In a declaration of Truth and its winding road, members of the Prayer Chain, LSU, Honey, Fold Zandura, Duraluxe, Bloomsday, the Lassie Foundation, and Adam Again, have agreed to document below (the CUSH Manifesto) in which all members will seek the Truth and its Consequences. The result, A New Sound
The CUSH Manifesto
The Foundation of CUSH is:
God. Jesus. The Holy Spirit. King David and The Psalms. Love. Celebration. Longing. Giving. Purity. Innocence. Faith. Pain. Gospel. The earliest Rock and Roll. Willing to change and grow with others. Willing to have anybody play any role, whoever is most suited for it at the time. Willing to be anonymous. Willing to be produced. Sharing, being selfless, letting go. Being Honest. The song winning. Soul. Letting your ego get you there, and then sacrificing it when the time comes. Music being able to be performed in any way, by any combination of people, in any setting. Being Free, Creative, Spontaneous. One instrument per part, one player per part. Minimal overlapping of tones. A Groove. A Drone. A Basic Progression. An acoustic guitar. An electric guitar. A bass guitar. A six-string bass guitar. A piano. An organ. A horn section. A cello. A violin. A viola. A voice. A hand-drum. A tambourine. All things that make a sound when you shake them. Washing everything in the dreamiest of reverb-effects until you can’t tell what it is, but rather what it feels like. Doing the thing you always wanted to do but were afraid to. Jumping off the deep end of the peer. Staring Fear in the face and walking right into it with a faithful heart. Turning your life upside-down. CUSH is from the core of your relationship with God — Good, Bad, and Ugly — and reaching out in Moans and Groans to Him.
CUSH praises like Gospel, and wails like Rock and Roll.
CUSH feels the best, and hurts the most at the same time.
CUSH sounds familiar, like the best songs you’ve ever heard, but feels new.
CUSH is an Action.
A CUSH song does not have to be 3:30 long.
A CUSH song can be 68 minutes long.
A CUSH song is already a greatest hit.
From the slowest, most isolated place, just before God, bowing down, quiet, heavenly noise, swelling, droning, heaving, glowing, flickering, underwater, the true reality, connecting spiritually with God and seeing all of humanity through His eyes. The true nature of Love and everything. Placid but full of colour, vivid life, musical movements, sounds, dreams, asleep but still awake, alive yet dead, dead yet alive. Alone, but not lonely. Haunting, sad, painfully beautiful, moving, majestic, heart-wrenching, yet humble, meek, and poor in spirit. Drone, Middle Eastern, heavy, rock, epic, magnificent, cross poly-rhythmic, whatever-wherever music, where all heaven and earth are in His command.
CUSH is not about self-loathing.
CUSH is not about editing yourself before giving.
CUSH is not a solo project.
CUSH is not a band.
In CUSH, you win by letting yourself lose.
CUSH is a concept, an ideal, a greater goal, a principle.
CUSH is a beautiful spirit shared by all.
CUSH is like ‘the Force’,
CUSH was produced, written, and played by: Andrew Prickett, Michael Knott, Wayne Everett, Campuzano, Snowman, Frank Lenz, Gene Eugene, Blake Wescott, Tim Taber, Jyro Xhan.
CUSH – The new sound for the new decade
|2003||Cush||The Spiritual EP||Northern Records|
|2003||Cush||The Spiritual EP 2||Northern Records|
|2004||Cush||Live and Rare||Northern Records|
|2010||Cush||Black Heart, White Soul|
2001 Northern Records (NRCD0001)
“In the spring of 1995, an idea was hatched to create a musical entity that would be faceless, nameless, and just have a word that you could associate with it. The music itself would just be…this word, this idea, and no personalities or egos would shine brighter than it.
This impossible idea was attempted by a group of friends and comrades-in-arms, starting sometime in 1997. The release of this record in July of 2000 was the result of that attempt. While the purity of the original concept was difficult to uphold, the way in which it was conducted was as close as we could get.
Songs were born from long, free-form jams. Tiny sections of greatness, that were only possible from the interaction of people in a spontaneous situation, were captured on cassette and developed into arrangements. Official recording commenced in December of 1999, and lasted for a few, or more, months. While the original idea was to have multiple lead singers, so as not to tie the sound of CUSH to the voice of just one person, it went so well with one person, we decided to just go for it.
Contribution to the songs came from everyone who was around. All ideas were welcome, although, maybe not heard too clearly. However, as the original rules dictated, people gave openly and willingly to the cause of just making a great record. A cause we could all stand behind.
We lost Gene halfway through the recording. The night he died was the day he had composed and recorded the string parts for “Starry Starry Seas.” Colbert brought us home. There weren't many fights, but maybe there should have been more. The record is long-winded, but it is hard to decide which songs should have been cut. If you read the lyrics, you can tell very well what we as a group of people were going through at that point in our lives.
The original artwork intended to show a bright, light attitude. We were trying to have fun. We played shows in the summer and fall, and into the next spring. They became painfully less and less fun, though. Almost every single one of them is caught on camera, so, you can judge for yourself.
Early on, this record accidentally received the name New Sound, from a retailer or reviewer. That was never it's given name, it was simply titled CUSH. We ourselves nicknamed it Skier, because of the original artwork. It is now referred to here as LP1.”
Apparently Knott originally wrote the lyrics and melody for “The Clouds are All the Same” as “Clowns are Scary Things.”
Released July 11, 2000
2001 Northern Records
“Although reception for LP1 was delightful, this record did not garner such a favorable response. So let’s discuss: what the hell is this thing, and why is it so different from the first album?!?!
We had years to come up with material for the first album. All of our time together between that record and this one was spent in rehearsals and shows. A familiar story, for anyone who follows the life of band-people. About the time we were to come up with new stuff, we had a difficult separation from working with Knott. In light of this, it seemed appropriate for us to make an entire record that is a biographical tribute to him.
It starts with the early 1970’s, where a movement happened here in Southern California that ended up affecting all of us. Music and message were combined in a new way. If you listen and read through this album, you will see it progress from hippie to punk rock, new wave to alternative, and end with CUSH.
It is difficult to say how important Knott was to us. We grew up listening to Knott’s bands, going to see them play, and listening to the bands he was listening to, as well. He paved the way musically and artistically for so many, ourselves included. He interpreted the best of what was going on, and brought it to our slightly-younger ears at a time when options were few.
Although some of the lyrics refer to things that you would only know if you lived in this area at that time, you can still follow along if you are studious. There are references to timely popular culture, Knott’s own career music (Lifesavers, etc.), artists that we all shared a deep love for (like Echo and The Bunnymen), and places nearby where many late night gatherings took place (the Green Room studio, the Helm bar, etc.).
We were very fortunate to be able to be in a recording and performing group with Knott. It is rare that you get to play with a hero. Which made it even more uncomfortable when it became uncomfortable. Regardless, this record was intended to be a tribute to the fact that he is a living legend amongst us.
As for the recording itself, the last-minute shift to this concept album idea required all-new material. It was composed and recorded quickly, and it’s recklessness was intentional. Knott himself recorded this way, and his own records had this indelible spirit (with better songs). The first two songs have guitar strings being broken as part of the final moments of music, due to the furious nature of the performances. The styles are supposed to reflect their historical time frame, as well, which is why they sound so very different from LP1. The variety of vocalists was truer to the original idea of CUSH and, you must keep in mind that, for the core members of the CUSH coalition, doing something unexpected gives us a distinct thrill that has its heritage in our previous bands.
There are too many songs on this EP, for sure, but sorting through them with the lyrics and the above storyline in mind might be a bit more rewarding than it has been before.”
Released July 4, 2001
2003 Northern Records (NRCD0007)
“In the climate of the early 2000’s, there was a new kind of music that was swelling in popularity in church-oriented circles. Family-friendly alternative pop-rock, with youth-group sing-a-long lyrics, called “worship”.
The SP records were conceived during this time, both as inspiration for new CUSH material, and probably as a response to what we were hearing. Old Spirituals were surveyed, and chosen for what was always supposed to be a trilogy of records. This one, being the first, is intentionally closest in style to the oldest recordings of these songs. The performers were quite fearless, and it culminates with a rendition of “I Would Die 4 U” that features a one-mic one-take guitar/vocal/harmonica and a typewriter solo. Hard to argue with that.”
Released January 7, 2003
2003 Northern Records (NRCD0014)
“This second SP record is stylistically placed somewhere in the middle of the 20th century, even though some modern indulgences are also heard (they didn’t have a Korg MS-2000 in 1962).
The basic tracks were recorded live to tape in one room, with minimal microphones, just like they did in those days. The modern-day spiritual “God Help Me” is as simply put as it gets, and comes from an artist who is deeply important to us.”
Chris Lizotte - Vocals
Holly Nelson - Vocals
Released June 10, 2003
2004 Northern Records (NRCD0018)
“We were careful to capture as much of our live performances as possible during this time period. This is a compilation of some of the best we caught. Of particular note is the version of “Arching Heart” from Tom Fest California in 2000, which features Knott explaining his lyrics at the top. “This song is about Wisdom” is pretty much all we ever got as an explanation, too.
“Jesus is on ohe Mainline” was in consideration for the first two SP records, but didn’t fit. So, the production was changed up, and a familiar voice was invited to sing.”
Released July 1, 2004
“The first live collection from the ever-changing and unpredictable force known as CUSH. There are 14 tracks of live and rare performances and 1 studio recording of a new song with a surprise vocalist. The CUSH experience is not complete without hearing the raw live jams from the evolving list of musical all-stars that have poured their hearts out on the stage as CUSH. Fans of The Violet Burning, Michael Knott, and The Prayer Chain will hear the good, bad, and the ugly from shows all around the world. The live audio recording quality on this CD varies, but the spirit of CUSH does not waiver.”
Michael Pritzl - Vocals
Melissa Barnett - Vocals
Andrew D. Prickett - Guitar
Snowman - Guitar
Eric Campuzano - Bass Guitar
Wayne Everett - Drums
Michael Knott - Vocals
Released May 26, 2010
Re-released in 2020 as Always Disappear.
2013 Northern Records (NRLP001)
Nick Logie (aka Spooky Tavi) - Vocals
Andy Prickett - Most of the guitars
Holly Nelson - Some of the vocals
“Many people graciously contributed many moments to this recording.”
Released May 7, 2013
“The project is the whole Northern Records tribe basically.”
Released July 7, 2015
Annie - Vocal
Nick - BGV
Jesse - Drums
Herb - production
Released July 1, 2020