This is the 4th CD from Leslie Nuss.
The concept for Round 3 originated in 2002 on Ave. A when Leslie took out her (then) fake front tooth to scare/amuse a friend and they both decided that a good halloween costume would be to go as a boxer and show off the missing tooth.
However, as we all know, the use of boxing as a metaphor has gotten out of control. Nonetheless, the album title stuck. Inside the cd, there is a collage, made by Nuss on "the nature of conflict" as she puts it. There are images of her old band, Dogwater, butterflies, animals, and text from one of the many letters her dad used to send her which were critical of her music.
The making of the CD took close to three years. Nuss won a free day at Gravity Studios in Chicago, and began work with a producer, bassist John Abbey, whom she knew from his work with David Poe. Nuss, Abbey and Mike Zelenko (former drummer for Chicago influential band Material Issue) recorded the basic tracks live at Gravity in December, 2003. However, due to "artistic differences" Abbey soon left the project and Nuss brought in long time friend Anne-Marie Stehn (Maul Girls, Youngster, Antigone Rising) to recut the bass tracks.
Nuss's guitar got sent back to Taylor guitars for some revamping she suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and took a job starting a belt line for the boot company Ariat, all things that slowed down the making of this cd.
Mark Berlin, her engineer at Gravity (guitarist for Sally) stayed the course and helped see this project through to the end. They enlisted Dan Wean (Easy Tiger) for additional guitar, Christian Cullen (onetime keyboardist for Cathy Richardson) and Rahul Sharma (sitarist for World Music band Funkadesi) to complete tracks, as well as additional production input from Michael Freeman.
The cd starts off with a cover of "Eye of the Tiger" that Nuss and Action Hero Superstar producer Kyle Kelso originally did for indie film "The End of the Bar" starring former Howard Stern girlfriend Beth Ostrosky. The version has received praise from EOTT songwriter Jim Peterik who said he "loved" Nuss's version.
Next, follows the most "indie" sounding Nuss CD to date, raw and minimal in spots and sparse and simple in others the record speaks to topics that burn in Nuss's mind. Many of the songs are about conflict, whether interpersonal, indirect with Nuss alternately wanting to run away (Mermaid) or stay and fight (Landscape, Zen Meditation). There's the song she wrote after having a "religious" experience at Utah's Zion National Park, (Red Rock) as well as one she wrote in a mind-altered state in Amsterdam (Experience Not Money) and one she wrote behind a friends' home in the Berkshires (If I).
This record also has two alternate versions of songs on LESLIE NUSS (Drive, What Do I Do to Make You Mine). Mike Shimshack, producer of LESLIE NUSS (Matt Hofer) and John Abbey both picked these two songs and so Nuss was curious to hear how they would sound on both cds.
Round 3 also features tempo changes in songs like "Shell Shocked" "Experience Not Money" and "Red Rock" "I was really interested in the concept of going from 'black and white to color' (a reference to the Wizard of Oz), Nuss says. "I always loved The Beatles "A Day in the Life" and the beauty and weirdness of it," she adds.
Currently consumed with her new baby, Ruby born in May 2006, Nuss hopes to play some shows in the Chicago area in the coming year to promote Round 3. Please check out her myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/leslienuss) or her website leslienuss.com to stay in touch.