Published on August 22nd, 1996 | by Gerry Galipault0
From ‘Arlington to Boston,’ emmet swimming has seen it all
Somebody up there must be watching over emmet swimming.
The Fairfax, Va.-based alternative rock quartet survived Sony’s downsizing late last year and has had the good fortune of Don Dixon producing their second Epic, “Arlington to Boston” (released July 16). Even their luck with a Ryder truck, converted into a touring van, hasn’t run out on them.
Since playing to 1,200 people at a CD release party in Washington, D.C., singer Todd Watts and his band mates – guitarist Erik Wenberg, bassist Luke Michel and drummer Tamer Eid – have trekked across America in search of wider acceptance.
“We’ve driven so much,” Watts said recently. “All across northern Nevada, there’s like 450 miles of nothing. It looked like Mars. And Reno is the town before California, the only town along that road that has any kind of population at all, and the truck chose to break down in Reno. We were so happy it happened there and not in the middle of the state.”
It’s not all luck for emmet swimming: They are one of the hardest-working acts around, performing nearly 50 shows a month, many of them in-store appearances.
For “Arlington to Boston,” emmet swimming recorded in a church owned by Reflection Sound Studios in Charlotte, N.C. Dixon wanted to capture the group’s raw live sound and give the album a natural reverb.
“He’s a real fast worker,” Watts said of Dixon. “He never takes more than three weeks to make an album and ours was done in about two and a half weeks. It was a great experience. Playing live like that, I don’t know if we could go back into the standard studio experience where you’re in a little room by yourself.”