On March 17, 2009, fans and newcomers alike heard the results of the band's honest exploration with the release of Johari Window (Ropeadope Records), a 12-track LP that clearly demonstrates the breadth of the band's vision, musical drive and talent. Produced by Carlon and Ross Petersen (engineer for Bruce Springsteen, Muse, John Mayer) and Executive Produced by Pete Francis (bass player of Universal recording artist Dispatch), Johari Window was recorded in the band's 20,000 square foot warehouse rehearsal space in Fairfield, New Jersey. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Mike McWilliams notes that the band's approach in recording the album reflects a maturity the group worked hard to develop: 'We're proud that we recorded the album ourselves in our own rehearsal space - we didn't go into a sterile studio, we did it in a place that we made our home. On earlier records, it seems like we just made individual tracks and hoped that they would come out okay.
But on this record, we set out to create a specific atmosphere - we learned how to do that in the warehouse better than ever before - and as a result, the music we wanted to create just seemed much more possible than ever before.' While the material for Johari Window is drawn directly from the experiences of all four band members, the album is just as much about Carlon learning how to communicate with one another and reflecting on what they went through while working to record the album. Bassist Jared Pollack recalls, 'Something we asked ourselves from the very beginning wasn't 'How can we learn to make new music with one another' but, more importantly, 'How can we communicate with one another during the creative process, learn to try different things and make personal compromises for the collective good.' Drummer Milo Venter adds, 'During recording, we lost our minds. But, our minds came back. We got our vision across and we achieved what we set out accomplish: to just make real music in a real environment.
We're proud of what the last year has taught us.' When asked what Carlon sounds like, the band can become pretty uncomfortable. Lead singer and guitarist Ryan McGlynn explains: 'I don't know that there has been much of anything that we have listened to that hasn't influenced the songs that we have written in some way. If we hear country in what we're writing, we'll add a bit of country. If we hear something new or old, we won't hesitate to quote it in our music.
For us, it's never been about trying to sound like anyone or anything in particular, just creating something that sounds good to us. Johari Window was the chance to share a dream of ours to create a whole album that was a piece of art to us, with each song depending on the next. We thought, 'Maybe then other people will like the music, too.'' Although Carlon was officially founded in the spring of 2005, the beginnings of the band go back several years. McGlynn first met McWilliams down at the Jersey shore back in the summer of 1998.
The two started playing and writing together almost immediately and continue to co-write most of the band's songs and lyrics. Around 2002, Pollack, a friend of both McWilliams and McGlynn, had been working summer jobs down at the Jersey shore. Jared soon joined the other two playing bass and the three eventually began playing together whenever they could. It was clear to them that it was time to start a band; all that was left was to find a drummer.
A few years later, McGlynn started music classes at Raritan Valley Community College, where he met Venter. The two hit it off and, after Venter played a rehearsal with the others, Carlon was finally complete. The band self-released a 4-track demo, Day Two, in October 2005 and a 7-track EP, Suburban Heel, in October 2006. In looking back at the past few years, the present with Johari Window and the future of the band, McGlynn assures us that Carlon will always seek to achieve more in its music: 'As long as we continue to challenge ourselves, we've learned through this album to appreciate and enjoy our work, especially if its flawed and reflective of the change we went through while recording.
There is an overall lesson in the process: not everything turns out the way you may have wanted it to turn out, but, when you start to appreciate that, you just want to do it again and better the next time. Maybe that's why I can actually listen to this album.' Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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