Alan Vega of Sucide’s final live-band recordings are set to be released as a new posthumous album called Alan Vega After Dark on July 30 as part of a CD/vinyl-only release through In The Red Records. The live band backing him was Philadelphia rock band Pink Slip Daddy, consisting of Ben Vaughn on guitar, Barb Dwyer on bass and Palmyra Delran on drums.
In The Red Records shared a lead single from the release, named “Nothing Left.” It was released alongside a music video showing city lights passing by during a night drive, suiting the nocturnal vibe of the record. Musically, it begins with some blues guitar chords, before settling on a motorik groove, with Vega muttering rhythmically while the guitar grows louder.
The album was recorded in 2015 at Renegade Studios in New York City’s West Village, with engineering by Geoff Sanoff. In The Red Records points out the sunglasses, knit cap and long rider coat that the then-78-year-old Vega wore to the recording session. He was recovering from a stroke he suffered a few years prior, and wanted to get back in a live studio environment after only sending in vocal contributions to pre-recorded instrumentals the previous couple of years.
Vaughn described the recording process as being very spur-of-the-moment. “It’s the only way I’ve ever worked with him,” he says. “We would start playing, and Alan would wait a little bit.” Vaughn talked about the doodles and portraits Vega would draw in a sketchpad or the way he’d be reading the New York Post in his chair before standing up to the microphone and singing whatever came to him. “Some of the stuff he comes up with, it’s really unbelievable,” Vaughn commented. “Alan was writing from the future.”
Vega told Jason P. Woodbury in a 2015 interview, “I don’t know where it comes from. People ask, ‘Why?’…There is no why. Who gives a shit? It’s not supposed to be why. It’s supposed to be the world. The mystery.”
Alan Vega After Dark is being compared to Vega’s previous collaboration with Ben Vaughn, Cubist Blues, which was another live jam album, recorded alongside Alex Chilton of Big Star. The upcoming record is available for pre-order here, although no tracklist has been revealed at this time.
It follows the archival April 2021 release of Mutator, which consists of industrial electronic compositions that Vega recorded between 1995-1997. Sacred Bones, who put out Mutator, are also planning to release an undisclosed number of previously unreleased Alan Vega recordings.
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado