Well, the mugshot freaks me out too! TASTE OF BLOOD was the second in a series of sketchbook cassettes I recorded new songs onto practically as soon as they were written. Like its predecessor, THE OTTAWA TAPES, it is defiantly - and unfortunately - a lo-fi non-production.
There are far more tracks here with an experimental or improvisational feel to them, though, and I figure there is a contrast between darkness and humour to the mood of the thing that the previous project did not share.
There's more variety all around, I guess. The Order of the Solar Temple mass suicides in Switzerland on 5 October 1994 brought me to write 'House on Fire'. The song 'Taste of Blood' tells three gruesome but fantastic little stories, and 'Please, Don't Sing' anticipates the reception that audiences gave it when I performed it live. 'The Keys', though, is 10 uninterrupted minutes of me staring at my navel. Sorry. My only alibi is that I was listening to far too much early Al Stewart, at the time...and emulating the worst. 'Call It Anything' ended this cycle of songs on a note of exhaustion. Along the way, there were spur-of-the-moment things like 'Baby I' and 'Old King Henry' which were inspired by whatever taco I ate or stairway I happened to fall through at the time.
'Tales of the Aussie Outback' is a hypnotic jam featuring Kevin Brennan on lead guitar and improvised bongos. Robb Chessie (R.I.P.) lent some awesome guitar work to 'Cryptography' and 'House on Fire'.
TASTE OF BLOOD was recorded on that same 'Clarion all-in-one unit with accidental overdubbing capabilities' that was used on THE OTTAWA TAPES. The accompanying photo is of the Royal Oak Pub in Ottawa, where I had written most of the lyrics.
NOTE: The source cassette for TASTE OF BLOODwas lost in the ether for a number of years. It was only in 2000 that versions of some songs were finally located, and, even if they were 3rd generation dubs which had been sent to friends, the 'album' could finally be reconstructed. These have been digitally restored and the speed corrected as much as possible, but that grinding cassette motor in the background was something I was unable to tweak in the remaster.