I have some musically talented kids, and I wanted to give them a place to post their tunes for all the world to admire. So I made them an album page on this site called SkullToast, and we will post their songs as fast as they can finish them.
Where did the name “SkullToast” come from? Here’s Heinz Sander to explain:
“I was in German class, and I was doodling on my notes. I was drawing skulls. I noticed that some of them looked like pieces of toast, so I drew one that was shaped like a piece of toast, and I wrote “SKULLTOAST” above it in big letters. The teacher came along, and he wrote the German translation below that: Schädel Toast.”
So there it is. SkullToast. I think it’s a fantastic band name, certainly better than most.
Readers here will be familiar with my brother Mark, who was my teenage songwriting partner and band-mate in Claudia Doesn’t Like It. I am excited to announce that Mark has joined this site and will be posting his music here. To celebrate we are sharing Chronocide in California, the first collaboration album by Mark and Tom.
Back in the heyday of our songwriting partnership in the mid-1990’s, I wrote most of the music and Mark wrote most of the words. That started to change when I graduated from high school and left on my mission. During the first year I was gone Mark wrote a lot of nice guitar riffs, and Tom helped him flesh them out into fuller arrangements during spring break of 1999. We also added some bonus tracks of Tom’s covers of a few of the songs.
Here is a little flavor of the album, a short piece called “Out West,” which is the opening track. I listened to this song a lot a few years ago when I moved back out west:
I didn’t get to hear these recordings until a year later when I came home from England, and I was really impressed with how they turned out. This is one of my favorite Sanderson albums of all time, and I hope you will enjoy it too.
My recent project with Tom was a lot of fun, and when I posted the album here to this site it got me thinking. Tom hasn’t been online with his music since the old mp3.com went belly up in about 2003, but he has made dozens of great recordings over the years. Why not offer to host his tunes on my site? In fact, why not make this a place where all of my family members can post their songs?
The more I thought of this idea, the more I liked it, but then it occurred to me that my siblings, cousins, and others probably don’t want to post their tunes to a site with my name on it. So I changed the url to “Sanderson.band”. Tom has joined the ranks and is planning to post tunes from his discography. My brother Mark, who was my high school songwriting partner, is also planning to post here.
To celebrate this change I want to share with you some old recordings Tom made of songs written by me and Mark. These date to the early 2000’s, when Tom was already a seasoned veteran at home recording and I was just cutting my teeth at it. I remember at the time feeling, envious of his skills and recording technology, jealous of my songs, guilty that I hadn’t done the same with his tunes, and extremely flattered that he would spend so much time recording my music. I was struggling to learn this craft, and had a huge back log of songs to record, and Tom just smiled and dumped an entire album of them on my lap! Here is one of my favorites, probably the best version of “Tylia’s Microphone Toothpick” ever recorded:
Head on over to The Guitar-Chord Closet album page for more info. If any of these songs are stupid, then please blame me (and Mark). Also remember that we were teenagers at the time, and have mercy on us. If any of these songs are awesome, then it’s because Tom did such a good job of arranging and recording them.
I am currently working on a musical collaboration with my cousin Tom, but I have gotten some requests to share a couple of these tracks more widely while we still work on the others. The project is a collection of songs about the pandemic.
“Going Viral” is the first recording to really showcase my new guitar, an Ibanez semi-hollow body. I just love the sounds that come out of this thing! One of my sons (the one who did The Ballad of the California Gold Rush) played bass on the track. [download mp3]