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The Wipers’ sound

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The Wipers, a band originating from Portland, OR, has consistently released sonically diverse records since the late 70’s. Some sound raw, some sound smooth, some sound live. I’ve been listening to their album Is This Real? a lot lately and noticed that something doesn’t sound quite right. The drums are buried and the bass sounds muddy. Greg Sage, The Wipers’ singer and songwriter, is notoriously good at avoiding the music press and the record industry in general. He keeps to himself and is very DIY-oriented. I have no problem with this other than it makes finding any information on him, his band, and his recording process very difficult. I spent a couple hours today looking for info on how he writes and records and finally hit the jackpot.

For the non-musically or -technically inclined, much of this interview will come off as gibberish, but the details Sage offers on his ideas of the recording industry do shed light on why he does things the way he does. If you’re a fan of The Wipers, a musician, and/or want to learn about recording, give this article a shot.

Greg Sage of Zeno Studios and The Wipers

Related links:
The Wipers homepage – a little spooky but informative (includes store).
a more general interview with Greg Sage – shorter and not quite as informative

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  • HW Saxton

    The Wipers were one of the most unsung
    NW bands to come out of the early punk/
    pre grunge NW scene.

    Musically they were well above average
    and Sage’s lyrics hold their own with
    anyone elses of the era that I can think
    of.

    They are musicians band. Ask most any NW
    rocker what they think of the Wipers and
    you’ll likely be drowned in a flood of
    superlatives. Ask anyone else and other
    than a handful of die hard fans you’ll
    probably get ” I never heard of ‘em.”

    Greg S. reluctance to play the “game” w/
    the media surely had something to due
    with their lack of success beyond that
    of “Cult Level”.I also feel that maybe
    it was just a combo of bad timing and
    the fact that the Wipers sound couldn’t
    be pigeonholed by critics lacking any
    insight that contributed to their lack
    of commercial success.My thoughts on the
    subject anyway.

    I like The Wipers quite a bit and feel
    that “Youth Of America” is an overlooked
    and underrated slab of classic punk rock
    if there ever was one. There is a really
    excellent and cheap priced box set of
    The Wipers out that is chock full of all
    their best material,great live stuff and
    the other goodies that come with BoxSets
    these days.