Strange interview about Souvenir album
Tom Hackett, Robert Rensel, David Chamberlain, Rick Rackleff
plus Mike Pitcher, Don Morris & Carl Dexter are members of the band called
The Strange. These guys released one of the rarest private press albums. Deep
in the 70s, when the disco became popular these fellows didn’t care about that
and decided to play what they liked the most – late ’60s rock. They managed to
record a now highly sought for collectors item titled “Souvenir” album. The
album consist of various mix, some of the songs are really crude, but you can
trust me; this is really a good album overall with an amazing feel to it.
Here’s the proof, that the hippie spirit was still alive in the disco era. The
band was influenced by CSN & Y, Moody Blues and most definitely by Mother
of Invention. When you flip from A side to B side you’ll hear some difference,
cos the material is getting better and better and then you are pissed, cos you
would like to hear more of this. The original vinyl sound is really lo-fi,
which kind of adds a special flavour to it, cos of the “poor” production. A few
years ago our friend Thomas of Shadoks Music located Tom Hackett and asked him
for doing a reissue. The reissue was remastered and sounds a lot better than
original. 450 copies were made. Here’s a short interview with Tom about making
this “strange” album. You can find a nice history also in the liner notes of
the Shadoks reissue. So turn on your vintage transistor amp and read the story
of teenage boys, that had a lot of fun making this LP.
interesting private press albums of the ’70s – Souvenir Album. You formed back
in 1974, while still in high school. Were you schoolmates at Olympia high?
bands before forming “Strange”?
that way and other kids did too. Strange was my first band and I also learned
to play there.
in 1978 and only 100 copies were pressed.
about recording and producing it? What gear did you use?
Ampex AG-440 with Quad 8 chan frontend, Sennheiser md-421au, EV RE-15 at first
we built all our own gear like plastic people….but we had access to TESC.
stereo decks with MD421au. The 8 track studio had the 441 hyper-cardioid and EV
re-20, Quad-8 mixer Ampex AG440 1″ 8 track tape. With the exception of the
2 or 3 horrid cassette recordings we relied on Teac 1/4″ reel to reel
(maybe a-1230) and the usual SM-57/58
some AKG d-1000e.
college was a great resource for us. Our own PA was scrapped together JBL/EV
homebrew SWTP amps. Tapco 6 channel mixer. We never made any $ so it was a
labour of love building and maintaining this PA. A fender Rhodes, a Hammond
organ, Guitar, Bass, Drums etc…
stages? Are there any less known or should I say local bands you would like to
releases back in the ’70s. It must have been still pretty hard to pay for the
pressing and then almost impossible to sell it via concerts.
out of his pocket. It was never for sale.
you were still keeping your freak flag fly. Can you tell us what kind of scene
was in your town and maybe what influenced you the most?
(locally very little interested me. Maybe the local jazz scene).
hallucinogenic drugs and did they have any impact on you as an artist?
their author – Patrick Lundborg made a quiz about extremely obscure bands and
the winner was a collector from Spain and he said your LP is his favourite of
them all. How do you feel about the fact, that people know you these days and
are still enjoying your music? A special thanks goes to Thomas Hartlage at
Shadoks Music who did a really nice reissue…
very nice and yes Thomas was a great contact.
Crappy cassette in local church.
most of my musical ability.
work, but I don’t know anything about it. Was this just another issue of your
I were in the Grufs. I was in Blood Paradise and Human Skab etc.
anything else; perhaps a message to our readers?