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The Wounded Men started working on All the east bay misses you in September of 2008. Not quite half of the songs were written when I put an ad on Craig's list looking for band members. I got an E-mail from Mike Assenzio (guitar). We met and played some of the songs and when I found out that he lived within shouting distance of me I thought that it must be a sign, this is the guy.
I moved to this old house in El Cerrito fifteen years ago. A lot of bands have come through this living room to drink, smoke, and sometimes sleep. If I listed every band the list would be long and I would be guilty of name dropping. It had been that way before I got here and hopefully will be after I leave. My goal was to write and record this album in my living room. I wanted to get the creaking wooden floors, street noise, bart trains, and ghosts blended into our performances. We had no budget and limited equipment so this record might be the audio equivalent of a faded Polaroid thats been stepped on a few times but that is the spirit in which it was intended.
The Wounded Men had some false starts in the first year, most bands do. Mike's brother Brad Assenzio started coming to practice and became our bass player. That was a big help. Until Brad came along I was trying to play bass and sing but was doing a bad job at both. I reached out to my former drummer in The Cables, Mark Dungey. He happened to be leaving another project and the timing was right. We all knew the first time that Mark played with us that it was the right fit. We were starting to have fun.
I wanted the vocal to sound different on this record than anything that I had done before. The best way to do that was to have someone else sing. First it was Beth Keener. She could not stay with us long because of other commitments. Then it was Heather Wood. Heather spent a lot of time working on these songs with us and at one point she had to step down. Then she returned and gave us some very special performances and I can't thank her enough. Amanda Chung was the voice that I needed for our opening song "Don't make me a widow". Amanda gave us her best and then moved out east. I wish that we would have gotten to know her better and who knows maybe we will work together again. Kat Bukanc and I had been dating a few weeks when she finally sang for me. She sounded like Beth! More accurately, the version of Beth's voice that I needed. I tried to play it cool but I was thinking "Jesus Christ I hope this works out" . It worked out. Kat and I now share the living room with the creaking floors, street noise, bart trains, and ghosts. I think that there are a lot less ghosts hanging around now. Its 2011, the record is done. I started with nothing much and ended with a group of very special people in my life. I want to thank all of them. I got what I wanted and even if I lose I win.
February 22nd, 2011
El Cerrito, CA
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