Stephen Carrington image collage

"I’ve been playing guitar and writing and recording music since I was 12; I’ve had plenty of influences and inspirations over the years, but mostly rock (especially rock that tends toward the heavy) is what moves me, and I feel that’s reflected pretty well in a lot of the tracks of mine that are posted on this site. I have received some formal music training on saxophone (alto and baritone; I was in the school band all 3 years in middle school, 2 years in high school, and a bit in college), and I also had a couple of semesters of private guitar lessons in college; and I did get lots of good, universal music theory training along the way (especially in college; I majored in Music Education).           ** Special thanks goes out to Mr. Al Hager, my middle school band director : without his influence, inspiration, encouragement, and instruction—especially during such a crucial time in my musical life as 6th, 7th, and 8th grades—I probably would not have pursued music or music education to anywhere near the degree I have pursued them. Thanks so much, Mr. helped to ignite a passion for music that has never let up! **

"Most of the songs of mine that are posted on this website were recorded in 1998, while I was going to Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. I went for a year and a half, including a couple of classes in the summer between the one year and the half—which is the summer during which I recorded most of these songs. I recorded all of the instruments myself, as they were intended to be demos of songs that I planned to record with a full band (whenever I could get one put together). Most of them never ended up being properly re-recorded, and because I have been focusing on newer material since these recordings, I figured once I got my hands on a nice recording set-up that it may be worthwhile to revisit these old recordings.

"I had originally recorded them on a Tascam 488 8-track cassette multitrack recorder, submixing the drums with a Carvin stereo PA mixer (which I also used as a mic preamp on all subsequent tracks). Mics were sparse, and I believe the best thing I had was a Shure SM57. I think I had 4 of those, and I used one for the snare and each of the 3 toms; then I would use one to mic the guitar cab, again for the vocals, and probably for all of the percussion. The rest of the drum mics were much lesser mics.

"When I started to get into digital recording, I transferred the multitrack tapes from the old Tascam unit to WAV files, loaded them into Cubase (my first recording software that wasn’t shareware) and re-aligned them all, correcting as well as I could for the motor variations and other inconsistencies of the tape machine during the transfer; I had to transfer the original tracks two at a time—I only had a stereo input on my computer at the time—so there were some inevitable differences in the physical speed of the motor from one pair of transferred tracks to any other pair. When I later upgraded to Pro Tools and a better monitor situation, I completely remixed all of the transfers. For some songs I didn’t have access to the original multitrack tapes, and some were only recorded in 2-track stereo, but I did at least apply some preservation and restoration (and some new clarity and flexibility, for certain) to those tracks as well.

"Also, I had always disliked the original lyrics that were used on the song if..., and I had actually rewritten them a couple of years after I recorded it with all that other material out in Texas, and when I was in the process of transferring the original tracks from the multitrack machine, I realized that I would be at a disadvantage with the vocal tracks on that song as they were originally recorded. Originally the song had been written with three-part vocal harmonies (which weren’t all that well executed back in the summer of 1998 anyway), and after recording the drums (which used two tracks to capture the stereo signal from the Carvin mixer), the left and right guitar tracks, and then the bass track, I only had three tracks available to use for all three vocal parts and the essential shaker track, so I had to record the shaker while singing the third harmony (I figured any wavering in my voice due to the shaking of the shaker would be obscured by all of the other parts layered on top of it). Of course, that presented quite a problem for this restoration project, so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and just record new vocal tracks, with the new lyrics. The new lyrics didn’t work so well with three-part harmonies, so I scrapped that in favor of two doubled parts that each hit the fundamental and the first harmony.

"All of these songs I wrote myself, music and lyrics (except for the lyrics to Thick Grow the Rush Leaves, which were a poem from a Chinese poet from about a thousand years ago whose name I don't recall, that I read in a World Lit book when I was in high school, sophomore year, I believe), except for the 11 tracks on my covers album, Stephen Carrington Sings Your Favorites! All of the covers (except for the last 3) were recorded in Texas under (pretty much) the same circumstances as the songs on both volumes of Does Not Play Well With Others; some of them were recorded at the house I was renting in Abilene at the time, rather than at the school...but, they were still done around the same time (maybe a month or two prior to the summer recordings), and with pretty much all the same equipment.

"She’s Tight was recorded by Qualone, which was Andy Samford on guitar and vocals (back-up on this song), Brian Holcomb on guitar, Dwayne Jones on drums, and me on bass (and lead vocals on this song), in Dwayne’s garage, in 2003, on Andy’s Roland digital multitrack. I don’t remember if we tracked the vocals live, or overdubbed them, but I am pretty sure all the instruments were tracked live; we had been doing some shows as a cover band at some local bars, to make some money (for a change!), so we decided to record the 20 or so covers we had learned for that endeavor, for posterity. This was always one of my favorites to play out.

"Always With Me, Always With You is me on all instruments (including the saxophone that’s trying to play the lead guitar parts...this was my audition tape for an ACU band scholarship, and it’s a wonder they let me in the music department after that...), recorded in 1997 at a nice little ADAT-based studio that a friend of mine, Steve Smeltz, had built in his basement. Cooler Jocks was recorded by The Freakin’ Hitches, which was me and my brothers; Craig Carrington played some guitar and some percussion, J. Coleman Carrington played some percussion and did some vocals, and I played drums, bass, some guitar, some vocals, and some percussion. It was recorded in 1999 for a Tobin Sprout tribute album called I, Tobot; the drums were recorded at Greg Gentry’s house in East Atlanta, which is where my drums were at the time (that was my first, and only, stint—and what a very short-lived stint it was—as a [very horrendous] show later, and they booted me from the band), and the rest was recorded in my parents’ garage on an old reel-to-reel machine that Greg had loaned me for the project.

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"In addition to (and sometimes including) the recordings posted on this site, I have also played with: Tantalum in the late 80’s on guitar and some bass; Rastafüt in the early 90’s on guitar; Civil Disorder in 1993 on bass; Pickman’s Model in the mid-90’s (and also currently [since 2009]) on bass; Jamoco in about 1994 on guitar; Plaster in the mid- to late 90’s on guitar and later in the early 00’s on bass; the Freakin’ Hitches in 1999 on drums, guitar, and bass; Nillah in 1999 (very short-lived!) on drums; Qualone in the early to mid-00’s on bass; the Cherry Splits in 2004 and 2005 on guitar; Armazilla in 2005 and 2006 on guitar; Foxfire (currently [since 2006]) on bass; and most recently, Tom Foolery & Miss Chiff (also currently [since 2007]) on guitar and bass. I have also done a bit of session work, including playing bass on Hard Nard, a bonus track on Grammy winner Killer Mike’s debut album Monster on Sony Records (click here to read's write-up about the album, and how Killer Mike feels about the track). While in the bands listed above, I have played shows with Nebula, Throttlerod, Dixie Witch, Raging Slab, Spirit Caravan, Zoroaster, Fireball Ministry, Weedeater, Bottom, Bongzilla, Super Heavy Goat Ass, Artimus Pyledriver, Suplecs, Acid King, Christine, Music Hates You, Sourvein, Goatwhore, Subrig Destroyer, RPG, Gonzalez, Kung Pao, Whores, Earthride, The Despised, Capibara, Warhorse, Doomsayer, Solace, Telestrion, Black Skies, Baybee Invincible, Laser Flames on the Great Big News, Black Betty, The Dumps, Hell Comes To Town, River City Hustlers, Black Tusk, The Cogburns, Parabellum, Las Cruces, Negative Earth, The PB Army, Sons of Tonatiuh, Colossus, Royal Thunder, Tiger! Tiger!, Slowhorse, Penance, Light Pupil Dilate, Kurtz, Backwoods Payback, and many, many more. In and around Atlanta, I have played the world-famous strip club the Clermont Lounge, as well as the Masquerade, the Tabernacle, the Strand (Marietta), the Star Bar, the Earl, the 40 Watt (Athens), Smith’s Olde Bar, 10 High, Eddie’s Attic, Lenny’s (the old location and the new location), Dottie’s (back before it became Lenny’s, at the old location; my band at the time, Plaster, actually played the last night the old Dottie’s was open), 9 Lives Saloon (before it became Little 5 Points Corner Tavern), Echo Lounge (before it became the East Atlanta Icehouse), the East Atlanta Icehouse, the Highlander, Caledonia Lounge (Athens), Mulligan’s (Decatur), the East Side Lounge, J. W. Dobbs, the Beer Mug, the Somber Reptile, the Wreck Room, the Library Bar, Findley Park (Little Five Points), the Whiskey Rock, the Red Light Café, the Brandy House, Wonderroot, the Wooden Nickel (Norcross), Sweetwater Live (Duluth), the Last Great Watering Hole (Tucker), Riverwood High School (Sandy Springs), the Mystery Spot in Avondale Estates, and a few others I can’t quite remember. I’ve also played the Milestone (Charlotte NC), the Nick (Birmingham AL), the Red Blood Club (Deep Ellum, Dallas TX), Nyabinghi (Youngstown OH), the Metro (Washington DC), the Blind Lemon (Cleveland OH), Ground Zero (Spartanburg SC), Springwater (Nashville TN), the Corner Bar (Knoxville TN), the Downtown (Morristown TN), the Hideaway (Johnson City TN), Drip’s Coffee House (Hickory NC), Ziggy’s (Chattanooga TN), Doozer’s Pub (Jacksonville FL), Ireson’s Pub (Bristol TN), the Local (Chattanooga TN; both locations), and other clubs that I just don’t remember their names. I’ve played the two great stoner rock/doom metal festivals, the Stoner Hands of Doom festival (I played the first three S.H.o.D. festivals...well, the first year, I played the pre-show party the night before the festival) and Emissions from the Monolith (I know I played the second one, and I may have played the first one too, I just don’t remember...), plus a metalfest at Rebel Heart Amphitheater (Cullman AL) in 2005, as well as Devilneck Metalfest (I played the first year when it was in Athens, then also the second time, when it was in Atlanta). I also played the Atlanta StonerFest in 1999. I performed live on the air at UGA's radio station. I’ve been on releases by Pickman’s Model (we were signed to YouthBand Records), Plaster, Qualone (Plaster and Qualone released material on Lucid Haze Records, run by guitarist Andy Samford), Foxfire, Tom Foolery & Miss Chiff (Foxfire and Tom Foolery & Miss Chiff have released material on my own Sludge Hammer Records), and Killer Mike (on Sony Records, as noted above), on vinyl, cassette, CD, and digitally...not to mention all the other tracks, demos, and live recordings I have done, solo and with those (and other) bands, that haven’t been well as all the stuff that is yet to come."