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🎛️ The Full Story Behind the Recording of "The Pain That Bonds (Live from the Upper Room Studio)" [Part I]

🎛️ The Full Story Behind the Recording of "The Pain That Bonds (Live from the Upper Room Studio)" [Part I]

Hey,

I hope you’re doing well! It looks like summertime has just arrived in the North East hemisphere of the Americas after a below-normal weather month of May! It’s Saturday morning and I woke up early as I was pretty thrilled to write down this letter to you following such an exciting week around the release (and sold out) of Alex’s latest vinyl for the song The Pain That Bonds

These release weeks are always breathtaking, as I always feel like we were walking on the very fine line of this incredible feeling of sharing such a unique work of art, starting with the song being officially released for the first time, to the design which took Alex weeks to get done, and your reactions & how this project will be welcomed! It’s a fascinating feeling, right between constant goosebumps and sweat. It’s amazing! 

But every single time we can add a name on the last remaining vinyl prior to being sold out, you should see the incredible vibe that takes place here at the Hopeful Tragedy Records (Alex's and my record label) offices! It’s just priceless and so wonderful, worth every drop of sweat every time! I wanted to thank you all for your incredible love and support especially with such a meaningful song for Alex. This one hasn’t been an easy one to write down, and an even harder one to re-visit like we did prior to launching Alex’s first album on May 1st, 2020, before performing it live for you at home, as there was pretty much no were else to go back then. 

Since I have had the privilege to welcome a lot of new friends to The Club during the past few weeks, I thought it could be a great idea to go back to this very precise moment in time and the weeks prior to this album launching event, when we performed this incredible version of the song The Pain That Bonds for the first time! 

This last sentence makes me realize that, before I get started, you can now download the song The Pain That Bonds for free if you haven’t done so already! You can access this song and all the previous ones here.

Welcome to The Club! 👏

 

THE CONTEXT BEHIND THIS VERSION

2020 has been such a strange year for Alex, myself, everyone in our entourage, and I’m sure it was pretty much the same for you. It started so perfectly well for us... As soon as January 5th, I got off the phone with a confirmation that Alex Henry Foster and The Long Shadows would be the official opening act for ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead for an entire European tour, starting February 9th and ending March 11th, 2020. Tears were coming down Alex's and my eyes, hugs were shared, fists were thrown in the air, and our most precious and expensive bottle of scotch was poured in glasses: "Cheers to us and to all the new friends were about to meet in four weeks time!" 

We already had a European and UK summer tour booked around a few festivals, so this tour had more-than-perfect timing. 2020 sounded like we finally entered into the promised land we had been working on so hard for so many years. The year started pretty quickly with our upcoming album's first single, Summertime Departures, at the end of January right before we left for Europe. Then again, the vinyls were sold out pretty quickly. Life was just amazing! The entire tour went perfectly well. We were sharing a tour bus with the headliners, Alex was going to the merch booth every night spending unforgettable moments with people who became great friends right off the bat, we were cruising, and so excited to see this amazing path unveiling itself before our very eyes. 

We were all surfing this dream-come-true sort of wave until that evening in Paris. It was Friday, March 13th, 2020, and we were doing a live event for the premiere of Alex's short movie for the song The Hunter. Everyone was invited, the entire crew who filmed and directed the short movie was there, and some media people were also in the audience. Alex was being interviewed live by Stephanie (our long-time friend, photographer, social media propaganda agent, and so much more) in front of a sold-out audience. At some point during the event, a text from the Government of Canada came in.

The message went like this: “COVID-19 is now a pandemic. We are urging you to go back home to Montreal tomorrow, Saturday, March 14. There’s an Air Canada flight waiting for you at Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle at 11am. Please be on time. Thank you.”

The first thought that came to mind? S**T!

Here we were, back home to our church-studio, the entire band and crew, all quarantined for two weeks, in the cold weather March has to offer in this part of the world. Not cool! There went the tour, the album release events, the festivals, and so on...! But thank God, even if we had just spent more than a month sharing a tour bus with our now-forever friends from Trail of Dead, hugging everyone in every corner of Europe, we were all healthy and well.  

I personally never believed this crazy pandemic would last that long until I truly had to believe it. Alex and I were going out for long walks outside rather than watch the news all day long, and at some point, Alex told me "Let’s do a live event around the release of my album, and let’s use this crazy reality we're all in to create something that will elevate us all and bring us to connect on a deeper level since this is what my album Windows in the Sky truly is about: Hope in dark days! Having known Alex for years, it was simply so beautiful to see so much life in his eyes, especially as the world (and our world) was truly collapsing under our feet... And I thought "There’s nothing we can do about it until we decide and choose there’s something we can do about it!"

He kept going, saying: "For years, I’ve been looking for deep personal emotions to be channeled within the safe and elusive context of a band’s dynamic, so I wouldn’t have to be exposed through their real colors, wouldn’t have to assume any intimate implication. I simply hid behind the thick curtain of distant screams and uprising noises. It’s only when my father passed and that I slowly started to work on the songs that would ultimately define the spirit of Windows in the Sky that I had to admit that unless I would be willing to tear that bleak veil of fears down, I wouldn’t be able to let any of those vivid emotions be, wouldn’t be able to free them from my exultant struggle to stand into the light... and therefore to have my depressive soul emancipated through the honest embracement of those hidden emotions... one glimmer at the time... which is exactly how the album would finally come to life."

It was filled with such a thriving spirit that we walked back home and got in touch with the whole band, the crew, and everyone involved at our label and merch facility telling everyone that we had a lot of work to do and that it started today; May 1st was right next door! 

Part II next Tuesday!

 

GIVEAWAY

The print test for the vinyl The Pain That Bonds will be given away to someone amongst all The Club members. Just being a New School or Old School member is sufficient to add your name to the hat, nothing more than that!

The draw will take place on Saturday, June 3rd at 10am (ET) on Alex's Facebook page. Details here

 

CONCLUSION

Thank you so much again to you all who just joined this incredible community of great people from around the world that we call The Club, and, of course, for your incredible support with the last collector vinyl The Pain That Bonds! I hope and wish that life is great on your end, as much as it is on ours right now...! 

Alex is doing better and better as weeks go by. He’s having some hospital appointments this week, so please keep him in your thoughts so that all will be fine and perfect for him! I’ll keep you guys posted, but for now, time to work on shipping those vinyls and more to you all around the world! 

If you’re new to The Club, you can always answer back to this email and I’ll get back to you as fast as I possibly can..! (It takes a little while sometimes 😉) 

Let’s be great to one another! Have a wonderful week! 

Your Host and Friend, 
Jeff 

PS: As I’m reading the Elephant 6 book called Endless Endless, I was listening to a playlist called The Elephant 6 in the Room while writing this letter to you! Careful if you want to listen to it, it’s a little unique and strange sometimes — just how I like most things in life! 

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