Please bear with me here, this one is longwinded.
Long disbanded mainly due to scheduling conflicts (every member was in a different band, some very active ones), THE NOW existed for a few years in Freehold, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. Robotic Empire was based out of Jersey at the time and I lived with their guitarist Josh, so I got to be around for the majority of the band's activity.
THE NOW originally started during a slow period for NEIL PERRY, with whom THE NOW shared 3 of the 4 members. I think some of the guys were looking to stretch their songwriting into a more aggressive ADD-friendly territory, and thus THE NOW was formed. A very boiled-down description could be: "techy metalcore with decent breakdowns and excellent sludge riffs, all in super-condensed songs with almost no repeating parts".
They originally had two vocalists, and played their initial shows this way. It all sounded awesome and the two complimented each other well, but when it came time to hit the studio, one of the vocalists blew out his voice almost immediately. It resulted in a very awkward day in the studio for everyone, as by the end of it all only one vocalist's tracks made the cut. That's mainly due to the whole EP being recorded and mixed in just one day. This was just how things were done with the shoestring budget we had back then. I think the EP still turned out sounding pretty damn good for being tracked and mixed in just a single day, but it's definitely a bummer that Derek's vocals got cut and were never able to be re-tracked.
Things were sort of shaky within the band after the weirdness of the studio experience; I think Derek felt pretty rejected and just sort of kept himself out of the picture. Not too long after recording the band was set to go on a brief tour with NEIL PERRY, but Kevin didn't go for reasons I never fully understood. The guitarists Chris & Josh handled vocal duties on this sole tour, and after returning home went into hibernation while NEIL PERRY's activity picked up again.
Regardless of the lineup changes, people still seemed really pumped about this band and we ended up doing a few different pressings of the CD. Above are images of the covers for the original pressing (left) and re-presses (right). One of the later pressings had a laser-etching underneath the bottom of the disc itself, which was stupid expensive and probably nobody even noticed it. If anyone has a scan or photo of this etching, please send it over as it's unfortunately not been saved in our archives. update: thanks to Joe Birone for the scan of the CD etching! (see below)
A vinyl edition was eventually pressed as a one-sided clear LP with no center labels, and Chris Smith from the band silk-screened 4 colors of ink on the side without music. This created a very cool pseudo-picture disc, but due to less than sterile work conditions, more than a few copies had some ink on the playable side of the record. I believe three different Gary's were used in the artwork, and roughly 110 of each Gary were used across 330 LPs total. To date, this is the smallest single pressing we have done of any vinyl release.
At some point things slowed down again for NEIL PERRY and a lengthy search for THE NOW's replacement vocalist eventually lead them to an old friend of mine from Virginia named Shawn Lindsey. Shawn had previously handled vocals in the freakishly-ahead-of-their-time Virginia Beach metalcore outfit CANEPHORA. Most of THE NOW dudes were total CANEPHORA fanboys so when he came up to hang out, it was a relief that everyone hit it off well. I think another relief was for the bassist Dave finally having another drug-free ally in the band, as everyone else was blazing constantly and it was pretty much impossible not to absorb a contact high at their practices.
They tried to keep things going for a while after Shawn joined the band, writing a couple of new songs and playing a handful of shows, but in the end I think the heavy activity of A LIFE ONCE LOST and HOT CROSS became too overwhelming to continue THE NOW, and they eventually just faded away without ever properly recording the new songs.
So I'm posting here everything I have from THE NOW. This is the six-song EP, plus two rough, incomplete practice demos of the new songs. These are probably just guitar and drums, and don't even get all the way through the songs... which eventually turned out to be pretty awesome. This is all I've got though so here it is:
* download THE NOW - Self-Titled EP +practice demos (via MediaFire)
* download THE NOW - Self-Titled EP +practice demos (via RapidShare)
THE NOW PERSONAL:
* Kevin Hardy - Original Vocalist (also drummer of JOSHUA FIT FOR BATTLE and WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR)
* Derek Luchenbach - Original Vocalist (original NEIL PERRY drummer)
* Shawn Lindsey - Later Vocalist (CANEPHORA)
* Josh Jakubowski - Guitar (NEIL PERRY, HOT CROSS, SUPERSTITIONS OF THE SKY, JOSHUA FIT FOR BATTLE)
* Chris Smith - Guitar (NEIL PERRY, WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR, TRACK OF MONARCHS, GET FUCKED)
* Dave Turtzo - Bass (GET FUCKED, TORNADO OF KNIVES)
* Justin Graves - Drums (NEIL PERRY, A LIFE ONCE LOST)
Closely related was NEIL PERRY, who were maybe a bit more traditionally "screamo" vs. THE NOW, but still had plenty of heavy/hardcore/metal elements to help them remain atypical. One of the more left-field things they did was "jam" a lot. These songs were definitively mellow, and this was almost surely due to the impressive amounts of weed consumed before practicing, performing, recording... just about everything. A couple of the better "jams" were recorded and released on splits, but for unclear reasons didn't make their way to the Lineage Situation discography 2xCD that Level Plane released. These, plus one more jam I captured live on an old minidisc recorder can be found below:
* download NEIL PERRY - Jam Songs (via MediaFire)
* download NEIL PERRY - Jam Songs (via RapidShare)
And last but not least, the CANEPHORA "discography". Several different times we attempted to release this material (and re-mixed material) as a proper discography... but the delusions of bassist/engineer Jarred Pritchard pretty much repeatedly sank that ship. I know an entirely re-mixed, cleaned up and really good sounding version of this material does exist, but I'm not holding my breath on it ever actually seeing the light of day. Instead, here's the original, probably un-mastered, rawer version of CANEPHORA's released material. As far as I can remember, two or three songs here are from the At A Loss For Words 7" released by Moo Cow, one is from The Caligula Effect compilation released by Catechism and the other(s) is/are otherwise unreleased:
* download CANEPHORA - Discography (via MediaFire)
* download CANEPHORA - Discography (via RapidShare)
I know CANEPHORA also had a demo tape that was from a different recording session, but I don't have it. If anyone has this and wants to upload it, please let me know and I'll post it here. Dudes from CANEPHORA ended up going on to join THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, JESUIT, CONVERGE and of course, THE NOW.
"MEMBERS OF" ITEMS IN THE ROBOTIC EMPIRE - ONLINE STORE:
* A LIFE ONC LOST items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* CONVERGE items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* HOT CROSS items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* NEIL PERRY items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store