In the words of Arjuna Jacob Cyril Burn-and-Turn Born-Lucky Kohlstock, wasabi everyone!
If you've been following my daily blogs you'll know we're quite far into the process. I think we've all agreed that everything except the vocals and strings (for one song) are complete so it's down to the Scal's voice to tie everything together. We did a half day today with Matt "back of the bus" James so we could use half of Saturday to record a string quartet that so kindly agreed to play on "Jukebox" for us and I think this suited Scal just fine as he says he's generally better at singing later in the day as he's been talking during the day and thus warming up his voice.
First up though was recording some hand claps on the choruses of "Save". I thought of a really simple patterns basically following the snare and so the four of us did two takes grooving and clapping to the song. We'd never done something like this before and it's surprising how red and sore your hands get after clapping for 10 minutes!
That minor extra out of the way it was vocal time for "Those Three Words" which is a song we've been playing live for almost a year now and I never get tired of it. The vocals have changed a bit since we recorded prepro on it about 6 months ago and the melodies sound nice and varied. I remember when we initially wrote it Scal was into giving it a more shouty delivery which sounded cool but he's settled on a more relaxed yet energetic performance which he always does so well. He did three takes of it, using the 3rd one which had a bit more of an energetic urgent vibe, plus a few fix ups where Gordon felt he didn't quite nail the notes in a couple of the more difficult parts where he leaps to a higher note. We're into the more distorted vocal sounds but this one called for a more clean sound with a bit of compression.
Next Scal did the singing for "Unusable Block" (might have to figure out the proper title for this soon, but hey might just keep it!). Gordon set up a similar mic sound to "Look out" - a more distorted and compressed sound where Scal could belt out certain parts a bit more. Scal knocked it off in two takes, using the second one if I remember then the usual minor fixups where a word wasn't 100% clear. I feel for him cos he had to sing in the second part of Juki's giant wall of sound evil guitar solo at the high volume required to track a vocal part so I think it left him a bit dazed! Warning: do not listen to that part through headphones at full volume! You'll see what I mean :)
We've been looking through this book Sash brought into studio of the best album covers throughout the history of rock 'n roll so we've started getting some vague ideas as to art direction, etc. Won't reveal any of that to you, let's rather keep that as a surprise :)
Short and sweet day hey! Four of the tracks have now been completed as far as vocals go so we've got eight more to go. Only two days left as well so it's going to be tough for Scal but he's a soldier and doesn't require that many takes so we'll get it done in time. Juki and I also need to do the score for the string arrangements, in other words work out what we wrote and write it out into musical notation for the musicians, so we also have some homework to do.
Don't forget, Saturday night 23 Jan '10 we'll be jamming at Zula. We'll be celebrating the end of the production part of our album so come party with us! Then it's onto the mixing and mastering experts so hang tight!
Love to all!
Karl and the boys