Thursday, October 9, 2008

Born with the Mark of our Lord, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six

I think when you do something naturally there’s a bit of self-consciousness that creeps in when you get labeled for 'doing it'. For instance, I don’t usually feel like a “writer”. To me a writer is someone who probably went to school for writing, knows the ins and outs of writing and has studied others styles and have developed their own.

I just write.

Me being me, I will not allow others to compliment me too much, for some reason it makes me uncomfortable. When the Lars Ulrich interview went up, fuck! I received a lot of praise. So as uncomfortable as it may have been to be on the receiving end of so much positive feedback, it was very cool and I thank you all for it.

Several months ago I got involved in the re-release of USURPER’s ‘Threshold of the Usurper’, originally a MCD release from 1997. This was to be the 10th anniversary of it’s release and the label, Primitive Reaction was really going to go all out on the packaging. My role, as a “writer” was to come up with liner notes for the re-issue.

This was/is a big deal for me. I’d written and worked on/contributed to several biographies for bands [Machine Head, Vio-Lence, Cold As Life, Usurper etc.] but getting a chance to do liner notes for an album was a huge honor.

As a music fanatic, there was nothing greater than to dive headfirst into a new release and soak all the information in. There was of course the music and lyrics, but to the junkie there was nothing better than something more to sink your teeth into.

Liner notes, extensive and sometimes exhausting details about everything that revolved around the music you were holding have always been a thrill for me.

So when I thought of how to present Usurper in the way I feel they deserved to be presented I came up with doing a current day interview to go along with the album notes. I conducted interviews with two of the guys, trying to get to the core of what was happening around the recording and release of this MCD. I felt the interviews complimented the other writing and when I received a finished copy of the LP/CD I couldn’t erase the smile on my face.

I truly felt like a “writer”. I felt a huge rush of accomplishment. I’d never been “on vinyl” before, so to sit there and hold a final version was such a thrill. I went home, opened the gatefold, popped in the CD (turntable is broke!) re-read my work and listened to the music like it was the first time hearing it.

In case you’re wondering, the music has held up incredibly well . Although I’m not 100% sure what, if anything the label has done other than press it? (Check out the links above for ordering info)

Having something “real” to show for your efforts is what makes the World go around.