It all started in 1995. Ed & Rob were just learning to play their Squier Strats & Dennis was a drummer, who did not own a drum kit. The three spent a decent amount of free time discussing music and how great it would be to start a band. Although there was no bassist or even a bass that could be borrowed, no drum kit, and two cheap Squier Strats they decided that a band should be commissioned.
A name was needed and several were thrown around until Dennis made a phone call to Rob & Ed. Dennis told Rob & Ed that while he was having a conversation he was misheard and the other person thought that Dennis said “Whole Bowl of Joes”. Thinking that it was such a funny random thing that someone would think that someone else would say, he immediately placed the call and on a moment’s notice the name became official.
After a couple very informal practices the newly named Whole Bowl of Joes decided to make a demo. Now back in 1995 there was really no such thing as computer based multi-track recording. Back then you either had a ton of money invested in tape machines, microphones, processors, amps, drums, guitars, basses, mixing boards, etc… or you had some crappy 4-track cassette recorder. Being broke high school kids, they did not yet have access to any of those things. Using what they learned from MacGyver, WBJ rigged enough equipment together to record sound.
A date was set and WBJ started a day of recording in the basement of Ed’s grandmother (Noni). The setup consisted of a cassette player/recorder in the back of the basement, a boom box with a Radio Shack microphone on a table in the middle of the room and Rob & Ed with their Squier Bullet Strats hooked up to their little 15 & 25 Watt amps. For certain songs the main tape was played in one cassette deck of the boom box while Dennis played a drum machine live though the mic input. This was then recorded on the other tape deck in that boom box. For a couple songs, WBJ thought they would be slick by putting all the bass up on the one guitar, taking down the treble and putting on a chorus pedal, thinking that this would simulate a bass. On a couple songs Noni’s organ, which was in the middle of the basement, was also featured.
For the most part, all of these songs were played for the first time that day. Many of the songs were just riffs that the members of WBJ had and then lyrics were taken from Dennis’ lyric book, practiced with the song once or twice and then decided that it was good enough to be recorded.
After the recording, WBJ started to practice regularly at Pearl Studios in Jersey City. Practices consisted of the songs from Noni’s Basement, covers of Mad Season and other 90’s artists and a few newer riffs/songs (Open Window, Turnsta and a few others). Ed also got a bass for Christmas of 1995, so WBJ was able to practice as a 3 piece band with Ed & Rob switching between bass and guitar on certain songs. At this time, WBJ was compiling a small set of songs and was looking for a full time bassist so they could play live shows.
The summer of ’96 came, the three members of WBJ graduated high school and a full time bassist still was not found. All still being 17 a typical high school style argument started between a couple people, which caused the members of WBJ to take sides. This taking of sides then caused the breakup of WBJ. A little over a year of existence, a poorly recorded demo tape and no live performances was all that could have been said of WBJ.
Dennis went on to record two albums as a solo artist. Rob & Ed founded the band Vision Patch where they recorded 2 full length albums, an EP and performed in a handful of live shows over a period of a couple years.
Ten years after the initial breakup, long removed from any high school arguments, the three original members of WBJ decided to get back together to record the full length album that they were never able to complete in the late 90’s.
After a couple practices, WBJ returned to the studio, this time in Dennis’ basement, to record. Over one weekend WBJ recorded drum tracks to 13 songs (12 originals and 1 cover). The original plan was that over the next few months WBJ would take their time to record the bass, guitars and vocals for all of these songs at a friend’s studio.
As the recording of bass and guitars continued, WBJ decided that they wanted to be more than just record the album that they were unable to, they wanted to play live. Finally there was a bassist available. Dennis’ cousin Joey played bass and would be interested in being in a band. After an early morning practice in the winter of 2007 JD decided to join, making WBJ complete.
WBJ would continue to practice the next few months, leading up to their first live show on May 18th 2007 at Images in Fairview.
WBJ would continue to play shows and sporadically record the upcoming album. Unfortunately, Ed & Rob was denied studio time so many of the songs were unable to have their additional parts recorded. Only 3 songs would even make it far enough to have vocals recorded (Slouch, Turnsta, and Purple Shrouds). It was also decided that from the time the recordings first took place through the time it was realized that contingencies would need to be made to record the remaining tracks, the songs changed so much that they would all need to be rerecorded anyway.
WBJ decided to scrap all previous recordings and start fresh. Because time was a factor, WBJ decided to make 4 CD releases that would then be compiled to one full length album. In the late winter of 2009, three years after the original recordings, WBJ decided to record 3 songs as the first release of the album. Drums, bass and guitar were recorded for those three songs in one day. A few weeks later bass and vocals would then be recorded. Bobby D then had to RUSH to complete a mix of the songs in time for the scheduled release of the CD during the Wizz D Wiffle Ball Classic.
After the release of “You speaking”, WBJ continued to play live shows. As of the end of 2009, WBJ is back in the studio recording the next release “me but”.