May 17, 2007
How they got here
Dorsey's 'Borrowed Pens' follows themes of love and loss.
By Jessica Halverson
Local band Dorsey made its first full-length, "Borrowed Pens," a work with progression, thought and themes, both musical and lyrical.
Sure, a well-traversed idea, but lyricist, vocalist and guitarist Rob Glass said his songs are extremely personal.
"They all basically pertain to one event in my life, one particular time when I was growing up," Glass said. "The stereotypical heartbreak and trying to figure out what it's all about."
And maybe they should be personal -- the three core members of the band (Glass, 27, drummer Dan Dyar, 28, and guitarist Jon Schwier, 27) have been working on the songs for five years.
Originally scripted as simple ballads, the songs have swelled to become layered pop songs, incorporating horns, strings and even a soprano vocalist.
"We borrowed a keyboard and started adding in stuff," Dyar said, "and then we thought, man this is cool, wouldn't it be neat to have the real thing. I was working at a high school that had access to all of that stuff, so I ended up bringing in timpani, bar chimes and glockenspiel to do extra percussion tracks and then we thought, let's try a string orchestra and it just kept building and building."
The band also decided to incorporate melodic refrains that run throughout the songs to make them fluid and cohesive -- a structure commonly used in classical music or soundtracking.
Departing members, growing families, band name changes and time constraints all have delayed the completion of the album throughout the years. But now, with a finished product tracked at Music Garage, mixed at Sound Logic in Lafayette and mastered at Abbey Road in London, the band is building an interesting back-story for the album.
"It was neat to be there (at Abbey Road) because you walk in and all along the walls there are pictures of legendary people," Glass said. "You see the pictures on the wall and then you can see the room that they were standing in."
The band's goals for the album are practical: Sell it. Hope it gets picked up by a label. And give the people something to listen to from front to back. After that, Glass hopes to move out into the world.
"I'm trying to start and write about daily life, actually," Glass said. "I think sometimes when people move through life, they just move through life. They start at one place and end up at another and think, wow, how did I get here?"