Jenny Toomey (Tsunami, Grenadine)
and Dan Littleton (The Hated, Ida) have been playing music together
on and off since 1989. Actually, you can hear them harmonizing on
Simple Machines' very first release, Choke's
Kingdom of Mattresses 7". In the summer of 1990 they got
together and formed a project band called Slack. After six practices
Slack jumped into the studio and recorded five songs, which became
the infamous Simple Machines Bates Stamper
tool cassette that we duplicated hundreds of times for avid Slack
But that was 1990. Jenny got busy with Tsunami and Grenadine, and
Dan moved to Boston and eventually New York to finish school - neither
had much time to be Slack. In early 1994, Ivo at 4AD asked Jenny
if she wanted to do a solo project for a "now defunct" label idea.
She was too busy writing and recording albums with Tsunami and Grenadine
to even think of a third option, but she had always wanted to pick
up the slack - literally - with Dan. They met one weekend and recorded
a 4-track tape that they sent off to Ivo. Ivo wasn't convinced...he
wanted Jenny and Dan to do demos. Jenny was bummed out. Jenny doesn't
like to do demos.
Four months later Jenny got a call from 4AD's label manger, Robin.
He told Jenny that the "side project label idea" had been permanently
shelved (oh well...). He offered that they still go try to record
demos, but this time for Guernica or 4AD. Jenny still didn't like
the idea of doing demos, but this was another chance to record with
Warren Defever who had done such an excellent job on Grenadine's
second LP Nopalitos. Jenny and Dan flew to Detroit where they met
Trey Many, the drummer for His Name is Alive. Together they recorded
30 songs in Warren's brown-paneled, hornet-infested basement. Warren
made 75 different mixes and sent 4 full DATs off to Ivo.
So it was set. The demos became the record. The only thing left
was the name. Being "slack" in the mid-90s is like being "hippy"
in the 60s, so they changed it to Liquorice.
Liquorice released a single on Simple Machines, and a great tough-pop
full-length on 4AD. After a few short tours of US and England, Liquorice
took a back seat as both Jenny and Dan have focused on Tsunami and
Ida, respectively. But a new Liquorice album is in the works. Throughout
1999 and 2000 Jenny will be working with Archer Prewitt (Coctails,
Sea & Cake) at Chicago's Kingsize Soundlabs. With the assistance
of many of Chicago's finest musicians, Jenny hopes to have a new,
fully-orchestrated & arranged Liquorice record done sometime in
2000. We'll keep you posted.