Once upon a time, Greg Malarkey and Marc Covert aka “Vert” decided to resurrect their partnership with Richard Hessian by rerecording some tracks to music that Richard, Greg and Vert had produced a thousand years ago. The idea was, they would save Richard's guitar and vocal tracks and lay down new tracks to complete the songs. These new “old” songs would then be sent to the lost band member, Richard, with high hopes of getting him back into the river and saving him from the LA lifestyle of good times and easy women.
To pull this off, Greg recruited Jon Boyd and Fletcher Barber to lay down some guitar and keyboard tracks against Richard's old tracks. Jon, while not thrilled with this, agreed because he got to play with a kit drummer. In the midst of the project, the hard drive with the old tracks sputtered and died in a most heinous manner... much to Jon's relief.
Jon, Vert, Fletcher and Greg realized that it simply wasn't meant to be. But they had a lot of fun making noise together and decided to continue.
In the middle of all of this, Greg and his daughter headed off to Ireland for a 10-day tour. After the tour of Ireland they hit London, and Greg's daughter, who was more than fed up with her Dad's antics, bailed, leaving Greg unsupervised in London for a long weekend...
Upon return, Greg suggested a musical project loosely based upon that trip.
They strayed from this idea a bit, but hey.
And the Kingdom of Dali was born.
Key songwriters Jon and Greg realized early on that, due to a lack of time and the need for gainful employment, they needed to take one musical idea at a time, beating it into the ground mercilessly until such time as they had recorded a "keeper". This was dubbed the “Battle of Twitching Horse”. As explained by Vert, “The song is not finished until a cattle prod to the dead horse's balls produces not so much as a twitch”.
In this process typical songwriting methods and strict adherence to genre were low on the priority list, resulting in songs that often have points of familiarity but take myriad turns and twists.
The backbone tracks of all songs were recorded live with the intention of creating and capturing a more organic feel to the music. Greg, the band's lyricist, would often form lyrical ideas and structural concepts during the recording of the backbone instrumental tracks. These tracks were not recorded in isolation, but at the same time in a common room. Additional tracks were added later.
Jon, Greg, Vert, and Fletcher were joined by Rudy to help create greater vocal dimension. Rudy also holds the distinction of being the only band member to have brought in a finished song, "Family."
From time to time, friends dropped by toting various instruments and implements. These visits changed the course of the music.
Bruce Beaton, talented percussionist and mouth harp player, joined in on "Family" and "Empty Minds."
Anton Pace, chef by day, bass player by night, shows up on "Kid Gloves."
Richard, the reason all of this started, ended up being dragged out of LA after all, and joined in on "Justa Girl" and "Richard's Vacation."
No names were changed to protect anyone, harm came to no small animals, unheard trees did not fall over in the forest, that we know of, in the making of this album.
Lyrics can be found here (see Album notes);