|"Spectre" from||Rock Star Phase|
Mikey and Jarey are the first guys I really got down to recording seriously with. I'd known Mikey for a while, and Jarey transitively. I never really heard them play much my first year, but then again, I never heard or saw much of anything my first year. But by the time I got into my junior year, I'd heard them play a few times, and I'd gotten to know Mikey pretty well. Their two-guitar style of rock is a great take on the strain of rock that has showcased some of the best mainstream acts in the last few decades. Classic rock meets modern rock meets whatever the hell these two guys were on. Not that they do drugs, but they sure hanmered out some unique songs.
Mikey - Guitar, Vocals
Jarey - Lead Guitar
Splendiferous has featured:
Brendan - Drums
Kellen - Bass, Backing Vocals
When I started floating the idea of recording and producing music to musicians I knew, Mikey was one of the first to jump on board, and Jarey was all for it too. Due to their impending graduation, recording became a high priority, and after a few sessions we had most of the album laid out. To fill out the band, I picked up my bass and Brendan lent his drumming abilities. During our time together we also played live once, and it went really well. We were (un)lucky enough to go first and get completely overlooked at the battle of the bands, but I think we had alot of fun playing together, live and in studio. The album was finished up and put together the following summer and was the first full-length on the label. After that I got ahold of several of their old recordings and stuff, and all that turned into the other Splendiferous releases.
I suppose the story of Splendiferous starts all the way back in the fall of 2002, when two bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first-years moved into the majestic halls of Gatehouse. Jarey and I pretty much clicked immediately and started jamming on my two acoustic guitars to the delight and utter merriment of all (or was it some? or none? my memory grows hazy). I believe the first covers we played were the popular ditties of Weezer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis and Guns N' Roses. I mention this because I think, for the most part, those remained our common musical ground and over the years our songwriting remained based in such contemporary rock traditions. I'd always written songs, although they tended to be straightforward and very simple melodies in dire need of driving lead guitar riffs. Enter Jarey, who helped out quite and bit and towards the end of the year we had worked out some decent-sounding originals (I think Replaced with a Bottle was the first true Carrington/Williams collaboration). In terms of our live show, we were proud to play at the student walkout rally opposing the War in Iraq and several Barge open-mic nights.
The next year was a big one for our little duo, and as we roomed together in Whitnall Hall we became much tighter. We hammered out a bunch of new songs and even hosted a few early gigs in our dorm to premiere the new pieces. We tried to settle on a bandname...several were considered, such as Addicted to Rehab and Diet Vanilla Cocaine. But somehow Splendiferous was a little easier and more fun I think...and that was that. All of the Splendiferous I demo was recorded by early November and life was good. Later that year came the now famous (or infamous) Love Song for Chopp incident...which I maintain was a good idea. Still our most popular number and fun to play for the masses.
Junior year brought us a Birch apartment (and a great bartender and equally-skilled roadie) and more live shows kept coming around campus. We played the Coop on Election Night 2004 and, upon seeing Bush the likely victor, played a cathartic one-two punch of Keep on Rockin' in the Free World and, appropriately, Rape Me. I guess we became better showman and worked more on mastering good party covers, although we kept up with some originals. I will say that our originals from this stage were becoming more complex, especially with Jarey taking more of the musical direction. Songs like Spectre and Rock Star Phase were really his music and my words. Still, as we prefected our material we really didn't record as much aside from live shows. And let's see...we both went abroad and that was that.
Senior year continued pretty much in the same trend. We played some Barge nights, some benefits, some appartment shows, etc. Late in the year, Kellen came up with the idea or tracking slightly more professional versions and jamming more consistently with a rhythm section. 'Twas a good move and he did a nice job with our songs...perhaps even bringng Splendiferous to a whole new level. Brendan was also a great drummer when we had him and made a huge impact. Jarey and I graduated in May 2006 and brought Splendiferous to an end. It was great fun while it lasted and I can honestly say that I'm quite satisfied with the music we made. I think/hope we entertained some people along the way. Our last show was performed for our families and friends in our Birch apartment on May 13.-Mikey