Started the long trek to the studio at 11.00am, arriving at 11.01 – that’s my kind of journey! Below is the picture of my view to “work” – the cliffs of France…
Wasn’t sure what to expect from today, so was very pleasantly surprised when we started almost straight way. We debated what track to start on and decided that, as “Normalityville Horror” was the title track, we should probably choose another, so we went for “The Dumb Song”.
Got a quick headphone mix of drums, bass, guitar and vocals but Gilez wasn’t happy until everyone else was turned down and the click was volumised to a level that exploded all our eardrums. Thankfully, it soon became apparant that we didn’t need the click so it went off.
Sounded funny at first: VG, VS and RR were all in one room playing, I was alone in another. Took us half a song to find our groove. Once we got to the end of it, we did it again and this one was much better. Had a listen to the playback, noted a couple of problems and went and did it again.
Unbeknownst to us all, this was to be The Take That Ends Up On The Album. Glad we didn’t know that in advance. The way we have recorded before was to record to a click everything, then keep going over the drums for 10 takes or more. The way we did it today suited us much better – the song has a real live groove to it.
CT spent a bit of time fixing the bass (just moving the odd bit by micro-incriments to make it perfectly in time with the drums) and, that seemed to be it, drums and bass done for one song.
Bouyed with confidence, we decided to tackle “Normalityville Horror” with gusto. One take to get into the groove, second take a keeper. Easy. And it was that easy! Only thing wrong with Take One was the “Alice Cooper” bit was too fast.
Was glad that CT called it the Alice Cooper bit, because this part in the song (part of the intro) has always felt old Cooperish to me. CT then regaled a mad tale of when he worked on Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies” album with Bob Ezrin. Crazy to think that we are working with someone that can namedrop such legends. But then CT is a legend himself!
Same as before, CT did a bit of bass fixing whilst I tried to work out how the internet worked around here. Eventually got it going and uploaded the first blog.
Started working on the third song, “Zero To Sixty”. I thought this would be an easy one to capture but this tune highlighted a problem with Vikki’s guitar: the intonation was out. This wasn’t noticeable on the first two tunes as she didn’t travel far enough up the neck for it to occur. In “Zero To Sixty” though, this happens. Rob tried to fix it, but no luck. She used one of the studio guitars but it didn’t sound as good. We recorded with it but she will come back next week, after getting her own guitar set up to do it again.
Whilst Rob was “fixing” (or not, as the case was) Gilez and I were being entertained by CT noodling away on the guitar through a teeny tiny Marshall. He cranked out some Judas Priest and proved himself to be a great guitarist.
Took 3 takes to get “Zero To Sixty” done drum-wise. VG bunged in a couple of unnecessary fills and, as the timing for this is pretty straight, we decided to do it to click. 190bpm, for those that want to know. Fast, in other words! This is a real punky tune so was fun to record.
After that, all the stuff we recorded today was transferred from the Radar machine (24 track 24 bit recorder) into ProTools. In here, CT doubled up the snare to make it sound fatter on the finished record. He did it to “The Dumb Song” before it was time to finish for the day. He’ll be in bright and early tomorrow to do the same to the other songs.
The day ended with Vikki and Gilez discussing VG giving Vikki a lift back to SLT HQ tomorrow. She’s gotta get back to print some t-shirts and Gilez wants to go and see his girlfriend. No problem, but Gilez waited until after Vikki got a train ticket before making the offer – annoying as the ticket cost £26 but they will only refund £16. Cheeky cunts.
Back in the lodge now – just had a bit of nosh, writing this. Tried to view videos but Vikki’s laptop won’t display them properly. Will have to edit then when I get back to HQ at the weekend. In the meantime, I’ll bung up a few photos from today instead. Off to go explore Dover in a minute – catch ya soon!
UPDATE Weds 7th am: Got in to studio to hfind CT has done ProTools trickery to the bass on “The Dumb Song” – he gave us a quick ear crank and it sounds MASSIVE! Just waiting for him to finish off and we’ll go record “Sick!” (the song, not the state of mind). A song about the corrupt motherfuckers bands have to deal with on a daily basis.