Occupational Hazards Sessions


This past weekend, The Big Ragoo physically reunited at my studio – the first time together in the same room in over 14 years. We are all very different people now… far more mellowed, weathered and wise (comparatively speaking, at least). And yet, it was just like we’d only been apart for a few weeks. The goal was to get together to write and record for three full days, but with no heavy expectations of a lot coming out of it. Just playing music and being creative seemed worthwhile. Instead, we came up with 500 minutes of music… about 14 “themes” altogether. Written, recorded and videotaped all in 72 hours or so. That will all get culled down to the most cherry 37 minutes for arranging and overdubbing.

It was one of the more exhausting things I’ve ever done. I came out of it with every muscle in my body sore, several nasty bruises I can’t remember getting and in a completely depleted mental state. Tuesday, I slept nearly all day. It’s clearly evident that I’m approaching 40 now. Despite all that, it was a pretty magical weekend.

We’ve been working on our “comeback” album, tentatively titled Raising of the Wreck, since about October. It’s all recorded remotely between my studio and Ken’s basement. Very weird for us playing to guide tracks and such, but it sounds great. We have nine songs for that which we need to finish up vocals and a few overdubs on. Then, this stuff we recorded live last weekend will be the follow-up to that, tentatively titled Occupational Hazards. What’s crazy is… in three days we’ve gotten to nearly the same point we are with the Raising record. It’s such a different animal. Very noisy, angular and heavy with giant drum sounds. Where the previous is much more constructed, quirky pop… this is a throw-down.

And that’s what we hope to do year-to-year from now on… release one very slow developing, remotely recorded record of layered tracks followed by a more-or-less live in the studio throw down.

I have a ton of video footage to get edited and posted, both for Raising and Hazards, which I’ll be getting up over the summer and posting here. Then we’re hoping for an early fall release for Raising of the Wreck and maybe late winter for Occupational Hazards. In the meantime, above are some photos from this past weekends session.

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