Against Me! is releasing “The Original Cowboy” on Fat Wreck Chords on July 7th. If this statement confuses you it’s because you’re thinking “Didn’t they release that album a couple years ago?” Well, yes and no. You’re thinking of “As The Eternal Cowboy” put out on Fat in ’03.
“The Original Cowboy” is a set of predominantly never-before-heard demos that were recorded at Goldentone Studio in Gainesville, FL with Rob McGregor on July 15th, 2003. The session was scheduled prior to Against Me!’s trip to Memphis’ Ardent Studios where “As The Eternal Cowboy” was recorded (the band’s first release with Fat). Tom Gabel explains the decision to go to Ardent:
Having already recorded our first full length album and two previous EPs with Rob at Goldentone, we wanted to do something different for our second full length. We specifically wanted to make an all analog recording with as few overdubs as possible which is what we could do at Ardent. With Rob McGregor coming along to produce, we wanted to make sure he was familiar with the songs, so we made this demo recording.
At the insistence of Fat Mike, the song “Cavalier Eternal” from the 7/15/03 session did end up making it onto As The Eternal Cowboy, Mike preferring the demo to the version made at Ardent. Gabel describes the natural ease and success of those July sessions:
Recorded and mixed in only a couple of hours, The Original Cowboy was only meant to be a trial run, but, listening to it today, there’s a part of me that feels foolish for ever recording these songs a second time.