#1 - ROCK ME
The band's first song ever. Before the band turned into what it would become, it was called the Linwood Community Rock School, which met at Linwood Avenue Union Church once a week after school hours (usually 4pm). When I joined the Rock School, I wasn't there just for learning more about rock music. I was also scouting for potential talent to join me in an attempt at world domination. Sure enough, after a few weeks, I decided that I wanted to start something with some of the guys who were attending. So, one day I turned to one of the drummers, Luke Connor, and said we should write an original. He then grabbed the attention of the rest of the musos so we could work on something. Luke then started doing a little something with the hi-hats to get things started. It must've been about 20-30 seconds into it when I started playing a random riff. This would lead to what would now be known as "Rock Me". In the weeks to come, we would work more on the song, but it wouldn't be until April the following year (1998) when the final arrangement was cemented, just in time for its first and only live performance at the Southern Blues Bar. The recording history of this song has had its ups and downs. It started off with a basic recording using a cassette player with a microphone input, but instead of an actual microphone it was a pair of headphones. The quality was rubbish, but it was a start. At the Blues Bar, the entire 5-track set was recorded via a vocal microphone at the foot of the stage. But it would be in 2009, a whole 11 years later when I, along with lead vocalist Stephen Armstrong, attempted to do a brief 10th anniversary reunion project, when "Rock Me" would reappear in the form of a home recording (with digital drums) on the "Encore" EP.
#2 - REGGAE BLUE
The second song to emerge from the Supertrip archive, but as far as early recordings are concerned, it's hard to say whether or not they still exist. In my personal collection, "Rock Me" is the only song to have rehearsal recordings. But I know for a fact that we did plenty more of other songs. I'm pretty sure that these tapes belonged to our manager/co-founder, Rasjad Addison. Whether or not he still has these tapes is unknown to me. This song is a very bluesy track with a twist of reggae, and was often played during our early rehearsal sessions in the pre-gig era (October 1997 to March '98). It is the only Supertrip song to never be played in front of an audience. When it came to making the "Encore" EP between 2007 and 2009, I felt that this song needed to be heard one way or another. The end result was an instrumental version that I made on my own, as Stephen was only available to record vocals for 2 songs out of the total of 4 that made the EP. The "Encore" version is referred to as the "Digi-T" instrumental. What this means is that it's a digital version of our bassist, Taniela Qalivutu. Technically, it was the main bassline recorded on a standard 6-string electric guitar with the pitch lowered 12 steps (a whole octave). This was before I would eventually purchase an actual bass guitar some time afterwards. As for the title - like I said, it was a bluesy song with a bit of a reggae feel to it. The rest of the band used to call it "The Blues", but I was never really fond of that title due to its reggae flavour. Thus "Reggae Blue" was born.
#3 - I KNOW
Supertrip's most played song as far as gigs are concerned. Created sometime in late 1997. It came to us in parts and was gradually pieced together like a puzzle. Amazing how well a series of riffs can fit together so well. The song made its live debut at the church in which we rehearsed each week. This took place in either late March or early April of 1998, on the weekend after I returned from a 2-week holiday in Australia. I had a short space of time to prepare for it, but we pulled it off well. After this, "I Know" would appear at every gig we had for the rest of the year. There are at least 4 different recordings of this song, including the instrumental demo on the "Encore" EP.
#4 - PETE
This was one of 2 songs that was written by the rest of the band while I was away in Australia for 2 weeks in March 1998. I had to learn this one quickly as it was played at the church the following weekend along with "I Know". At the time I had some trouble playing the chords on the guitar for this one, so somebody (probably Rasjad) came up with the idea of me taking on the bass guitar for a change. It worked out to be a good idea in the end. This would also give me a chance to increase my bass playing skills as well. Luke took on the role of lead vocals for this track, while Stephen joins in with a rap in closing.
#5 - GOT TO GET AWAY
The second song to be written while I was in Australia. It wouldn't be played live until mid-April, so I had some time to learn this one better. The end result would lead to this becoming our longest song of all 7 tracks. Probably the darkest lyrics of all Supertrip songs as well. This song was played live twice - the first at the Blues Bar, and the final at Linwood Park for the LYFE gig in December '98. It would be the last song I would ever play in concert with the band, and as of today (25 August 2016), the last live song overall.
#6 - A LITTLE BIT NAUGHTY
We were only days away from playing the Blues Bar and we made the time to rehearse for it every day of the week up until the big night. In the midst of it all, our second guitarist Jonathan Hearn came up with a new riff. This would become "A Little Bit Naughty" - a simple blues rock track, but unfortunately it wasn't arranged to its full potential by the time the gig took place...but we played it anyway! You can kind of tell in the recording that the arrangement is slightly off. I have since figured out a way to do it, but since the band is no longer active, it's a bit difficult.
#7 - UNTITLED
The only new song Supertrip wrote in the post-Luke/Rasjad era. It emerged sometime around November/December of 1998 and was played live at the LYFE gig soon afterwards. Rasjad's replacement as manager, Morris (I don't know his surname, sorry) gets credited as co-writer for this song as he joined us on stage as a vocalist, and it was also his direction that helped the song become what it was. A very different style of song to what we were doing before then. The version on the "Encore" EP was my best memory of how the song sounded back in '98. It may not be entirely accurate, but they were the same chords, I'm certain. The only other song from the EP that Stephen had time to record vocals for. His new lyrics told a different story to the original. I have no memory of what the original lyrics were, sorry. As for the title...the band never really gave it one. I didn't know the lyrics, so I opted for this one instead. Problem solved.
Until next time, folks. Stay safe!