After a nearly fifteen year hiatus from playing music, Rob Haworth (Farside, State of the Nation, Hard Stance) slowly re-introduced himself into the cold, purifying waters of songwriting in 2014, and found a new muse in the world of non-linear editing. Within a matter of months, Haworth began sharing lush pop/rock arrangements with potential collaborators, simultaneously asking them to come into the studio with him to help round out the songs, and give them more energy and life.
As the Second Letter “demos” made their way from inbox to inbox, folks began trickling into different studios up and down the east coast to re-record what would become the first Second Letter singles, “Dead Emblems” and “Ruins.” Through those sessions, a core rhythm section emerged in Jim Kimball (J Majesty, Retisonic) and Pete Moffett (Burning Airlines, Government Issue, Wool), and the base of Second Letter was established.
When Haworth, Kimball, and Moffett started to plan their first shows, it quickly became evident that they would need additional members to fill out their sound, if they were going to approach the thickness of their recorded sound. Carin Smith (Old Arrows) was an obvious choice, given the fact that she has already played piano/keyboards on the recordings, and she could also add a female voice to the mix. Adding the guitarist, Christopher Woodhead, from her band on second guitar seemed like a no-brainer, given his robust guitar history, and the fact that he, too, was an old hardcore head -- familiar with the band’s who his bandmates used to play in.
More recently, John "Scoops" Hutchins (The Deadmen) was asked to fill in during the recordings. The full solid five piece line-up consisting of Rob, Pete, Chris, Carin and John have just finished up their full-length album entitled, "Cicatrix." It will be out in spring and released digitally on Lowatt and the vinyl via Arctic Rodeo Recordings. In the meantime, they are preparing for shows up and down the east coast in April and summertime.
"Ruins," the second release by Second Letter, showcases a different world of melodic darkness, that helps to reframe their initial, slower release, "Dead Emblems." With chants in the chorus of “ruins of our remains,” Haworth points out that whatever part of humanity is left at this stage continues to deteriorate through the sick relationship we keep with the dying, yet seductive capitalist system. A huge backdrop of powerful drumming, coupled with an interesting layering of keys and guitars over the top, calcifies the song's message, and neutralizes the acidic, sardonic notion that resistance is futile.
"Dead Emblems," was chosen as the debut because it was easily one of the most ornate songs written in the initial burst of writing for the band. Perhaps its the slower tempo of this piano laden ballad that allows the beautiful cut and the shiny nuances and to slowly peek out at you, instead of whizz by your head.