The History Of Act II

We don't have nearly as much detail as we'd like on this album, but here are a few scraps we've collected from sources here and there about the songs, early making and production of Act II.

Production

Alan Shacklock was approached by the band to do their production for Act 2, according to a 2012 interview with Panther, Murphy and Commander. They approached him specifically because of his work in 70's spaghetti-western-prog band Babe Ruth, and particularly the track "The Mexican", which had been a pivotal inspiration for the forging of Act 1. Previously, the band had done their own production work, but with Heath Who's departure, they needed a new hand in this area.

Father of Death

First performed in November or December 2007 at The End in Nashville. By the time the song was performed at Forecastle on July 24, 2008, it was mostly nailed down, but it's unclear whether TURBO LOVER had been "cast" yet as Wily.

The white vinyl 7" version, released in November 2008, has a very different mix and tone from the final version on the Act 2 CD. The production history of the single is not known at this time.

A demo of Father of Death exists. The "music box" sequence at the beginning is performed on straight piano with the final notes slightly altered. The Gambler and TURBO LOVER's parts appear unprocessed on the demo; the "There will be light" choir is entirely absent. The date of this demo is not known; it may be a mid-production or pre-mix copy. A voice at the very end, as the last drum note fades, states "Now I know where the pen is."

The Good Doctor

First performed in the same show in November or December 2007 at The End in Nashville.

A demo of The Good Doctor exists; Wily's part - as done by Panther- sounds rather nasal and Irish-y. This is an extremely minimal demo- acoustic guitar, drums are live but extremely simplistic, organ is maybe two sustained notes throughout.

Light Up The Night

Panther has stated this song is a "rip-off" (his words) of Olivia Newton John's "Twist of Fate".

Breaking Out

One of the earlier forms of the song can be found in this May 2008 video from The Spazzatorium in Greenville, NC. When performed live, the early versions of Breaking Out featured a lead-in prelude from Mike and the Mechanics' "Silent Running"

Three seperate demos are known to exist of this track. A detailed demo from August 2009 has piano, full guitar and drum machine tracking, with Panther multi-tracking himself for the choral parts. This version was leaked by a fan.

Panther, in 2009: "Are you talking about the the leaky pipes? If so, yeah. Someone found an early demo of Breaking Out on a hidden press page that we had set up to show some of the more "official ears" the direction we were going with the second act. Somewhere along the way, the person in question thought it was a great idea to rip it out of the player and post it all over the internet for all of the world to hear. The biggest problem we had with this, is that his rip of it sounded horrible. We decided the only real way to fix the situation was to release a higher quality version."

Variant lyrics from 2008: "I promise someday I'll come back for you; If I don't, don't blame yourself; we all do what we think is right." (these lyrics still pop in sometimes in live versions.)

Keep Quiet

Keep Quiet was actually named on stage July 12, 2008, at Madison, WI at a club called The Frequency.
There's video of an extremely early version of Keep Quiet from the same Spazzatorium show as Breaking Out. Like with Breaking Out, Joe's voice is significantly harsher here. Lyrics were darker, more aggressive. It's also a much harder, more rock-oriented song and featured Heath Who with a very different "galloping' guitar line. This video's version is confirmed by The Keeper as close to an early demo.

Excised lyrics from 2008 (best guess from video)
I recognize your face
I've never seen it before
God, I don't get outta here

I'm like a ghost in this place
(?) only shows me enough (?)
to make sure that the children are happy

I gotta be under that (?) beat down, busted
but I have a face
and I have a name
history (?)

I dare not lay down for you
you should know that I'm not that kinda dude
I'm not (?)

(chorus matches final)

But if you're gonna kill me, kill me now
We're all hiding in the shadow
don't hide from this

Now if people see what's going on here
you should go with the down (?)
you should know how it goes
don't you know

(chorus)

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