Updated: Apr 1, 2022
You can now enjoy this new EP through all of the streaming services, or give it a listen right here at BrassKnuckleMonkey.com, featuring the single Blackout. Check it out!
This recording project started with a challenge. At the start of the pandemic, Ian was spending around 6 hours a day in his music room playing guitar. I'd hear him in there every day jammin' to his favorite tunes, learning the guitar solos, singing at the top of his lungs. I came home on a Monday evening during his holiday break from school, and I heard him in there rockin' an Iron Maiden solo, so I called him out. I said that I was tired of hearing him playing other bands' tunes, and I issued a challenge. I asked him to write a guitar riff for an intro, verse, and chorus. I told him that we were going to write a song together, and he had until Friday. I came home on Wednesday, and he called me into his studio to listen to what he came up with... in just 3 days. I was floored! He wrote and recorded almost an entire song, with intro, verses, choruses, a bridge, etc. He recorded rhythm guitars, lead guitars, bass, and programmed the drums. I was speechless. He then told me, "I just don't want to write lyrics." I then took that challenge. I got to writing. We did some arranging, and this became the first tune for the EP, Want To Breathe.
"Spreading fear and spreading pain. Our leaders are to blame. Taken down but rise again. We want to breathe. Feeling like we're taken back. Progress under attack. Taken down but rise again. We want to breathe - FREE!”
Right in the middle of a pandemic and watching the trial of those who murdered George Floyd, the debate of both sides of these issues inspired the lyrics. I also knew that I had to write this for a young adult to sing, so it needed to deliver the message, but not go over the top. I think that Ian did a great job delivering this track.
We then scheduled studio time for this tune, and a couple of days later, Ian called me back again to hear a new idea. Again... I was amazed. He did it again, and we worked together on what is the single, Blackout. Since he was studying audio engineering, I told Ian that if he kept writing tunes like this, I'd book a different studio and work with a different producer/engineer for each tune. So, they kept coming, but I had to cut him off at 5. We decided to release the first EP with 5 songs... the 1st 5 songs he's ever written. Another brilliant idea... I've worked with so many amazing musicians over the years, and many of them have watched Ian grow up. We decided to invite friends, current/former bandmates, etc to lend their talents. So, all tunes with the exception of Want To Breathe feature guest guitar players and most have guest bass players. The featured guests on Blackout included Duncan Isenhower (Podunk, Chelle Murrey Band, Hillbilly Picnic) on the second guitar solo and Paul Martinez (Chelle Murrey Band, Tiny Livestock, Common Thread) on bass. Brandon Bentley, an amazingly talented producer in his own right, sent this track to be mixed by Sterling Winfield, who produced records for Pantera, Damage Plan, HELL YEAH!, King Diamond, and many more. The track Don't Take It features Mio Alvarado (The MeanHearts) on the second guitar solo. The fourth song, There's No End features Richard Segura (Ponty Bone, The Night Mothers) on blues guitar solos and Mark Andes (Heart, JoJo Gunne, Spirit, Firefall, Ian McLagan, and many more) on bass. The final song, The Bath features Richard Jessee (Richard Jesse Project, Dharma Kings) on guitar solos and Charles Gasper (Alien Lovestock, Orixa, Mud Ponies, David Shelley and Bluestone, Frank Bang - sideman for blues legend Buddy Guy) on bass.
This EP was an amazing collaborative effort, and we are so proud for you to be able to hear it. It is available now on all of the platforms. You can listen to it here on the site, and you can purchase a CD... yeah, an actual physical CD. Thanks everyone!
- Brady Woodall