Late

by American Mars

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about

AM’s first record Late was released in the fall of 1997 and features the band’s original lineup of Thomas Trimble, bassist Karla Richardson, drummer Dave Lentz, and guitarist Brad Richards. The album was produced and recorded by David Feeny and inspired by a wide range of influences including Grant Lee Buffalo, PJ Harvey, Yo La Tengo, Aphex Twin, and Gang of Four. In adddition to Trimble’s songs, the record also features three songs from Karla Richardson, “Try It,” “Queen Bee,” and “Bombay,” and a number of tracks written by the whole band, most notably “Shroud,” and “Muscle Car.”

Trimble has said that the album’s title, Late, was meant to connote both personal and political themes. Says Thomas,”we were trying to make a record that combined lots of different cultural and musical references. We saw the record as a very postmodern type of rock record, not rooted in any specific genre or tradition but willing to borrow or steal from anything we could get our hands on. On a more personal level, we also had the feeling as a band that we were somehow “late” to the party, so to speak. We had all been in bands that had failed in some manner or another so there was a minor sense of desperation in getting the record made and out there.”

Late’s basic tracks were recorded over a five day period in the winter of 1997 with overdubs and mixing completed in early spring. Ten years since its recording, producer and future AM member David Feeny still has fond memories of the record, “It had been five years since I had played; I was just engineering and producing records at the time and I remember thinking that If I were going to join a band again, this is the one I would like to be in. I really liked their experimental essence and their willingness to bend rock stereotypes.

Late was well received by the the local press in Detroit and made several local and regional top ten lists. Thom Jurek from the Detroit Metro Times described the record as “smart, passionate, heady, and erotic.”

Guitarist Brad Richards left AM shortly before Late was released because of work committments that prevented him from touring. Guitarist Gary Watts, formerly of Crossed Wire, took up guitar duties and the group toured in support of Late throughout the fall of 1997. Bassist Karla Richardson left the group after the fall tour to pursue other interests but Thomas, drummer Dave Lentz, and guitarist Watts continued to tour through the summer of 1998. Looking back, Thomas says “at least we got the record out and got out on the road. That’s what we worked so hard for. I’m just sorry it couldn’t last.”

credits

released October 15, 1997

produced and engineered by David Feeny. Additional engineering by Tony Hamera
mastered by Roger Seibel

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about

American Mars Detroit, Michigan

Playing an atmospheric brand of roots-influenced Americana, American Mars' emotional live shows have earned the band supporting slots with The National, The Avett Brothers, Elbow, and Richard Buckner. The band features singer/guitarist Thomas Trimble, pedal steel/guitarist David Feeny, and bassist Garth Girard. Their latest full-length album is Exposure (2016). ... more

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