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Milkbar Stereo

In 2000, Merlin was hard at work on his fifth album. This was Merlin's first time incorporating the live band into the recording. All his previous albums had been recorded by him alone. Merlin actually invited a whole bunch of musicians(including me) to perform on the album this time around. The result was "Milkbar Stereo". During the recording of this album, Merlin signed to Universal in the U.S.. We played a few showcases for the label reps but it was a show we played at Lee's Palace in Toronto that sealed the deal. That was probably my favorite of all of our shows. We had it all down like clockwork. Universal brought in a few big name producers like Chris Shaw, Mark Plati and Mike Mangini for extra production. I sat in with Merlin on some of those sessions at Studio Piccolo in Montreal and Le Studio in Morin Heights. They even flew Merlin to Sweden for a week to work on a song called "Adrenaline Junkie" with Adam Kviman. They got Micheal H. Brauer to do the mix. Eventually, the album got finished. We filmed a video in Toronto for the first single, "Ultrasensitive"(watch for the band towards the end). Then, problems. The label was stalling the release of the album. For a while, it looked like they were not going to release the album at all. Finally, Universal Canada decided to release it in Canada only. The release was set for fall, 2001. Talk about bad timing! We started doing some promo shows, one offs and television, like Musique Plus, Canada AM and The Mike Bullard Show. The album came out but the label did next to no promotion. They wouldn't honor their commitment for tour support either. We were left out in the cold. By the end of the year, the contract was terminated. So close but yet so far.