Elektra News

Source: Elektra News (4/78)

Tom Verlaine Talks About "Adventure"

Adventure, Television's second album, was recorded in New York at the Record Plant and Sound Mixers Studio. In order to get a variety of sounds, the group used four different rooms to get four different sounds. A different drum kit was rented for each cut.

Television's approach to recording is often unique, as Tom Verlaine revealed in a recent interview in New York:

"Glory" (Tom Verlaine) : "This song was written on two cassette recorders, with pencils as drums. We used an empty room at the record Plant instead of the echo chamber. And we had to keep stopping and waiting for the rain to let up because the ceiling leaked. It's an easy rock and roll tune. We got it down in a couple hours."

"Days" (Richard Lloyd / Tom Verlaine) : "This comes out of the early Byrds sound. The guitar parts are a little like 'Mr. Tambourine Man' backwards. The lyrics were written in Sweden on our last tour."

"Foxhole" (Tom Verlaine) : "It's been in our repertoire for the last two years, but it didn't get on the first record. It's a dirty, violent number. The guitar solos were done in one take."

"Careful" (Tom Verlaine) : "We've been holding this one for three or four years. Fans always asked why we didn't record it. It sounds like the Ventures, the way it's recorded. (Cab Calloway liked it. He was recording in the same studio and stopped by.)"

"Carried Away" (Tom Verlaine) : "It's the first piece I wrote primarily on keyboards. I usually write on guitar. It was almost like improvisation. The early 60s vibrato guitar has a watery flavor. The guitar vibrato keeps the pulse of the song going rather than the cymbals."

"The Fire" (Tom Verlaine) : "The weird organ sound is an ondioline, invented by a Frenchman in the 40s. It's a 36-note keyboard instrument that can quiver a note by shaking the key. The song is influenced by an old album, 'Music From The Twilight Zone'. Another strange sound is a switchblade knife bowing the guitar strings on the intro. The lyrics are the story of two people whose interior experience suddenly matches up with the world around them. It's difficult to explain."

"Ain't That Nothing" (Tom Verlaine) : "It was written on the piano, a week before we went into the studio. It was originally about somebody specific I used to know, but now it's not. It was 12 minutes long, but we faded it early at 5½."

"Dream's Dream" (Tom Verlaine ) : "It's based on a melody that Fred and I did. It was the last song we cut on the record. We rehearsed it on Sunday and recorded it on Monday. The strange sliding instrument is an upright bass; the crashing sound at the end is a gong being dropped in a tub of water. The song was developed in the studio. It only has eight lines. It didn't seem to need a lot of lyrics, just the right ones."