The Return of the Nativology: Call My Name

Nativology Vol. 2 resumes as we harken back to those thrilling days of yesteryear, and explore the songwriting and evolution of Native.

Native toured constantly throughout the nineties. The five core members of the band lived together in a Garment District loft, just steps away from Madison Square Garden. The living environment suited the hothouse atmosphere of creativity that was surging and burgeoning in the nascent psyches of the band.

Everyone was writing tunes and had the luxury of a band at arms’ length to give it a go and see what the darned thing sounded like. Today, we call that Protools, only that software is not programmed to have opinions or tell you that you smell bad.

When John Epstein joined up in late 1993, all attention was given to catching him up on the songs that existed before his entrance, recording an album with two hurriedly-written songs by him, and playing an endless amount of gigs to support the eponymous album.

By the early winter of 1995, all that was done & dusted. It was time for some new tunes.

We already had today’s featured tune on the back-burner, and had done an interesting version of it at Epstein’s old alma mater, the Institute for Audio Research (IAR), in late ’94.

But now, armed with a new Tascam 8-track cassette recorder, we gathered with our live soundman, John Fitzwater, to initiate a series of recordings that would run throughout the Spring of ’95.

This, and the mixes that will follow in the coming weeks, no longer exist in the Native vault in their multi-track form. So, we will be presenting them in all the glory of their original mixes, done by Mr. Fitzwater, with us looking over his shoulder and being really annoying.

Call My Name

Cornbread Wednesday

Love Will Leave You Mystified!!

Mystified is a song Native played a lot right before we made the recordings that would become And Then What and December Roses. It quickly became a fan favorite, and a band favorite. It’s rousing, rambunctious, has great sing-a-long harmonies, and it modulates!!! There’s nothing like a good modulation.

When I wrote it, I was writing to myself, trying to pep myself up after a very trying period where my marriage fell apart — so it’s not a diatribe against the fine institution of wedlock — just the words one says to make a friend feel better by downplaying the importance of it. Matrimony does not suck — I want to be on the record about that.

And now I am!!

With the release of December Roses I can finally rest easy, knowing that such a great song is out there, after such a long waiting period.

Why did it take so long to get it out?

Well, the whole history of these recordings is one fraught with delays, disaster, distractions, more delays, and finally — dismay.

We started to make an album in late 2000, convening at our Marmfington Farm Studio located in a top secret location everybody knew about on 26th Street, NYC. Our long-suffering soundman, John Fitzwater helmed the Producers seat and the band proceeded to enthusiastically lay down the many new songs developed since 1998’s Exhale On Spring Street.

Things went great, then things went bad.

Mat moved to California, something we knew was coming, but he and we did not want to break up, and the proof is this stellar set of recordings, surely our best.

When Mat moved away (after an epic gig at Wetlands) the rest of us continued on with completing the record, such was our love of the music.

But, Marmfington Farm was not a fully air-conditioned studio and we made the fateful decision to take a hiatus on recording for what was expected to be a long, and very hot summer.

Indeed, it was. But we scheduled a session with Mike to do his guitar leads. The day we scheduled it was September 11, 2001.

Next week, the story of the amazing journey to finishing the album continues… till then — remember,

Love will leave you —

Mystified