"Whateverland" is the starting point for Cats don't have souls. I began recording this album in may 2006, after spending a few months travelling the globe, first to Australia to catch up with family, and then to Miami to begin a small tour with the industrial metal band, Incode.
While in Australia, I had kept a notebook nearby at all times, and by the time I head left, I had filled it with tons of ideas for songs, lyrics, music etc... through words and pictures...
My time in Incode was short lived, as I was not getting much out of the music, or the rockstar lifestyle that they embraced. While individually, I still consider them good decent people, the label "industrial" was starting to grate on me, as I felt that at that point in time, I had been so attached to the genre, that i wanted the freedom to branch off and try different things.
I had loved bands like the Cure, Siouxsie and the banshees, Joy division etc since high school. What really caught me about those bands were the amount of sonic depth and atmosphere they could capture using such minimalist production techniques on those early albums... (17 seconds by the cure in particular was a huge influence on my approach in the recording of whateverland.)
Upon my departure from incode, I returned back to NJ where my my parents lived, and began work on these songs I have had incubating.
My brother Sean hung around a bit while I worked on it, as well as the guys from my pop-punk band, Send help, did come through a few times as well while I was banging out instrumentals and mixes.
If I remember correctly, I definitely did smoke some Salvia with Dan, Vinny, and Bonner around this time, and freaked out pretty fucking hard. Ahhhh, good times.
By the time the album was done, I had no band name, however, while listening back to the finished mix of Can of worms, the chorus had somehow caused the lightbulb in my head to go off.
"Cats don't have souls !" It sounded so ludicrous to me, somewhat artsy, and there was a distinct air of curiosity (heh heh) about it... Had I known that the name would have caused me as many annoying questions and dirty looks since then by cat enthusiasts all over, I may have thought of something else.
The line that gave rise to the name, of course was a play on what some born again christians believe that only humans have souls, and that animals are essentially just living furniture... An idea that to this day I am appalled by, that anyone would use the idea of God (well, their idea), as a way to trivialize life.
Sonically, this is the rawest cats album there is, as at the time I had no idea what engineering or mixing entailed.. I just knew I wanted to write and record an album, and did not want to pay a fortune in some studio somewhere and get a half assed production because I couldn't afford to put the time and money into it.
Instead, I opted to work on my own, on my shitty computer that I think still had Window 98 on it, and probably less than a gig of ram... As for hard drive space, jesus, I know that i definitely had to save my master files to cd's... which i subsequently lost... I had no idea how to eq, or use compressors.. or plugins...
But somehow, the gods smiled upon me, as I don't feel the record came out terrible... Yea, it is rough, but I have since remastered it for volume and applied a bus compressor, which helped a little.
Shortly after releasing the album on Satan day, (I was very excited to be able to release the album on 06/06/06 for whatever crazy reasons I had at the time... In hindsight I definitely curse my ignorance towards the whole thing back then, "Had I known then, what I know now..." heh heh. Who doesn't say that at some point though?
I soon left New Jersey and headed back to my homeland of staten Island NY, where I figured I would check myself into art school and form a live band to perform this clusterfuck of music I was itching to take out to the clubs.
I met Chris LaSalvia, and Samuel Levitt, who rounded out the band on drums, and bass, and we played a string of shows around Manhatten, and Staten Island...Our live debut, being a savage drunken fiasco at Martin Red on Halloween night... I don't remember much of it, but I certainly remember that there is a good reason I don't remember much of it.
released June 6, 2006
j. Sebastiano- Vox, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, production, mix
Spike- Co producer
Sean "Whitey Doo Da" Lokke- co producer
Cats don’t have souls started off as a minimalist deathrock duo and polluted itself into a drunken and deranged sound experimental prog obsessed entity with a personality disorder. Please be considerate of others and don't play this too loud.