featuring Model: Carol W.
as my PISCES
for Personal Universe, an astrology series
26 September 2017
Watch Hill, Rhode Island, USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma
title from the song, “Caroline’s Supposed Demon” by His Name is Alive, from their album Livonia (1990). Lyrics by Warren Defever
“Caroline’s supposed demon
Caroline they say she’s haunted
We may only once divide the
Pain and darkness deep inside us”
“Defever began recording in his basement in 1985, while still in high school. His initial work consisted primarily of Defever alone recording the music to a 4-track recorder, with friend Angie Carozzo providing vocals. After Defever went off to college and met Karin Oliver, she became the band’s primary vocalist.
The group’s work resulted in a self-released cassette. Defever sent the tape to 4AD in hopes of being signed to the label. Despite label president Ivo Watts-Russell‘s rejection of the band, Defever continued to send him tapes, with improved versions of the songs appearing on each new tape. Ivo signed the band in 1989, believing that (along with his This Mortal Coil partner John Fryer) he could re-mix the songs into a proper album 4AD could release. Livonia appeared in the summer of 1990, and became one of the label’s biggest sellers of the year. ‘He took it apart, and he didn’t put it back together,’ Defever would later comment on Ivo’s production style.”
When I was on social media (June 2013-June 2019), I came to the attention of Warren Defever, because, on occasion, I posted a variety of his lyrics, mostly from Livonia (1990), and Home Is in Your Head (1991) to illustrate my photographs. I used the hashtags #hisnameisalive and #hnia and #warrendefever
and soon enough, I found that he would “like” the posts. His user name was “xoxowar” and one day I realized what his name meant! I thought, oh he must sign his letters with the fond and cheerful “xoxo” which means hugs and kisses (I had many Italian aunts who used this signature for all correspondence). And his nickname must be “war”. I was so excited that I decided to message him on Instagram. He responded soon after, telling me that I was correct! That was the extent of our correspondence.