Writing the follow-up to Bruderschaft‘s 2003 mega-single Forever was quite the curious process; a sequence of casual coincidences mixed with some legacy compositions from the desk of Dracos von Strecker. Add a dash of unintended outcomes, perhaps the single biggest of which might have been the struggle to voice the album opener, “Trigger.”
Many might be surprised to discover that our original vocalist on demo versions of the track was none other than goth icon Ronny Moorings of prolific Dutch darkwavers Clan of Xymox.
A long time fan of Moorings’ work, we first met in 1997 when I was hired by his label at the time, Tess Records, for college and commercial radio promotion of Hidden Faces. The album’s lead singles, “Out of the Rain” and “This World”, were as strong as anything the artist had done, in my opinion, and we ultimately charted the LP to College Music Journal’s Top 100 and RPM Charts.
Several years later, I was excited to work with him again, this time artist-to-artist, on a new track from one of my projects. Sadly, somehow, it just didn’t….work. I rushed Ronny’s vocal tracks to the studio as soon as I got them, but we just couldn’t place them in a way that did them justice. I don’t know if it was the tone or the tempo – Dracos could undoubtedly explain the physical audio conflicts in more scientific terms – but it just never felt right. It was no fault of Ronny’s. Here we had this amazing, legendary voice at our disposal, and we just couldn’t get the damn thing to reconcile. Turns out, it wouldn’t be the last time.
Disappointed, but not yet ready to scrap the track, we decided to try again, this time with German singer Florian Schäfer (Silence Gift/Noyce™). Schäfer took an entirely different approach than Moorings had, but in the end the same result, perhaps intimating the source of the problem may have been the song itself. Vocals just weren’t fitting for some reason, no matter who supplied them.
By now, the EP itself was starting to feel like a bad idea, a metaphor for my life at the time. And yet, in darkness there is light, as they say. Working with Ted Phelps of Imperative Reaction on his remix of the title track, I was introduced to Clint Carney, vocalist/founder of System Syn and erstwhile IR live member. Forewarned that a pair of pretty impressive pipes had already given this track a go before him, Carney bravely took to the task of “Trigger.” It wasn’t spot on first time through, but by some miracle the sound meshed. All three singers had given it equal effort, but forever reason predicated by fate, Carney turned out to be the man for the job. A few more revisions and we were exporting final wav files.
It’s never been my favorite track on the record, probably because Ronny’s not singing it and I know he could have been. Yet, I’m still glad it’s there. It’s still vintage Clint and it still means a lot to me. Maybe now when you hear it, it’ll mean something more to you, too.