The short version of this post is that our first album, New Best Friends, has been reissued on limited vinyl by Bad Timing Records and goes up for sale at 1pm EST today. Click the photo to go buy.
The long version is that New Best Friends came out exactly five years ago. We were on tour in Baltimore with a band called The Lives of Famous Men. Non-band member attendance was in the single digits, and there wasn’t much record release hoopla besides us opening a box of CDs and putting them on the merch table. That was kind of a shame, because that album was really the culmination of a lot of my life up unto that point. I had been working on those songs since probably 2004 and had dreamed all my life of putting out a record on a real label like Doghouse Records. I had the opportunity to record with one of my heroes, Mike Sapone, who taught me so much about recording and production and how to make a record, that I can’t imagine doing anything that I’m doing now without that experience (I still label certain guitar tracks “saponeguitar” when recording cause I know exactly what that sounds like). After recording/mixing, there was another year of waiting for the record to come out (and putting out the EP Initiative in the meantime), so I was absolutely ready when the release date finally came. But there we were in Baltimore, feeling like nothing had really changed.
Not a lot changed in the year following either. The album got ok reviews, we did some bad tours and some good ones, we went through a few managers and band members, and I spent a lot of time asking myself what’s the point of releasing music. I love writing and recording, but why not just keep that to myself? Am I really that desperate that I need some stranger’s approval of something I’ve made? If I’m truly doing it for myself, then why does an audience matter?
The strange thing was that while I was having this whole dramatic inner struggle, people were somehow finding out about New Best Friends. People started showing up to shows and knowing the words. They started wanting more music, so we made another record. Then more people heard that and came to shows. Then we made another record, and now we’re headlining Madison Square Garden.
Ok not quite, but truthfully every time I see someone post a song or lyric from New Best Friends in some corner of the internet, or come up to the merch table and say how much they like it, it still makes me feel like “really? you actually heard it and liked it? you like our band?” No matter what happens, that record will always be our first, and it will always take me back to that feeling of putting some CDs on a merch table in Baltimore, wondering how we’re ever gonna sell these things. Everything is new again, like nothing has changed.
I reblogged this to share his thoughts on the album’s five-year anniversary, but if you’ve never heard NBF it’s truly the start of Mansions, which has become such a great band…you can listen here on Spotify or here on Rdio, and our repress will be for sale at 1pm EST today in our webstore.