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East West Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and East West lyrics)
East West Biography
Hope in Anguish East West's follow up to their highly acclaimed The Light in Guinevere's Garden hits stores June 10th on Floodgate Records / WEA. Though the band has a long history in the LA club scene, the current line-up - Mike Tubbs (guitar and vocals), Bob Vergura (drums), James "JJ" Jenkins (bass), and Jon Druse (guitar) - has only been around for a year.
"This album only happened because of the current guys in the band. Hope in Anguish is a monumental for us, because we were able to prove to everyone that we can do this band thing on our own. We wrote the songs together. Everyone had equal say. It's not over processed. It's just a rock record. It's just us. That's exactly what we wanted it to be," states Jon, the latest addition to East West. Bob continues, "It feels like it's our first record, because it became simply an expression of who we are."
Building a project when you are on the road 200 dates a year is no easy task. Add to that the pressure of winning the 2002 Dove Award for the "Hard Music Album of the Year" and having only 2 weeks to prepare. Tubbs explains the process: "Last time around, we literally had years to write and pick out songs. This time we came off tour, built a studio at Bobby's house to record the demos and then had to write everything. The only reason we figure it worked is because we started each day right - we dedicated it to God, had prayer and Bible study first. Then everything else just seemed to fall into place. We wrote 2-3 songs a day, and at night called each other and left messages of ideas for the next day. It was a pretty incredible time."
In February 2003, Ocean Studios and Mama Joe's in Burbank, CA were chosen as the studios, and Dennis MacKay (Judas Priest, David Bowie) was called in to produce. "Getting to work with Dennis was an incredible experience. He really helped us solidify what we were trying to do," states JJ. "I think you only get his wisdom from being in studios for 30 years."
After recording all the tracks, the band had three weeks off due to studio scheduling. This gave Tubbs the opportunity to write lyrics. "I had been writing the entire year, but once we had recorded, nothing seemed to work right or get across what we were trying to say. I pretty much had to start from scratch."
Lyrically, the album has a much darker feel, with intense phrasings that seem to reek of dual meanings. "So much of being in a band is a sacrifice. Being away from our wives and families. Trials on the road. A lot of the lyrics deal with our band finally coming into itself, realizing the commitments of music and having the right attitudes. It also has a lot to do with us being so comfortable together that we were able to deal with issues that maybe we wouldn't of touched before," explains Bob.
JJ continues, "When the four of us started playing together, it all just gelled and made sense. We all have a common purpose and a common focus - to make great music that gives hope to people who feel hopeless. That has made all the difference.
"We really hope that our music will inspire people to really dig deep and deal with situations and emotions. No matter what the circumstance, if you open up to God and let Him in, all that anger, frustration and sadness can still point to hope."