We embark on the second half of our recording work for our next album in about 10 days. I’m looking forward to getting these songs down. About all I’m listening to now is our music. If I’m in a vehicle, I’d rather listen to intelligent discussion than other people’s music. It’s all about focus. I’m picking Canadian NPR “As it Happens” over Hound Dog Taylor … at least for the next week and a half.
While I’m not choosing to write much today, here’s what I wrote in the studio about 6 weeks ago. I hope you enjoy it.
We are finishing up our first 3-day session in the studio for our next album that will be out in the fall of the year. We have the core of 5 tracks, about 26 minutes of music laid down, including some of the best vocal performances we’ve had early in the recording process (usually we benefit from hearing the music a few times and coming back in to record vocals on a separate day or week).
We recorded again at Elliott Bay Studios here in Seattle with Brian Nelson engineering. Brian is ideal for us to work with. He’s experienced, knows all of the gear and how to get the best out of us.
He knew our music before we ever recorded with him. Sharing shows with his duo Dead Man helped us in so many ways. He knows our sound. He’s seen & heard us in the live environment. WIth this being his second time recording us, so he is very comfortable giving us recommendations knowing how we respect his ear.
One excellent recommendation was to do a couple of tracks with no headphones, have all the amps in the same room with the drums and maximize the live sound with room mics. We have always been playing the core tracks as a live band but tend to separate the sound by putting the amps in isolation. We really like the sound we got this time on the 2 of 5 tracks recorded all in the same room. The studio has the space to allow each instrument to avoid an oversaturation of bleed. There’s a sound bleed, for certain, but just the right amount. The bleed hopefully gives one a sense of similarity to a live show. I believe it will provide a different auditory element to the album.
The epic track we recorded this session is called Asteroid. As I type, Stefan is laying an acoustic layer over the vocal portion of the 8 minute track. There’s been some minor guitar overdubs, but not many.
The whole album sees us using mostly 4 instruments: 2 guitars, bass, and drums. That’s it. We love have guests on albums … and we’re working 1 track for the next recording session in March with a special guest in mind … but there’s something to be said for having the core group involved in the recording.
Likewise, the 4th player in the session is our good friend Joe Johnson on bass. This is part of natural progression with him having played on a couple of tracks on the last album. He adds a lot while just adding a little a lot of the time! Dig?
We will be back in the studio to record 3-4 more tracks in March again with Brian. If all goes as well during that session of 2-3 days as this one has, we will all feel a great deal of joy. Recording for us is finally gettting easier with repetition. It took some time, for me especially, but it’s been worth it.