Thursday, March 25, 2010

First Day of Spring Brings An All Band That Sings

Okay that was forced. Fortunately it kind of makes sense!

Saturday, March 20th, marked the first day that our New England winter was over, bringing forth new spring air and a very beautiful and warm day at that! Before we set up for our sure to be all-day jam-a-thon, we ate Breugger's out on the sunny deck, fiddled around with Marcin's new Nikon and sipped some delicious spring ales. Once Chad arrived, we began work on Hello, Amy. Setting up was no easy task; cramming all four of us musicians into one space was the ultimate goal, to allow us to work together as one like we have done this entire year on What To Keep & Let Go. The tricky part was ensuring we'd get a nice, clean sound while maintaining that live, one-take feel. Dave, having a few good tricks up his sleeve, ended up putting Chad's amp in the hallway, barricading its sound from the mics that were stationed around Cullen's kit. Marcin was plugged in so any sound he made was going direct through to the console. And for me, I was set up in the corner inside two big pieces of boarded foam to blog any acoustic guitar noise from traveling towards Cullen's mics. I, too, was plugged in so everyone could hear me but I'd be re-recording my acoustic part more properly at a later date. Singing wasn't an issue either as it was something we had always planned I would do in another session. The goal here was to capture the essence of the band and our energies playing off of each other. And boy was there energy!
The takes went great. Starting off was a little rusty for all of us as we hadn't played the song together in a while. Chad came in to the studio having written an entirely new lead guitar section that I hadn't even heard yet with the exception of a rough mp3 he sent me a few days prior. I wasn't worried and with good reason as he ripped into his parts like they had been part of the song for the entire year. Having completed about 3 good takes out of maybe 5, we all decided to cool ourselves outside in the sun (yes, the shaded studio was much hotter than the sunny deck). When we returned, we got a SOLID take (the best one so far) followed by a few more decent ones and finally ending on what we ultimately chose together as the one we'd go with.

Although there are a number of songs on the record that obviously showcase these guys' talents, Hello, Amy is the one tune that I really wanted each player to have their own signature in the bridge part of the song...a chance to really shine and stand-out. So during the breakdown, Marcin and Chad each traded space in the rhythm to stand above the mix with their solos. Cullen was offered such a chance to solo but he felt it best to keep on rhythm. His percussion sections as a whole in this album are testament enough to his "standing out" so I was satisfied with his choice. (Did I ever mention how amazing his work on Circles is?'ll see :)) I accept Cullen's idea to sing out random "whoas!" and "wooo!"s as his mark. (Hence the All Band That Sings title...haha) Not to mention his persistent ambition to get this song as live feeling as possible. As great as the final outcome is, it still has an energy and life that bares no surprise to how we as a band were actually dancing and rocking out on our final take, as if we knew it was the "one" and so warranted a celebration and all-out unleashing of everything we had in us left of the day. It came out great and thanks to Marcin, Cullen, Chad, Dave and Melissa for spending the entire day making sure it did.

Check out some photos of us doing our thing.

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