market. We were also in various stages of getting our respective lives together. Despite the rude interruption of work into our world, it was a creative time all around. If we weren’t at my LIC apartment (or at work) we were often down the street at Jonathan and Michael’s pad – whose resident’s included Shannon Selberg of The Cows/Heroine Sheiks, Matthew Frieberger of Fiery Furnaces, Paul Sanders of Hammerhead/Vaz, and a number of other notable musicians. Michael was starting to conceptualize and write material for what would become Vietnam and Jonathan formed his own short-lived Hip Song Tong. Michael soon moved to Texas and Grand Mal became a four-piece for the first time in years. Jonathan moved from keyboards to bass, and Steve and Parker continued on guitar and drums respectively - all three of whom set the record for tenure in Grand Mal - playing together for alsmost four years.

Between October 2001 and May 2002 Grand Mal shuttled back-and-forth between NYC and Dave Fridmann's TarBoxRoad Studios - recording and mixing our next, and what many consider our best, album, Bad Timing. A response to Maledictions, Bad Timing is comprised exclusively of organic sounds and is the first recording I made sober. Stephen Drozd of the Flaming Lips appeared on a few songs and Lips bassist Michael Ivins helped engineer. Old friends like Mercury Rev’s Suzanne Thorpe, and members of Hopewell, the Silent League and The Fame also made cameos.


Continue to Grand Mal Mythology, pt. 5 (2003 -2006)
The skinny on Grand Mal’s Bad Timing, MP3s, and more



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© New York Night Train , 2006