For unknown or forgotten reasons each went their separate way. A sonic treasure had been created, stored away and over time, no one knew it even existed. 18 years later after families, work, yoga, music, film, recording, life…these old recordings were pulled out of basement storage and dusted off.
This story begins in the early 90s when Michael and Otis met in Boston as students at Berklee College of Music, and The Boston Conservatory of Music respectively. They wrote their first tune the first night they met and then spent 3 years in a dingy Hemenway Street apartment writing and crafting their music and friendship, while recording with their friend and roommate Pat Sabatini.
Deciding it was time for something bigger they stuffed a U-Haul and moved to New York to form a band and make music. New York was a great place for artists at that time, and with no money it was possible to survive with simple employment. Otis worked at a Banana Republic where a chance meeting introduced him to Derek. Michael found Dean through a mutual Berklee friend. The final piece.
They started practicing in various rehearsal spaces around the city and in Dean’s basement in the Bronx and for several years they played the New York original music circuit … The Continental, The Bitter End, CBGB’s, New Music Cafe… They pushed each other, honed the songs and built a following. Changing names several times they settled on Manic in Lithium.
It was time to record. They made two recordings with Pat. One was in a midtown studio in some old building with an old SSL board onto 2” tape. They couldn’t afford any more time and more material was to be recorded so a cheaper alternative was needed. They paid a few hundred bucks to record live to ADAT at CBGB’s. It was a club they played often, and knew well. It was thought to never be more than a demo. They just charged through a set.
There were now two recordings but for causes lost, tides turned, and with it their lives, as well as the ultimate path of Manic In Lithium. Neither album was mixed, therefore never heard….
December 2015: As the keeper of the archive, on a whim, Dean pulled out the recordings. There was something there. It was compelling – He began mixing it in earnest for the first time. Was it nostalgia or was it really that good? Playing it for a handful of people, it started to become clear that it was the latter. “What were we thinking to walk away from this 18 years ago”? He searched for the guys and finding them on facebook, sent it out. They were floored by it. “Where the hell did this come from! WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH THIS”!
There were 7 songs recorded at the midtown studio and 12 at CBGB’s. At first it was thought that it would be released all together. 3 duplicated tunes from CBGB’s would not be used so the 2 sessions could fit together as one release.
Otis started the conversation about recording together again, writing together, making more material. These were bold, big, exciting ideas for all of them. How could they possibly do all of that with their busy lives? There were 4 complete tunes as yet unrecorded. What if those 4 tunes were recorded, added to the 7 from the studio, with the CBGB’s tracks released separately? That’s it! 2 records. They now had a plan.
Otis flew out and over a June weekend they reminisced, rekindled and recorded. It felt magical. With the focus that maturity brought and the drive and passion that never left, they were re-formed. The record was complete. It was a band. Manic in Lithium.