Night Sweats came from two main places, I’d guess. One is from Mike Torretta, who collected vintage drum machines and “Drone Commanders”, and was into crafting 80′s sounding techno beats. The second is from Scott Selfridge, who, like us all, has always wanted to do some sweet new wave singing, and he’d experimented in the past with that in his techno solo project, “Kites”. Scott had a long history of fronting bands with the stoner rock group Gammera, half-way from Gammera to Night Sweats with “Horns”, a little singing in Red Bennies while he played bass and guitar, and other backup parts here and there- duh, he’s been one of the major band-starters here in Salt Lake City since he moved here. But he’s probably most renown for, and hits closest to Night Sweats, with his deep and heartfelt singing in his band “Coyote Hoods”. And after Night Sweats broke up, he experimented with a revisit of Coyote Hoods that seemed to incorporate a triangle attack of old-style Coyote Hoods, Night Sweats, and Kites. Also, The first year, or years of Night Sweats had Shane Asbridge on the drums. Shane was another band starting-force in Salt Lake City till he quit Night Sweats to move to LA. Shane’s latest group before that was “Laser Fang”, and Laser Fang was a high energy techno dance group that would rock a big crowd. I think that when Laser Fang broke up, Night Sweats arose to try and fill that void. Even though with Scott in charge, it’d have to be all super moody and droney and like an arrow shot straight into the toe of the want-to-dance-the-night-away-to-some-cool-upbeat-tunes-hearted audience. There was another group, who was pretty much the grunge/murderer/dirtbag version of Laser Fang called Vile Blue Shades, and Night Sweats had members refugee’d from Laser Fang and Vile Blue Shades. So dance group was the order of the day. It also sounded exactly like Joy Division. One time we played a Joy Division video behind us as a joke. We took our not-being-joy-division very seriously, though, of course. I mean, we were a kick-ass band from Salt Lake City in 2013. And we were the best, and very loved.
The other people in the group were Stephen “The Drink” Chai (lead synth), who ran No-Nation Orchestra and was also in Laser Fang, Chris Murphy (synth, percussion), Who was in Vile Blue Shades and is the little brother of one of my good friends Shawn Murphy, who was in Rotten Musicians with me, and Terrence Warburton (guitar), who’s another Salt Lake City Rocker who played in Coyote Hoods, Red Bennies, and lots of other groups.
Night Sweats made shitloads of money (in band bucks: 50$=500 rock dollars), like probably approaching 1000$ or maybe even more (10,000 rock dollars), and that money was spent on recording 10 or more songs in full effect at Mike Sasich’s recording studio, even though the band contained two of the most accomplished and stylish recording engineers in SLC already, both with their own recording setups up and running. This resulted in the four song EP, “Red”, that the band released right about the time of breakup. The remainder of the songs we did are on Scott’s computer, ready for him to mix when he feels the urge. Scott mixed and mastered Red. Also, if I’m not mistaken, every single person in the group was a graphic designer by profession.
Night Sweats, “Red”
Keys To The Fortress: Man, Scott has a nice computer, is always on the search for state of the art plugins, and through the headphones, I’m remembering that he knows the side-chain. That’s a technique where one sound turns on compressors on another sound, perhaps maxed out in a cats-cradle of compressions where every instrument is taking turns perpetually, leaving this the cleanest and most interesting recording at the same time. Way to go, Scott this sounds amazing. I stayed up one night mastering this super late at Scott’s emergency request and my master (which I did for nothing since Scott went ahead and did himself) had all the sounds gathered in a snowball. This one is better, and it’s one of the reasons I like Scott’s recording work and this album. This song had a cool drumbeat that you can barely hear in the background (acoustic drums) that Shane made up and I had to play. Yes, I was the drummer of the group. For my part, in my own little sphere of perception in the music, there was something going on that I thought was very special: I think the group was intended to have electro-beats, and then a percussionist embellishing. But how it ended up, The drum machine was very deep and bassy in our enormous, million pound PA system that the group bought and hauled around to every damn show, which is another story altogether, and my real role was just to add some brass, because that visceral hiss was totally necessary to keep all of us rockers in the loud zone and balance out all our techno. Also, playing drums along to a beat is just very difficult. It is a real skill that was beyond me. There is just a little drift no matter what, with your little foot pumping and your arms flailing. So, my great discovery was in two parts: one, the sound of the acoustic drums went far beyond brass reinforcement, it was actually very much like a duet between the machine and man. The kick was totally handled by the techno, as well as the bassy techno snare and snaps and claps or whatever came out of the PA, and the snare, hi-hat, and crash was totally handled by me, and I thought that we both combined into one beautiful drum beat. The second thing was, that like the brontosaurus who has an extra brain in it’s butt to tell if a dino has bitten it’s tail, I learned that without a kickdrum, or the lower half of your body in the game, it’s super easy to follow a tempo. It was very fun drumming- wow, the perfect balance of freedom and responsibility. I loved playing in this group. When we sang this song to ourselves, we sang it as “Keys to the Prius”.
Chris Guitar Song: Yes, to describe how loose this group was, the song’s called Chris Guitar Song, because Chris played the guitar on just this one song. Seriously, Scott was in charge of the group, with Mike the real master behind the scenes (we broke up when he moved to portland and took his drum machine), and, behind the band’s back, I would describe it like this: A zoo band. literally. like a polar bear, a penguin, and a snake snuck into the same cage at night and tried to do a band. No one was in charge, and I can’t believe everyone kept coming to practice every time. The songs officially released was four, the songs officially recorded was 10 or 12, the songs officially started-were written-but-not-finished had to be like 20. Cool percussion on this song from Mike and Chris. And cool guitar pedals from Terrence. This one would really get the zion-rave going in the crowd, like on the matrix 3, with it’s sexy beats.
Car Car Commercial: Half way through this one you’ll get goosebumps ’cause it’s so bad ass. On this one Scott’s wide mix and master really shines. Mike was the mastermind behind the poppyness of this sweet song. A lot of Mike’s stuff was upbeat and ready for the dance party, where Scott and Terrence, those cool dudes, had to keep the lips out and not cheese out too hard, so…… you get an hour long drone sesh at the end of this song, to wipe the butt of the pop. Very punishing. We never did get our fat car commercial check we fantasized about.
Body Talk: I think that the EP actually ended with Car Car Commercial, hence the drone (like an extended single), and that this song is a bonus song! Taking it into the EP zone. This was our dance hit, and the closest to our Laser Fang roots. We had alternate fun-lyrics for this one,too, but they shall never be repeated. My Machine-Man duet drumming is in full effect here. Oh. My.God. I forgot that we rocked the sax. That’s Stephen saxing. The 80′s are so f*@#ing hot for all time, and the sax DEFINITIVELY pushed us over the top in that department, but crazy as it sounds, we were from 2013, and aggressively phasing out the sax throughout the groups career. Too bad for Stephen, and also too bad for me who thought that maybe I’d get a chance to play the sax when I joined the group.
Scott has always been so selfish with his recordings. I don’t remember if it ever came up in Red Bennies, but I’m sure it would have if the shit ever hit the fan– He just doesn’t want to have to hear himself shown in a bad light for time and all eternity. As for me, I feel very much that studio albums are made for people to listen to who have never heard real music before, and who think that that’s what is sounds like when it’s real. I’ve heard lots of music in real life, and I like how it sounds. I despise fake-ass unreal music. So basically I think studio albums are pointless and fake and…. laaaaaaame. And I know that your stereo is not a real band in your house, but my suspension of disbelief carries me just far enough to treat the speakers as a window to the concert hall. Not quite as far as a window into the recording studio- which they are also not! Even with techno groups. And sorry Scott, but can’t I just indulge in your inner beauty and share it with the world? Like a beacon of light? Anyhow, throughout my time with the group, I collected recordings from live shows, made some of them myself, and some I stole from Scott, I guess. And it’s a little personal, but these tracks give me the warm recollection of what the group was like. And as far as being shone in a bad light goes, I hit rock bottom a long time ago. Well technically, on my first recording and then on to everyone since until I finally figured out that I like the sound of real music.
Chris Guitar Song: I recognize this, it is the recording we did a Mike Sassich’s, but mastered by me instead of Scott. Check “Red” for this. It’s better.
Iron And Muscle: This one is live from Bar Deluxe. Two times that we played there, they had a digital mixing board that went right to the computer. I went to great lengths to get it saved and then take my dongle down there and collect. I was so nervous to release Burgundy, because after I mixed these shows, I gave them out and got in big trouble from the band. OK it was just Scott. Also, Crazy sax!!! I love this song.
Body Talk: This one is from “Red” but my master. The Red one is better.
The Song That Shall Not Be Played: It’s not called that, of course. It’s a nameless song that we played and then Scott and Terrence mysteriously said we would never play it again. My theory is that it sounds just like a joy division song that I don’t know about, but Terrence did say that he used his riff on another song and couldn’t go back. Anyways, awesome song! This is from Bar Deluxe again.
Ah Ah Ah: After our perpetual weekly attempts to finish some new songs, these two songs magically stepped up actually finished. They represent our “2nd wave” of songs. I love it. This is from a Bar Deluxe recording. The other song from the “2nd wave” is Nu New One.
Zion Rave: Whoah this one could be considered as being in the “2nd wave of songs” batch. We always played this at the end of the set, and that drum beat was hard for me to play. This one might be from a recording at the Urban Lounge that I made- or maybe from bar deluxe again. We recorded this in the studio too. I’d love to hear the studio version.
Keys To The Fortress: This is from “Red”, a better version is on there.
Nu New One: This one was so awesome. Super groovy, I thought. Maybe I would like to hear the fancy studio version of this!
Goodbye Forever: There’s a phenomenon where a band finally writes the perfect song that takes all their other songs and ties them up in a bow, a provides the context that just makes the identity of the group totally cohesive, and as soon as that song comes, the group vanishes like a tetris and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. This is that song. That’s why it’s called Goodbye Forever. Plus it’s a recording I made at our last show, at the Urban Lounge.
Car Car Commercial: Get the version from “Red”. This one’s not so bad by comparison.
Keys To The Fortress: Awesome live recording of this song. I think that this is all the songs. If I find any more, I’ll post them at the bandcamp on BURGUNDY.