and she'll never know
that every corner of his mind tries not to think too much
holds a picture of her everything makes him think of her
so he won't forget when reason escapes and love takes its place...
The Velvet Teen – Mother of Love The Velvet Teen - Super Me
This Bay Area band started out as the solo project of guitarist/vocalist/pianist Judah Nagler in late 1999 in Petaluma, California. In 2000 he recorded the first 4-song EP under the name "The Velvet Teen," entitled Comasynthesis, with the help of Logan Whitehurst on drums. These two aspiring artists had worked together on an earlier project called The Secret Band in 1999, and self-released a CD under that name called Special Little Devil. The project was started to explore artistic paths other than that of their current band, Little Tin Frog. True to its name, the rest of their band did not know of their collaboration. Finding The Secret Band to be more satisfying artistically than their current band, they turned all of their attention to it and adopted Judah’s name, The Velvet Teen. Josh Staples, known for his work in several other semi-successful bands, became the bassist for the group.
They began to play shows more often, and with much positive energy from their fan base released their first three-song demo in 2001, entitled The Great Beast February. Later, an EP that included Nagler’s earlier recording Comasynthesis was released under the name The Great Beast February/Comasynthesis. The EP includes the two most popular songs by The Velvet Teen: Counting Backwards and Naked Girl. It was later adopted by their current label, Slowdance Records, and released under the name Plus, Minus, Equals, a reference to the early three pins that represented The Velvet Teen to the north-bay indie music crowd, and the three symbols that appeared on the cover of the first release of the EP.
In late 2001, they released a 7-inch vinyl picture disc that had four songs on it. Titled Immortality, this record features the members of the band on the front and back with angel wings. Rarely are songs on this 7” played live, and it can be found converted to digital for download only sparingly.
The three pin salute to The Velvet Teen became a common sight in Sonoma County, and during 2001 and early 2002 they began work on their first full length. Nagler, Whitehurst, and Staples teamed up with producer and artist Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) to create what would be a beautiful evolution of the band’s sound. In mid-2002 they released Out of the Fierce Parade to a full house at The Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. From that point they went on tour, and teamed up with bands such as Cursive, Minus the Bear, These Arms are Snakes, and Denali. They did a nation-wide tour and went to Japan, where they formed a strong and devoted following overseas.
In 2003, they began work on their second EP, Elysium. This was also produced by Chris Walla, and was highly anticipated by their fans. They continued touring while recording, and lucky fans who attended shows in late 2003 and early 2004 were treated to several new songs each set. In July of 2004, they began a new tour, again having their CD-release show at the Phoenix Theater. This 8-song EP is considered by many to be the culmination of the band’s artistic genius.
Unfortunately, during early 2003, the band’s drummer, Logan Whitehurst, began falling ill to a debilitating illness which was later diagnosed as a non-malignant brain tumor. In spring of 2004, he dropped out of The Velvet Teen citing stress and a desire to pursue his solo project, Logan Whitehurst and the Junior Science Club. He was replaced by Casey Deitz, who was also known for his work in several other Bay Area bands.
Sadly, on December 3rd, 2006, Logan Whitehurst passed away after his long, drawn out fight with brain cancer.
The Velvet Teen to this day is a truly beautiful band to see live, with heartfelt and passionately performed songs. If you have the chance, I would recommend seeing them live any time they are playing within a reasonable distance of you.
Judah Nagler: vocals, guitar, keyboard
Joshua Staples: bass, backup vocals
Casey Deitz: drums, backup vocals
The Great Beast February/Comasynthesis (AKA Plus, Minus, Equals) (2001): EP, 9 songs
Immortality (2001): 7”, 4-song, vinyl picture disc
Out of the Fierce Parade (2002): Full length, 10 songs
Elysium (2004): EP, 9 songs
Death Cab for Cutie
Ben Folds (& Ben Folds Five)
The New Trust
Slowdance Records: http://www.slowdance.com
The Velvet Teen: http://www.thevelvetteen.com
If you'd like a small sampling of their music, send me a couple slash msgs and I'll send you a couple dot mp3s.