I was thinking about this today and I don't really know if Muscle is a good album but it was the first full-length The Fugue ever did after a slew of homemade releases and demos that we probably never made more than 50 copies of, so I guess that counts for something. I remember we recorded this monstrosity over the course of 5 (!?!?!) days. One day of tracking in a studio in China Town and then endless overdubs, vocals, mixing, and mastering over the next 4 days at this dude Adam's house in Red Hook (?). I remember the man's hand towels smelled like vomit and I referred to him as "Stinky Towels" for the whole entire rest of the time I knew him. I'm not quite sure we ever liked each other, to be honest. I think he thought we sounded like Peru Ubu or something and it was 2003 so I guess that was a big compliment. It was weird because we had usually recorded with our friends Andy Action and Chuck Scott and I sort of felt they got how we sounded a little more and were better suited for recording this thing. Maybe they wanted too much money to do it? I really don't remember.
Conrad had just joined the band but he was on tour with Verbena when we made this. It didn't matter because we were going to retire a lot of these songs anyway and write new ones when he get back home. In fact, a lot of the songs on this album have only been played live like once or twice. "01/02/10" comes to mind right off the bat. I think the other dudes basically wrote it a week before and liked it enough to put it on the record. I always bullshitted my lyrics anyway, so it was another song for me to bullshit over. Singing real good on a record has never been a big priority for me. That's actually one of my favorite things about "Muscle". We put a lot of effort into making a polished debut full-length but in the end we still couldn't be bothered to care enough about what the fuck we were doing. The Fugue was, if anything, a very natural band. We never forced anything for better or worse.
We kinda just sat on this thing for a few months and by the time we start putting out records with RiYL, we had a completely different set of songs. Basically it was like "fuck these songs we spent a lot to record, let's record our new ones". Those ended up being on Mysterious Animals. We also released "Four Corner Races", "Even in the Classic Age of Street Fighting", and "Muscle the Song" on a seven inch. And that's that.
- Joe Somar
Download Muscle HERE.
The Fugue - Live at Ronny's (Chicago, IL)
The Fugue - Live at Redrum (Providence, RI) NSFW
Live at the North Six Basement (Brooklyn, NY)
The Fugue - Live at Galapogos (CMJ 2004)
The Fugue - Live at Michelline's (Brooklyn, NY)
The Fugue - Live at the Cake Shop (New York City)