On Wednesday, April 15th we will be releasing a single song to the world called “Existing Condition.” This is the first time in Old American Junk’s recording history that we have released a song on its own, and not part of a full-length album or and EP.
This song took a long time to put together. Its first inception came alone on electric guitar on a backwoods porch sometime around 2001 or 2002. It was then brought to the band during the end of the “Home” and “Midnight Underground” sessions in 2009 and 2010, but it was never quite realized in the way that we wanted it to be.
We used to play it live, in acoustic form, in 2013 through 2015, so some of it may seem familiar to those who have seen us play live. We put together the albums “Dissolution” and “Yesterday’s Light” between 2015 and 2018, but the song never made it to the rehearsal sessions.
In July of 2019 “Existing Condition” was brought back out of the vaults and re-born in the friendly confines of the infamous “Quadra” rehearsal space in Madison, WI. Featuring Tim Patterson on drums and percussion, Peter Baggenstoss on piano and organ, Ryan Lammey on bass, Matt Manske on electric guitar and Shane Hardwicke on acoustic guitar and vocals, we quickly reached a connection with feel and arrangement of the song that we felt good with and excited about. So, we went into the Blast House Studio in late July of 2019 to record with Dustin Sisson (whom we worked with on “Home” and “The Midnight Underground”). Dustin helped establish an excellent vibe for the sessions and is the consummate professional. He is an empathetic, creative and involved engineer who helped bring out the best in the band. He did a fantastic job of recording and his outstanding ear ensured that we got the best takes possible from all of the musicians.
After sitting on the original tracks for a few months, we opened them back up at Matraca Records in Sao Paulo, Brazil where Shane did vocal edits with engineer and producer Fernando Rischbeiter. Fernando’s work is highlighted on the “Good To Be Alive” EP we released in 2014. He was responsible for mixing that album as well as some overdubbing.
We had been dreaming of a horn section on the song for quite some time, and that’s when we reached out to Douglas Antunes (trombone) of the outstanding band “Bixiga 70” in Sao Paulo. Bixiga 70 is one of the best Afrobeat bands in the world and is a must-see for anyone that enjoys live music. We were thrilled when Douglas enthusiastically agreed to not only play on the track, but also to write and arrange the horn parts for the song. He brought in his friends Gustavo Sousa (trumpet, flugel horn) and Adrianno Canetta (flute, saxaphone) to play the parts.The fruits of their work will be obvious as soon as you hear the song. The photo attached is a photo of the horn arrangement that Douglas wrote signed by the muicians.
Upon completion of the horn tracking, Fernando at Matraca Records did the mixing, and we were thrilled with the results after just the first mix! Typically, it takes a minimum of 3-5 mixes before we are satisfied. So, we then sent the track back to our trusted Mastering Engineer Justin Perkins in Milwaukee, WI where he once again put his magic touch and completed our product.
Finally, our good friend Fabio Carvalho completed the artwork once again for this project. Fabio designed the “Yesterday’s Light” EP artwork and he did a great job of finding the right mood to fit this song.
We’ve been sitting on this song for awhile now. It would have felt too strange to release it a month ago when the world was shutting down. I know that many of us didn’t even have an appetite for music for a few weeks, and are now just regaining our desire and need to have art back in our lives.
We hope that our song brings your joy, peace and bliss for the 7 minutes of its duration. We are proud of the performances of this piece, and it has been a delight to watch one song manifest over the course of almost nineteen years in the making. We feel it is one of Old American Junk’s finest achievements.
Please share the song with your friends and family and we hope that you might add it to your summer playlist for 2020. Thank you for your support.
Shane Hardwicke: Songwriter, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Tim Patterson: Drums, Percussion
Peter Baggenstoss: Piano, Organ
Ryan Lammey: Bass Guitar
Matt Manske: Electric Guitar
Douglas Antunes: Trombone
Gustavo Sousa: Trumpet, Flugel Horn
Adrianno Canetta: Flute, Saxaphone
Fernando Rischbeiter: Harmony Vocals
Dustin Sisson at Blast House (Madison, WI)
Fernando Rischbeiter at Matraca Records (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Dustin Sisson (tracking mix)
Fernando Rischbeiter (working and final mix)
Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering (Milwaukee, WI)