01 Constructive Destruction - 3:04
02 Frustration - 2:29
03 Anti-Mass - 5:14
04 Freeway - 3:34
05 The Thing - 4:37
06 ILLEGAL OPERATION - 2:40
07 Interjectory - 2:55
08 Ages - 4:38
09 Differential Discriminator - 2:49
10 Unilateral Oscillations - 3:49
11 Caesium Clock - 3:49
12 Refusal - 2:25
13 Derivative - 2:46
14 A Bit Extreme - 3:32
15 The Nineteenth Key - 5:17
TOTAL TIME: 54 MINUTES
Twenty years after its initial expected public release, the album 'Switch' is a (nearly) one-hour trip into mathmatically valid rock territory, as initially envisioned in 1999.
Recorded in San Antonio, Texas at Studio 1927 from Mid-2017 to Early-2019
LH - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Drums
Music, Lyrics, Concept and Artwork by LH
© 1999-2019 Les Heifner
The music on this album was originally intended to be performed by a band called ‘Switch' and released back in 1999. I wrote the music & lyrics and recorded the demos without vocals because I lacked a microphone at the time. Put simply, the friends I spontaneously recruited for the project didn’t quite share my enthusiasm or reckless disregard of responsibility in order to jump in all the way. And why should they have? They had their own lives going on with their own restrictions, as I had mine. I was 19 until April of 1999 and had the intention of creating a musical project that would stand the musical test of time and transform the life I was living into the life I wanted. But we were all barely making it. From everyone else's perspective I must have looked ill from sleep deprivation and poor diet. I surely looked irresponsible for spending all that time on music in my bedroom, but my brain was racing with these ideas. Everyone in my immediate circle wanted to make music and have a band, but no one was taking the lead and making it happen. So this was my way of changing that for myself, and hopefully for everyone else.
I wrote at the time, “Switch is not the money-based production of 'talented' record industry executives, but a group of individuals who make special sounds.” I was already a smartass, artsy, know-it-all, and I’ve gotten better at that over time. The idea was that I would write the first record, which would establish the sound of the band, and we would continue into the next century, creating together. The invited members of the group trusted me, and I trusted them to start with the contributions as soon as we finished this first record. For me, Switch was a practical way out of the old musical world I had felt trapped in with repetitive blues licks and other musicians who just wanted to jam and play cover songs. It was a way of finally getting somewhere. Of course it was an impractical way out of having to keep a job, pay bills and take care of myself during those years. I was too young and irresponsible to understand many things, let alone the odds of being successful as a professional musician. However, Switch affirmed my ability to in some sense “do the music thing” and do at least a half-assed job at a lot of the work that comes with that process.
Twenty years later, in 2019, I’m able to give this record the musical space it deserves. Of course this music has changed, and so have I. As I wrote at the time, “Switch aims to make music that is perpetual in its existence and tastefulness while letting it change as human beings change.” The original demos provided a strong launch pad as a background for this record. ’Derivative’ and ‘Freeway’ were late inclusions from the end of 1999. By then I had already lost hope in the actualization of the project. Some 1999 rehearsals with the aforementioned friends loosely touched on these songs. But the crude demos, with nasty drum samples, and clipping guitar, remained the final form of these songs until now.
What you have with this 2019 release of ’Switch’ is a delayed version of what usually happens in a rock record. You write the songs, make the demos, make the record and then release it. I’ve just had a 20 year pause between the demos and the rest. This record defines an educational period of change in the way I understood the creative process at the time. With that different perspective came an excited emotion and creative force that I had never experienced before. It has evolved in the 20 years that have passed. Whether this lives up to the “tastefulness” I spoke of in 1999 remains to be seen. I’m eager to know what people think. Some may think of an album like this as simply nostalgic or silly. I can see people thinking it’s a huge waste of time, or that it’s a creative copout to avoid making music or being creative right now. Neither of those are accurate. In more than one sense this is a new musical creation, and throughout the making of this record I was working on countless others, so there's no creative block. But this record does continue a tradition which began with those demos in 1999, continuing until now: the act of sitting in a darkened room in front of a blank digital canvas, with multiple instruments at my disposal and a modest ability to understand a musical signal as it passes me by.
Special thanks to Greg, Shawn, Brett, Nathan & Tara.
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