Becoming The Orange Peels
It’s 1995. The musical landscape is littered with bands drowning in self loathing, feigned rage, and a decidedly non-literal definition of irony. The timing couldn’t be worse to embark on recording sessions for a collection of earnest, melodic pop songs.
But it’s exactly what happened. Little did I know that the project would have me and my bandmates jumping between three different record labels and two producers, or that it would wind up being released under a band name I couldn’t have imagined.
Everything that happened in the next two years would redefine my concept of making music and what it meant to be in a band. It's how and why we became The Orange Peels.
So why are we here in the early light of 2019, revisiting this album that came out in 1997? Three reasons.
First, the album never came out on vinyl, and we've always talked about the idea of eventually releasing it as a 12" LP. We sequenced the original release in two halves, and have always thought of it as having a Side A and a Side B (with "Spaghetti-O Western" as the end of the first side, and "She is Like a Rose" kicking of the second).
Second, there are two unreleased versions of the album that tell the story of how we got where we were going and how we became a band in the process (there's a whole version of the record recorded on a 4-track, and there's a whole version of the album we recorded and mixed in California and finished in 1996).
Third, we want to remaster the original tapes and collect all this stuff to make the ultimate edition of our debut album. Ultimately, it would be great to put all of this on vinyl and release it as a triple album—and if there's enough interest, that could still happen—but realistically, we're hoping to release a remastered version of the original album on heavy, 180-gram vinyl with a double CD holding all the bonus materials.
Ok, we know it's not really Square³—it's really more like Square x 3. Poetic license invoked.
Getting it Right
In order to make all this happen, we're already working to get the master tapes back from various studio and record label vaults. Once we have everything in hand, we'll be in the studio extracting the original, unmastered mixes and outtakes, and compiling and remastering everything. It's a lot of material—about 30+ tracks in all. We're also getting quotes from pressing plants for the vinyl album and the 2-CD package.
It's kind of a monster. But we want to get this right, so we're asking for your help, just like we did in 2013 for our fifth album, Sun Moon (thank you, btw!). This project has a lot of moving parts, so there's a chance things could get delayed, but we're hoping to deliver all the rewards within the first half of 2019, and if we can get our schedules lined up, maybe even figure out a way to celebrate this with you all.
On the Way to Somewhere
Along the way, we'll keep you updated and we even have some goodies to sprinkle around while the campaign is live. I've written a short history of all the strange and unlikely things that happened during the making of the album, which we'll share in serial fashion over the next 33 days.
You can participate at whatever level makes the most sense for your physical or digital music library. No turntable? We're offering the whole 30+ track collection on CD. No CD player? You can get the full collection as a download. Do you love playing records as much as we do? We're sure hoping you do. You can get the entire collection including an audiophile pressing of Square on vinyl, remastered from the original master tapes.
Just for clarity, here are the three components:
- Square: Remastered from the original master tapes
- Square: The Unreleased California album, available for the first time ever
- Square: The Complete Four-Track Demos
We're excited about going on this journey together, and we're delighted at being able to finally share the full story of how we became The Orange Peels. Thanks for being there.
Risks and challenges
At some point in each album release, there's a time when things are out of our hands. Once we've mastered the audio, designed the artwork, and proofed everything, it's in the hands of the good people at the pressing plant. When we get test pressings back from the lacquer engineer, will they sound like they should? Will the artwork print without errors? We will keep you in the loop at every stage of the project, and if there are delays, we'll let you know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)