A few words about the new effort,… This album is not an unwanted child, but I can say it was unexpected. After 2012's 'Reverse Screen' collection, 2013's 'Rare Steaks Or Takeaways' outtakes round-up, and 2014's covers on 'Noble Sugars', I had had to focus and reach for new material. At the end of Christmas 2014, I had a riff going and it was not about to get out of my head. I started fiddling around with it in the studio mid January with the excuse of trying out a new Harley Benton™ dynamic compressor pedal I had just purchased. It finally became a full song, which turned into 'Deleted'. This track, albeit recorded hastily, sounded fine to my ears 'as is', with no frills added. The guitar line included the scratch track which was left in, the bass was first take, the drums were laid down easily, the vocals were recorded right after an instant ten minute lyrics scribble session, and the whole thing didn't take up more than three hours of my time. So, I thought that maybe I should hit the record button more often and record another track as any new ideas came along. I searched in my brain for any left-overs and found a bass line parked there for future use. I had never taken it into consideration as it reminded me of the bass on General Public's version of 'Tears Of A Clown' and Altered Images 'Jump Jump'. However, I opted to record this bass line first and work around it to give it a different feel. To my surprise, it was a breeze: a couple of hours later I had 'Violette', a full-fledged track going with the least amount of effort! With a system such as this one (carbon-copy procedures with little or no modifications from the original takes) it dawned on me that maybe I should just keep the ideas coming and record enough songs to fill an album's worth of music. That's what happened. I set it out to be quick, spontaneous, and free. I was going to act in a direct way. The rules for 'Act Direct' were simple: a) no more than a couple of hours per day in the studio (with my tinnitus my ears were fried after 45 minutes anyway), b) a minimum of takes and overdubs on all instruments (re-recording of parts would be allowed if there were major mistakes), c) lyrics written on the spot (all on sheets of yellow letter-sized paper stolen from Kinko's in 1993) including use of words in accordance to humming the vocal line with what sounded good at that moment, d) the order of the songs would be exactly like the sequence of how I recorded them, e) no preconceptions or previous ideas of melodies to be used (I'd start jamming and if a satisfactory riff or guitar structure came about I'd keep on playing until it turned into a song) and f) no fades (fades at the end of a song (as one of my musician friends used to say) are for pussies. 'The Forecast' was born this way and, even though I was not really happy with it, it ended up sounding like a mix between Deconstruction, Asia, Wire Train and the Police trying to cover one of the softer Red Lorry Yellow Lorries tunes. I had to turn back to jingle-jangle. The next day I made a point to jam with clean guitar sounds. Just like magic, 'Being Unaware' appeared out of nowhere, reminding me of the Grapes Of Wrath with its tambourine and triple vocal melodies. 'Billion Egos' was structured as a nod to the Strokes and the Smiths but turned out like a Prefab Sprout or Housemartins outtake. That one done, I was quickly running out of un-distorted guitar set-ups on my Roland™ effects unit. Time to turn back to fuzz: the early Chapterhouse shoegaze feel of 'Bend At The Knees' was the outcome. A few days later, 'Another Grave' (originally titled 'Agave' in honor of Swervedriver's 'Mezcal Head', then 'A Grave') is to be considered Dynamo Stair's idea of grunge. I put on my Stipe mask, wore a bolo tie and revisited Murmur-tinged guitars for 'On Its Way'. After two months, it seemed that the album just needed an instrumental to be wrapped-up: the dreamy 'Plutonium' would serve as closing track. But, as an inspired response to friend Michele Cingolani of Waving Blue posting a new track and asking me when we could do a 'split 7" single', I kept working on a new riff and trying out different sounds until I came up with 'Only For Games'. It was sleek, fast and sounded like 'the single'. It surpassed every song and was placed as the opener. Piece of cake! That was it,… Here is 'Act Direct', a CD quality download on Bandcamp.
released May 7, 2015
David Liso: guitars, bass, drums, vocals, tambourine, samples, mixing, running downstairs, operating computers and making dinner.
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