If you don’t see me or Scott regularly, you can have V for Voice on CD shipped directly to you from the manufacturer by ordering it here.
Get it shipped next day air for about $50! 🤓
If you do see one of us, just hit us up directly for a better deal.
Below is our full email exchange with Caitlyn Nelson of The Crete News on August 10.
Caitlyn Nelson: You both are from Crete, correct?
Howie Howard: Yes. I was born here and lived here until I graduated from Doane in ’04. Scott, if I remember right, was born in David City but his family moved here while he very young; not sure of his exact age but before kindergarten I’m pretty sure, maybe even as an infant.
Scott Morris: I was two when we moved to Crete.
CN: When did you and Scott start playing together?Continue reading Full Interview with Caitlyn Nelson
Writing the songs for V for Voice spanned a decade and a half, most of which was spent without any idea the record would ultimately happen.
The origins of several pieces on the album date back to 2002-04, after near and far and when I was writing the signs.comets material. Following that I slowly accumulated song ideas here and there that never fit on other records I was doing. At different times some of these songs had been penciled in for echoes, The Sleepover, and Sally Ride.
In 2014, as I prepared to pitch Scott on making an album, I went through my demos and notes like a curator, putting together what I thought would make a satisfying, diverse-yet-cohesive tracklist. Little changed from then; one song was newly written and added (“Usually on a Battlefield”), and a couple “maybes” were affirmed or dropped along the way as we figured out what worked and what didn’t.
Looking back, writing can be divided into three phases:
- Ideas from 2002-04 that weren’t completed during our original h&s run (3-4 songs)
- Ideas from 2005-14 that weren’t composed specifically for h&s (8-9 songs)
- Arranging and writing lyrics for the ideas above after committing to the record, plus one new song, 2014-19
|When Breathing||2002-04 range, likely 2004; I have early lyrics on a page along with a to-do list for my visit home from Minnesota for Thanksgiving that year||Started along with the music (opening “When breathing in…”, first verse and chorus rough ideas), added to and revised 2015-18, finished 2018|
|Gabriel Speaks||2002-04 range||2015-18 (though “Gabriel Speaks” was the working title from the start)|
|We Are 1nes||Possibly as early as 2002, but I think more toward 04-06, echoes era. But then, why didn’t I put it on one of those EPs? So, could even be after Be A Ska Rat||Same as music|
|Khreap Corbz Smarggh||The first demo I have in iTunes was created March 21, 2012. There’s a demo of the vocal melody from July 12, 2015. The Sleepover recorded the Believe… EP in August 2011, and I remember after that Cory and James invited Scott and I to write new Sleepover material if we wanted. This would have been my #1 choice to contribute if we’d stayed together. I have a clear memory of demoing the drums in my old carriage house||2017-18|
|Traveling Mercies||I’ve searched hard for this demo, and can’t find it. An instrumental was there and ready when I set up the V for Voice recording sessions in February 2016; memory says it’s from several years prior to that||Finished 2018, though the first verse is from earlier|
|Beams||2002-04 range||Started along with the music (mostly scratched; the ending melody may be all that made it from the original vocal ideas); added to, revised, and finished 2018. “Beams” was the working title from the start|
|Usually on a Battlefield||2016; Cari Ann gave me an Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork pedal for Christmas 2015, and I wrote a ton of riffs in the weeks that followed.||2017-18|
|Let Them Land||2002-03 (I think 2002. I wrote the music and working title in Ghana – memory says on my first trip – but I’m not sure)||2016-17|
|After The Rain||August 28, 2011 (I sent myself an email and printed it instead of handwriting the first page, so it’s date-stamped)||2018 (though “After The Rain” was the working title from the start)|
|When Breathing (Stops)||I remember playing it at a St. Peter’s event the week I wrote it, so 2005-06ish||Same as music; this one was written all at once|
|200Y||The demo file in iTunes was created December 8, 2012||The phrase “In two hundred years…” and chorus melody came with the music; the rest of the lyrics are 2018. Verse melody somewhere in between|
|Private Eisley||iTunes demo file created October 9, 2011 (for all of these demos with iTunes dates, it’s possible the music was written months or even years prior)||2018|
|Stay In Time||Fall 2004; I remember writing the melody and the rough lines of the chorus at Wayzata Community Church family camp. The bulletin from the service I was in (and obviously not paying attention to) is in my notes somewhere, with the actual date. Would have been Sept-Oct||Started 2004; added to, revised, and finished 2018|
The connections between “When Breathing,” “Gabriel Speaks,” and “Beams” and near and far/comets-era h&s are clear to my ears. What’s interesting are the ways old ideas echo more subtly in much later stuff:
- “Usually on a Battlefield” feels spiritually reminiscent of “After Hrs War” and “Mightier Than The Sword”
- The free introduction of “Let Them Land” (an otherwise edge-pushing song for us) is straight off of something like “Under My Protection”
- “200Y” reminds me of “Hymn for our T.M.D.” for more than its 6/8 time signature
- The strum of “When Breathing (Stops)” hearkens back to “Nexus” and even “Spectrum”
- “Private Eisley” is straight old-school genre exercise like “I’m So In Love”
- The whole record has an end-of-Blues-Or-Astroblue everything-and-the-kitchen-sink quality, much more so than I planned, but welcome