Sun & Sail Club - Mannequin (Red) (LP)
Catalog number: Satin 1
Said Balch: "In between FU MANCHU tours, I was writing all this material that was really frantic and dark. Lots of notes and strange chords. A lot of times I would go interview a guitar player for my site PlayThisRiff.com and come back inspired and full of ideas. Just to make Scott Reeder laugh I would send him a file to play drums on. Well, anybody who has seen FU MANCHU live knows Reeder is a monster behind the kit. So I would try to throw him some curveballs to trip him up. No such luck. Every riff I sent him he nailed. After a while, there was an album's worth of stuff. I really wanted Scott Thomas Reeder to play bass on it. I love the work he has done in his recording studio too, so I figured that if we recorded stuff there, hopefully he'd dig it and play on it.
I remember after the first take we walked into the control room and Reeder said, 'I had an idea!' He asked to play on it and I almost crapped myself. I don't think I've ever said 'Yes!' faster. His bass lines are insane. Lots of drop-A stuff which is probably pretty hard on bass. He nailed it too! Once the bass tracks were in place, we needed vocals. I had lyrics and melodies in my head. A lot of the vocal parts were four-part harmonies. Crazy stuff. So I laid down vocals on the home demos using a vocoder and a guitar. I thought if I could get an unmixed album with vocoder vocals together, I could start sending it out to singers that I liked to see if they had any interest. I went back into Scott Thomas Reeder's studio to lay down the vocoder parts as a guide for singers.
I did the track 'Gang Justice' first and Reeder turned around and said, 'That's how the vocals will stay. It's insane.' He asked, 'Do you have stuff for every song using the vocoder?' I did. So we went to work. The only song I didn't have vocals for Reeder sang. It's named 'I'm Not Upside Down'. Overall, this record is heavy and dark. It's inspired by DEVO, VOIVOD, KRAFTWORK, TORCHE, SLAYER and much as it's inspired by ASWAD, JOE PASS and WES MONTGOMERY. The riffs are heavy and the vocoder vocals are full of harmonies. I wanted a super-heavy groove that would support angelic vocal harmonies. I think we achieved that."