Chris McDermott is an artist native to the Philadelphia suburb region and is known in the music scene as the alternative rock “band” EVE OF RELEASE, though his music is composed and produced solely without the help of band members, or even commercial recording studios. Writing and recording music independently is too daunting a task for most artists and tends to be judged a mistake by those in the music industry, but Chris has undeniably found a way to masterfully capture and express his emotional depth through the beautifully haunting and captivatingly timeless melodies he records; and he does it by breaking all "golden" rules of the music business.
As a journalist who is also a musician and a longtime fan of all styles of music, I will try to explain this phenomenon through my own experiences in the field. Traditional multi-member bands are granted acceptance by music fans more easily than solo recording artists because of their stereotypically more "organic" sound, but the majority of music fans never realize that a songwriter who leads a band almost always has to make detrimental compromises that alter their music permanently. It's very difficult for a band to replicate the superior sound of what their lead songwriter actually hears in their mind, and more often than not, the emotional connection shared by listener and songwriter is lost before the first chorus. Thus, songs that should have been surefire hits suffer the same fate as many of their predecessors. Some fall together without a hitch, but most do not.
Chris McDermott's technique achieves complete independence from a band by holding true to the origin of the music he is creating, delivering a heartfelt performance in every track that could only be rendered so frequently by an artist who has complete control over exactly how they envisioned their music when it was first conceived. When I use the word "conceive", I mean that in its most literal sense, because any musician knows that every composition is like a child you must attentively nurture until it's ready for the world. When you listen to Chris' music, it becomes obvious very quickly that he crafts each song with painstaking attention to detail, as if it were the last song he might ever create. A listener can become lost on an emotional journey so profound that it's almost visual, gliding alongside a songwriter who hardly seems to notice how exposed he is as his music and lyrics reveal a relatable, yet unique individual you just want to understand more about, ultimately leaving you scrambling for the rewind button.
What amazes me, as an experienced musician who has spent some time in professional recording studios, is just how great Chris McDermott really is at creating professional sounding recordings without the sponsorship of a record label willing to spend $200,000 on the usual team of engineers, producers, mastering engineers, and in-studio musicians. Rarely in the relatively short history of "amateur" home recording studios has a solo artist came this close to creating music as engaging and timeless as professionally produced classic albums, and this is all accomplished in his home, located just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Officially dubbed FLASH SOUND STUDIOS, the modestly sized studio gains most of its spaciousness from its cathedral high ceilings, which offers much more legroom than the meager floor space does. An isolated control room with a double pane, laminated glass window overlooks the performance area, where there's an array of gear, including a wall mounted robotic arm holding a compressor microphone. Equipment ranging from a multi-disc CD duplicating tower to a silk-screening station to a Yamaha PA system line the walls. Displayed proudly above the control room door, glass frames holding CD masters of each album produced by EVE OF RELEASE and Chris' other band SOLOMON'S LABYRINTH, led by his brother Russell McDermott, are staggered evenly. While it may not be a million dollar operation, it produces results just as spectacular as any that this journalist has ever known of, by both EVE OF RELEASE and SOLOMON'S LABYRINTH. Needless to say, they are both highly recommended.
The dedication and enjoyment Chris McDermott has for his craft has made him into the complete natural he is today and just like all great artists, he is always evolving and refining his techniques, constantly striving to please the fans that drive him forward. As one of the few remaining truly talented musical acts left in the 21st century, EVE OF RELEASE holds the promise of continued symphonic passion that music fans have been longing for since the passing of history's most legendary songwriters. Indie music has never sounded so good, and I'm eager to see how long it takes for major label executives to come begging for a slice of the pie, with absolutely nothing to offer in return. As the music industry slowly crumbles in the distance behind him, Chris McDermott proves with every new release that music is far from dead, while breaking new ground to spite the graves of major labels passed.
*Article courtesy of Syndustry Media and Nicolas Amoroso
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