Wednesday owes so much to our musical influences. The music we love is a big part of what brought us together. My bandmates Margo and Xandy both had infamous Asheville house show venues, Jake was in like a billion different bands which often played in their muggy basements and Alan was usually the one who brought the PA. Our immersion in music predated us trying to make songs together ourselves.
Our common interests in noisy ‘90s guitars, good lyrics, and country music was quickly what permeated into our voice as a band. Most decisions in our songs are made by an amalgamation of all five of our inputs, which happens pretty naturally because of this thread of influences that ties us together.
So when we got an opportunity for some recording time with Alli Rogers at Betty’s studio in Durham, NC we decided to record covers, and hopefully repay in part the huge debt we are in to the artists who contributed so much to the music we write ourselves.
When I was thinking if there was anything that these songs have in common, the main thing I found recurring was the combination of sadness and humor. It’s effective as hell to combine the two emotions, making each other more intense by the contrast. Some of the masters of this included on this album of course are: Roger Miller, Vic Chesnutt, Gary Stewart and Drive-By Truckers.
Sonically, Medicine opened a world of sound to me: a soft voice paired with unrelenting industrial noise. And if you listen to Wednesday’s original music it goes without saying that the Pumpkins discography (at least ‘til 1998) is a sound we reference often and tether ourselves to.
Chris Bell is the master of the perfect musical “moment”. There are few lines in any song that hit me as hard as:
“Just when I was starting to feel okay, you’re on the phone. I never wanna be alone”
I mean… c’mon!!
There’s just one cover from a band we are lucky to call our peers and for the record I just wanna say Hotline TNT is one of the best bands out there. We stayed real true to the original song for that one… cause it’s pretty perfect as-is.
The later half of the album is songs recorded with my partner and frequent collaborator MJ Lenderman (the thing is… I love him!!) His music is probably my biggest influence out of anyone and I owe him a lot a lot a lot.
Anyways, if for whatever reason you’re reading this and haven’t heard the original songs, I encourage you to look ‘em up! We tried our best to pay our respects but at the end of the day you can’t exactly replicate the magic of any of these tracks.
Making music (and hopefully living off it sometime soon) has been a dream come true for us. So thank you a million times to all the artists that paved the way for us…. Music rocks!!! Wow!!!
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