Music, musings and more from the mind of Ben Averch.

Friday, November 23, 2012


"Cathedral" is one of the oldest tunes in the catalog, and one of my favorites to play live. It's probably also the fastest tempo song that I've done. When I listen back to this, 18 years after the recording, I remember how freezing cold it was in Matt's basement during the "Destination Amsterdam" sessions, I remember how excited we were about some of the guitar sounds we were getting -- 'exploding amp' sounds, for sure.

Given the small number of microphones we had, I'm pretty happy with the drum sounds we got too. I can remember Matt's red Modulus bass, going into his Trace Elliot amp, easily the world's heaviest object. How many times we had to load that amp from the garage into his basement at 2 in the morning after a show at The Middle East or TT the Bear's is anyone's guess.

Mike's guitar solo in this song is kind of emblematic of his playing style -- melodic, pretty fast and articulate with some cool chordal stuff happening. His guitar line in the choruses gives the tune its main melody and it's great when the bass comes in and plays it in unison at the ending. I can hear myself struggling to keep up the tempo on the drums through the different sections, I can hear Matt's bass pulling me along. Fun stuff.

This one makes me shake my head at some of the song selection choices we made when it was time to record our full length. We missed out on a lot of our best material -- like this one, "Mild Stallion", and a bunch of other great tunes. Not sure what we were thinking there but I'd guess we were just really excited to do a lot of new stuff and not try and recapture something like these frozen sessions down in the basement.

I remember renting the eight-track tape machine to do the recording and I remember freaking out the other guys in the band with some of my vocal performances, sung up in Matt's room while the other two guys sat and manned the tape machine. There was some angst happening for sure.

It's kind of funny how mellow this live acoustic version is compared to the full on 'punk prog' thing going on in the recorded version. I never thought I would mellow with age but maybe it's a good thing. This tune stands the test of time for me, still love playing it.

Creep inside the doorway, you gotta be silent I can barely see
I think I'll leave this stash here, do you think you heard a sound
And I don't know what we're doing here tonight
You're walking towards me and I'm fumbling for the light

Rising as the ceiling rises, falling as a brick would fall
Drop me into your cathedral, I will feel your sacred walls
And I don't know what's waiting in here for me
And this silence hangs heavy in the air
In the grip of all of this mystery
I'd believe you if you told me you were scared

Break me open, break me down
I feel this breaking all around
Oh cathedral, here's my soul
What it's worth, I don't know
Break me open
Oh cathedral

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