Torture Town / Blog

Voodoo Woman release

Well, the day has finally come. After lots and lots of blood, sweat, and tears the new Torture Town record, Voodoo Woman, has arrived. The box on the porch that I came home to today, left by the nice man in the big brown truck, was a very nice sight to behold. I think I let out a celebratory yelp or two. (Days like these are like Christmas to dudes like me.) Me, my roommate, my ex-old lady, her two girls, and her old man had us a little listening party today by the pool. It was cool. That thing sounded good!! I was dancing and singing and dorking out big time, which was both funny and scary to the one year old.

About a year and a half ago, my good friend and drummer and engineer extraordinaire, Jeff Mangan, and I started recording what ended up being 16 songs at his studio in his house in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Jeff also built the very beautiful and very sturdy aforementioned deck on which I was scaring the poor child with my strange shenanigans. I sang and played bass and guitar and did a little of the drumming and Jeff did most of the drums and all of the left brained technical stuff - recording and doing God knows what on his computer.

Recording an album is cool and fun, but it's also a very tedious, time consuming, and arduous task, to say the least. It can be quite stressful and really challenging in many ways. Personally and artistically. But Jeff went above and beyond the call of duty, and we ended up with a very nice and rather large batch of pretty solid tunes that I would say we are both really proud of.

After much deliberation, I decided to break up the songs and not release them all on one album. People seem to be more spread thin than ever, and the less is more philosophy is more right on than ever these days (though you would never know I think so by this note. Brevity has never been my strong suit). But i figure everyone can find 20 to 25 minutes in which to rock if they really want to.

So this past winter I took five of the tunes that seemed to go well with each other over to my other friend, a friend with a pair of golden ears, also named Jeff - Jeff Leonard (lots of Jeff's in my life) - at Ocean Studios in beautiful James Island, SC and together with his trusty partner, Eric Rickert, we put a few final touches on the post production end of things and sent it off to the good people at Disc Makers in Pennsauken, NJ (which I can only assume is a lovely place) for packaging and duplication.

At a gig one night around this time, I met a lovely young lass named Amanda Burmaster who had a very unique look and vibe. Somehow I talked her into posing for the cover, which was very cool of her. My good buddy Keith Bradshaw is an excellent artist all around, but he's an unbelievable photographer. Amanda and I went over to his house one day and Keith snapped the cool picture of her that is now pushing some seriously cool vibe on the front of the album. He also took the picture of me screaming that is on the back of the album. He took that real quick (he has a very quick style) with his iphone and did some things to it on his computorial machine to make it look real trippy.

I took those pictures to my good friend Gil Shuler at Gil Shuler Graphic Design in Mt. Pleasant and had him lay out the art and graphics and whatnot. He's a very cool, very talented cat, and he can do amazing things, but I kept things pretty simple so his skills and prowess were not tapped into too much. But he's a monster with art and design for sure. And a very generous soul. (I am extremely blessed and grateful to have such kind, talented friends to help me out in so many ways on my humble little path.) We sent in the album art to Disc Makers and they assembled the handsome package with the nice sounding tunage and they sent it back and the nice man in the brown truck dropped it off today.