United Dictators of Mars: The Music of Tom Mody & Jeffrey Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cover art for Harbinger album the Inevitable Harbinger
the Inevitable
released 1991
songs:
XL
Voice From the Past
No Shadow
21 Run
Destiny's Darling
Birds of a Feather
Only Fools
Dr. Bob
The Other Life
We'll Meet Again [song info & play]
UNRELEASED SONG  
You Know Who (live) [song info & play]

Jeffrey Harris - vocals Tom Mody - guitar
Billy Pierce - bass Todd Hensley - guitar
 

 
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This one is special to Jeff and myself. It represents the one time in our lives that our entire existance revolved around the completion of an album. And I mean from me joining Harbinger in August of 1990 to the albums finished mix in the spring of 1991. We were consumed with writing, rehearsing and recording all new material. It's the closest we've ever felt to being in the process of a signed band- but without the actual recording studio and money advance. My girlfriend broke up with me because I had been showing up at her house after 11:00 every night. It all worked out though- we got married 8 years later.

To the listener of any album or the reading of a book or the visual consumer of any type of art, there's an immeditae judgement- like it, hate it, indifferent. What ever the reaction, what ever short comings or questioning of talent or decision, there are some things the creator is too involved to concern themselves with. Someone may hate a song but the creator is hung up on a unique chord arrangement or processing effect which makes it as a whole brilliant to them. I think in my case, I can hear this album as if it were recorded professionally. I can live with the flaws, excuse the short comings and transfer the appropriate potential to my ears because I know what went into this, the months of dedication and the vision of our music which we presented at the very best of our capabilities despite the inferior equipment available to us. I'm not trying to creatively move you past some sorry excuse for an album. On the contrary- there's some awsome stuff on here that was brilliantly recorded with Jeff at the healm. I'm trying to relay what our ears hear, what our mind sees as the creators and the unmistakable feeling people get when music transports them back in time to a special place. This was special to us in every way that matters despite the end result being a success or bomb. It's a good album but I know what it's really suppose to sound like- it's suppose to sound like a great album.

We actually hit the mark quite well with our writing style. My vision was to capture the best elements of my favorite bands. The action of Judas Priest. The adventure of Iron Maiden. The drama of Queensryche. And I think we actually did it. Unfortunately it was 1991 and we were too sheltered living in rural upstate New York to see the times were a changin'. Everyone contributed, everyone has a piece of them on this album. One piece I would prefer to not have had is my drum programming skill (or lack there of). We didn't have a drummer and wouldn't for some time after it's completion. You can't have a crap drummer. Mediocre guitarist and bassist- yes. Even a bad singer with good stage presence can fake through it live but a drummer bumbling all over his kit is painful to listen to. Some might say it's better than a machine but our stuff was not easy to play. A bad drummer would kill it so we did what we had to do. I had a Yamaha RX5 that I bought in 1987 for $800. It was one of the better consumer models but technology at that price was no where near the sound quality of today.

One feature I liked in the drum machine was that it had separate outputs for each pad so we could run each output through a separate channel in our mixer, process what ever effects we wanted on each drum and record it mixed mono to one track. Why only one track? We'll here's how Jeff engineered this whole album. We rented a Vestex cassette 6 track recorder. One track was for drums, one track was for bass, two rhythm guitar tracks and two extra music tracks usually for lead guitar or keyboard. We mixed and mastered that into two tracks of Jeff's Tascam cassette 4 track leaving two tracks for all the vocals. Then mixed and mastered the 4 track to Jeff's 1/4" two track reel. And eventually to Cassette (and years later to CD).

Now this is as clean an album as you can get using piss poor equipment and bouncing you mixes all over creation. Jeff deserves a standing ovation, a bow and a plaque for his dilligence on this. It's got 10 full songs and we felt complete. It was recorded upstairs in Jeff's house in Lebanon, New York which was also our practice room.

The original cassette cover has just some clip art from the printer showing a perspective view of the ground and this burst of light breaking through the terrain. We used gold ink as the base color and the gold ink would rub off on your hands if you touched the J-card. For the CD cover I made it this hand sticking up from the ground. On the back of the CD you realize it was the Statue of Liberty so it's kind of the same feel as the end of the original Planet of the Apes movie. I guess the point being things will inevitably come to that be it from God, war or man. Like all the CD covers, I didn't have Photoshop at the time or know much about DPI for printing. That being said I tended to get a good product anyway but things coud have been sharper.

I edited nothing in the transfer to CD so it's as it was from 1991. Our little jewel in the rough- "the Inevitable"

 

Tom Mody
2008


:::..:..::.:| HARBINGER HISTORY |:.:.:.::.:

 

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