| History of the Pleasure EP
"Pleasure e.p." was recorded in the summer
of 1995. At this time, John, Jake and Dan were recording under two
names: Pleasure and Semisonic. Pleasure was what they called the
rock band; Semisonic, at that time, was their all-in-studio "make-out
music for the millennium" project.
Pleasure had been signed to Elektra Records in 1994.
The band was halfway through the sessions that would end up on MCA
as "Great Divide" (see "Great Divide" history
below) when Elektra was taken over by a new president, who proceeded
to shake up the label. Most of the execs who believed in Dan, John
and Jake's music were fired, and the recording was put on hold by
the new regime at Elektra.
During this time, the trio went into the basement
studio they shared with Dan's brother Matt Wilson to write and record
demos of new songs with their long time live sound man Brad Kern
at the recording console. About ten new songs were recorded. As
the "demos" started shaping up the guys realized that
they were more like finished masters than demos. At this point,
they decided to find a way to release the songs as they were.
Happily, John Horton of Boston label Cherrydisc
had heard a few of the tapes through a friend and offered to put
the recordings out. Thus the birth of the "Pleasure e.p."
The cd includes basement versions of "The Prize" and "Brand
New Baby" -- later re-recorded for "Great Divide";
along with "Star", "In the Veins", "Wishing
Well", and the Minneapolis hometown favorite "Sculpture
At around the time the cd was being mixed, our heroes
became aware of the existence of a funk band from the early 80's
with the name Pleasure. The lawyers of this band, still active in
the world of sample licensing, were adamant that there would be
no sharing of the name. So our trio just slid over into the other
name they'd been using, Semisonic. From then on, Semisonic referred
to both the rock trio and the makeout music experimentalists. Dan
says that putting both styles under one name actually helped forge
the new alloy that has become Semisonic's distinctive sound.