Forgive/Forget (Brian McTernan, Sammy Siegler, Josh English) release long lost 1998 demo (listen)
Back in 1998, Brian McTernan (former Battery frontman & Milltown guitarist, current Be Well frontman, producer for tons of bands), Sammy Siegler (drummer for Youth of Today, Judge, CIV, Glassjaw, Rival Schools, and more), and Josh English (Six Going On Seven) recorded some songs together with the intention to put out a record under the name Forgive/Forget, but the project got shelved and never materialized. Now, 22 years later, they've finally released the Leave with What You Came For EP with three never-before-heard songs from 1998, "Sound Economics," "Half Bad," and "Good With Words."
"It always broke my heart that Forgive/Forget never fully materialized," Brian tells us. "Josh English and I were roommates in Boston, and we started jamming on song ideas just sitting around the apartment. We become friends with Sammy through his label, Some Records, and the idea of doing something more formal all together came up. I had grown up listening to records Sam had played on, and Josh was one of my favorite songwriters and lyricists, so the idea of collaborating with them was a dream for me. Sam came up from NY for a whirlwind writing session and we recorded this three song demo."
"I loved the songs and we had great chemistry," Brian continues, "but it ended up being a case of bad timing. Miltown had just broken up and I was feeling like I needed a change in my life. I ended up moving back to DC and throwing myself into building a new studio space for Salad Days down there. I think the other guys had similar forces pulling them in different directions. In the end, the project got put on a shelf, but it’s always been one of those things that I’ve pulled out and listened to, and regretted not being able to follow through on. When we started talking recently and realized that we all have some space now to come back to this again, I was thrilled. I am super stoked to see what comes next."
Sammy adds, "I had a record label around this time called Some Records with my friends Matt, Walter and Craig. We released two albums by a band from Boston (or the area) called Six Going On Seven, that’s how I met Josh English, he was the singer and bassist. I believe Josh only had two tattoos at the time, one on his neck and the other on his hand, I liked his voice and he’s one of the nicest guys, was stoked on the idea of playing music with him. Some Records was really into Brian's band Miltown, I also knew Brian from earlier hardcore days. I believe we went to Brian's house/studio to work on these songs, he told me his roommate or someone staying there (who was home that day) was in Billy Joel's band, not sure if my memory is completely accurate, but I remember being a little freaked out in a good curious way. These songs periodically pop up in my iTunes, they always sound fresh to me and it bummed me out that they were never released, so very happy to get them out, forgive/forget."
And Josh reflected on the tracks as well: "It's early Tuesday and I'm drinking coffee in the city I grew up in. These memories are like a flood, and I'm trying to grab the good stuff as it floats by. As a kid I bought 'Purple Rain' on cassette three times (it kept getting stolen from the boom box my mom brought to the elementary school where she taught). Long before I knew Brian or Sammy, we were on parallel paths in separate cities - obsessive about music, filing away influences/ideas/inspiration for later use. Brian and I made up songs on the couch, it was easy and organic (a feat if you know how opinionated we can be), Sammy was an obvious addition, a kindred spirit who brought the same enthusiasm to creating (for the sake of creating). We were friends making stuff up for fun. I'm still not sure why these songs never came out, but I always hoped they would. Life is funny and fated sometimes. Brian, Sammy -- I love and miss you both, let's make a record! I have but one request: If we do, can we put it out before another 20 years pass?!"
Going by the sound of these three songs, we also hope they regroup and make a record! They're all super tight, super concise, melodic punk/emo/post-hardcore rippers that sound as good as anything coming out in this realm at the time (kind of a Knapsack/Samiam/etc sorta vibe). The recordings are modest but super clear, and the band's talent and chemistry and knack for good hooks are undeniable. Listen to this unearthed gem via Bandcamp below (and it's on Spotify too).
In more recent news, Sammy's band Constant Elevation with Movielife frontman Vinnie Caruana recently released their killer new EP Freedom Beach on Relevation and they spoke to us about some of the EP's influences.
Brian's band Be Well (which also includes members of Fairweather, Darkest Hour, and Bane/Converge) recently put out their great debut album The Weight and The Cost on Equal Vision, and Brian also talked to us about that album in a recent Q&A.
Here's a photo of the original DAT tape, courtesy of Sammy: