It was in Suite 128 of the Faculty Club where Liam lived on the Xuhui Campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University that he began recording Mother Lode in earnest. Here in 2018-2019, he completed final drafts of all the lyrics, worked out the song arrangements and recorded demos, capturing the essence of the music to come. In January of 2020, after COVID-19 exploded in Wuhan, China and cases began to appear in Shanghai, the university shut down the campus. Living in almost complete isolation over the six-week winter break between the fall and spring semesters, Liam placed the sign “THERE IS NOTHING ELSE” over his laptop between old photos of his deceased parents in order to stay focused on the music. By the end of the break, he’d finished the drum tracks.