William DuVall might be best known these days as the frontman charged with first filling Layne Staley’s prodigious shoes, then building his own legacy with Alice in Chains. But many years ago – 37, to be exact – he was playing electric guitar with Neon Christ, the cult hardcore band that also featured drummer Jimmy Demer, bassist Danny Lankford and singer Randy DuTeau.
Now, DuVall has helped compile a deluxe edition of the band’s 1984 recording for a special Record Store Day release. Side one of the album features the original Neon Christ 7" EP, and side two contains the four songs from the 1984 Labor Day session, all on heavyweight vinyl at 45 RPM for maximum fidelity.
The package includes a full-color gatefold sleeve and a 12-page oral history booklet featuring dozens of never-before-seen photographs.
Said DuVall, “Remastering the 1984 Neon Christ recordings has been very enlightening and fulfilling. I hadn’t listened to that music in a studio atmosphere since back when it was originally recorded. It was nice hanging out with those kids again. I was 16 writing those songs.
"Neon Christ is quintessential youth music from a tumultuous time, both in our own lives and in the world at large. It documents the birth of a new music and culture that would influence everything that came afterward. We loved being a part of that emerging scene. We’re even more proud now of the contributions we and so many of our friends made. The energy and emotions we captured remain timeless.”
Regarding the remastering process, he continued, “The studio I went to in Nashville to remaster the audio is called Welcome to 1979, aptly named because it’s like entering a time warp in the best possible way. It’s becoming increasingly rare and miraculous to find a facility anywhere in the world that can do all-analog audio mastering for vinyl LPs.
"What’s additionally amazing (for all my fellow audio nerds out there) is that Welcome to 1979 also does lacquer plating right there on-site. I know of no other place in America that does recording, mixing, mastering, lacquer cutting, and lacquer plating all under one roof. As if that’s not enough, they also manufacture and refurbish tape machines. Pretty incredible.”
1984 is being issued through DuVall’s label, DVL Recordings, in a co-release with Southern Lord.
The vinyl will be available on Record Store Day (June 12), while a digital format will be offered via Bandcamp only. Non-Record Store formats will follow at a later date via Southern Lord Europe.