If I had to pick one project as a favorite, it would be Hibernation Season. When I listen to the it, I’m instantly reminded of a snow storm in January of 2007, during which Brad Annis, John Birk, Andy Guilaran, Russell Brooks and I recorded an album in a funeral home. The experience was the culmination of years of musical daydreams, scribbled lyrics, and half-forgotten guitar riffs.
In my younger days, I would sit in my room obsessing over the concept albums that defined the seventies, hoping one day I might record an album myself. I found a like-minded kinship with Brad Annis and John Birk, two cousins who’d been playing drum and bass together so long, they were practically living metronomes. I talked them into forming a band, somehow.
For one long summer we practiced every weekend, writing nearly twenty songs. After a particularly long day of drinking Coors Light, we agreed our name would be Sad Bastard Brothers - because we played old sad bastard sounding music. I didn’t have the foresight to realize that there might be issues with saying bastard on the radio, or as we discovered much later, at a festival in the bible belt. Despite all this, I still like the name.
We played several shows at a local venue called the Rudyard Kipling. The Rud became a second home to us. We loved them because they were kind and supportive, and they loved us because our friends liked to drink heavily.
A year in, we decided to finally record an album. I revised the lyrics and the ideas behind the songs over and over again. Late one night while stressing over the concept, I came across a documentary about the Inuit living in Alaska. As I watched their touching story unfold, inspiration struck. Hibernation Season would tell the story of two Inuit, who where the last survivors of the human race. After the world freezes over in a nuclear winter, the pair of lovers travel across the country to New York City. The tribulations they would face became the imagery I needed to shape the fourteen tracks.
The album was recorded at The Funeral Home over the span of three weekends in 2007. We called on our friends Andy and Russell one weekend to add additional instrumentation and vocals. I remember sitting with Brad, John and Kevin in the control room, listening in complete awe to the final mix. We had really finished it. It was the most satisfying creative endeavor in which I’ve ever been involved.