One Blue Link records and produces D.I.Y.

Williams students Jeremy Da ’03, Stu Warshawer ’03, Phil Enock ’05 and Andrew Kao ’04 can’t wait for March 8. They are not counting down the days until Spring Break, or until someone’s twenty-first birthday. On March 8, their band, One Blue Link, known and loved at Williams, will release its first album, D.I.Y. The album’s title, which stands for Do It Yourself, holds a lot of meaning for the band members. “The only people with input into this album were the four of us, which makes it very personal,” said bassist Kao. Added drummer Da, “We’re doing this for ourselves and our fans.”

The close-knit band has been working on this album for quite a long time. The 10 songs on the record were all written either last spring or this past fall. Over Winter Study, the band spent a great deal of time in the studio recording the songs, then mixed and produced each song themselves.

One Blue Link is very proud of the songs on D.I.Y. and considers them to be some of its best work yet. “We have a high standard,” Da said. “We had a bunch of songs that we started writing, pretty much finished writing, and then decided not to keep because they weren’t quite good enough.”

Overall, the tracks kept by the band sound polished and professional. The album opens with “Suddenly,” an upbeat song that immediately sticks comfortably in your head, marked by infectious guitar hooks and highly original drumming.

Most of the other songs on the album share this energetic, catchy drive, fueled by fast tempos and lively guitar parts, including “Postcard,” “The Lala Song,” and “SoCal Girl.” “Go Quietly” and “Wake Me” are mellower, but propelled by the same combination of engaging guitar and drum parts.

“June,” perhaps the most experimental song on the album, begins with a violin playing “Pachelbel’s Canon,” then turns into an up-tempo and raucous yet strikingly accurate variation on this theme. “Breaking Up,” with lyrics that declare “Mama said that masturbation is bad for your health/ I’m breaking up with myself,” is genuinely hilarious, continuing with “tried to switch it up, tried to use my left/ but it felt like someone else so I got jealous and left.” “Life Sentence” is the last song on the album, and probably one of the best, seamlessly combining two very different musical themes.

One Blue Link’s original songs are all collaboratively written, with members of the band contributing to the effort in different ways. Guitarist Enock came up with the guitar part for “Postcard” and the other members of the band built the rest of the song around it. “Life Sentence” began with a drum riff Da kept playing during practice one day until Kao suggested that it be worked into something new.

Vocalist Warshawer writes the majority of the lyrics. “The band trusts me a lot,” he said. “For a lot of the songs they’ll just throw down the music and trust me to come up with lyrics. It doesn’t matter if they’re deeply personal – they’re cool with anything.” “Stu definitely has the best vocabulary,” Da said. “His lyrics make it sound like we go to a good, small liberal arts college.”

Other members of the band also write lyrics; Enock wrote the lyrics to “Get Over You,” Kao came up with those for “June” and “SoCal Girl” and Da supplied words for “The LaLa Song.”

Enock described the band’s songwriting process as “very democratic. We’ll play something and if any of us have any kind of problem with it, we all have veto power. We’re not able to be as efficient as other bands, but we all like what comes out of it.”

Over Winter Study, One Blue Link did a great deal of research on how to engineer a CD, though they also have previous experience from recording a three-song demo this past spring. In the end, they were able to engineer the entire CD themselves, layering sound tracks and mixing. They loved the process of layering the tracks, first recording the drum parts, then guitar parts, then bass and then putting them all together. “You actually hear the song slowly evolving,” Andrew said.

The band is releasing D.I.Y. on their own label. Da, however, worked at Atlantic Records last summer and is sending them a copy of the CD. “We have avenues,” he said. “Who knows?” They will be selling the CD in Baxter soon and are planning an on-campus release party. As for other goals, each member of the band would like to see certain objectives accomplished. As Da remarked, “We just want to have fun the next few months [of school] and play our hearts out.” Kao added, “We’re always looking for groupies” and Warshawer chimed in, “We’d love to see someone crowd-surf.”

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