Music has played a significant role in my life ever since first hearing the sound of rock ‘n roll and finding my mother’s guitar under my bed. I have founded, played in and toured with several bands since my late teens. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some amazing talents; having engineered and produced many projects over the years. Tiresome of all the baggage and conflict of vision that comes with being in a band, in the last decade I have mostly focused on my own musical endeavors.
The following are my albums in chronological order:
FEAR FOR SALE (2005)
Written and recorded in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, during the height of the Second Iraq War, this album chronicles the feelings, frustrations, hopes and fears of a man living in the 21st Century sociopolitical spectrum. It is a painting of a heart ravaged by war, misrepresented by media powers and displaced by extreme political will. The album reflects on post-9/11 American thought process: fears of terrorism, a public concerned with discount prices at WalMart, Veterans Day parades, flag waving, obsession with television, celebrity and other modern American distractions. The original album was written and recorded with my acoustic guitar on a Tascam 4-Track recorder in Bahrain in 2004 and then subsequently rerecorded with a full band in Stuttgart, Germany. The later is what has been officially released and only four copies of the original acoustic album were produced. I hope to release the original format of the album at some point in the future.
DOORS AND MORNINGS (2009)
This was my “I’m leaving this band” breakout record and is a collection of my most intimate and personal songs. Between 2005 and 2007 when most of the material on this album was written, I was working in a band that wasn’t quite working. These songs were forged during a time of great personal conflict and numerous relationship changes. I believe that is where the best songs come from.
*Drums by Lance Mathyssen on “Turning” and “Friends and Holes”
*Drums by Amador Solis on “All This Life We are Living”
BEFORE THERE WAS MUSIC THERE WAS SOUND (2013)
During the autumn of 2012 and into the winter of 2012/2013 I was playing small acoustic clubs and open mics around the San Francisco Bay Area. I had the itch to produce a new record. Since I was living in the home turf of Craigslist (a great resource for connecting musicians!), the search began for drummers. Auditions began around January of 2013. There were a few that went well, some that were just absolutely atrocious. About this time, I stumbled upon a creative songwriting website that was about creating an album in time-limited capacity. The parameters were set. The challenge was made. I threw out all previous material and sketches and started from scratch. The drummers I engaged with weren’t quite keeping up with my writing nor really lighting up the tender to further progress my project. I decided to go it completely alone. Again. All of the material was written and produced between February 1st and 28th. For this effort, I brought in a bit of keyboard experimentation and a considerable amount of tracks are poetry readings. On a crisp California February afternoon, I spent several hours painting and reflecting on the songs. It’s my favorite album cover. This project felt liberating and I am quite happy with the end result.
WONDER EAST WANDER WEST (2013)
Between 2002 and 2005, while living in Stuttgart, Germany, I was in a considerable flurry of writing. This is a collection of material that didn’t fit into the Brusworn, Newspeak or Asopriam vision at the time. I was also sidetracked with my passion about putting out Fear for Sale and engaged in other projects like Aaron Unger’s Sammy Terry Loves You (link here). I believe these songs showcase some of my best vocal performances. Some of these songs may have had the opportunity to develop with a full rock band sound but they never did. I think they are in full blossom just the way they are: stripped down acoustic and vocal and minimal second guitar tracking. Songs are like that. You just have to let them exist in the context that they were created. If you polish too much, you take away everything that is meaningful about the song. For my songs anyway. Hell, you could spend nine years perfecting songs and then look what you have got…. The same shit, just polished! For this album, just about all of the vocals and guitars (except for the overdubbed electric guitar) are raw and done in single full takes per song. There are no harmony, doubling, or background vocals or acoustic guitar on this work.
*Drums on “Missing” by Lance Mathyssen
THE TIME BETWEEN YOU AND I (THE GREAT DISTRACTION) (2014)
2013 was a crazy year. A year full of incredible changes, challenges and experiences. This album was written and recorded on or about the late evening or early morning of December 28th (or 29th ?). It took a total of 5 hours to record. There are few overdubs and most everything is first take. It was mostly mixed in Cathey’s Valley, California shortly before I left the United States for Bangkok, Thailand. Final production and mixing was completed in Shanghai, China in the summer of 2014. This album is a spiritual document of 2013. It is my encore for the year.
BOXES OF CLOTHES AND LOVE LETTERS – CASUAL COLLECTION OF THE RARE AND UNRELEASED – 1999 – 2019 (2019 release)
(Summer 2019) I am currently working on several projects in Shanghai that will FINALLY see their potential realized in the next six months…. However; currently, I am excited to release some of my favorite songs that can finally see the light of day. These songs were recorded over 20 years. Some of them are just solo demos; a few of them them are works recorded with other artists. There are timing mistakes. There are some bad or off notes. The songs are recorded raw at their time and not planned for any sort of intent of mass successful commercial release. That is the way I like my music. Unpolished and honest. Regardless, this collection of songs is a document and the songs are about the love of the music. All of them, however, were incredibly poignant in their time and place. This is not an all-encompassing representation of my work…… just some rare gems that I’m happy to share with the world. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have had going through hundreds of hours of tape and putting this compilation together. _________________________________________________
FEAR IS SOLD OUT (2019)
Fear is Sold Out is a collection of the original demo material that was an album that I wrote in Manama, The Kingdom of Bahrain. I used a very static process for writing this album. One song per day. Every day was war and news and crazy stories. This was written as a reflection upon the day-to-day process of being involved at an intimate level with those processes of the human conflict. I hope it has a broader connection for humanity and understanding. The songs were eventually re-recorded for the full length album Fear for Sale that was produced in Stuttgart, Germany with a full band and overdubs and all the studio jazz the following year. These are the raw tapes from a single soul in the middle of the Persian Gulf. It was interesting to reflect on these songs 14 years later. I hope that you can somehow relate to them. Links for iTunes and Amazon are in the comments below.
All music and lyrics written by Ross G.B.
Except drums and percussion where noted above, all material performed by Ross G. B.
All album artwork designed, photographed, painted and/or physically arranged by Ross. G.B.
Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Ross G.B.
* edited August 2020