Day 6 Wednesday April 4th 2012.
It was James’ turn today to twist his own knobs after twisting Claytons for the last 3 days. It’s slightly unconventional to record the guitars before the bass but it works for us. As you know James has a massive set a tone balls on him so it makes sense to lay down the rhythm guitars first, get them sounding good then slot James in his own space. If we play live and use sound engineers that we haven’t worked with before we always say “Don’t think of James as a bass player, he’s just a guitarist that happens to play the bass”. People get it after that.
We set a goal of recording 5 tracks today and messed around as usual with the amps available to us. We bought a Jansen Bassman 100 and Mesa Boogie 400+ down with us but once again it was the Hiwatt that created the snarling gank we’re after.
James ripped into it and got on a roll doing great takes of Dune, Caul of Time, Imperium, Shadow King and Tower of Skulls. You may of read in an earlier post how some of the guitar takes are just 1 guitar going to multiple amps and speakers simultaneously to create a big sound. Usually you may overdub the guitar multiple times and pan them left and right but this time we James was the one doubling his bass tracks. The sound of a roaring bass in each ear and are ripping singular guitar down the middle was quite spectacular.
It was Clayton’s turn for dinner so him and Matt visited a fantastic local fish shop and picked up some Groper, a fresh squid and a dozen Bluff oysters. We had a delicious “whores” pasta for dinner with pan fried fish, salt and pepper squid and the oysters.
EATING LIKE KINGS!
Another thing about recording here in Dunedin is that the weather has been absolutely stunning. We’re actually getting some sun which is a huge difference from how we were freezing our tits off on the last album. And over all the music is feeling different. There are more ‘metal’ sounding songs but also as James said last night “the not so metal songs are sounding so much heavier than the metal stuff”.
After dinner we ticked the last rhythm guitar track of the list with Blood Becomes Fire and Matt finished the last of his guide vocal takes. We ending the night with some guitar overdubs adding texture to Tower of Skulls with a beautiful 12 string electric Rickenbacker but unfortunately a pretty important piece of gear decided to stop working so we had to call it a night early. I wonder if it has anything to do with what Dale said a night or so ago. “I know it sounds good because I can smell my gear working”.
Hopefully we’ll have this fixed in the morning and be able to continue on with the bass tracking.
Day 2 Saturday 31st March 2012.
Had a good listen back to yesterdays drum takes and happy with everything apart from Dune so we went back down to the basement studio and gave it another go. Nailed it the second time through and knocked out Caul of Time and Realms. A couple of songs we had planned to leave to recording later in the session ended up being recorded too. Slow burners Rivermen (a new arrangement of a song the we had recorded for the last album which was close but didn’t quite make it) and one that at this stage is called The Sleeper, the name pretty much sums up the vibe of that one. The feel was right and the Vistalite drumkit is singing in the concrete room. I have thought of started a swear jar for every time the word “Bonham” pops into my head.
Dale cooked us a great pasta for dinner then we got picked up by Steve the Feastock organiser for our set at Refuel for the afterparty. It was pretty insane turning up and playing with no soundcheck after recording all day with such a focus on “perfection” and then just smashing it all out in front of a few hundred people.
Such great fun being in this band.