The Defenestrators was a three piece band originating out of Voorhees, NJ. We ended up labeling ourselves as alternative, though we had a few people who decided we should be labeled as alternative storytelling. In the end we were just three high school dudes who had always wanted to be in a band and record our own music.
Mike Baumann and I had talked for a couple of years about putting a band together, but it wasn't until my senior (and his junior) year of high school that we actually managed to get it started. This was helped along by our friend Paul Boye picking up and learning the bass incredibly quickly, and recruiting Baumann's friend Ian K. to come in and be our lead guitarist. We took off as a four piece, jamming a little and putting together some songs that Baumann had written.
Things went pretty well for a while. We started to get some original material together that we all enjoyed playing, and we were never left wanting for covers or random bits of improvised insanity (including randomly breaking a song in to a polka, or playing sheer oddness behind Baumann doing his best Gollum or Kermit the Frog impression). Unfortunately, after a few months of practice, an unfortunate series of occurances involving Ian led him to quit the band. It was ultimately for the best, I think, even though I really enjoyed having Ian play with us. Things picked up again soon and we all got a bit more serious about really getting our original songs together.
It wasn't long until we decided that, since I would be leaving in the not so distant future to head off to college, we should really think about polishing up these songs and finding a studio to record in. Everyone in the band, from the very beginning, was really in to the idea of being able to say they had recorded an album. To have a piece of this band to hold up and say, "hey man, check out what I did back in high school." Being able to give/sell to friends (and maybe some others as well, we hoped) was more of a second thought. We also hoped we could get our names out there that way, even if we wouldn't necessarily be together long enough to start playing a lot of live shows and trying to break out.
Things started going along pretty well at this point, and we even took the band out to our one and only live performance, where we played for a collection of friends and family at our church's youth talent show (obviously only a short step from having our name in lights). The songs went over fairly well, and I have to admit it was a lot of fun to get out there and play live with those guys. It certinaly didn't hurt out enthusiasm for getting in to the studio.
Baumann began the process of looking around for good, and more importantly, cheap places we could record. We all had a certain set of standards as musicians, and we knew we needed a place with good equipment, but we were working on the usual high school kid budget of "whatever I can scrape together". Eventually, Buamann found Nuvoman Recording Studios, which amounted to a private studio that this guy, Tom Schoblocher, ran out of his basement. After getting lost in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey for a while, we managed to find Tom's house, sit down with him, and talk about getting in there to record. Tom was a great guy who had put together a really nice private studio and really had his act together. All in all, we were extremely excited to find him.
It was only a matter of weeks before we returned to Nuvoman studios to get down to recording our album "Shipwreck". With Tom manning the controls, we got right down to it and started laying down tracks in only a few takes. At the time, we were very focused on doing this as we could only really afford to be in the studio for one day. I'm still rather amazed we actually pulled it off. Even though in the end we had to spend a couple more hours for Baumann to re-record the vocal tracks (the instruments bled in too much on the original takes, and made mixing properly nearly impossible), we had a very successful day and stayed within our budget. We talked to Tom for a bit and agreed to go back the next weekend to sit down with him and mix everything.
That next weekend I was the first to arive, as Baumann and Paul had other things to do in the morning before heading over. Tom had already started mixing things by the time I got there, so we sat down and he played me some of what he had done. Remarkably, it already sounded great, and for the most part, things only needed some minor tweaks and polish to get them finished. Eventually Baumann and Paul arrived, and we finished up the last few tracks before going through them all one last time. I think on that pass there may have been one or two tiny issues, but those were ironed out quickly and we called the project complete. I can't stress how incredibly lucky we were to find Tom and Nuvoman Recording Studios. Not only did he give us a great deal on recording the album, but he was an excellent technician and just an all around great guy. We got to talk to Tom a bunch about his life over the course of our time there, and it just made the whole experience incredible. When everything was said and done, Tom handed over the final burned cd, and we forked over a very reasonable sum for his trouble. Then Tom insisted we take a couple copies of his bands cds to listen to. To this day, I have to say, the band "Stranded" kicks a lot of ass.
We had about another month or so after completing the album where we worked on getting the CD distributed (and making some of the money we had invested back). Then, before I knew it, I was preparing to move, first to Michigan with my parents, and then up to Boston for college. We spoke a bit about what would happen to the Defenestrators, and Baumann eventually decided to ask our friend Eli S. to step in as the drummer. That incarnation of the band never seemed to really take off. From what I've heard they practiced a few times, and Baumann wrote some great new songs, and then, as Baumann and Paul were getting ready to head off to college, they decided to pack it in.
This was our debut (and in the end only) album, and was recorded in the summer of 2004. The band put up the funding for the album, and with the help of Tom Nuvoman at The Nuvoman Recording Studio, we were able to put together this 10 song album to our satisfaction. After the dream of having a band, we all really wanted to have a recorded CD that we could share and hold on to. Most of those who bought it seemed to enjoy it, and though we never really made a run at being big, to this day I still think it was a successful experiment. I still enjoy listening to the album, even after all these years.
Click on a song name to see the lyrics for it.
- Lemonade and Toy Revolvers (Baumann)
- Mind Control (Baumann)
- Kevin's Song (Baumann)
- Lies (Baumann/Boye/Schory)
- Falsifying Tagedies (Schory/Vermeulen)
- Shipwreck (Baumann)
- Moonlit Expanse (Baumann)
- Kartoffel [Mein Neiren Schrien] (Baumann)
- Serotonin (Baumann)
- Standing There (Boye/Schory)
To listen to some of our songs, check out The Defenestrators at Last.fm!