The Story of Imitation Act… and How it Almost Wasn’t Made

Recording Imitation Act began in January of 2014. I recall it being a hellish day. Following a couple hours of sleep we left Peoria and drove north up an unplowed interstate. I was white knuckled pushing 40 mph as the trailer sway back and forth behind our van, which after five years we’ve finally named… Motel Stranger.

Still enthusiastic we got to Rax Trax early that morning and recorded drums for two tracks on the EP.. Balance and This Is Love. All types of excited to get started on the new EP, we began working on guitars/bass/keys the very next day. By the weeks end we were convinced the EP would be complete by March and out no later than the Summer… and then suddenly all of our inertia came to a screeching halt.

Why this happened is hard to pin point but for whatever reason it was really hard to get the project back on track. Our tour and show schedule had filled up for the entire year fairly quick and it seemed that every single person we knew was getting married which suddenly equated to endless bachelor parties, destination vacations, family time and whole bunch of.. “That date is no good!”s from band members.

Here is a picture of Vince and I somewhere in Indianapolis.

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Anyways.. somewhere along the way for some reason unknown to me… we felt it was good idea to start tracking a separate batch of new songs that ended up not really working with this material anyways (kind of like that picture I just inserted into this blog) and suddenly half the year had passed and we had nothing actually finished. We were frustrated and confused.

It was at this point that we considered scrapping all the songs for Imitation Act and completing the other group of tracks we’d begun on. The songs for we began in January had been sitting there and we sort of lost vision on what we were actually doing with them. It was as if we didn’t know where they would work anymore.

Somewhere around mid summer we sat down and after a long discussion made a decision that we needed to get this EP done before we continue on the next full length release. We realized the songs on this EP weren’t going away and we needed to get them out before we could be who we’ve grown into at this point. Being backlogged like this is a blessing and a curse in that regard. You’ll have a full plate and be forced to be patient. For any band this is a frustrating position, especially when you’re high on new material.

At this point the band already had a Fall tour scheduled and essentially a full schedule through the middle of December. Due to this we were forced to wait to finish work on these songs until the holiday season, which honestly is the worst time to make a record. Here is a shot of me recording some guitar in our GIANT studio, Strangeland. Notice the sheet falling off the futon in the back. Charming.

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While the core tracks and some arrangement work had been done, the bulk of the guitar and vocal was recorded at Strangeland over the course of 8 or 9 dedicated days between Christmas and Jan 11th. We began mixing on the day after.  We were still pretty high on the way the Changing Score turned out, so we went with Noam Wallenberg to mix this batch of songs as well.

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Vincent, Noam, Stephen and Kevin @ Rax Trax

The arrangements on these songs are dense and there are quite a few scene changes. While it was a challenge from the onset, we were able to get it done over the next few days and are happy with the result.

We completed the record exactly 51 weeks later from when we started tracking. The truth is, if we had we planned a little better and realized how close we really were to the finish line, maybe this could have been completed. For better or worse, it’s here.

This EP showcases the “stranger” side of our palette and were looking forward to what you are all feeling about it. Our backlog of songs that need to be recorded at this point is getting pretty thick so we are planning to spend a lot of time in the studio getting this stuff recorded well. The sooner we hear what you’re feeling.. it may just inspire us to go in a certain direction.

Imitation Act Cover

So if you’d like to give us feedback, please follow these 4 easy steps.

1. Download Imitation Act
2. Listen to Imitation Act
3. Comment here, on our Facebook Page or in an email – strangeloves@modelstranger.com telling us what you think/feel
4. Share with a friend.

Thanks for reading and being part of this with us.

Stephen Francis
Kevin James
Vincent Joseph

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