A wonderful phenomenon almost always emerges via the otherwise mundane task of playing show after show with the same people from day to day, week to week, and year after year.  You unavoidably get an otherwise rare, extended glimpse of people at their highest highs, their lowest lows, and everywhere in between.  And through this process, certain people tend to stand out as more captivating and substantive than others.  Look, we’re all sick of the same onesheet descriptors over and over for cinematic, ambient music… so let’s get into the real story as to who’s on this disc and why it matters.

To this end, I first encountered Ryan Parrish at a show I booked in Washington DC many moons ago that featured Majority Rule, Darkest Hour, pg.99, Waifle, and City Of Caterpillar.  Ryan was the drummer of City Of Caterpillar then and it didn’t take long into their set to understand his musical prowess and passion for performing.  Yet away from the kit, he carried himself with a very sarcastic, almost existential air.  I immediately knew that we’d be able to commiserate easily over the often repetitive doldrums of touring life.  And sure enough, future crossed paths (with Ryan having joined Darkest Hour) almost always seemed to involve spotting each other first during load-in.  Arms full of gear, we’d light up at the sight of each other and (jokingly) scream “Fuck!  This again?!?  What – nowhere else is hiring or something?”  And on and on ad nauseam.  It became a ritual and often the comic relief amidst a truly “Groundhog Day”-esque existence.

A necessary by-product of incessant touring within one sub-genre (in Ryan’s case, rapid-fire metal played before metalheads) is the eventual need to create something far removed from both the group dynamic and sonic territory of said group.  Something more personal… a more unfiltered side of yourself.  Many cop out and disappear into the vapid world of “DJ’s.”  Others lock themselves into band rooms and don’t come out until they’ve created a pastiche of sonic texture designed to evoke more of a mood than “the mosh.”  And it is through the latter where Ryan Parrish discovered the sounds within himself that would comprise YEARS.

Graham Scala is a rare treat.  There’s an age-old saying about how those who speak often don’t know and that those who know don’t speak often.  So last year, when I was asked to tour with Graham’s band Souvenir’s Young America, it was all facilitated through a different band member/spokesman and I didn’t even get to interact with Graham until our first show together.  As days peeled away, so did the many layers of what was quickly becoming one of the most astute and brilliant people I’ve ever been crammed into a van with.  Whenever a late-night drive faced the tour, Graham and I were quick to take driver/shotgun duty because it meant talking music/life endlessly and listening to sounds from all corners of the Earth.

It struck a chord to still be able to find yet another kindred spirit through something that a lot of my peers had dropped out of steadily from year to year.  So when we got home, I found every excuse to keep playing music with Graham.  I first featured him on an All-American Remix I did (which he knocked out of the park), and even asked him to join Forensics a few months later as a third guitarist.  And as he began slipping me CD-R’s of solo material (under the moniker VENTOUX), there was no question: I NEEDED to put this out on the label.  Sonically and thematically, it became even more apparent to have both Ryan and Graham’s music on the same disc.

“A Shift In Moods” and “The Inferno Of The Living” is a split-release celebration of two incredible individuals and musicians who have made the rigors of traveling life much easier for many companions (not just myself) and provided us all tremendous inspiration and motivation to keep playing music and releasing music endlessly.  It’s an honor to bring these two forces together and shine a light on some brilliant late-night creations previously hidden behind a couple of Richmond, VA’s unassuming bedroom doors.

- Brent Eyestone, March 2008

CD issued July 29, 2008