D.C. indie band Velocity Girl is back with old songs, new gigs

In a Tenleytown audio studio, three members of a once-prominent native indie rock band, Velocity Girl, have convened to speak about an album they don’t assume sounds superb: their very own 1993 debut, “Copacetic.”

“Lots of people have made the comment, ‘I just wish this record sounded better,’” says guitarist-singer Archie Moore, who works as a recording engineer. “I’ve never heard anybody say, ‘That’s a great-sounding record.’”

“I barely ever listened to the first record because I didn’t like the way it sounded,” agrees drummer Jim Spellman. “Especially the drums.”

“The song structures were kind of naive,” provides Brian Nelson, who performed guitar alongside singer Sarah Shannon and bassist Kelly Young (then generally known as Kelly Riles).

Ironically, on the time of its launch, “Copacetic” was a powerful in style success. It grew to become Sub Pop’s second-best-selling album, trailing solely the debut of a band known as Nirvana. The document’s model — indebted to the smeary, dreamy British sound that had just lately been dubbed “shoegaze” — considerably tempered Sub Pop’s repute as a purveyor of grunge solely.

“The record that we’re talking about, that we don’t like, was good enough in Sub Pop’s eyes to get us a contract with them,” Moore notes.

Moore has now remixed “Copacetic” to his satisfaction. “I found myself becoming really fond of the songs,” he says. “I guess because I spent hours and hours now with each song, it’s like they’re my kids again.”

“A lot of the material sounds, to my ear, drastically different,” Spellman says of the new combine. “The shoegazey kind of stuff sounds more shoegazey, the pop stuff sounds way more pop. It feels like what we set out to do.”

“I want it to sound 1993,” Moore explains. “I don’t want it to sound like a new record. I want to sound like the 1993 we were listening to, which was a very Anglophiliac perspective.”

The “Copacetic” remix is a part of a flurry of exercise for Velocity Girl, which disbanded in 1996 after its third album and hasn’t carried out since a 2002 reunion gig. The quintet has scheduled two reveals this month, one in Washington and one in New York City. The D.C. gig, a part of the Black Cat’s thirtieth anniversary weekend, is offered out. But one other native efficiency has been scheduled for later this 12 months and is anticipated to be introduced subsequent week.

Sub Pop really owns “Copacetic,” so Velocity Girl can’t unveil its redo with out the label’s assent. Sub Pop proprietor Jonathan Poneman has been supportive, in line with Spellman and Moore. “We don’t have concrete plans for what’s going to happen,” the latter says. “We believe that at the very least they will release the new version” to streaming providers.

Spellman anticipates that not everybody will settle for the new model. “Clearly, a lot of people will dislike it. They’ll say it’s pointless. Or we ruined it,” he says.

“We’ve talked about what the backlash will be,” Nelson says with a smile.

While revisiting “Copacetic,” the band additionally unearthed tapes of unreleased materials, alternate takes and the unique masters of varied singles and compilation tracks. These will probably be remixed and compiled into an album, and made obtainable for streaming. Four of the songs have been simply launched through Bandcamp, together with a special model of “My Forgotten Favorite,” the group’s breakthrough tune, and two tracks recorded by early lineups.

Another rediscovery has been the 5 musicians’ rapport, Spellman studies. “There’s a weird chemistry thing with music. When a certain group of people are together. It feels like it’s been happening pretty easily.”

“There’s zero chance we’re going to tour or anything like that,” he says, “but it has been fun just being in the middle of those songs again.”

A couple of extra gigs may be scheduled, Moore suggests. “If we’re going to learn the songs, might as well play them more than once or twice.”

“It felt to me like, one song into the first practice, we were a band again,” Spellman says.

Nelson laughs. “It definitely felt better to me,” he says, throughout “the second practice.”

Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. on the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. blackcatdc.com. Sold out. Later present to be introduced subsequent week.

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