We’ll just let Mike do the talking…
“About a year ago i remixed the band Nocturnal Habits, from Washington. Its my friend Justin Trosper’s band. You may not know Nocturnal Habits, but you probably know his other band, Unwound. I released a few Unwound records back in the early 90s on my old label Troubleman. As a matter of fact the Unwound 7″ was Troubleman’s first ever release back in 1993 – not a bad way to start a label, if you ask me. Anyway, about 2 years ago we got together when he was in NYC, went to see Brooks at Superiority Burger , ate a ton of food, and caught up on almost 15 years worth of life. We spoke about his new band, and i offered to remix it before even hearing it. (Justin was always ahead of the game. His other band from the 1990s, Replikants, sounds current almost 20 years later.) We both had no idea what to do with the song when it was finished. Maybe release it on a tape? I didnt care – I just wanted to do it. I wouldnt be where i am if it werent for Unwound. They were a huge inspiration, and a springboard for my “career” in “music”… I chose this song because it reminded me of where Unwound left off, right around Leaves Turn Inside You. I made this remix almost a year ago to the day. Ive been told this is the darkest/most melancholy song ive ever written (and that is saying a lot)… If anything, it is “My 9-11 song”, even though it was written 17 years later. At the end of the remix, I faded out all of my parts, and just let Justin’s strings go alone. You can hear echoes of “Leaves” in there… Even today, hearing this remix takes me back to Sept 2001.
On Sept 13, 2001 Unwound played Maxwells in Hoboken, NJ. Two days earlier, the World Trade Center was attacked right across the river from Maxwells. I watched the second tower fall from the same waterfront just two days earlier. I remember Justin calling me from Boston the next day and saying “we decided to continue the tour”. After soundcheck, me, Vern and i think David (?) walked to the water to watch the recovery efforts from across the Hudson River. We drank beers that we smuggled out of Maxwells, and sat there, and didnt talk much. The band wasnt getting along. Vern wanted to go home to his new baby daughter, and the fact that it was 2 days after 9/11 did not help. It was a fucked up time.
The Maxwells gig 17 years ago was one of the most memorable musical experiences of my life. The sold out show was half full. People were crying and hugging each other… Everything changed forever. We went to Maxwells out of denial and defiance- to try to hold on to something that was ours, because it seemed like everything was ripped from us. Its hard to put those emotions into words. The city was quiet, the air still smelled weird, people were shuffling around in a haze. But Unwound did what they do- they played a show. It would be the last time I would see Unwound live, or the three of them together.” – Mike Simonetti