Chagall Guevara

[Image: 'Chagall Guevara' Front Cover]

© 1991 MCA Records, Inc.
CD, CD Longbox, LP, Cassette


Track Listing

  1. Murder In The Big House (3:48)
  2. Escher's World (4:14)
  3. Play God (3:43)
  4. Monkey Grinder (6:59)
  5. Can't You Feel The Chains? (3:09)
  6. Violent Blue (4:01)
  7. Love Is A Dead Language (4:10)
  8. Take Me Back To Love Canal (3:18)
  9. The Wrong George (1:58)
  10. Candy Guru (4:07)
  11. I Need Somebody (3:33)
  12. The Rub Of Love (4:13)
  13. If It All Comes True (3:35)

About The Album

From Chagall Guevara, The Metro: The Mid-South's Music Monthly, February 1991:

Perkins, Nichols and Taylor, along with bassist Wade Jaynes and drummer Mike Mead, recorded the disc at Franklin's Bennett House studio. "We wanted to record the record in Nashville because we wanted to be a part of the scene, we felt it was important as a contribution from our belief in the music scene here that we taked a stand to do the record here."

"Our approach on the record," says Taylor, "was to take the sonic ambiance of that house...there's a lot of big rooms, a victorian-styled mansion, and to not use the same set of digital boxes which tend to get used no matter what kind of record that you're making. So even though this is a five piece band, we did it on all forty-eight tracks in order to catch all of these different ambiances. When we actually mixed the record, we didn't use any digital reverbs at all, to try to give the record a different sound."

"It's gotten to the point where everyone uses the same tools in the recording process," says Perkins. "You listen to a really good Country record, it sounds just like a good-sounding Rock record, which sounds like a good-sounding Jazz record, texturally and spatially. What we wanted to do, we worked really hard on the creation of our songs, nit-picking and pulling them apart, and we wanted to carry this over into the recording of them."

... "We wanted to put something that was honestly us on tape," states Nichols. "So many bands are disappointed when they make their first record...coming out of the studio saying, 'well, it's not quite what we are live.' That happens more often than not. Since we place such a premium on playing live, we are a live band, not a computer band or a band on paper, we have the same energy, not a record that was overproduced and layered with overdubs."

... "There's a lot of different styles on the record," says Perkins. "I guess we have unspoken boundaries...I don't know that we've ever said, stylistically, that too much of that is not enough...the point is, that in describing the songs, we tried not to paint ourselves into a corner." Every song is a three-way collaboration between Perkins, Taylor and Nichols, thus drawing upon the talent, experience and the knowledge of all three musicians.

From Chagall Guevara, How'd You Get So Good?, Harvest Rock Syndicate, March/April(?) 1991:

"When the band started out, we decided many of these same things for the music--no agenda. We weren't going to form a group on what we hoped to be or what we wanted to sound like. A lot of records that are popular these days are the same songs pretty much: same variation on one theme. We went in with no agenda and our songwriting reflected a wide-opened attitude of 'Yeah, let's try it. Let's write a lot and record a bunch of stuff and see how it all starts gelling.' In some ways, there's a lot of freedom in that."

... Perkins is quick to comment, "I hope that these songs are not so much observing or judging people as much as kind of taking or own temperature and asking ourselves those necessary hard questions every now and again."

From Chagall Guevara: Wonderfully Peculiar, Music Express Magazine, April 1991:

... [I]n the spirit of creating something "wonderfully peculiar," the album was done without any of the digital reverbs or samples used on most contemporary albums. Only natural room sounds were used.

"We had worked meticulously on putting the songs together, and we wanted to find a different path in to the recording process," adds Perkins. "We didn't necessarily have the colors painted in, but we knew the record would never be generic-sounding."

"Even in our dark songs, we set out to keep an optimistic slant on it all," concludes Perkins, "and I think that hope is evident in our presentation."

From Chagall Guevara: Still Searching for George, Notebored Serious Rock `N' Roll, May/June 1991:

"A lot of bands do things that are more topical," says Taylor, speaking about songwriting. "But it often gets so weighty that the art starts disappearing and it becomes almost propaganda. One of the things that these songs do well is that they keep enough humor and sort of sideways glances that they don't become too weighty."

... "We're not preachers in the religious sense or in the political sense," states Perkins. "We're artists. And if we're going to do something topical, we want to do it artistically. Sometimes that means funny; sometimes that means tragically gut-wrenching. We want to be able to paint all the colors of the human experience, and hopefully paint from an unlimited palate."

From Creation '94 Press Conference, Andrew D. Taylor, June 29th(?), 1994:

Nicholas Greco: [...] When you released Chagall Guevara, did you intend that to be released into the Christian marketplace, and if not, why did you change your mind on it?

ST: Right, well, no, we did not intend for it to be released to the Christian marketplace, and we didn't actually ultimately didn't have any say in it. Ultimately it went with Sparrow, and I was happy that it went with them, just because I knew those people and everything like that.

It was just simply a deal where a number of Christian labels went to MCA directly and wanted it and offered them money. And at first MCA asked us what we thought, and we said we would probably rather not, because we had definitely chosen one specific path--whether it was the right thing or not, you know, with hindsight, I don't know. But ultimately MCA just said, "well, we're going to do this whether you want us to or not," and I was happy it was with Sparrow.

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

There are certain mysteries on which Chagall Guevara's peculiar cult of fans could forever theorize: What if they'd actually toured? What if they'd been less of a democracy and more the servile puppets of an industry-savvy manager? What if they'd had a name we could all pronounce? What if they hadn't signed with MCA?

God works in mysterious ways, beloved Guevarians. Yours is not to wonder why, yours is but to listen carefully and try to figure out just exactly what these songs are saying. Because, despite considerable carping to the contrary by those who want the Cliff Notes before they read the novel, all the songs were chock full of profundity, spiritual and otherwise. And just because that fact escaped the Manilow-weaned masses due to what I'm sure is an internaional conspiracy, that doesn't mean you were wrong in smelling greatness. Think of all the people who couldn't pronounce Van Gogh!

Which brings me to the point of my unseemly braggadocio. We weren't a lot of fun to interview, because we didn't like to explain our lyrics. In keeping with the request of the deceased, I shall do likewise.