The moment has finally arrived. Remember that EP I’ve been blabbering about for months now? Well guess what? It’s done, and it’s available for you to feast your ears just below. World, we the Green Genes present to you the first in a chain of many EP’s, “Maybe It’s Me”
And remember, we’re releasing this beast tonight with Felix and Lovehog at the Hi Ho Lounge. Only $5. Show at 10. (and that’s five links to old posts in this one. That must be some kind of record).
Normally I’d ramble for a while and post some funny pictures, but I would rather let Dominique Minor of Blue Lace do the talking here with the lovely liner notes she provided (yes, we don’t have physical releases, but we DO have liner notes. We’re very picky with what traditions we choose to enforce). See you at the show tonight:
The Green Genes
B.J. Blue – Bass/Back-up Vocals/Synthesizer
Rory Callais – Vocals/Guitar
Chad Clements – Percussion
Chris Senac – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Imagine carefully cropping and christening every inch of energy you’ve put into a piece of work, and then having that work poked, prodded and placed in the hands of strangers where it then may be subjected to the uttmost scrutiny. As with any artistic endevour, releasing a finished work to the public bears with it a mark of finality that can be as much of a challenge to the artists themselves as it can be a treasure. For The Green Genes taking on that sort of challenge is exactly what the band sought during the recording of this EP.
As a band, The Green Genes have worked diligently to find a fanbase in New Orleans without confining themselves musically or comprising their integrity, which is not a easy feat. It is something the band has remained aggressively dedicated to maintaining throughout its history.
The band was birthed through a jam session between Chad Clements and Rory Callais while the two were in high school at Archbishop Shaw in Marrero, Lousisana. As veteran members of the band, Clements and Callais have seen the band go through many transformations and experience a wealth of growth of the course of nearly seven years.
During their college years, an attempt at a band was made under the monkier Gummy De Milo, this time with their mutual friend Aaron Aleiner. After months of hard work and practice, the trio finally had their first show scheduled on September 9, 2005, however Hurricane Katrina had other plans. As the storm ravaged the city, the band found themselves spread throughout the country, and without a bassist. After evacuating from his New Orleans-area residence, Aleiner returned to his native Philadelphia home permanently.
Callais and Clements returned to the city determined to play. They diligently kept up a practice regiment, and spent over a year patiently searching a new bassist. Their looking finally led them to a Loyola University music composition student, named B.J. Blue, whom Callais met in August 2007. Armed with a new bass player, the trio practiced weekly at Clement’s Westwego home, and eventually brought in lead guitarist Chris Senac into the final line up. The Green Genes were born.
In June 2009 The Green Genes hit the studio and launched a humorous and informative interactive blog documenting the entire recording process of their EP. The blog not only adds a note of the band’s affable accessibility, by allowing fans to literally become a part the recording process by way of leaving comments on individual blog posts.
Vocalist Rory Callais said that the blog “serves as our overall ‘album.’ …In leiu of doing a boring old 12 song CD, we’re going to be recording a series of EP’s once ever six to eight months. Through that, [the] blog will feature demos for songs old and new, pictures of us in the studio and on stage.” When reading the blog you will learn about things like, Green-Pup –the band’s studio mascot, and Chad Clements’ McGyver-like prowress using the rolls of toilet paper in place of forgotten drum mallets.
After hanging with The Green Genes in the recording studio, I asked Callais about the band’s music. Despite being aware of each band member’s classical music training, it was surprising to learn that they worked to simplify some of their material. When I asked how the band was going about this, Callais said they re-worked older songs in their setlist by fleshing out vocal parts and beefing up guitar tracks amongst other things. “We just want to rock harder,” he added. Even Clements, whose 7-piece silver drumkit remsembles a small spacecraft, “scaled back the kit” during recording sessions.
What resulted after The Green Genes’ hard work in the studio is an exquisitely-crafted mixture of punchy, feel-good rock ‘n’ chords, brawny riffs, blistering guitar solos and diary-honest lyricism. From the first note of the EP to the last, its veritable cornucopia of influences ranging from reggae (“Desire”), New Orleans funk rhythms (“Jack’s Song”), The Smashing Pumpkins (“St. Ann”), and French composer Maurice Revel (“The Fine Line”) shines though without overpowering the band’s coruscating sonic presence. But be warned: after listening to this EP it will seap into your skin and settle in until you’re stomping your feet and sweating out a rock ‘n’ roll fever.
–Dominique Minor (September 2009)
The band would like to thank: Evan and Rob from Uptown Audio Productions, Dominique Minor, Stef Grinder Glendye, Kate Barkmann, Ariana O’Brien, and our families and friends for their love, support, and most of all, patience.