by Max Colbert
“The moon looked pale and wan, as if it shouldn’t be up on a night like this. It rose unwillingly and hung like an ill specter.”
This is a quote from early in the third chapter of a book called Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. This is a book that I don’t like very much but loved in 8th grade. Before I was in a band, before I played an instrument, before I even listened to music, I loved the stories of Dirk Gently. So, when my friends and I started a band in middle school, I suggested this line as a name, and, being in middle school, misspelled specter as “spector”. This was, more or less, how the band started; as middle schoolers who couldn’t play our instruments, misspelling words, and deciding we liked it better that way. And this is, more or less, how the band has stayed since then.
Listen to the song while reading the text.
Since middle school, Ill Spector has evolved from a three-piece to a six-piece, with members filtering in and out since the beginning. Our current lineup, from tallest to shortest, is Ethan Faulk, Max Colbert (Me!), Julian Chun, Zephan Bean, Liam Cauley, and Brenna Kassis. Liam and Brenna both sing, Zephan plays bass, Ethan Drums, and Julian plays rhythm guitar with us live. I play guitar, write some of the songs, and, after having a few annoying experiences with producers, decided that I would record our stuff myself.
At this point, we’ve been writing and playing together for almost half a decade, the last year of which was spent on recording a proper debut album. The recording process has been brutal and incredibly belabored. Thousands of hours and most likely too much effort has been put into it, but I really do think it sounds like the culmination of something. I don’t know if it’s good, and I don’t think I will know until I’ve distanced myself from it quite a bit, but I do think that it’s as good as it possibly could be.
The first song we recorded for the album is a song called “Chives,” which is probably my favorite song we’ve done so far, mainly because of how the song came to existence. Except for vocals, every track on it was written and recorded within the span of 6 hours, from 10 PM to 5 AM, by Zephan and me, on 4th of July, 2017. It came in a weird moment of inspiration between us, while we were sitting on the back porch of a friend’s house talking. I started idly playing the riff the song ended up being formed on, and Zephan happened to notice it and take an interest. We went home and stayed up until we had recorded the entire song.
It’s weird flashes of inspiration like those that remind me why I put effort into being a musician. There’s something intangibly satisfying about turning a feeling or an idea into a track and turning a track into a song and an album and a band. But after all, that, what keeps me here is the friends I’ve made. My band members are my best friends, and after years of making music, it’s them that keep me making more.
Our new album Ab Aeterno is coming out in March, and we have a new single out right now. It’s something that all of us are proud of and are beyond ready to let see the light of day.
Ill Spector, Category: Artist, Singles: Reverend, Ab Aeterno, Ill Spector, Honey, Top Tracks: Honey, My Only Friend, Ab Aeterno, (For Howard), Apathy, Biography: Liam Cauley, Monthly Listeners: 32015, Where People Listen: Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Houston