Best Of Seven was my true introduction to the non-retail side of the music industry. I mean, sure, I'd played in bands locally, released my own music, and done everything in my power to squeeze onto bills with whatever up-and-coming or down-and-out national act needed a support band on their way through Central Illinois, but I had never imagined the machine to be even remotely like what it actually was.
I had never been "produced"....no, wait..not entirely true. It was once brought to my attention, while recording at a studio in Bartonville, that one of my guitar leads wasn't very good, and should be re-written. In my defense, one of the fingers on my fretting hand was held together with spray-on skin(that stuff that appears to be nothing but an aerosol Super Glue), because I had more or less split it in half on a seam of poorly welded metal a day or two earlier at work. In retrospect, as good as that excuse may have been, my playing didn't suffer from the injury...it suffered from my lack of measurable talent at the time.
I had never been told how to dress or what color my hair needed to be to insure commercial success. Obviously, these skills elude me to this day, but I did my best to keep up with the schooling.
I had never been told how to stand or hold a guitar, or made to practice in front of full-length mirrors in order to do so "correctly". Again, these are the "performing arts", I suppose.
I had never been told who to be, probably because I was pretty sure who I already was. Maybe not though, since the bio on our website had me listed as two years younger than I had previously believed myself to be.
All of this, and much, much more, only to fall short in our attempts at grabbing that brass ring, makes looking back on the whole thing rather bittersweet.
But, I had no choice, when it was brought to my attention that a little indie label calling themselves Demon Doll Records was interested in releasing a compilation of our old material.
Fastlane Records had released one BO7 album in 2003, comprised of stuff from a variety of sessions spanning 1999-2002, and despite some solid reviews, and the fact that it sold fairly well, let's just say there was some "dispute" over accounting that resulted in both parties agreeing a split was in order. I was already long gone from the lineup at this point, but my image, material, and performances were all over the release, and I was always rather disappointed in the eventual outcome, regardless of the fact that I had anticipated it from the word go.
Fast forward to 2011, BO7 singer Shane Tassart & I began digging through our "vaults" to find master recordings, previously unreleased songs from some of the same sessions the Fastlane release was culled from, and whatever odds n' ends we thought might make for a comprehensive retrospective on the band. Before too long, we had 40 or 50 tracks, including a handful of material from 2009 and 2011 projects we had worked on via long-distance file exchange.
Deciding what would make the cut was a tough process, and I still don't know if we made the "right" ruling on the final roll call, but we only had 78 minutes of space at our disposal, and the 19 songs that made the grade were the result of much hemming and hawing, so I hope our compromises pass muster when this thing hits the streets on February 14th.
Coming on like a hybrid of Goo Goo Dolls, Cheap Trick, Bon Jovi, and Foo Fighters....ladies and gentlemen, Best Of Seven's "Turn It On Again"..remastered, for your listening pleasure, in deluxe stereo sound, with extensive liner notes and embarrassing photographs for you to marvel at.
Buy now @
....maybe we'll get paid this time.