Probably more accurate than any other release title, Second Skin came during a period of massive transitions for Carfax Abbey. Byron had left the band and was replaced by Steven Blacker and then John King. When John decided to leave the group Byron returned and was better than ever. It was also during this period that Carfax Abbey finally decided to work with outside management and signed on with GSP Productions. Additionally, the band signed a spec deal with noted Philadelphia producer Scott Stallone to begin recording what was to become “Second Skin”. The decision to go into another studio and record was largely due to friends of the band commenting how much better the band was live opposed to our recordings. Not that we were ever disappointed in our prior recordings, our logic was maybe Scott could possibly bring us closer to the live sound and trying something new could not hurt so we moved forward.
Gary – Vocals
At the completion of the recording it had been 6 year since Carfax Abbey released a new CD and a lot changed in the world. We saw grunge music die off, we saw the rise of nu-metal, and we saw gothic music gain in popularity with bands like Stabbing Westward, Manson, Zombie, and NIN. We saw real life horror with the 9/11 tragedy, we saw the end of Beevis and Butthead, MTV lost the M and went all reality shows, we saw American Idol come into popularity. We saw the rise of File Sharing with Napster, we saw MP3.com give way to My Space. Indeed a lot changed.
Second Skin was released in October of 2004 and the CD Release party was held at John's Dark Corner in Philadelphia. It was a magnificent party and we were fast moving onwards and up. Shortly after the release, due to contractual issues Carfax Abbey parted ways with GSP Productions. We then signed a record deal with Dancing Ferret Disc and things looked awesome for us. Unfortunately, the celebration was stalled due to contractual and financial issues regarding the mechanical rights to Second Skin. Originally, Dancing Ferret was going to re-release Second Skin which would have been huge for Carfax Abbey. Sadly, this did not happen. Why you ask? Carfax foolishly had no hand in the “authorizing” of money being spent by GSP regarding many pay to play big shows at places like Electric Factory, The Trocadero and the TLA. These types of shows with the advertising to promote them ran the expenses paid out by GSP to be significant. These expenses would have to be paid in advance to GSP before they would release the rights to Second Skin, so the decision was made to simply record a new disc and move on.
Many friends and supporters have praised Second Skin as our finest release to date, it was a difficult recording to complete financially and emotionally but those challenges are what made this recording so special. Our only regret is the “what if factor” what would have happened if this recording did get a proper release from Dancing Ferret? What could it have done for our success on a national level? The hard part is never knowing.