Liner Notes

SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM "LOCKDOWN 2020" JANUARY 8, 2021

FEATURING 11 TRACKS RECORDED VIRTUALLY DURING THE BAND'S POPULAR LOCKDOWN SESSIONS WHICH BEGAN DURING THE COVID-19 STAY-AT-HOME

PRE-ORDERS OF THE ALBUM HERE RECEIVED AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD OF "HEROES" THE BAND'S NEW COVER OF THE DAVID BOWIE CLASSIC

“Sammy Hagar and the Circle remain determined to keep their music alive, even during lockdown.” - Rolling Stone

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“I Love This!” - Howard Stern

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“Sammy Hagar & The Circle have just delivered a killer new track... featuring the "Red Rocker" and the band recording separately, connected only by their cell phones. With the Coronavirus keeping bands and their audiences in self-quarantine, don't be surprised if this new track inspires countless other artists to continue plying their craft apart - but still together.” - Radio.com

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DECEMBER 11, 2020 (LOS ANGELES) - Today, Sammy Hagar & The Circle announced the release of their massively popular Lockdown Sessions as an album collection titled, "Lockdown 2020," on January 8, 2021. Fans who pre-order the album now will also receive a new instant grat track, a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes." Additionally, all proceeds from the song "Heroes" will be donated to food banks nationwide.

You can pre-order/stream the album and new track "Heroes" HERE.

Pre-save the album on Spotify and other digital retailers HERE.

Sammy Hagar & The Circle's "Lockdown Sessions" began in March, when the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order went into effect. With time on their hands and their upcoming tour in limbo, the band's legendary drummer Jason Bonham challenged his bandmates Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Vic Johnson to record a warmup jam they'd been playing backstage before concerts for several years. Equipped with iPhones and their respective instruments, they each laid down their individual tracks from the den, music room, closet and even showers of their homes, and "Funky Feng Shui" and the band's Lockdown Sessions were born.

"When we first start doing these lockdown sessions, it was only meant to stay in touch with the fans until we could get back out on the road again," Sammy Hagar explained. "But as the weeks and months drew on, it also became a fun way to keep the band together, musically and creatively."

Over the next eight months, their "Lockdown Sessions" became a hit with critics and fans alike, producing 10 tracks and reaching an online audience approaching 30 million. The sessions gave the band the opportunity to throw down raw and raucous compact covers of classic hits that they'd jammed to backstage but never planned to record, including The Who's "Won‘t Get Fooled Again,” Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds," AC/DC, "Whole Lotta Rosie" and more. [Track List Below]. When plans for an album came to fruition around the holidays, the band came together to record one more track, a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" which they'd offer as an instant download or single purchase. "With the addition of 'Heroes', it made sense to help those who are struggling from the effects of Covid-19. It probably wouldn't have happened without it."

 

SAMMY HAGAR NOTES: IT’S FUNNY HOW IT ALL STARTED from a conversation I had with my digital strategy guy, Jon Luini. He was explaining to me how The Circle could still record new music remotely during the covid-19 lockdown. I had an idea to turn a jam me and The Circle would do backstage called "Funky feng Shui” into an actual song and Jon suggested we film & record it on our iPhones and maybe he could make a little video. Next thing I know, we're doing a little test from each one of us filming our individual parts and recording it with our iPhones. We sent the videos to Jon and he made a cool little music video for “Funky Feng Shui” that we put up on our socials and the fans loved. Everyone in The Circle really got inspired and had a blast doing it, so we decided to keep going and record a series of them. As the response grew, so did our ideas of which new songs to cover.

No one expected this locked down thing to last as long as it did but somehow its inspired us to create eleven songs and we’ve had a blast doing it.

One of the things I like so much about this is the musical freedom. We feel like we can do whatever we want, songs like "Three Little Birds", and David Bowie’s "Heroes". I don't think I would've ever sung those songs if it weren't for this fun little experiment, we called the “Lockdown Sessions”.

The Circle is such a fun band. We all love and enjoy so many different types of music and when one of us brings up an idea everyone is so open. I've never been in a band like that in my life. I love these guys and can't wait to get back together, all in the same room writing and recording music, and back out on the road playing for live audiences. In the meantime, here's some fun little nuggets to enjoy listening to and watching.

We sure as hell enjoyed ourselves doing it. "Forever at your service"

- Sammy

 

JON LUINI NOTES: This project was a true labor of love to keep music flowing for both the band and the fans during the pandemic. You reading this in a released album is a testament to how excited everyone was about the results we were able to get. We pushed iPhones and iPads to their extremes! Once we decided we were doing this, I created a plan and gave everyone a quick tutorial. The way it worked was this: one person (usually Jason) started things off recording a basic track, they would upload their video to me and I would send it out to the next person. As each recording came in, I edited them together in Adobe Premiere and then passed the new version on to the next person. Everyone would listen to that in earbuds from one device while recording their own part on another phone. Once everyone was done, I would work on editing the final video, meanwhile Jaime worked his magic on the less-than-ideal audio, wringing incredible mixes that astounded and excited everyone. The whole band picked up the process right away and we were off and running! The videos and audio were recorded by Sammy, Mike, Vic and Jason themselves (often turning family members into camera operators). Songs were selected through text message and email threads. It’s the quintessential modern album. And it wouldn’t have kept going without the fans - their incredible response (to the tune of an online reach approaching 30 million) energized everyone.

Once we realized we had something and continued making more sessions, we sent some equipment out in the mail to improve sound quality. Vic made use of IK Multimedia’s Axe I/O interface and Amplitube guitar amp emulations to get some killer tones not easily managed from home. Mike used a Sonoma Wireworks GuitarJack Stage for recording bass directly into his iPad, and sometimes Jason recorded his drum tracks into his home Pro Tools setup. 

JAIMESON DURR NOTES: All songs mixed using primarily Waves plugs to enhance recordings that were done in less than ideal environments. Audio was recorded using little-to-no recording equipment (a lot of iPhones), basically whever Sammy, Mike, Vic and Joson had available to them when the shelter-in-place order went into effect. Waves Audio Plugins helped me to take these recordings to impressive mixes despite the recording challenges. Thanks Waves! 

Sammy mostly just used selfie mode video and iPhone audio for his recordings.

 

Related Videos


  • "Heroes" (David Bowie) Official Music Video (Circle @Home No. 12)

  • LOCKDOWN 2020 Available Now!