Tim Kinsella and Sam Zurick became friends at age fourteen when Sam asked Tim to steal his mom’s car so the two could go to Missouri to look for a missing girl Sam had fallen in love with from a milk carton. Tim said yes. Two years later, Tim refused to get in the car Sam had stolen from a Grateful Dead show, which as it turns out belonged to Owsley Stanley -- the original purveyor of LSD to the hippies in Haight-Ashbury and creator of the Dead’s “Wall of Sound.” Friendship’s a fickle thing and bands formed in friendship can be even more volatile, especially when some of those friends have been making music together for over a decade. Make Believe’s members -- Bobby Burg, Nate Kinsella, Tim and Sam -- have had a touring band lifestyle together for what seems like eons, whether it be in this outfit or others. In recent times, singer/frontman Tim had been very open with his band mates about his frustration with only being a singer/frontman in Make Believe. To remedy this, he spent some time working out keyboard parts for some songs that the band had been working on. They practiced with the new instrument and, even though they were all friends, it didn’t receive a warm reception. With the band feeling it unnecessary to try and squeeze any more music into their already dense arrangements, Tim decided to quit the band frustrated about music, space and being away from his family. As Tim put it, “I was bored and frustrated with the required persona ... for the first time ever I was kinda happy at home and I hated being away.” Bobby, Nate, and Sam wondered together, “What should we do?”
After text messages, emails, and even live cell phone conversations were had with prospective new singers, the remaining band members continued to write songs together despite the absence of someone in front of them. After a few months of this way of thinking, Tim rejoined the group almost as suddenly as he had originally left with the simple collective goal of finishing a record, with a newfound realization that the band “could exist in my life on a smaller scale and be satisfying,” as he put it. They spent 6 days at Electrical Audio recording with Greg Norman and had so much fun they decided to leave a couple moments of spontaneous laughter on the final mixes.
Now comfortable with the musical language they have been developing over years of playing together, a new trust between the players has emerged. On Going to the Bone Church you’ll hear them taking turns, stepping out of the way, and complimenting each other with the same synchronicity that live hip-hop probably does. A maturity has grown in their arrangements that may be perceived as a fresh replacement to some of their “all or nothing” or “music-is-energy-and-it-must-get-out!” style of past recordings.
Worth a technical and creative mention is the interlocking shaker and guitar on the album’s closing track, “People Laughing,” implying the reversal of time at the end of each phrase by diminishing in a reverse build all while mimicking this present cultural resurgence of Neo-Psychedelia with a “Strawberry Fields”-esque guitar solo and the band pleading, “Protest the Vietnam War,” because every war is actually the same war, time or not! And thus we come full circle, back in time to the beginning of friendship, bands, a bio and hippies.
Tim Kinsella and Sam Zurick became friends at age fourteen when Sam asked Tim to steal his mom’s car so the two could go to Missouri to look for a missing girl Sam had fallen in love with from a milk...
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