NEVER BEEN STRANGERSSPAN>
I could see inside your soul
(Ride Out Chorus)
Music and Lyrics by
Vocals - Mark Greenawalt
BEHIND THE MUSIC:
I wrote this song sometime in the late 80's or early 90's and performed it live throughout Arizona back then with the band Anti-M. The lyrics were constantly evolving but the gist of of the story was always about a timeless relationship and that deja vu feeling like you've met a total stranger before. The music video took this concept one step further by incorporating a "night breed" vampire named Christoph and his love interest named Melody. Christoph has roamed the earth for centuries, but Melody is mortal. Every generation, Christoph must search for her reincarnation to continue this timeless love affair.
Sometime around 1993, I was living in Mesa, Arizona and my home recording studio consisted of a Digidesign Session 8 digital audio workstation. At that time I sequenced a drum track for the song in a little Yamaha RX21 drum machine. At the time I was perfectly satisfied with the sound and the performance of the drums but I wanted to get a phenomenal guitarist to play on the the track. I invited Mark Parks (Rip 'N Tear, Shy Boy, Dr. Ruth) to set up his guitar rig in my garage when the temperature was about 115 degrees F. He proceeded to shred through several flawless tracks and then laid down the spectacular solo that you hear on the song today. I wish Mark could be here to listen to the new mix and see the video, but sadly he passed away in 2019. His last message to me said, "Would love to record!! Have a bunch of songs I never got to finish. Anytime you want, let me know! How's life treating you? Mine is awesome. Let's hook up soon." I guess we'll have to finish them on the flip side, rest in peace.
I sang the vocals for the verses way back then, but after working on the video, I wanted to change the lyrics once again so I recorded new vocals for the chorus nearly 30 years later. It was interesting to hear how much my voice hadn't really changed that much over the years. The digital recording held up well as I recorded the new tracks using Logic X through a CAD Equitek microphone and Focusrite interface.
The original drum machine sounds did not stand the test of time. I had a couple of drummers play on the song, but I never got the quality recording that I felt the song deserved so I never released any of those versions. In May of 2020, I tried out a new service called Fiverr and hired a drummer to play on the song. His name is Zamm Kenoby and he lives in a small town in France. With the magic of the internet, I was able to send him mp3s of the song, he quickly learned the song and recorded the drum tracks and sent them back to me. I loved his performance and the sound of his kit was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Zamm! Hopefully we'll meet someday.
The bass is my original track from three decades ago, but I did re-record the organ track since I have better sounding "Deep Purple" sounds from my Yamaha MOXF8. Those freaky synth sounds at the beginning are also new to this recording.
Memorial Day weekend, I was supposed to be doing a bodypainting exhibition at the annual Phoenix Fan Fest (ComiCon), but the damn COVID-19 virus snuck up and ruined quite a few things in our world. I would have been doing my bodypainting with the incredible model, Elley Ringo. Since the convention was canceled, I contacted Elley to see if she would be interested in working with me for a music video project...obviously she said yes.
The goal was for her to portray three reincarnated versions of her character. We discussed several timeframes and settled on modern day, the roaring 20's, and a nondescript age that might be hundreds of years ago or some future post apocalyptic era. All of the filming was done on a Saturday morning in Prescott with a cast and crew of just she and I. We started the day at Watson Lake with her in the flowing red dress. I borrowed my son's Phantom 4 drone to get the beautiful aerial footage (note this was my first time every flying a drone and I was very worried as it went out over the water and the low battery warning was beeping at me). All of the ground filming was done using a Canon 5DmIII and a 70-200mm lens.
Next we filmed the modern shots on the downtown streets of Prescott. Elly wore sunglasses and chic blouse and shirt and strutted in front of Bashford Courts (which is one of my recent lighting design projects, btw). The third look was Elley in a vintage white dress that had a roaring 1920's vibe. These shots were filmed inside of Bashford Courts and on the front steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse.
I called a few actor friends to see if they were available to play the part of the vampire, but ran out of time before I found a willing victim. So over the next couple of days I filmed myself in a cosplay version of a European vampire from the 1800s. The hat, cape, teeth, eye contacts, etc were from previous bodypainting projects.
UPC - 705333389364
Recorded at The Future-Class Publishing home studios. Initial tracks recorded in the early 1990s using Session 8 hardware/software in Mesa, Arizona. Additional tracks added and final mixing completed using Logic X Software at Greenawalt's home studio in Ahwatukee in 2020.
Official Music Video - Actress Elley Ringo played the part of Melody, the object of desire for the vampire Christoph played by Mark Greenawalt. Drone Video Footage shot by Mark Greenawalt at Watson Lake near Prescott, Arizona. Additional footage shot in downtown Prescott and at Greenawalt's residence. Mark Greenawalt was the entire crew (Director, Editor, Cinematographer, Lighting, Camera Operator, Set Decorator, Prop Master, oh, and lead actor) Edited in Premiere, Camera used was a Canon 5Dm3.