Archdiocese
ROCK!
Chad and Ted
  

The Music

It's really all about the music isn't it? Listen first before you read on. Or, if you're into multi-tasking, listen and read simultaneously. (Makes my brain hurt just thinking about it.)

Wenceslas (1.7MB MP3 128kbps)

We Three Kings (1.9MB MP3 128kbps) - The demo that started it all.

Jingle Bells (youtube) - Somebody put this up for us. Not really a video.

The Story

In previous years, Ted had found that putting together a collection of poorly performed Christmas tunes in his home studio was a really cheap way to solve the "What should I get everybody for Xmas THIS year?" problem. His early recordings were mostly Easy Listening/Avant Garde with the help of Super-Drummer Tom Moran.

The Archdiocese idea was inspired by the Beavis and Butthead Christmas special where B&B point out that Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy "sounds like Ozzy". Ted felt that B&B would probably think "Archdiocese" was a cool name for a band. Especially since they would have no idea what it really means. Butthead: "Huh huh huh, yeah, it sounds really evil." Beavis: "Yeah yeah yeah!"

So, Ted and Chad headed into the studio to try out the idea. Ted had heard about Amy Grant and Vanessa Williams' producer making them eat lots of Potato Chips before singing to get that sparkling vocal quality (I guess the Aphex Aural ExciterTM was in the shop). He decided he would do something similar and made Chad eat lots of Keebler Chocolate Fudge Cookies and Milk before singing to get that "extra-gooky" vocal quality. After a short few hours in the studio, they emerged with a demo of We Three Kings that they played for a select test audience. One of their pregnant co-workers who heard the tape laughed so hard, she almost had her baby right on the spot.

This was enough to convince Ted and Chad that they had a winner. They went back into the studio and toiled away at the masterpiece that you have before you.

Archdiocese' latest effort entitled "Showtunes" has come to a screeching halt due to a breakdown in licensing talks with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Apparently, no one there thinks Archdiocese would be good for their public image. They do have a point....

Ted is pretty depressed over the whole thing, and hopes that one day Archdiocese can go back into the studio and record what they do best: Public Domain Christmas music.

Influences

Barney the Dinosaur, Bob Singleton, Sesame Street, Mister Roger's Neighborhood, Arthur and Friends, They Might Be Giants, Spinal Tap, Beavis and Butthead, Ozzy Osbourne, Last Supper

What a mess on that piano!
Ted and Chad

The Band

Chad Mynhier
Lead Vocalist, Drum and Bass Sequencing. In addition to having an incredibly deep voice, Chad is an accomplished guitar player and gun-nut. He helped out on the sequencing by putting together the raw patterns to form the song structures. He also played guitar on Slippery Snow.

Ted
Guitars, Drum and Bass sequencing. Ted's voice can be heard on Slippery Snow which is a song that uses Ted's patented Random Lyric Technique.

Gheorghe Mynhier
Magical Armpit. As the Master of the Magical Pan Armpit, Mynhier can be heard quite clearly in the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy lending his haunting flatulence to the mix.

The Photos

Click on these photos for larger versions.

Just like Rodgers and Hammerstein
Ted and Chad
We ROCK!
Chad and Ted
performing at the future site of
Ted Team Studios, Adamstown

Recording "Archdiocese Showtunes", 6/6/98

I think this book is upside-down
Chad preparing to overdub
a single word.
What do I sing?
Chad learning a melody.
Where's that knob!?
Ted preparing to punch
Chad in.
Possessed by J.J.Jammer
Ted, possessed by the spirit
of J.J.Jammer, cuts a temporary
guitar track.

The, uh, Discography

Archdiocese Christmas
Format: EP
Recorded: June 1994 - December 1994
Released: December 1994
Location: Ted Team Studios, Montgomery Village
Songs: We Three Kings, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Jingle Bells, Wenceslas, Rufro, Deck the Halls, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. (Bonus track: Slippery Snow)

Archdiocese Showtunes
Format:     Unfinished Magnum Opus
Recorded:     June 1998, September 2007
Released:     Unreleased due to copyright issues
Location:     Ted Team Studios, Adamstown
Songs:     Oklahoma, Tomorrow, Goatherd

The Reviews

"Heavy Metal's contribution to the family spirit of Christmas is often undervalued. And frankly, is that a surprise? Apart from Slade's classic "Merry Christmas Everybody" and the Spinal Tap rarity "Christmas with the Devil", headbangers haven't had much to work with. But that's all changed now, with the advent of the extraordinary "Archdiocese Christmas" by the Maryland rockers Archdiocese. While the 'Cese have been around for a few years, this marks their first official release - and what a release it is; a release for the eardrums, and certainly a release for my overly tense bowels. But I digress. After two minor scene-setting songs ("Slippery Snow" and "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies"), Archdiocese reach their rampant best across the Xmas soundscapes of "Jingle Bells" (clearly recorded in homage to Master of Horror and former Maryland resident E.A. Poe's "the Bells"), "Wenceslas" (no doubt in tribute to Czech president and Metal fan Vaclev Havel), "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen" (the ultimate in up-beat feel-good Christmas metal), "Deck the Halls" (a surrealist ode to a woman named Holly who apparently bows a lot - although I haven't worked out who to), and the 'Cese Uber-metal masterpiece "We Three Kings", a riveting deconstruction of the failure of the republican ideal in the Western Hemisphere, a monarchist call to arms, a siren sound of alienation amidst the rubble of the American Dream. All I can say is: Wow. Archdiocese have reached out and grapped a much-needed musical void by the jugular and made it their own."
- Alasdair Brooks, University Radio York (12/9/1999)

"Archdiocese Xmas- A scintillating mix of traditional Xmas songs with a truly modern reinterpretation which lends an air of modern angst to what may otherwise be considered trite, charming drivel. Killer tunes. It went over well with everyone I let listen to it (luckily I am qualified at CPR). It is a guaranteed show stopper. Rufro was a bit sketchy, a more mix-it-up approach would have been more festive, as it was, it just seemed spliced. DOTSPF was quite festive. The guitar lends that certain jenesaisquoi. Oh yeah, nice mix. If you need a cover for this years issuance, lemme know."
- John Starmer of Starm Troopers

Ok, John, here's the concept for the cover art. Wenceslas. It's late evening. So late, even the snow on the mountain looks dark. The light has long since faded and left the world colorless. Two figures are walking toward a campfire in the distance. One figure is taller than the other and wears a crown. Both figures are shrouded in long dark cloaks. Neither appears to be carrying anything. The campfire has obviously burned out a while ago leaving only a slender stream of smoke drifting into the sky. Sitting next to the campfire is a skeleton. A dead pine tree covered in snow balances out the composition. (John's been pretty busy lately, so if any artist fans out there want to provide an interpretation of this concept (or any other for that matter), I'd be very happy to put it up on the site.)

"Well, I cranked up the old Altec Lansing PC speakers and hit play. Caroline [our two-year-old] started crying, the dogs started howling, and the cat couldn't make it out the cat door fast enough. I'd say Goatherd is a keeper!!!!!"
- Darrin Danner of Absolute Value

"What a righteous skankin' pickle break in the middle. Nice grooves mon. Yos play sweet for'n da white boy!"
- Keith Richmond

"What a comeback! You should definitely continue with the showtunes, but really make it your own."
- Tom Moran of Natural Log

"Love that singer.  You guys could open for G.W.A.R."
- Sean Conneally

"The longer you listen, the more ridiculous it is."
- Sue

"Mr. Mynhier is truly a gifted individual."
- Dave Chelsea-Seifert of Absolute Value

"If I were a pregnant lady, I'd go into labor hearing this!"
- Shauna Skye

"whoa. . .epiphany. . . "
- Christmas Lump of Coal Station on MP3.com referring to Slippery Snow

"Goddamnit, I love the holidays..."
- Well . . . It's funny to me! station on MP3.com

"Do they have Christmas in Hell?"
- Don't Laugh, This Is Serious station on MP3.com

"Funny."
- One Lump Music Seasonal station on MP3.com referring to Slippery Snow

"Honorary members of the Jesus Machine. They is rockin' all Christlike . . . an' don't even be knowin' it."
- Phat Riley and the Jesus Machine station on MP3.com

"yyYYYEAHH!! Even if it's spring right now, why not enjoy some punk-rock/Christmas?"
- Spudnick's Rockomedy station on MP3.com

"Definitely refreshing after all those long boring acoustic guitar versions of 'Good King Wenceslas'."
- Music Mutiny Holiday Hell station on MP3.com

The End

If you really love Archdiocese, and you read all the way to the end of this, you might find something interesting here. Enjoy.

Member of the Ted Chain
Copyright ©2007-2012, The Ted Chain.