The first official Renfields show was in a basement in Mount Morris, PA in October 2002. The band consisted of myself on vocals/guitar, Chester Von Renfield on bass and Jaimee Lee Renfield doing organ/backup vocals. The drummer at that show was credited as “The Invisible Man” which was just a clever way of saying “we use a drum machine”.
The audience at that first show consisted of three local kids who read the flyer and showed up (Luke, Josie and Gary)…they danced for every song!
The birth of the Renfields took place long before that first show.
In late 2001 I was writing songs and music for the first Renfields EP entitled “GO!” Having been turned down by many other musicians (including band mates from my previous band), I recorded all of the tracks on “GO!” by using “the invisible man” for the drum machine and taking up guitar, bass and vocal duties myself, most tracks were done in one take.
During the recording of “GO!” Jaymee Lee Renfield joined the band and contributed the organ tracks for “The Incredible Melting Man” and “A Creature Walks Among Us”. Chester Von Renfield joined the band about one week before the first show. About 30 copies of “GO!” were printed up and about 20 t-shirts were hand printed and ironed in preparation for our first show.
Regardless of the low turnout for that show it was a major step for the band, The Renfields were officially a live band. Unfortunately the original lineup would not endure past that first show. By the second Renfields show both Jaymee Lee and Chester had left the band. In their place Dr. Herbert Von Renfield III assumed drumming duties and the band carried on as a two-piece!
For the next two years the band would continue on playing shows in basements, living rooms and community buildings. During this time another EP was recorded, this time called “8 Minute Brain Death”.
Although Herbert was more than capable of playing the drum tracks for the EP, the low quality of the band’s mono recorder made recording live drums almost impossible. Unfortunately “the invisible man” was again utilized for “8 Minute Brain Death”. Herbert’s contributions to the second EP were some inserted cymbal crashes, backing vocals and some contributions to song writing.
Again most of the tracks were done in one take.
During the recording of “8 Minute Brain Death” when a track would come out sounding flawed Herbert and I would look at each other and say “Ed Wood!” and move on to the next song.
The contents of this CD represents the birth of Transylvanian Pogo Punk. It represents the ideology that it’s better to be heard than to silently strive for perfection! We are proud of these songs and would put them up against any pretentious, over-produced “stereo” recording! So what if they sounded like they were recorded in a closed casket. So what if the instruments aren’t quite in time. And so what if the drumming is obviously artificial.
At least you can sing along with these songs.
And we hope you do.
Long live mono and long live The Bastard Sons of Ed Wood!
--- The Abominable Vincent Renfield
released 01 March 2008
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