stars on esp -- press info

Written by the boy in zinc on Tue, 14 May 1996 13:05:39 CST.

first i'm going to post what i got in a press packet from girlie action --
the publicity agency that's promoting the new hnia. 

the first is a flyer with warren's comments on each song:

his name is alive presents...
stars on esp (4ad)

tracks (a)

1. dub love letter:  i recorded ths song the day i got a farfisa organ
2. this world: supposed to be the 1971 heavy blues rock sound
3. bad luck girl:  when the tape player in my car broke, i only listened to
oldies radio.  it's about some kids i knew when i was younger.
4. what are you wearing tomorrow: song from three years ago --- sort of in
the older style of hnia but includes lyrics about sniffing glue, growing up
in canada, and summertime blues
5. the bees: oldies radio style song -- has a swing-type rhythm.
6. what else is new list: surf type song mixed with the turtles. i tryed
(sic) to write a real negative type song "all you give to me is static.
you're number one on the what else is new list."
7. wall of speed: recorded in canada in a house while it was being built.
4-track, flute, tambourine, guitar, and maracas.

tracks b:

8. universal frequencies: for one week i only listened to good vibrations by
the beach boys.
9. sand: another song about canada
10. i can't live: this is the country song. this was the first song i
started working on after mouth by mouth was done in dec. 1992.
11. answer to rainbow: love song with racy lyrics. "once i wore my apron low
and i couldn't keep you away from my door." rural style wooing.  old time.

tracks c:

12. famous goodbye king: "i ain't gonna be your boy no more." this song
mixes three things together:1. a letter i got from a concert promoter in
mexico. 2. trying to break up with a certain girl. 3. coal miners catchin'
black lung disease
13. across the streeet: mark koselek from red house painters wrote the
melody and some of the lyrics
14. movie: trey wrote this song. he wanted to call it "film."
15. last one: a gospel choir came over to my house and i had them sing over
an esp family 45.

here's the contents of a press release from 4ad:

his name is alive - stars on esp

"stars on esp" is HNIA's fourth long player for 4ad.

regarding one of warn defever's side projects, the esp-beetles, it has been
written "there's a gaping hole where his sensitive side used to be." this
somewhat accurately describes the new hnia lp.

hnia have spent the last three years working on an album which is surfy,
danceable, dubby and friendly.

like neil young and The Band (in caps to signify proper noun) before them,
hnia captures the sound and feeling of middle america while actually coming
at it from a canadian perspective.

like the classic era of cartoons, bullwinkle and bugs bunny, hnia makes
music that, on the surface, seems like it's for children, but can only be
appreciated by adults.

incorporating all thse ideas sounds like a pretty dry listtening, however,
hnia have developed a sort of junk-rock work ethic that allows them to fuck
around with other people's leftovers and really make them shine.

previous hnia lp's have been minimal, sparse, mature, and intelligent.
"stars on esp" is none of these; it is fast, full, it rocks, it swings, it's
funny, it's patterened (sic) after oldies AM radio, it's got some gospel,
some COUNTRY, and a little bit of dub. it's great.

karen's vocals are smooth and sweet. warren's guitar picks all over the
place. trey's drumming is bouncy and swingin'.

warn describes the inspiration behind "stars on esp" as "...oldies radio,
Smile-era brian wilson, phil spector, the echo and reverb of early reggae
and ska, the inspired amateurism of late 60's cult label ESP and the sadly
overlooked recording career of man from u.n.c.l.e. star david mccallum."

most of the songs were written by warren defever, with the following
exceptions; no's 3 & 5 co-written with erika hoffman, no's 8 & 9 co-written
with matthew smith, 13 co-written with mark kozelek,
14 written by trey many.

tracks 2 & 10 were inspired by the woody guthrie/traditional song of the
same name.  "last one" is a gospel version of "i can't live at home in this
world anymore" performed by esp family.

the vinyl version of "stars on esp" (available only in the uk) is a mono
remix of the cd you're listening to.

of hnia's previous releases, warn says....

"livonia" (1990) - when i was 16 i was very sensitive and wished i could be
a contemporary composer, too bad, i was slightly retarded and only had one
good idea and some broken stuff.

"home is in your head" (1991) - with the surprising success of "livonia" i
decided to ditch the 4-track and write 28 one-minute songs about how i got
over a difficult adolescence (see livonia)

"mouth by mouth" (1993) - i figured out when i recorded a song it would come
out on an album so i wrote better songs and did some guitar solos.

"king of sweet" (1994) - fake bootleg, junk, ltd ed 2,000.

his name is alive "stars on esp" technical information:

warren defaver (it's ok to use warn), guitar and many other things.
karin oliver, vocals.
trey many, drums.

producer:  warren defaver

recorded and mixed: at warren's house.

das all,


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