Asleep At Heaven's Gate 10th Anniversary Reissue (3/16/18)
Oakland, CA-based rock band Rogue Wave, in partnership with Slow Down Sounds, are proud to announce the band’s 10th anniversary reissue of Asleep At Heaven’s Gate. Out on March 16, the forthcoming 2xLP package includes the album fully remastered, new artwork to commemorate the release, four rare & unreleased tracks from the recording sessions, and a cover of “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles. The package also features a newly designed double gatefold jacket including a new cover. Rogue Wave were directly involved in every aspect of this expanded edition reissue. Mastered by Kevin Gray from the original 96/24 final mixes with plating and pressing at R.T.I. for the best possible sound. There will be two versions of the package: a standard black vinyl and a super limited Gold/White Swirl pressing of only 200.
Produced by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney, Elvis Costello) with Zach Rogue and originally released by Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, Asleep At Heaven’s Gate stands as Rogue Wave's definitive statement and a benchmark for a band at its creative height and most accomplished. Originally conceived as a double-album by Rogue, the album is a proudly defiant body of work shot through with heartfelt self-examination and a wider commentary on the flawed world around us. “Up to that point, it was the most magical and productive time we had ever had as a band,” Rogue reminisces about the era in which the album was born. “Found sounds, field recordings, 4-track tape machines, all of these things were used in making the record. We wanted to experiment and push ourselves to make more adventurous music.”
Part of the richness of Asleep At Heaven’s Gate is due to the band’s sense of experimentalism. “We were listening to a lot of Wendy Carlos, who scored Tron, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining,” Rogue continues. “She is responsible for a lot the ambient noise and the interesting sounds you hear. It’s that noise versus melody abstract sound debate. It’s the idea that banging on a wall or hitting a door with your hand can be a musical instrument.”
Asleep At Heaven’s Gate is not just the work of its four members strumming chords and hitting doors though, guest appearances and collaborations abound. Matthew Caws from Nada Surf sings on a couple of songs, indie innovator John Vanderslice contributes, and Snowblink’s Daniela Gesundheit sings on a number of tracks. For the sun-kissed epic “Own Your Own Home,” the band invited thirty friends into the studio with acoustic instruments of every ilk. In fact, Rogue estimates that they ended up using about 150 different instruments during the various recording sessions.
After the album was released, the band regretted having to omit some songs from the final product. To them, they are not throwaway tracks. They are as strong as anything the band recorded during that time period, and the idea of finally sharing them has Rogue & Co. extremely excited. “Some may have heard ‘Electro-Socket Blues’ from the Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist soundtrack, but it was never officially released by us otherwise,” Rogue says. “’I Can Die’ was on the B-side of the ‘Lake Michigan’ single 45 in Europe, for those who were able to grab one of the small handful that were printed. I never got one. ‘The Show’ was never released at all but it features some of the best lyrics of any of the songs from that period.”
Rogue continues: “We had been asked to record ‘All You Need is Love’ for a TV commercial. The version we originally did was a note-for-note copy of the way The Beatles did it. It was pretty uninspired and was, of course, rejected. Feeding off the rejection, we decided to try the song our own way. Or maybe we recorded it the way we thought the Beatles would have played it if they had still been a live touring band when they made the song. Who knows. Either way, the song felt like it had become our own, and we took those all-too-common feelings of rejection and let them mutate into something infused with gratitude and curiosity.”
10 years on, Asleep At Heaven’s Gate remains an album about hopes and fears, triumphs and tragedies, sadness and joy. Filled with darkness and light swirled together, the album is a stirring sonic reminder of the dualities that make life such an unforgettable and incomparable ride.