I’d be lying if I said Karl’s passing didn’t knock the wind out of my sails. For me, it was two deaths in one - the death of a friend and the death of the music we created together. This really hit home at Karl’s funeral. His brother Derrick and friend Morris set up Karl’s rig - his lefty Schecter bass, Fender amp, and BOSS effects. Everything was ready to go, but Karl was gone. I can’t believe it’s been 7 months already.
In the months leading up to the discovery of Karl’s illness, we spent a considerable amount of time as a band working on a new song tentatively called It Doesn’t Have To Be. We were also in, what I like to call, the “train wreck” phase of a song called Over Me. During this period, I emailed Karl the rough demos I created while working on the melodies and lyrics for the songs. In turn, Karl sent back versions with his bass parts overdubbed on top of my raggedy guitar parts, dodgy singing and lyrics that seemed to be in a constant state of flux. BUT, with his bass added, the songs seemed more complete and well…song like. We were making progress.
As his health deteriorated further, Karl emailed me an audio file unassumingly called song2. It had an undeniable vibe to it and I knew it was the beginning of a great song. I overdubbed some guitar parts and sent it back, to which he replied, “oooh that was policey, love it :D.” Yep, Karl got it. He always did.
Karl started chemo around this time and it was hard on him - physically and emotionally. One day, he emailed that he had gotten some “new blood” and hoped to flesh out the chorus for song2. Sadly, he never got the time.
In the short month or two leading up to his death, I listened to these songs over and over again, always thinking Karl was going to beat cancer and we would pick up where we left off. I still needed to finish lyrics, but I couldn’t bring myself to put pen to paper. Unconsciously, I probably knew.
So when Karl passed, I tried to let the songs go. They weren’t the songs I had come to love without his bass playing. But still, I knew he had recorded his bass parts, and I secretly hoped Nick and I could somehow finish the songs.
I eventually asked Derrick if he would poke around on Karl’s laptop to see if his raw bass tracks were there. The mp3s I had were just too rough use, thanks to the “demo” nature of my parts and the programmed drums. Unfortunately, Derrick’s searches turned up nothing based on the song titles I knew.
Still hopeful, Derrick and I got together a few weeks ago and began to pour over Karl’s computer. There were easily a hundred or more different songs on his hard drive. None of the names were familiar to me, but I opened up the most likely candidates. song2, policey, demo1, demo1a, demo2, demO, idea1, never, and new. None of them were OUR songs. But then I got lucky - 02 Audio Track-1, 03 Audio Track-6 and 04 Audio Track-1 turned out to be the bass parts for Over Me! Perhaps not wanting me to camp out all night, Derrick let me take Karl’s laptop home to continue the search.
Within two or three hours of getting home, I discovered that 02 Audio Track-6 and Has2Be were the bass tracks for It Doesn’t Have To Be. And the project named complexities contained the individual bass tracks for song2.
So what does this all mean?
I now have in my possession all the bass tracks Karl recorded for three new King Never songs…and Nick and I plan to finish them. We will finish them as a duo, honoring Karl’s substantial contribution to the band.
We hope you’ll stay tuned as we bring these songs to light.