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Another World

This was one of the first songs written after Tim, Jeff and I moved into the house we rented. Around that time, Tim’s brother Mikey (who used to drum for us), and a couple of his friends would sometimes jump on our gear and have jam sessions.  They admittedly were pretty bad but would have fun none-the-less.  They would openly proclaim that they were “retarded” on the instruments and as such, they called themselves “The Al Segal Eagles”.  The name is an obvious joke referenced to the Al Segal Center, a local organization that is in business to assist people with disabilities.  So, I decided to write this song as a tribute to “The Al Segal Eagles” and called the song the by same name.  The long lost original lyrics were a fun and funny tribute to this “band”.  However, when Al Bitner became the singer of Scare Tactics, he hated the name, the lyrics, the melody, etc. and he re-wrote the song with his own lyrics.  To this day, I have no idea what his lyrics were.  But when he left the band, I kept his melody and wrote the current lyrics.  I used to work a night shift from 11pm to 7am.  I came home one day to a rainstorm and was inspired to pen the words.  The final lyrics were a bit of a blend of that rainstorm and a slam of some of the people who would hang out at our house and mooch off of us.



Everyone experiences a breakup at some point in his or her life.  This is the tune I wrote based on those types of experiences.  I vaguely recall coming up with the clean intro riff while Tim and I were just chilling out in front of the TV.  He mentioned to me that the riff was pretty cool and I refined it into this version after he said that.  The main verse riff was the result of simply playing around with chord inversions and trying to write riffs inspired by “We Rock” from Dio. Those who were around in the day will recall that this song was known by a completely different title.  The original title was an acronym and that acronym contained a persons name.  I would rather not disclose that information. Suffice to say I feel the current title has a broader appeal.  


And Why

This song was written at a time when Jeff, Tim and I rented the back room of a small trading post business that was owned by the father of a guy Tim and I went to school with.  The space was awesome.  Unfortunately, some neighbors constantly complained about the noise.  We tried to dampen the sound as best as possible but to no avail.  These assholes kept complaining.  The good part about that was; it led us to finding the rental house. I don’t remember why I wrote these particular lyrics but they are obviously about questioning life in general.  Why we are here, etc. 


Cursed to live

This song is generally regarded as the first real Scare Tactics original.  I came to Jeff one day with the verse and chorus riffs.  The two of us completed the entire song structure one afternoon at Tim’s parents house while waiting for Tim to come home from work. When Tim got home, we couldn’t wait to reveal the tune to him.  He joined in, learned the song and our first original was in the can.  I wrote the final lyrics to the song some time later.  The concept was written loosely around the phrase “a rolling stone gathers no moss”.  The whole ending of the song was 100% influenced by the ending of the song “24hr Ago” by Savatage.


Tears of Fate

Tim conceived the riff to this song when he would instantly rip into some bass parts jokingly whenever we would end the song Curse To Live.  He hit upon this riff and inspired the full Tears Of Fate song. The chorus riff was lifted from another unfinished jam song I had.  Tears Of Fate used to have a much longer middle section that went into fast thrash riffs (check out the "outtakes" music section).  I dropped all of that shit to make the song more concise and to the point.  The lyrics of this song came from a book of poems and writings the Jeff had.  He was initially very apposed to using the lyrics but Tim and I convinced him that they would work well in the song.  To my recollection, Jeff wrote this based on the Arthur Shawcross killings. Al used to sing/yell the song with a much more punk and hardcore style.  When Mark came along, it morphed closer to this version heard today.  With Mark, the song ended up taking on a pop, glam metal feel to it but we embraced that as a sort-of inside joke.


The Caretaker

This is a tune that we never played live and never completed.  It was 95% done but for whatever reason, we didn’t finalize it. It used to have a long clean guitar middle section that I removed to help focus the song as well as shorten it. I wrote this story about a cemetery groundskeeper with necrophilia after being inspired from watching shows like “Tales from the Crypt” and “Tales from the Darkside.” Not any particular episode per se rather the writing style from those shows. Until now, nobody has ever sung this song.



Ever have a day where nothing seems to be going right?  That’s how this song came to be.  I had one of those days and then wrote this song.  At the same time, the song is a slam on people who seem to complain about everything and yet their issues are very trivial.  IE: First-world problems.  I find this song to be even more relevant these days. I cannot for the life of me remember where the music itself came from.  I think it was just a riff I had laying around that Jeff and I arranged into the final song.  I do recall specifically wanting the song to be short and sweet.  The working title used to be “Super-Polka” for obvious reasons. 



The opening riff of the song is taken directly from a bass line that Tim had lying around for a long time.  He played it quite a bit during rehearsals and always wanted to build a song around the riff.  Well, I finally finished a song albeit quite late. The clean middle was something I had been toying with since about ‘94.  The lyrics are relatively new and are a commentary on people who blindly follow the opinions expressed by news pundits and other media figures.


Madman (Both versions)

This song is the oldest, first song in the ST catalog.  The song began as a jam riff back in ’87 when I was on drums, Chris and Anthony on guitars.  The main verse riff was initially introduced by Anthony and refined by Chris and I.  The song was originally called “Invincible Stalker” with those words repeated in a chant like fashion “Stalker – Invincible Stalker – Stalker – Invincible Stalker” throughout the chorus.  The song was refined a lot more when I switched to guitar and began playing with Tim, and his brother Mikey.  The song was finalized around ’91 when Scare Tactics was a full band with myself, Tim, Jeff and Al.  I wrote the final lyrics based loosely on the Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein.  The jazz version of the tune came about on a drunken whim when in 1994 Jeff returned from NYC and had a jam with myself, Tim and Mark.  the original had a guitar solo at the beginning but after listening to the song for a bit, I thought a sax would sound really cool.  Also, when I finished the song it screamed for a female vocal instead of a male one.  I contacted a few female singers that I know and Jane Evil stepped up for the task.  I think she did a killer job!



The riffs for this tune date back to circa ’93 Scare Tactics days.  I can recall playing them for Mark one day and having him provide positive feedback. He commented that he could hear some melody ideas already. The style and arrangement of the song would have fit right in with other songs from the era.  Alas, nothing ever became of the song until now.  People who constantly feel the need to surround themselves with all manner of self-inflation inspire the lyrics of this song.


Stuck Up

The music and lyrics for this song have been around since about ’91. I can recall laughing at a band rehearsal recording where I accidently banged my guitar on the microphone while we played this song.  The loud thud contributed an interesting sound effect right at a key spot in the beginning of the song. I thought about replicating that bang in this version but eventually figured people would just go “WTF?” This was another one of those tunes that for one reason or another just didn’t get the attention it deserved and it became lost in the shuffle.  The lyrics of the song are a throwback to high school teen movies and admittedly somewhat juvenile. It is all about those rich bitches that always need to get their way, haha.


Last Days Of Eternity

I used to work in a shipping department of a local company and the windows had a northern exposure over Lake Ontario.  One day a very ominous looking thunderstorm came through and inspired me to write the lyrics of this song.  I initially had written the song with a bunch of satanic-like imagery built into the words. But after some review and editing, I felt that kind of thing was just not my style and also delved into the realm of being overly goofy/campy.  The lyrics were cut back to what they are now.  I also spun the theme into more of the idea that the devil was sending out a warning saying basically “be good or you will end up here in hell with me.”  The music itself came about rather quickly.  After I wrote these lyrics, I matched them up to a verse riff I had been toying around with.  The riff came about after I had experimented with drop-d tuning for the first time.  The clean intro was also written around the same time and it too came about from experimenting with drop-d tuning.  This song quickly became a favorite song of many Scare Tactics fans and was often requested.  This song would close our set nearly every single time.  It also closed the live set of 7D-ZERO when we played out under that name.  Another somewhat interesting fact is that I wrote the song on a Fender Stratocaster, a guitar that I’m not really fond of. I just do not bond well with them.  I’ve owned a couple over the years only to sell all of them. The only gig I ever played where I used a Strat live was that Monsters Of The Lake party in ‘91.  Even then, I only used my Strat for this one song.


The Rejected

The main verse riff for this tune also originated very loosely on riffs from when Chris, Anthony and I would jam.  When I switched to guitar, I concocted the main verse riff from memory of riffs from those past jams.  The rest of the song structure was completed with the lineup of myself, Tim, Mikey and Dave on drums. Lyrics for the song came about when Tim mentioned that he happened to see a 1984 movie called “Suburbia” about some rejected kids who become punk rockers or something like that.  I wrote the song based on just his description of the movie. It wasn’t until I happened to find the full movie on Youtube just a few years ago that I got to see it. I should try to explain the hillbilly into at this point. I have no idea where the riff originated but I do remember why we kept it there.  During our time at the rented house, we had a huge number of parties.  At one of these parties, three actual hillbilly-looking dudes showed up.  They literally had overalls and flannel shirts.  The only thing missing were straw hats, bare feet, and pitchforks.  During the course of the party, these guys would let out some “Yeeehawww” screams every now and again.  So, the intro became a fixture on the song and a not-so-subtle tribute to those guys at the party!  It was a lot of fun to record this version.  Besides guitar, I added: spoons, banjo, claps, those mouth twang harp things, and I even used a real jug for the bass.  All the yeehaw's where shamelessly lifted from various youtube clips!



Psychotopia - From the original '94 demo tape

Vocals:  Mark Liebelt

Drums:  Shawn Johnson

Bass:  Tim Comery

Guitars:  Mike Longo

The riff came about one day while I was just fooling around on the guitar and a friend mentioned that he liked a piece of a riff I was just toying with.  From that, I developed what became the entire verse and chorus riffs of the song.  Jeff and I ended up arranging the remainder of the song and Tim came up with the bass intro parts.  The clean intro of the song was collaboration between Tim and I and was finalized over a couple days. The bulk of the lyrics where written by Mark. I contributed some phrases here and there.  The lyrics started somewhat as a joke between Mark and I when we began imagining this entire concept album and/or movie about a weird commune of people who were these throwback, hippy types.  Around ’94 when we were recording this song as part of the 4-tune demo at Jim Morris’s studio, I played around with additional sound effects to mix with the clean into.  I produced one of these effects by using a lot of delay and taking a pencil to dabble the strings.  It created this interesting bubbling type of sound.  Our drummer Shawn commented that it sounded like someone going fishing while on acid.  So the intro of this song was subsequently dubbed “Acid Fishing”.  

Outtakes - Montage

This montage of various outtakes originally appeared as a hidden track at the very end of the 7D-ZERO full length CD.  All of the bits a pieces where lifted from a variety of jam tapes, live tapes, rehearsal recordings, and so forth.

Some of the more notable performances are:

"Keep the end going" - Lou Nitti

"Eeelllooooo"  -  My son Alex when he was about 2 years old

"I emptied out the car man" - Sue Liebelt, Mark's wife

"Check, check, check, check"  - Mark Liebelt

"Ooooohhh Yyyeeaahhh" -  Shawn Johnson

"Oh shut up!" - Tim Comery

"At the end, there is a slight ping" -  Mike Longo

"Psycho!" - Mike Comery

"Bud Ice" - Jeff Dennard

Ahhhh - Strange Psychotopia sound

Bass: Tim Comery

Guitar: Mike Longo

I can't believe I still have this recording after all of this time.  Way back when we were first learning the intro to the song Psychotopia, we decided to record it onto a small boom box or other such device.  When we did that, we noticed this crazy "ahhh" sound anomaly.  I have no idea how this weird sound got there.  I suspect that the low D string resonated or something causing this phenomenon.  To this day, Tim and I can look at each other and just go "ahhh" and have a bit of a laugh. 

And Why - Party '94

Vocals:  Mark Liebelt

Drums:  Jeff Dennard

Bass:  Tim Comery

Guitars:  Mike Longo

This is a sampling of the song And Why recorded in 1994 when Jeff Dennard returned from NYC for a few days.  

Madman - Original Jazz version

Vocals:  Mark Liebelt

Drums:  Jeff Dennard

Bass:  Tim Comery

Guitars:  Mike Longo

This is a snippet of the original Jazz version of this tune.  I really loved how the intro solo turned out in this take.  I decided that a saxophone would give the song a far more interesting and "jazz" vibe though for the modern recording.   

Tears Of Fate - Middle Section

Vocals:  Mark Liebelt

Drums:  Jeff Dennard

Bass:  Tim Comery

Guitars:  Mike Longo

Here's how the original middle of this song went.  While very cool riffs, I just felt that it made the song too long.  The fast part didn't serve the song either and basically went nowhere.  

The Rejected - Party '94

Vocals:  Mark Liebelt

Drums:  Jeff Dennard

Bass:  Tim Comery

Guitars:  Mike Longo

Another clip from the 1994 jam. All the "yeehaw" exclamations make me laugh.  We used to play that song really fast!

ShopJam - Madman - 2014

Guitars:  Chris Vandewinkel

Drums:  Mike Longo

In 2014, Chris and I re-visited the old shop basement.  Check out the photo's page to see the shop.  It's probably the last time we will ever be in that place.  Chris's dad is looking to retire and sell the place. We recorded several off-the-cuff jams and songs but we also jammed for a bit on the original Madman riff.  This is a clip of that jam


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