The small square-  a  light  history



In the swelter of a one hundred degree Wisconsin summer day, inside a one hundred plus year-old farm building, armed with a collection of obsolete, borrowed and marginally functional recording gear, Paul Chastain and John Louis Richardson began work on the recordings which marked the beginning of  The Small Square project. Friends from a lifetime ago in Champaign, Illinois, the two had previously only dabbled in musical projects together before the fates scattered them across the globe. 

Paul is the singer, bassist, songwriter and co-founder of the critically acclaimed Velvet Crush rock group. Signed by Alan McGee to his mythic British indie label Creation Records who gave the band’s first and second albums, the latter, the seminal “Teenage Symphonies To God”, worldwide release. Velvet Crush has gone on to record six full-length records to date. Paul’s musical arc also includes path crossings with a handful of other major contributors to popular music. He has been playing and singing alongside pal Matthew Sweet from the pre-”Girlfriend” days onward. He has also been a known confederate of such pop music icons and ne’er-do-wells as Roger McGuinn, Mitch Easter, Susanna Hoffs, Stephen Duffy, Tommy Keene, Ami Onuki (Puffy Ami/Yumi), Unbunny.

John has similar roots, brushes with greatness and dubious associations. Among them, Joey Molland’s Badfinger, Tommy Keene, Gin Blossoms, Keene Brothers, Jay Bennett, Will Hoge, Adam Schmitt, The Vertebrats, and Three Hour Tour. He still plays live and records with DIY power pop pioneers and long time comrades, Shoes. The ultra-rustic space in Menomonie, Wisconsin where The Small Square was born has evolved into the fully realized Drum Farm Studio, which John runs.