Before The Collapse Of The Hive… I consider that to be a statement packed with hope. It’s not too late yet, hope, hoping, hoped…
I don’t set out to write concept records, and I don’t think that actually describes what I have done here, but just like Jimmy & the Moon was tied together by stories of life in Toronto as I then knew it, so it is true about this record.
I noticed a theme to the songs that were coming out, one-by-one. My publicist, Julie Booth, found the perfect words to describe it all. It’s a continuation of the ongoing conversation that I enjoyed and hopefully didn’t take for granted with a close friend who we lost just before the pandemic.
Dave Bookman was a force of musical love, support and knowledge but to me it was a far less public relationship. He was a shoulder to lean on, a sounding board where ideas would go to live or die and a master of one-liners that would arrive when you least expected them and often when you needed them most.
To say I miss this person is an understatement and Julie was right, the themes on this record all swirled through the whirlwind of conversation that I just assumed would always be there, and then suddenly was no more. Everyone deals with this at some point in their lives, I’m just not sure how we do.
For me, it was writing these songs. Two that are directly about my friend – The Owl and Holding Back On Someday, and the rest, moments that stole our focus for sometimes short but often long periods of time. “We raged for hours against the killing of the light…” This album is dedicated to Dave Bookman and it hopefully picks up where the two of us left off…
But when you rip off the wrapper, press play or instruct Siri you’ll find a lot more I hope. The wizardry of working with producer Hugh Christopher Brown leaped beyond what we did on Jimmy & the Moon to new heights, over the moon you might say. Beyond his production, Chris adds so much to this record from behind various keyboards. You’ll hear what I mean.
In my estimation, you’ll be greeted by the best guitar work that Chris Bennett has ever done in the confines of this band, and Cam Pyziak and Chris Rellinger shine in making the back beat interesting, strong and deep in the pocket. After the release of the first single, “Here Comes That Rain” – one of the prevailing comments I heard is how unique the bass line is, and I don’t disagree…
And then, a clutch of special guests bring it all home. A duet with Kate Fenner – I need not comment, you’ll hear it and know. Some beautiful added vocals by Sarah McDermott, Suzanne Jarvie and Ron Hawkins. And some amazing musical colour added by Pete Bowers, Rocky Roberts, Jason Mercer and Michael Blake. I’m pretty fortunate to have amassed this group to deliver on these songs.
I hope you enjoy Before The Collapse Of The Hive…
Chase That Devil
The Winnipeg Gun
You’re No Exception
Here Comes That Rain
The Ballad Of Lou Room
No Love Lost
Holding Back On Someday
The Stephen Stanley Band
- Stephen Stanley – Vocals, Guitar
- Chris Bennett – Guitar, Vocals
- Cam Pyziak – Drums,
- Chris Rellinger – Bass Guitar
With Special Guests
- Hugh Christopher Brown – Piano, Hammond B3, Keyboards, Vocals
- Pete Bowers – Percussion
- Jason Mercer – Banjo, Double Bass
- Rocky Roberts – Lap Steel
- Kate Fenner – Vocals
- Sarah McDermott – Vocals
- Suzanne Jarvie – Vocals
- Ron Hawkins – Vocals
- Michael Blake – Saxaphone
COVER ART: Alisa Stanley