This is the hardest we’ve worked on an album. Our sixth overall (who’s counting?), it features Alan Hancock on lead guitars, mandolin, bass and percussion, Dave Verbocy on vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and percusion, Anthony Cavallaro on Drums and percussion, and myself on vocals, piano, organ, harmonica, guitars and percussion. It was a matter of time before I had to go into a bit more detail and the MMOC Blog is the perfect place. The album now available on all of your favorite streaming platforms, as well as CD and a limited vinyl run this Fall.
The sessions took place between December of 2018 and May of 2019 at GCR Audio and Mammoth Recording Studio, both located near downtown Buffalo, NY. We’d been sitting on most of the new songs for some time, and it helped to have the opportunity to rehearse everything at our home studio (That ‘70s Show) before spending time at GCR and Mammoth.
Brad, Mike and Justin were all fantastic to work with. They made these recordings sound fresher than my usual 1968-ish approach. But we still retained that throwback Classic Rock feel. Dave and I are probably most into bands like The Beatles, The Band and Neil Young, while Alan is more of a fan of modern Rock and Anthony is an unabashed Dead-head, so our influences meshed in a way that made sense to all of us.
As much as I wanted the songs to play as a thought-out album, we also wanted them to each stand out on their own. I remember mentioning I wouldn’t be opposed to somehow making the album play on constant shuffle, somewhat like a choose your own adventure novel. But as we finished up the final sessions a running order began to take shape, as well as an overall theme.
The title Jumping Sharks is a nod to us getting a bit older and perhaps we’re 'Jumping The Shark' on some little things. Embracing it and allowing the music to go where it’s going in the future are key elements. As much as we love Classic Rock and stuff our parents enjoy, there’s a chance this will be the last of our albums to have that old-time feel. But maybe it won’t. I’m not even sure of it to be honest. I originally planned on titling the album Riverflow (everyone hated that), since songs like We’ve Got To Roll had a good deal of influence from the outdoors surrounding our hometown of Bradford, Pa, including the Marilla Reservoir. The Buffalo Sessions was another title we considered, but we figured countless bands could use that. We settled on Jumping Sharks, and Samantha provided fantastic artwork to top it all off.
As for the songs, Smoke Screen is about what’s going on in our country right now. I’ll leave it at that. Stop You Now and At The End of The Day were the final songs I wrote for the album, a time where I’m nervous and thinking it’s do or die, and I’m proud of those. Reason to Stay is a co-write with Dave and features maybe my favorite writing of Dave’s since Wait For Me.
We’ll be keeping busy with gigs over the next year before we head back to the studio again. I’d like to put something 'live' out in the meantime but we’ll have to record a few more shows first. Thanks for buying the album and supporting us, and you can always keep up with us at marshmellowovercoat.com.
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MMOC frontman Tyler Calkins does his usual ranting