Frazer Harrison, Getty Images With the July 16 release of Philip Anselmo's first…
- Posted on Mar 22nd 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Still reeling from a recent staph infection and too broke to pay the members of his band, Malin suffered a crisis in confidence. He dabbled in DJing and spoken-word poetry, among other things, wondering if a career change might be in order.
"For a moment, you get that thing where it's like your parents or some relative goes, 'Well, do you make money? Maybe you should reconsider,'" Malin tells Spinner. "And I was like, 'What else can I do?'"
Fortunately, he didn't have to find out. Fate intervened, and the former D Generation frontman was able to move back downtown and rekindle his faith in rock 'n' roll.
"Somebody had a loft they weren't using on the Bowery, and I was able to make more noise with my electric guitar," Malin says. He started jamming in the basement of the Avenue A bar Hi-Fi, assembling the rotating cast of musicians he would later dub the St. Marks Social, the group credited with backing him on his forthcoming fourth studio effort, 'Love It to Life,' due out April 27.
Malin wrote the album at the height of the financial meltdown, an unhappy situation that yielded at least one positive side effect.
"Being back on the Bowery and looking out the window, even though it wasn't depression of the late '70s I saw through the window of my father's car, with the bums and the squeegees, the economy was changing," Malin says. "Suddenly, the Bowery wasn't like the Whole Foods and the galleries they were building. There were hints of what had been there before, and the history."
The faint whiffs of destitution reminded Malin of his youth, when he would ride in from his native Queens and hang with the Village punks.
"My alma mater was sitting outside of CBGBs and drinking 40 ounces and going to hardcore matinees and playing there," he says. "I started to see an idea for a record of all the people that influenced me."
He eventually connected with producer Ted Hutt, the man behind Gaslight Anthem's breakout 'The '59 Sound.' Hutt encouraged Malin to make a "real New York record," one that would hold together as a cohesive collection of songs, like albums used to.
"I liked that, because I grew up with vinyl, before you could put 50 songs on a CD or download something in five minutes into your toothbrush," Malin says. "I wanted to make a record that had a nod to some kind of phoenix act, like a resurrection of coming back to New York and finding a way back in."