When I asked people to submit a favorite memory of "Dawnrazor," I
figured that a certain theme would emerge from their stories. Indeed, one
did -- though not one I expected.
I honestly don't remember the first time I heard "Dawnrazor," but what I
do remember is that my favorite way to listen to it is lying down, with the
lights off, with headphones wrapped around my ears. It seems almost all of
you share that preference. Like most of FOTN's albums, "Dawnrazor" is a
sensory, immersive experience -- one best experienced with no
Many of you were generous with your time and words, particularly Nod
Wright, who helped craft this album released 20 years ago. Be sure to click
through to see his photos from the recording sessions.
Below are highlights from your stories. Click on a name to see
the full tale, or here to see
Recording the intro to "Dust" looking down the long, converted barn: Tony
on top of a step ladder dropping peas into a
bucket of water, Pete playing an old gate post far down the end in the dark, while Carl
walked around in a 2 foot tray of gravel
with his famous cowboy boots. Crunch, squeak
and drip drip went our song. All together
I always liked to listen to new tapes in the dark
using headphones. It made it special, and it helped me
give my full attention. Things started off well, but before the end of the
second side I really needed the lights on. This was brilliant. It had everything I could have wanted. This was music
for people with hats. It was alive, and wild, and scary
as fuck. I had no idea what any of it meant, even when I could make out the
words, but it felt terrific.
I once wanted to front a band. Something
not quite metal, yet heavy and dark. Something
filled with arcana and mysticism. I stopped when I heard the entirety of "Dawnrazor" for
the first time. I knew I couldn't do it any
If I recall correctly, I was in my one-bedroom apartment in South River,
New Jersey. I had heard "Preacher Man" on the Gothic Rock compilation (Hey,
Cleopatra Records is good for something every so often!), but I hadn't heard
the whole album. I waited until twilight to listen to "Dawnrazor." Somehow,
that seemed right.
The image of cowboys raw and rugged the spaghetti western films I love
and adore, so this was my hook and I thought, "OK. I can see a reason to
like you," but the music was still not there! Then one night, in my student
digs, the lights were out, the shades were on, the curtains closed, came a
I was mesmerised. I played it over and over
again, turning the tape every twenty minutes or so. It was like being taught
a new language in an afternoon, one that
no-one else had known for centuries. I was
unaware at the time that a Pavlovian effect was taking place inside my
brain. It only became apparent a few days
later when, fully recovered from my illness, I
listened to "Dawnrazor" again, I felt sick.
I had to go to the under-
ground music store to find
it, and it was just a cassette tape ... but oh, what a tape it was! ...
Somehow, when I put in those earphones and closed my eyes, my imagination just took over and transported me
I remember being given "Dawnrazor" by my best
friend ... I believe the statement as the cassette was handed to
me was, "I can't get into this at all but you will love
it". Truer words have never been spoken and I have been a fan ever since hearing it for
the first time.