Our Untold Story: The Self-Titled EP
We had been rehearsing in our new practice room in Alpyddan, Stockholm for about 2 months and were beginning to feel like it was time to step things up a notch and take the band to the next level.
We needed to get the attention of a record label so that we could record an album. I knew from reading a bunch of band biographies and watching rockumantaries and in the studio videos on Mtv, VH1 and YouTube that what we needed was a demo that we could send to A&Rs to get them interested and then invite them out to our shows.
We decided to book time in the studio at Alphyddan with Andreas [Westholm] and came to the conclusion that 4 tracks was a good number for a demo.
Johan [Weidenhaijn] and I were the most outspoken members of the band and had several discussions in regards to which tracks were best suited to record. Johan and I had just written “Good Bye New World” and he really wanted us to add that to the list, but I felt it had too much potential and wasn’t ready yet. I used my vito and we finally agreed that Hell House and Devil Woman were our strongest and most rehearsed songs.
Rosy was another obvious choice for us, however with some outside advice we ended up changing it to a more rocked out version for the demo. I wanted to record She’s the girl, because it was the very first song I ever wrote – we rocked that one out a bit too, and Andreas thought it was a bit mushy so he wanted to play around with it and added some weird voice effects to my vocals.
We had our 4 tracks and I pushed to add an unfinished son in as an interlude between Rosy and She’s the girl to show a softer side to the band. “Chicks dig the lovey dovey stuff, and record lables dig when chicks dig a band!” was my argument.
Our first studio session was on Monday September 3rd 2012, which also coincided with our first real live show.
I also had the vision of creating a documentary of the bands journey and got some friends to film pretty much everything we did.
Oscar and Johan entered the studio first to record the drum and bass tracks while I was at work. Because I couldn’t be in the studio myself I can’t comment on how it went other than that they got everything recorded and they seemed happy when I finally turned up, just in time, at the venue for our gig.
Next in to the Studio was me, to record the rhythm guitar parts. Boy was my ego inflated back then, and did not match my skill level! I was so adamant that however I played was the right way, because I wrote the songs. So during the recording session I called Johan saying that they had recorded too slowly and that the beats were off and that it was all wrong. Of course; I was the one of beat and playing too fast.
I got through the session and we got the tracks needed to proceed.
Mamud’s session was the quickest and most efficient. He came into the studio between classes and added his other guitar parts with ease and even smashed out 3 or 4 solo versions for every song for me to choose from.
That reminds me of this one part in the Documentary “Artifact” about 30 Seconds To Mars, where Jared Leto is in the studio and his Guitarist can’t quite get the timing of a guitar part right. Jared comes in, takes the guitar and plays it – “Just like that, either play it like that or just use my one”. Then he leaves the room, looks into the camera and says “Humans”.
After I recorded my vocals, Andreas mixed and mastered the demo and gave me the master tape.
I was stoked, our very first demo. I listened to it and a vision came to me.
Why send it out to labels, hoping for the best – when instead, we could package it and make it look professional and awesome and sell it ourselves at gigs as an EP and start building our own traction allowing us to have more clout when the time to negotiate with reps in the future.
I did a load of research on how to get music on to Spotify, iTunes and all the other cool music platforms of the time and also looked up CD pressing companies. I learned about aggregators and finally decided on one called Mondo Tunes (Who recently changed their name to Octiive). I contacted them and they advised me on how to proceed. We registered my own vanity label, XJT Music and uploaded the tracks and the artwork I had created in Photoshop using one of my favourite pictures that Sebastian [Hiort] had taken of me during one of our photo shoots with the band.
For the CDs I ended up using a Swedish based company called skivtryck.se and created our CD inlay using their free templates and guides.
While I was on a role I designed and ordered T-shirts, posters, pins and other cool band merch from bandbutiken.se so that we could have stuff to sell at our shows.
I was totally stoked.
What started out as a demo tape ended up being Our Untold Story’s: The Self-Titled EP and has since racked up a total of over 382k streams to date on Spotify alone.
That record is one of my proudest accomplishments and I am so grateful to everyone that bought a copy of the CD, Downloaded it online and to those who stream it still to this day, 7 years later.