Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
An excerpt from “Behind The Scenes Of Empathy,” my audio notes on the making of the album:
There is such a thing as supporting the things that you appreciate. If that support doesn’t come, are we then hinged to an inevitable stopping our project, our group, our output because we can’t get enough support in terms of record sales? That’s kind of unlikely, but yet, in another way, our time is limited of course because now that we’re in our mid-50s—how many more albums are we going to do? How many more tours are we going to do? If people don’t want to buy the album because they already know about Mecca Normal—do we then say, well we don’t need to make another album. Is that what we have to accept? Or do we remove ourselves from what people think of us? How little people think of us. And not base our value on the evidence of the economy that there just aren’t enough people who want us to exist, so therefore we must stop. I would be inclined to resist that in the same way we resisted forming in a traditional way. I believe it’s possible that we continue with very little interest or support—that’s never been what is has been about for us, but it does feel awkward that maybe nobody else is looking at it that way, that they think, “Oh, these people, unless they’re independently wealthy, must have to survive somehow with their very unlikable band that doesn’t sell enough.”
“The Dogs” from Water Cuts My Hands (K, 1991; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):