Back in my Amen days (somewhere around 1999-2000), I met Chris Lewis. He was incredibly young and had great energy. He was an Amen fan and we met after a show we played in Sauget, Illinois. He handed our singer a demo tape of his band, The Kinison. The visceral, bombastic sound captured on that tape told us the band had real potential.
I remember helping record early Kinison songs at Amen’s rehearsal space. It was a carpeted garage deep in Van Nuys and that’s where Chris and his band worked out their tunes. Their demo “I Hate Black Sabbath” was recorded at Sound City, and it led Chris and The Kinison through a series of showcases and ultimately a record deal.
Chris and The Kinison were on their way, and they toured relentlessly in the early 2000s.
Many years later, we reconnected when The Kinison wanted to record a couple of tunes with me at Dave’s Room. This became the EP “Oh, the Guilt”
A few years later, Chris started to write on his own. He tracked 5 songs with a talented friend of ours, Manny Nieto, at his Suplex Studio in Los Angeles. Not long after that, Manny decided to move his studio to Hawaii and I mixed an EP from those 5 songs; it’s called, eponymously, “LEWIS”.
Chris was excited to have these tunes realized, and given our history and how comfortable we are working together, he asked if I would record his album. Over several weeks Chris sent me dozens of songs for “LEWIS”. His new music has a more singer-songwriter feel; jangly and grungy, but at the same time poetic and personal. Chris is both relentless and prolific and while I was listening to the first group, he sent more and more songs. We decided on a recording date and he was still sending me music! Each tune was better than the last and out of the final group came “Tobi”, and “I’m Nervous Too” – two tracks that I knew had to be on the record.
We worked hard and fast tracking live with Sam West on drums, and Frank Figueroa and Brian Duke on bass. After 4 days of tracking and overdubs Chris had his first album recorded, “Son on the Floor”.
Mixing was fun – I kept the raw, honest performances and made sure Chris’ writing and intent really shone through. I am extremely proud of Chris and his new record. I am sure there will be more to come from LEWIS.
As Jedd Beaudoin from Pop Matters says: “the infectious single “Bathe Clean”, three minutes and six seconds that spotlight Lewis’ particular blend of humor, incisive observation and ability to create an unlikely but undeniable hook. Think of a sweeter Guided By Voices or songs where power-punk clichés are muted for the sake of the song and that’s some of what Lewis gets up to on” — PopMatters
Please enjoy The 4 singles leading up to LEWIS full length release August 21 “Son On The Floor” on Sona Baby Records with these lyric videos.
Son On The Floor will be available on LP and download on August 21st, 2020 via Sona Baby Records. Pre-orders are available HERE.
I have been working with Alice in Chains since I engineered “Black Gives Way to Blue” with Nick Raskulinecz as producer in 2008. We went on to work with the band on “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” in 2011-12.
It was a long journey with AIC to get demos together for the new album especially when they were doing much of the writing between tours and travel. Its a privilege, and a hell of a lot of fun, to work with Nick, Jerry, Sean, William and Mike again to create this epic new album. The band wanted to go back to their roots and draw on some of the organic energy that they used to tap when they were part of the Seattle grunge scene. So we recorded this new album in Seattle at Studio X. From there, they went to Nashville to Nick Raskulinecz’s studio to wrap up overdubs and vocals. Then we were in Joe Barresi’s space (JHOC) in Pasadena, where he mixed every song. I’m really proud and excited of what we achieved with this album; it blends classic Alice in Chains with new sounds and moods. “Rainier Fog” gets released on August 24, 2018, until then enjoy these pre-released tracks!