Despite searching for a lead singer to head up this punk band, the members of Something Went Wrong ultimately realized that they were meant to stay a three-piece band. Three years ago, guitarist Shawn “Ziggy” Sloke and bassist Dave West wearily put an ad on Craigslist for a drummer. Alex Cardarelli responded and tried out for the band.
“I knew with [Cardarelli], within 7 seconds of his playing that he was going to be the greatest drummer that I had ever worked with,” Sloke said.
With the Los Angeles punk band experience under Sloke’s belt, Cardarelli’s punk music upbringing in Boston and West’s heavy metal background and influences, the trio created Something Went Wrong. Now, they’re finishing up the final tracks for the band’s debut album, expected later this year.
The album will be a 12-track collection, recorded in a home studio in Sloke’s basement that they sound-treated and built over time and out of necessity. On-demand rehearsal space is not easily found in the city.
“I’ve been with enough bands and done enough albums. And recording engineers studio, you’re beholden to their time you have a limited amount of time to get things done, you leave, they come back they do the mix and they do the production behind the scenes,” Cardarelli said. “It’s not as much your project as it is theirs at the end of the day.”
Slowly adding microphones, messing with microphone placements, adjusting acoustics, sound treating the room and experimenting with equipment, over time they created the studio and rehearsal space needed to record Something Went Wrong’s debut album.
And in true DIY fashion, even the mixing and mastering is done by trio, after heavy research and a lot of time spent experimenting with software, but it means that it will sound exactly how they want it to — not overproduced.
“I want what we do to be clean, I want it to be powerful and I want it to sound big and I want it to rock back when you listen to it,” Sloke said. “But I don’t want it to necessarily be too slick. I don’t want it to be tuned, cleaned up.”
The fast-paced, heavy layers of bass, guitar and drum throw a wall of sound at listeners on tracks like “Musings” and “Downhill,” both currently available on Soundcloud. Sloke and West masterfully harmonize their vocals, even when screaming and yelling on the tracks, in true punk fashion.
And just like in the genre’s 1980s heyday, they’re doing it all DIY.