Friendly Fire and Beyond:
Recordings

I made most of these MP3s from cassettes - I have no idea where the masters are, except for the Studiomedia songs. Feel free to save these MP3 files locally. To do so, right-click and select "Save Target As..." Hopefully, the downloading won't exceed my bandwidth allotment and bring down the site.

Stronger Winds / The Room © 1986, 2006 Friendly Fire
Recorded at Studiomedia (II) in June 1986
Friendly Fire: Kier, vocals & guitar; Carmen, keyboards; Curt, bass; Mark, drums
Kier says: The music in the first song was inspired by my Boss Delay pedal, and the words are Carmen's. Much more poetic and interpersonal than my lyrics. Curt and Carmen were reluctant to take solos at the end, but they sound great, and they can't all be guitar solos. They always got a good reception live. Mark's drum playing is so tight and on-target I bet people think it's a machine. Great drum sound. I don't why this couldn't be a dance club hit. "The Room" is all mine, hence the "Dr. Doom" theme. Mark always seemed to "get" what drum parts I wanted in my songs. If I were a drummer, I'd want to be just like him! I started experimenting with lighter guitar solos around then. As always, I think the weak link in the Friendly Fire songs is my singing. It just seemed like the best way to get my songs done was to sing them.

Cheshire Bridge / Weekday Crisis / Black Flame © 1988, 2006 Friendly Fire
Recorded in St. Charles at Bollero Sound in April 1988[?]
Engineered by Mike Bollero
Friendly Fire: Kier, vocals & guitar; Carmen, keyboards & vocals; Curt, bass & vocals; Mark, drums
Kier says: This was recorded in an impressive home studio, but not quite the 24-track Studiomedia. Unlike "Stronger Winds," where I added music I already had to Carmen's words, in "Cheshire Bridge" I wrote the music specifically for it. Yet I think the tempo is too fast to fit all the words in right. I like the subtle acoustic guitar, and evidently still liked my delay pedal. "Weekday Crisis" is Curt's, but Mark and I may have jazzed it up beyond his recognition. I sing lead here, but I think Curt may have sung it in concert. "Black Flame" has my favorite guitar solo since "Capital Attraction." Lyrically, it's saying that the Dr. Doom stuff isn't real, but a cartoon hero wish for glory, and connecting that to self-destructive behavior.

Solid Tuesday / The Way I Do © 1989, 2006 Friendly Fire
Recorded in St. Charles at Bollero Sound in [1989?]
Engineered by Mike Bollero
Friendly Fire: Kier, vocals & guitar; Carmen, keyboards; Bob, bass & vocals; Mark, drums
Kier says: Winnie-the-Pooh said "Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you." Sometimes songs will come to you all at once, as about 90% of "Solid Tuesday" did. It came to me in a cab on the way home from a break-up. Maybe that's why there are so many break-up songs. The rush of emotions, the need to figure out why, the need to let things out - all make good creative fodder. What makes "The Way I Do" for me is Bob's harmonies in the choruses. A departure for me - a straightforward love song (for my wife, whom I had recently met). ("Solid Tuesday" was written a year before that.)

Rain Dance © 1990, 2006 New Century Schoolbook
Recorded in Cousin Billy's basement in November 1990[?]
Produced by New Century Schoolbook
New Century Schoolbook: Kier, vocals & guitar; Marcos, keyboards; Bob, bass & vocals; Roland, drums
Kier says: This was recorded in another decent home studio, but it uses a drum machine. I love the build to the end of this song. It would have been better with a real drummer.

Desperate Living © 1991, 2006 Kier Strejcek
Recorded in Marcos's living room in [1991?]
Produced by New Century Schoolbook
New Century Schoolbook: Kier, vocals & guitar; Marcos, keyboards; Bob, bass & vocals; Roland, drums
Kier says: This was a song I wrote for The Front Lines, which we played but never recorded. Bob and Marcos liked it enough to put it on one of our New Century Schoolbook demos. Once again, Bob's harmonies make up for my sad singing. Maybe I should have had him sing everything. Marcos has a fun organ solo here.