As planned, we finished recording the new album Sunday at Envision. Left to right, that’s John “Bubweiser” Bonds, producer and referee J.D. Reager, Jay “Don’t Call Me Ty Burrell” Hines, engineer and lineman Eric Wilson, and Yard-Rakin’, Soul-Shakin’, Money-Takin’, Godforsaken Mark Akin.
Come for the aerobics, stay for that amazing room sound. Here we are recording some background vocals using a microphone, or as we musicians might say, “picking up some BGVs on a mic.” I’ve tried to keep the confusing technical jargon to a minimum, but thought you’d like a lesson anyway.
And one final listen through of all 11 songs to make sure we didn’t miss anything. You may be asking yourself, why the ladder? It’s actually a very necessary part of the process, as you can’t hear the high notes without it.
Next up, mixing the songs.
D’oh! I knew I was going fall behind on the recording updates. We’ve been getting back at it the past few weeks (newest new working title, Quietly Noisy Relaxed Intensity) with the delightful Eric Wilson as engineer and Envision filling in for the studio.
Last weekend Mr. Bonds cut percussion at his house and I recorded some background vocals at mine. It’s really starting to feel like we’ve turned the corner on finishing these songs. Mixing approaches, and we’re hoping to be done with all recording by December 5. We shall see …
Back to Graham’s for vocals the last few days starting Sunday, October 10th. Not much to report, other than this guy is still crushing it. We’ve got lead vocals on eight of 11 songs!
Let me take this opportunity to feature one of the many conversation pieces in this studio. How ‘about that Memphis city seal? You can see it over the door in the above photo, but here’s a closeup.
Seriously, how cool is this?
Short session yesterday assessing what we had (newer working title, Let’s Dick On), then continuing with guitar parts. (J.D. was in town for Gonerfest and had a window of opportunity.) I have one bass part to re-record, but can do that at home with Pro Tools and then send it to Mr. Producer in Chicago. Truly, we are living in the future.
As promised, we were back at rhythm guitars and solos yesterday. And Stan’s Donuts. Left-to-right, it’s little old me; swell guy, engineer, and Frogg (sic) Mountain owner John Forbes; guitarist extraordinaire Kram Nika; and our lovely and talented producer J.D. Reager. We got a metric crap-ton of work done this trip, and I completely forgot how much I like Chicago.
Also, if you’ve ever stayed at the Aloft Hotel downtown and spent an inordinate amount of time wondering who that guitarist is sharing the stage in the giant photo of Mick and Keef (as you approach the elevators), I’ve done the legwork for you. Meaning I’ve asked Facebook friends way more knowledgeable than I.
Yesterday was guitars, guitars, and guitars, recorded at Frogg (sic) Mountain Studio. Once we ironed out a few technical kinks and found the tone, Kram got it done like a champion. I think y’all are gonna like this album (new working title, F*ck It, Let’s Listen To It), or at least appreciate how good it sounds. We’re really happy with how it’s coming together.
Anyway, two songs still need rhythm guitars and then it’s on to solos and ear candy, AKA “noodlies,” in Subteens-speak.
We arrived in Chicago late Thursday afternoon to get back to making this new record of ours (working title, Not Today, Satan). Yesterday, I invaded chez Reager for about 12 hours and finished my remaining bass lines, which was a balance of six for those keeping score at home.
It doesn’t sound like hard work, but any musician will tell you that recording is mentally exhausting. By the end of the day I felt like I’d been studying for – and then taking – college finals. And my hands were becoming uncooperative.
But J.D. and I got it all done and everything is still sounding pretty great! Bass and drums are completely finished and I’ve never been happier to type a sentence before in my life. For the rest of the weekend, Mark will be cutting guitars while I sit in the studio’s control room eating donuts, imperiously telling him to do it again. And again.
The stars have aligned and we just started tracking our first full-length album in 17 years! This one (working title, Who?) will be on the Back to the Light label with J.D. Reager producing at Graham Burks’s studio.
This room sounds F*CKING AM*ZING! Without question, these are the absolute best god-of-thunder drum and guitar sounds we’ve ever captured. So far we’ve got 11 drum tracks, five basslines, three rhythm guitars, and a partridge in a pear tree.
We may only be three days in but this is shaping up to be some serious lightning in a bottle. Stay tuned, I’ll try to post updates periodically.