Record store owner recruits bevy of local musicians to pen new rock record
To Kyle Siegrist, his new record represents a series of dreams come true.
For one, the Lost Weekend Records owner always hoped to record an entire album at Musicol, the legendary North Linden recording studio and vinyl pressing plant in operation since the 1960s. But even better than recording his own songs in Musicol's signature Studio A, with its vintage gear, 20-foot ceilings and trippy carpeting, was giving his friends the opportunity to experience it all with him.
For the new record, which Siegrist dubbed “Solo” Album, he recruited enough musicians to form three distinct bands. “I was inspired by the Rock Potlucks — throwing people together in a room who hadn't been together. I thought it would be fun to put different groups of people together and do different bands over the course of one album,” Siegrist said. “‘Solo' is in quotes because it's kind of a joke. It's a hugely collaborative thing.”
Siegrist, who has previously performed and/or released music in Truman Carter, Bubba Ho-Tep, the Mealworms and Second State Butchers, recruited Chelsea Simmons (Kizzy Hall), Brian Baker (Brat Curse) and Mickey Mocnik (Nervosas) for the first incarnation of the band and booked studio time in early 2016. For future sessions, he kept Simmons on drums but added musicians such as Nate Farley, Scott Carr, Matt Duckworth and Kerry Stewart; a “Solo” Album supergroup, of sorts, will perform at one of three Lost Weekend 15th anniversary shows at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Feb. 10.
As for the songs, Siegrist focused on his love of wordplay rather than on lyrics that communicate concrete ideas or stories. “I'll think about writing a song with a certain feel, not writing about a certain topic,” he said. “I like playing with the words, and then they reveal where it's going. … I love the sound of Bob Dylan's words probably more than what he's actually saying.”
For one of the first songs the band wrote together, Siegrist began with two words — “Worm Food” — which then became a punk-rock chant. From there the musicians began writing parts to create a Ramones-style tune.
“I wanted to make a fun, power-pop album,” Siegrist said. “I love the studio. I like records like Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's, with layers of sound effects. That was definitely a goal — to make a record that's fun to listen to.”