The studio. The middle bit between writing and playing. Famously, it’s where the magic happens. It’s also a double-edged sword – a place where dreams are realised, or bands are broken. As a musician, it is both your harshest critic, and one of the biggest sources of joy and fulfilment. You’re formally laying your collective soul bare and offering it up for The World to hear. That’s a pretty frightening place to be.
Live, sometimes being a bit ramshackle can have a charm to it. And when you’re writing, you don’t have to nail concepts down too hard; you can play around with things, or give yourself options and the time and space for them to flourish.
“Let’s throw a Greek Chorus, some spoken word and some war drums on there when we get in the studio, yeah? We can think about it closer to the time. It sounds great in my head.”
Artwork for “Procession” – Copyright Nina Haigh
But when you’re recording, you need to be precise. Or more importantly, you need to get it “right”. Not so right that you may as well have just programmed the music into a sequencer. And not so unright (not a word, I know – blame Facebook) that you’re selling yourselves and your ideas short.
Oh, and by the way, the meter is ticking. No pressure.
We love going into the studio as a band because it allows us to realise all the different ideas that have been brewing and gestating in every rehearsal and after every gig. We love the studio because it also allows us to try things out we just can’t practically do in a rehearsal room or in a live environment because we’re so busy trying to fight whatever’s causing that feedback, and see if we can’t boost this or that a little bit.
Artwork for “Surrender, She Said” – Copyright Nina Haigh
The songs we recorded this time around, Procession and Surrender, She Said, are two very different tracks where we wanted to play around with a lot of different aspects of things that we like as a band, but also making sure that they were something which was *us*.
Relatively speaking the turn around between writing these songs and going into the studio was breath-takingly quick – somewhere around a month. And we managed to play a couple of gigs too.
We’re really thrilled with the way these two tracks have turned out, and are excited about the prospect of them getting an extra shine and a polish when we get all our recordings mastered (probably towards the end of January, pop-pickers). We’re also overwhelmed by the positive and energetic response we’ve had to them as well. We’re not really in a phase of actively pushing and promoting ourselves or our material, so unsolicited feedback is always very gratifying! You can all come again.
We’re already looking forward to going back into the studio in January, and working with Bryan again. We’ve got some more songs written, though with any luck we’ll have even more to choose from when we record.
As always, have some photos in the meantime.
Simon, between takes
There can be long periods of waiting…
Actually, we used Pro-Tools. This desk was pretty much just a piece of cool looking furniture.
Apparently there was a world outside…
Alice getting her war drums ready for Procession. That’s her game face.
Anjay getting his Dancehall beat down
Part of the outboard rack.
Bryan has the patience of a saint and the ears of an owl.