4 non blondes:  the burn out  (1994)
4 non blondes:  the burn out  (1994)
 

My life was caught up in a whirlwind and it was hard to see past it at all; there were moments when it seemed like it would all just go on forever. But there was also a lot of emotional disconnection between us. And sure, we could have really milked it, I guess, muster up some sincerity for the sake of material gain and eventually fade away. But that’s just not who we were as a band; and more importantly that’s not who Linda is. And she was holding the reigns.


There is a special pressure put on a singer/songwriter who fronts a band. Linda’s material is what drove the 4 Non Blondes. I wrote music and grooves, as did Dawn. But Linda’s songs were what made up this band’s material and it was her responsibility, however unspoken, to write and direct the musical road we all would travel down. And that worked great for a while. For 5 years the band had provided her an outlet to express herself. But as she grew as an artist she needed a new venue for her creativity.


Although we had a list of songs for the second album, making a successful record is just not as simple as putting them down on tape. There are songs that we had planned on recording for years, songs like Down on Your Face, Mighty Lady, Knock Me Out and The Ladder. There were some new songs, like Drive, Jesus, In My Dreams and Blow. Many of these songs would end up on Linda’s initial solo effort down the road. And they are all great songs - but a great recording takes more than great songs. We went through the motions but the effort was perhaps bland in comparison to our previous work.


And some of the songs were from the old days. Our lives were very different in comparison with where we were during the first record. We had grown up. We were different, and perhaps Linda was not so eager to just spew in the way a reckless 24 year old might. She could choose her words more wisely now, and she had options. Some of the songs were autobiographical and put her family in a not so positive light. Maybe she really didn’t want to share some of those things with the masses. I couldn’t blame her for that.

|:. this site copyright 2011 christa hillhouse/chillhousemedia : all rights reserved .:|mailto:chillhouse@chillhousemedia.comhttp://www.chillhousemedia.com/v01/home.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1
epilogue ->OUTRO.html
<- back10.html

We took a break in November and flew back to San Francisco. Within a few days Linda wanted to meet, so we hooked up over at Dawn’s house. And Linda just flatly stated that she wanted to leave the band. Dawn was very disappointed with the news, and perhaps somewhat angry. We had spent a bunch of money on the recording already and you have to consider those things. Dawn is a rational person and saw opportunities dissipate before her eyes.


I just said “if you’re not happy, then fuck it.” Because I do believe that if you aren’t having fun playing music, what’s the point? Hell, Kurt Cobain had just blown his head off a few months before and Linda seemed moody and perhaps depressed. And I was ready for a break anyway. Previous to the band’s success I had been broke for a while. I wanted to spend a little bit of the money I had made during the past few years. I wanted to travel, buy a house and go back to school. I was somewhat burned out and tired of being told what to do all of the time. I supported Linda in her decision.


Maybe she could have handled it better. Perhaps we could have done one last tour or whatever, as we were getting offered ridiculously high amounts of money for shows. But Linda is impulsive. And I am impulsive, also. I think that’s how we made it through all of the things we did, how we had survived. We have always followed our hearts with a confident conviction. We were never the ones to play it safe.


So basically, that was the end of the band. We did get together to do a photoshoot for the Led Zeppelin Tribute album Encomium and also shot a video for our track “Misty Mountain Hop” in early February of 1995. But within a few months the obligations were completed and we each moved on with our lives. 

On occasion I have read that we broke up because of ego battles. From my recollection, nothing could be further from the truth. The experience was memorable; we rented a big house in the Hollywood Hills complete with a pool and indoor raquet ball court. We each had our own area of the house. We would get up in the morning and play raquetball or go swimming. We’d send out for whatever food we wanted. And we would go into the studio and work on stuff every day, sure ... but for me it seemed as if the years of non-stop touring and working made the recording seem more like a vacation. We never got in one argument as far as I can remember (except maybe on the raquetball court) and we had experienced our share of battles in the past. It was almost too relaxed. And that’s a potential recipe for artistic failure.


We had a film crew come in to film while we recorded some of the tracks. We also filmed a few interviews about the process of recording and various personal issues. The footage helped validate my own recollections of the easy-going atmosphere.