I recently came across a box of old band tapes. And when I say “old” I mean dating back as far as 1985. And when I say “tapes” I mean cassettes. These are all recordings from the Twin Cities (Minnesota) phase of my musical journey, prior to moving to Nashville in 2004. I decided to digitize some of them and put the music up for the public to enjoy. (Or at least listen to.) I did a bit of mastering, but the audio quality is what it is. And the bands are what they are. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable trip down memory lane for me remembering who I was back in the day. Hope you get some enjoyment out of it, too.
I’ll continue posting more old recordings as I get them digitized, so check back once in a while.
A New Avatar Tune
Listening through the old band tapes below inspired me to work up a new tune (in classic metal style) just for fun.
The Old Band Tapes
A very early recording of a trio of noisy high-school age rockers made in Gene's basement on a 4-track cassette recorder. Jon Young (vocals, bass), Rob Solberg (guitars, bgvs), Gene Skiba (drums, bgvs).
(L-R) Keith Lunzer (Bass), Chad Lewis (Guitar), Gene Skiba (Drums), Rob Solberg (Lead Vocal, Guitar)
Avatar recorded an album for Channel 83 Records that was never released. The line-up for this recording was Rob Solberg (lead vocals, guitar), Jon Woodbury (guitar), Gene Skiba (drums), and Jason Miller (bass). Below is the artwork I think we were considering for the cover, along with the rough mixes of the ten songs we'd recorded.
Recording Credits: Recorded at New Moon Studios, Minneapolis. MN. Engineered by Leo Whitebird. Produced by Owen something?
A live recording of Avatar's show at the 7th-Street Entry stage of First Aveneue in Minneapolis, MN on January 14, 1990. We were co-headlining with Last Crack. This is the audio taken from a video of the show. Rob Solberg (lead vocals, guitar), Jon Woodbury (guitar), Gene Skiba (drums), and Jason Miller (bass).
Note that the last three songs were partially cut off on the recording. I was bummed because the memory that sticks out most in my mind (after the memory of Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul throwing his floor tom through the back door of the stage) is introducing our last song. "This one is called...It's...the..." and the crowd shouted "Joker!" That part did not get captured on the tape.
A goofy solo project I did for fun. It was named after a little sideband we had with the Avatar line-up called Fred Tinkler & The Power Jazz Extravaganza. This was the recording project that first brought my wife Deb (then Debbie Kroll) into my life. She sang vocals on this recording, Gene Skiba played Drums & Cymbals, and I played electric and acoustic guitar, bass, and keyboards.
Recording Credits: Produced by Robert Solberg, Engineered by David Miller, Recorded at Milestone Recording Studios (Bloomington, MN) Nov 1990 – April 1991. Cover photography by Andy Amundsen.
A 9-song album recorded June-Sept 1991 at New Moon Studios in Minneapolis, MN. The band was Debbie Kroll (vocals), Robert Solberg (guitar, bgvs), Christopher Lakey (drums, bgvs), Jim Lusk, (bass, bgvs).
A two-song demo that rocks. Debbie Solberg (vocals), Robert Solberg (guitar), Gene Skiba (drums), Brian Daniel (bass).
I remember we rented a rehearsal space in North Minneapolis from some sort of construction company. Out behind the place was a yard full of old construction debris and when it came to take a band photo for this demo, we climbed inside a huge rusty pipe and took this pic. Skiba always had such a way with lyrics. Debbie Solberg (vocals), Robert Solberg (guitar, bgvs), Jim Lusk (bass, bgvs), Gene Skiba (drums, perc, bgvs).
The first demo with our indie, funky rock band Core. Debbie Solberg (vocals), Robert Solberg (guitar, bgvs), Jim Lusk (bass, bgvs), Lane Allen (drums, perc, bgvs).
The second demo with our indie, funky rock band Core. Debbie Solberg (vocals), Robert Solberg (guitar, bgvs), Jim Lusk (bass, bgvs), Lane Allen (drums, perc, bgvs).
An EP from our indie, funky rock band Core. These were some of my favorite songs that we played.