Recorded in an out-of-use orphanage in the mountains of Guatemala, Mountain Sounds is an entirely self-produced, indie-in-the-truest-sense-of-the-word recording project comprised of two friends coming together from separate parts of the world to realize a shared vision of rock and roll music.
The album is a testament not only to the importance and scarcity of true creative chemistry, but also to the need to make art regardless of the obstacles in the way. All of us were born to create; it's as natural as breath, as necessary as food, and comforting as sleep. We grew up drawing pictures, singing songs, staging plays - but we kept growing, and we found ourselves working in banks, managing retail shops, selling insurance. The only singing we do now is in cars piddling along in rush hour traffic.
'Mountain Sounds' is a step away from what we've become and back towards who we were. Six years removed from their last collaborative recording project, Portland, Oregon's Tim Hoyt and Guatemala's own Franc Castillejos came together to make something vital and new in the only place they could: a vacant orphanage in the mountains of Central America.
Former band mates separated for years by arbitrary ideas like nationalities, immigration laws, and time zones (not to mention several thousand very real miles,) Hoyt and Castillejos found themselves discouraged and sputtering after years apart; drifting ever farther from the life they loved, ever closer to a life neither of them wanted. On the verge of acquiescence, they chose instead something altogether different: a last-ditch attempt to be who they used to be.
After a summer spent recording and trading demos separately, Tim quit his insurance job and left his home in Portland, Oregon, relocating to Franc's family's property on a secluded patch of land in the Cordillera Alux mountain range west of Guatemala City. The two set up shop in an old, out-of-use orphanage on the grounds, transforming the space into a functioning studio using what limited resources they could find.
For three months they lived and breathed nothing but their music, taking breaks only for meals, even sleeping in the makeshift studio. The long, cold rainy season ensured that they spent almost every waking moment in that space, working without interruption. Their seclusion provided extraordinary focus; their extreme limitations, an opportunity to try everything differently.
After three months, they emerged with twelve songs that showcased their distinct voice; songwriting defined by complex catchiness, minor chord melancholy, and sparse, deliberate arrangements. Franc's lyrics embody his unique perspective as a man caught in the middle, a Guatemalan who spent a decade in America, who thinks in Spanish but writes in English, who loves his home and his country but longs for his friends in a land he's not permitted to visit.
Nothing about 'Mountain Sounds' was easy or without risk. Nothing was normal: not where it was made, or how. Not how its creators reunited after years apart, putting their entire lives on hold to pursue something they hadn't done together in ages. But concepts like "easy," "safe," and "normal" don't matter very much when you're doing what you were born to do. And with 'Mountain Sounds,' Franc and Tim are finally back where they always should have been.
released March 26, 2013
Engineered and produced by Tim Hoyt and Franc Castillejos
at The Orphanage in San Lucas Sacatepéquez, Guatemala
Additional production and engineering by Matt Wilbur
at The Vanguard Room in Lakeland, FL
Mixed by Matt Wilbur at The Vanguard Room
Mastered by Troy Glessner
at Spectre Studios in Seattle, WA
All music written by Tim Hoyt and Franc Castillejos,
except "Faces Of Friends"
by Franc Castillejos and Tim Hoyt with A. Lee, J. Segars, T. Moore
All lyrics by Franc Castillejos
except "Productivity" by Tim Hoyt
Recorded in an out-of-use orphanage in the mountains of Guatemala, Mountain Sounds is an entirely self-produced, indie-in-
the-truest-sense-of-the-word recording project comprised of two friends coming together from separate parts of the world to realize a shared vision of rock and roll music....more