2003 - present: love is the best con in town
Timing was released. There were,
however, no tours in support of the album. I didn’t really
have a lot of money lying around to purchase a van or to cover
any of the other expenses that would be incurred (like buying
gas or a cheeseburger for the bass player etc). I was more interested
in paying off the $20,000 in back taxes that I owed (man, the
penalties and interest can really pile up). Not a minor consideration.
imagine if you are running a record label you might not work
up a lot of enthusiasm for a band that won’t tour…
Borgerding left G.Mal in 2002 and Aaron Romanello took over
on lead guitar. Justin Russo, future leader of the Silent
League started playing piano/organ. Parker Kindred
still manned the drums.
the summer of 2003 bassist Jonathan Toubin decided to do some
traveling. He would be gone for six months. He was replaced
by Chris Isom (current member of Kapow!).
And when Aaaron Romanello lost interest Chris switched to lead
guitar and Steven
Mertens (ex-Moldy Peaches) took a turn at bass.
At this point Justin decided to exit from the band as he didn’t
really like or understand rawk music all that much and the completion
of his monster album The
Orchestra, Sadly, Has Refused was taking up
most of his time. Subsequently, Nathan Brown brought himself
and his Wurlitzer Electric Piano into the Grand Mal fold. Suddenly,
Grand Mal consisted of Bill Whitten plus
the Gnomes. Parker, Steven, Chris and Nathan had
been playing together since they were teenagers and the Grand
Mal oeuvre now benefited from their telepathic interplay.
in the fall of 2003 the Gnomes decided to back-up author/singer-songwriter
Adam Green and they embarked on tour after tour of Europe and
the US. Thus, that particular version of G.Mal came to an abrupt
attempted to make an album with my friend Mark
Ephraim but he didn’t have enough time and
I didn’t have enough money (two songs from those sessions
did make it to the album “Cold as the Stars” and
“Count Me In!”). Instead (like practically everybody
alive these days) I bought a microphone and tube pre-amp and
decided to make the recording at home using my own gear. The
resulting album was Love Is the Best Con In Town.
can go here to read more about that album and how it was made.
Mal played some shows in 2004 with Mark on lead guitar, Sara
Press on bass, Dave
Sherman on keyboards, and Phil
Williams on drums.
2005 Justin Russo introduced me to Silent League member Michael
Fadem (who also plays in Mason
Dixon). He in turn introduced me to Ryan
Smith, Michael Robertson and Kevin
Thaxton. We began playing live and recording together
as the latest version of Grand Mal.
be honest, this period of Mal-History is my favorite. It may
sound boring but I found it immensely enjoyable. I went to work
in the morning and came home at night to record or rehearse.
I cajoled my friends to play on the recordings. Their contributions
would encourage me to continue. I loved sitting on my couch
and listening to the tracks played back on my moderately-priced
monitors. I got into sound, I mean although my sonic palette
was limited I was able to get a fairly good drum sound, a roaring
upright piano and a pretty tight, warm quality to the vocals.
become addicted to endless recording, to perpetual music making.
Not such a bad thing…
is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it's
the most comical thing in the world. And we laugh, we laugh…But
it's always the same thing.
to Grand Mal Mythology home
The skinny on Grand Mal’s Love
Is the Best Con In Town, MP3s, and more