Recorded in late 1979 The early 80's were a truly amazing time. The end of the dark ages that were the 70's and the death of disco. I credit disco and the death of it for the dawn and birth of punk and the indie record industry. Maybe not punk as a culture as much as for what punk would become. In the 70's the record industry had a very tight grip and control over things. It was impossible to manufacture a record independently unless it was for religious or educational purposes. I had tried many times and was told by record pressing plants they could not and would not!. When Disco took the big nose dive in 78 the record industry went instantly broke. Disco was so huge at the time - but luckily so short lived. The record industry had bet all their chips on it, thinking it would last for ever. All of a sudden there was an open door, the mob like muscle disappeared over night. The birth of independent labels was born. Within 2 months I was able to release our first 45 "Better Off Dead" with ease. When "Is This Real?" first came out, it was for the most part, shunned by the punk and alternative press. It did not fit in at all with most stuff going on at the time. The cover art was as far from punk looking, as we were. In America this record did not start getting accepted till 9 years latter, in the late 80's. 1980 was also interesting in the way that so many kids seemed to be able to come out of their shells. Maybe it was a by-product of the 70's nothingness that exploded into a new horizon or maybe it was something else unknown. But a lot of people seemed to become interested in themselves and expressing it seemed easier and this made for creative and interesting times. A lot of songs I wrote on "Is this real?" reflected the awareness that was being expressed to me through others at that period of time. Some have said that these songs are about alienation and such, but the truth is that it was more about the rebellion against the awareness of it that inspired what I wrote. This was the first and the last record that we ever recorded in a real recording studio situation [other than our own]. The studio was so dead sounding that we had to take out the ceiling tiles and all of the shag carpeting just to add a small bit of life to the room.