photo from the recording session - courtesy of Karen Moscowitz
Folks have been asking "how did recording go?". Here's my best wordy Daniel attempt at summarizing. I realized sometime this past Thursday that we weren't going to make it. Every album we've recorded up until this point we've slammed through the meat grinder ASAP or AMAMA (as much as money allowed). Well, that's not entirely true as we spent a good amount of time recording Say What You Mean, but in general we're a scrappy bunch and that is reflected in our recording efforts. This latest recording was no exception -- get our butts in there, record, overdub a bit, move on to vocals on day 4 and get it all done in under a week. Hup hup! Well, that didn't happen. It was part unrealistic schedule meets bandmates-as-best-frenemies. Love them to death, but it was a tug-of-war, which can prove both creatively frustrating and fruitful. More on that later ...
In the end we recorded 10 really cool songs. Reggie recorded vocals on 4 of those. Thaddeus and I have guitar and keyboard overdub work to do. Davis has a few boom/baps to overdub, but he's basically done. Kevin's bass work is very likely complete (go Kev!). The band recorded all live in one room. We didn't have a note written before we walked in and it didn't all come together under the wire as hoped. We tend to thrive musically under pressure, but this bareback bronco of a schedule threw even Maktub, improv cowboys, prematurely from the saddle.
Where does this leave us? Actually, in an oddly interesting and creative spot. We're going to meticulously hammer away at these songs. Michael Cozzi (producer) is in no hurry and looking forward to spending a long time crafting everything just right. Cozzi is rummaging through tracks this week and running overdubs in the coming weeks -- all drums, guitar and keys. At that point Reggie will be on deck for vocals and he'll have a much clearer picture of the compositions and his role within as vocal confabulator. But what began as a one week experiment is turning into a many months jazz oddysey, minus the jazz.
As for my best frenemies comment, it's no mystery to anyone in a band or collective creative endeavor (web company, dance company, restaurant, marriage, etc) that it gets crunchy at times. However, crunchy has been known to deliver the goods and that's where we hope this takes us. If the songs didn't sound so damn good I'd offer a different opinion, but we may have midwived a pineapple. Prickly on the outside; delicious on the in.
Another observation from fans that have written to us or written reviews of past albums, there seems to be two divergent schools of thought: "run wild, be free" (ala Start It Over) or "craft songs for months before you even think of recording" (ala Khronos). Well, this may very well turn out to be a hybrid Prius version of those two. At times this past weekend we had a blast; at times we stumbled, fumbled and rumbled. And we still don't know where this is going but I for one am predicting awesomeness. Why? Because at some point this weekend (no shit) I learned to stop worrying about the individuals and simply love the band. To my ears, the rough tracks seem to bear this out.