The Neverlutionaries are at it again. “Around the time I created it, I just got out of a really bad relationship, but I missed her terribly. It was one of things where people get used to chaos yet find themselves yearning for it and even worse – getting used to it. Like a bad habit, I wondered if I could ever trust anyone like that again and this song was a testament to that,” explains Christopher Harold Wells, brainchild of Nashville-based psychedelic alternative rock band The Neverlutionaries to American Songwriter who premiered the track “Stumble” today, January 6, 2021. The follow-up to “Ariana” which was released last month, “Stumble” is the second single from The Neverlutionaries debut self-titled LP set for release February 12, 2021 via Polychromatic Records.
Being a huge lover of the shoegaze genre for years, the distinctive alternative musical style eventually and inevitably crept into Wells’ sound. The layered dreamy track, this time presented with R&B and jazz inflections, starts with solemn piano chords and builds with swirling-delayed guitar effects around Wells’ impassioned vocals. “The day we tracked the song at Hyde Street, before the shutdown, was a cloudy overcast day. And I was melancholy as I had just lost a dear friend to an inevitable circumstance, the day before,” Wells tells American Songwriter. “But I was on a mission not to let it derail me, so I sucked it up and did what I needed to do.” “The piano had just been freshly tuned a few days before. It played so well that it practically played itself. It sounded really wonderful. As I was in the midst of doing the first take, drummer Chris McGrew, in an effort to help set the mood, accidentally turned off the studio lights and I couldn’t see a thing! We all had a big ole hearty laugh and it was just what the doctor ordered! It totally broke my grief and set a positive light in motion. I dug in and said to myself, ‘this is for you, my friend,’ and laid it down.”
Working alongside #1 Billboard-debuting producer Jaimeson Durr (Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Train, Wyclef, Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart) at San Francisco’s legendary Hyde Street Studios (Green Day, Tupac Shakur, George Clinton, Dead Kennedys), Wells was forced to halt recording due to the pandemic, so he set up at home while quarantining in North Carolina to resume work on the LP. Pulling together a veritable who’s who in session musicians, Wells coordinated efforts with friends and collaborators including legendary guitarist Kenny Olson (Bootsy Collins, Steven Perkins from Jane’s Addiction, NorwoodFisher from Fishbone, fabled drummer James Gadson), San Francisco drummer/producer Chris McGrew (Pamela Parker and The Fantastic Machine, co-owner Wally’s Hydeout in Hyde Street Studios C where Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Santana, CCR and CSN&Y recorded), session/studio drummer Nick Baglio (Gucci Mane) and guitarist Jonnie Axtell (Psychefunkapus). The revolving cast of musicians in Wells’ orbit also includes Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist/former Parliament Funkadelic keyboardist Peter Keys, southern rock outlaw rapper Alexander King and the aforementioned Kenny Olson who play together in a rock funk side project called the All Time Low Stars.
An intercontinental musician who was originally born in Philadelphia by way of North Carolina and now splits his time between Nashville and San Francisco, Wells created his band with the intention of melding his rock and roll roots with his love of jazz, alternative and shoegaze, bringing energy and artistic collaboration to a set of songs he had been working on for some time. Regarding the origin of the band name, Wells explains, “The idea is that people are so lost in modern times, with so many issues to contend with and no great source of positive energy in which to draw from, that a real and true revolution seems impossible and it may never be. Hence, The Neverlutionaries. When I came up with the name late last year, there was a palpable tension in the air in our country, like something was about to blow… and it did.”
Surrounded by musical talent as a child growing up, Wells had blues, gospel, soul and jazz musicians peppering his family tree alongside his father, former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Harold Wells. The multi-instrumentalist started his first band as a teenager and, over time, has fused rock, soul, blues, electronica and psychedelia into his sound. Eager to bring his ideas into fruition, Wells formed industrial rock band Peasants of the Apocalypse, who went on to open for Metallica, Everclear and Def Leppard during their 7-year history. Wells has also worked with and shared the same stage as Lauryn Hill, Bubba Sparxxx, Captain Kirk of The Roots and many others.