Young Widows Take the Leftovers to Vinyl
For 2008’s ‘Old Wounds,’ Young Widows did an experiment in recording hoping to capture the loud, abrasive ampage of their live show for the album. On a small tour that led the band over to Godcity Studio in Salem, Mass., they recorded their live sets and did tracking to splice into what they were to use in the studio. The experiment worked, creating a record of crafted post-hardcore intensity reeking of dirt and grit. But the band had a problem — a good problem. They had more songs than the album needed.
“You want to put everything on the record,” bassist Nick Thieneman told Noisecreep. “It’s a hard call when you like every song you have written, and we really didn’t feel out what songs were gonna go on the record.” But after much deliberation, ‘Old Wounds’ was assembled with four songs left unheard until an idea came from the label head at Temporary Residence Records Jeremy DeVine to make a split seven-inch series. Each record would have one Young Widows B-side and a song from another band.
“First band we asked was Pelican, and they instantly agreed,” guitarist Evan Patterson recalled. And with no trouble, the next two bands came in with resounding songs to contribute, but the last split was a little more difficult to find a band for. “No one really jumped at it,” Patterson said of the numerous halfhearted interests the band received. The band made a couple of long shot calls to bands like indie-rock royalty the Breeders and got the same response.
“Split records are a kind of weird thing. I think sharing a record with a band is weird itself,” Patterson sympathized with the bands that didn’t step up to the vinyl plate. But in the end, the band went with one of their favorite bands, the angular My Disco. “I’m a huge fan,” Patterson shined. “No one really knows who they are in the States. In Australia, I guess they are a really well-known band. I don’t think it crosses over really.”
Rather than just have each seven-inch be it’s own release, the band decided to do the rare feat of having each record cover act as a piece of a puzzle. Once all records are aligned, a Young Widows’ fan gets to stare at a brightly colored skull, one in the same vein of the darkly psychedelic one on the cover of ‘Old Wounds’.
“Who can’t relate to an awesome skull? It’s classic,” Patterson smiled. “It’s timeless. Think of all the timeless artwork of bands. Think of the Misfits‘ skull. Those things are iconic.” Patterson’s arms aren’t too far off from the band’s artwork displaying numerous tattooed faces, eyes, and skulls. “I’ve always been into hands and human features as a form of art, because it’s something we deal with on a regular basis.”
And for those that wanted more of the ‘Old Wounds’ sound in a digital form, the band doesn’t have the best answer for you right now. “No real plans, but I’m sure at one point we’ll do a collection or something.” Patterson said, adding a sympathetic understanding for those not as excited about vinyl singles, “It’s fun for the artist, but I don’t think it’s fun for the fans.”