Friday, March 4, 2011

Whole lot of free stuff at the C3L Bandcamp

I’ve been pretty busy uploading old out of print CAPTAIN THREE LEG releases to the Bandcamp site recently. With the exception of “Boombox Days: 1995-1996” CDR and the “Live Paroxis ‘96” demo, everything we’ve released is available for free download now. The “Live Paroxis ‘96” tape is being expanded for a “deluxe” reissue with bonus trax galore including a soundboard recording of the show that wasn’t brought to my attention until several years after its release. You should probably head on over there and download the whole slew of stuff now…

While you’re there, look for these new digital releases assembled recently of previously unavailable material and download them as well…

Captain Three Leg – “Adding to the Shitpile” 2011

In the summer of 1998, Captain Three Leg was just Brian and I. We found we could write and record songs easier and more quickly if it was just the two of us. I set up the 4 track in Brian’s bedroom of his parent’s house and we recorded songs as we wrote them. Every time we played, we had new songs recorded. Brian started doing dual overlapping vocal overdubs while recording this stuff, channeling Obituary (I guess?), and then stopped doing them right after.

Shortly after recording the bulk of this stuff, Jake started playing drums and we did probably the worst organized tour any band has ever done. Upon returning home, Cole came into the fold and our sound changed drastically and we went in more of a metal direction. The bulk of these recordings got lost in the shuffle because they didn’t sound like us anymore. Some of the songs were supposed to be released as a split tape with Blood Suckers from Belgium, but it never materialized. A few of the songs were re-recorded and released on “The Birth of the Creatures to Conquer” years later. 53 trax on this collection, most of which have never been released until now.

Captain Three Leg – “Rated ARRRR: Boombox Days Vol.2” 2011

Primarily, we did our recording on a boombox, but for some reason in the winter of 1995 we decided to record a set of our songs at Studio 16 Productions in Ottumwa. This was the only time C3L paid for studio time in our existence. We picked out our best songs, worked them out a little better than we did our others, recorded and mixed them in a single day. During the recording session, Chris Hunter (the engineer) tried hard to cover his face and not let us see him laughing at us, but we all saw it and none of us cared. This music was funny, there’s no denying it, but this was undoubtedly his first exposure to music this extreme. We recorded on 30+ year old 2” reel tape, same tape he used over and over again, then mixed down to a used cassette tape we brought in. We didn’t even care enough to bring in a fresh tape, figured what we had would be good enough. You didn’t think about things like that in those days.

The 19 songs we recorded that day were split up, mixed with other boombox and 4 track recordings and released on the “44 Song Demo” and our split 7” with South Africa’s Groinchurn. Some of the songs were included on an installment of the “Eating Broken Glass” compilation series, but we never received copies of it, so I can’t say for sure which volume.

In 2004, almost 9 years after I stopped dubbing copies of the “44 Song Demo”, I decided to go through the original source tapes and compile all of the boombox recordings for one release. We used the same tape to record on repeatedly; the newest recording went right over the previous, so there wasn’t much to work with. The remaining takes were drenched in tape hiss. I did what I could to clean up the sound, reduce hiss and normalize the levels, but there wasn’t much I could do. The end result, “Boombox Days: 1995-1996”, did sound a lot better and more consistent than the “44 Song Demo”, but omitted the studio songs that were mixed in with the boombox recordings on the original tape. This studio recording has been unavailable since 1995, and have never been released in it’s entirety until now.

While looking through a box of junk cassettes in November of 2006, I found what makes up tracks #20-90 of this release. I had no idea these recordings even existed until then. Tracks #20-58 are “proper” recordings of those songs and are comparable to the boombox recordings we used on our first release. These versions were never used because studio and 4 track versions exist of most of them. Sprinkled among these versions are a few tracks exclusive to this collection, including “Thank God it’s Funktified”, one of our oldest songs from our first line-up that didn’t make the cut because it didn’t have any noise parts. Tracks #59-90 were recorded during rehearsal leading up to the 4 track recording we did at John Ritz’s house sometime in 1996. At this point our bass player, John Prosser, was missing a lot of rehearsals because he couldn’t drag himself out of bed, so he doesn’t appear on tracks #79-90, leaving us sounding even shittier than usual.

Finally, the last 8 tracks on this recording were unearthed in March of 2011 while scanning through a 4 track source tape looking for something else entirely. Recorded sometime in 1997 and quickly forgotten about, these 8 songs were done while our original drummer, Tom Gillespie, was visiting on return from his stint in the Navy. These songs were probably written and recorded on the spot with very little, if any, rehearsing. The 4 track session for these songs was our last time recording with Tom, and also my very first time manning the faders of my new Fostex XR-7 Multitracker machine, marking the end of the boombox era for Captain Three leg.

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