This is Mithras writing. Here’s a little studio report from our recent recordings. You might want to check Rene Hofmann's site out for more technical details as he may write something about the recordings as well one of these days.
After the recordings to our last album were a bit rushed due to lack of time and fuck-ups in the preparation phase, we decided to record our next album in several steps, the first of which was recording three songs a few weeks ago. We wanted, again, to record live, this time in our rehearsal room. Of course, we don’t want a rough rehearsal tape, so we recorded the basic tracks (bass / drums / guitar) live and fixed it up with guitar and vocal overdubs, the latter of which still have to be done. Producer of our choice is again Rene Hofmann, who specializes in recording bands in their rehearsal spaces.
|Setting up drums|
We set up our stuff on a Sunday afternoon, kicked everything that was not needed out of the room, installed space dividers to keep crosstalk between the instruments down to a minimum, and covered everything up in molton. Thomas, the drummer of my other band Wight, showed up at some point to help us with the drum set up and to lend our drummer his snare, which is quite a work of art. We had a quick rehearsal afterwards and ran through all songs once again, before it was off for food, some beer and bed.
Rene joined us early Monday morning, and it took us until noon to complete the recording set up. Picture below shows Sperrfeuer in control of his and Nihlathak’s headphone mix, while I usually record without headphones.
|Sperrfeuer Heretic in control of headphone mix|
And off it was… the first song we recorded is called “A Whisper From The Concrete Below,” It went in smooth and quickly, even though it contains a clean guitar part (something I notoriously suck at) and a bass solo (which we haven’t really done before either.) We decided to proceed directly to the next song, “Astronomy,” which goes back to lyrical and structural ideas by Sperrfeuer. Contrary to what some may think, it’s not always me who starts off a song, even though I do come up with most guitar riffs… or more like, the guitar riffs come up with me. This was supposed to be the “evil” song with intertwining extremely fast and very slow parts that aren’t that easy to get right, and quite technical riffing. Technical by my low standards, anyways. It is also in Drop C tuning, which we don’t usually use, and doesn’t work well with the Stratocaster I usually use. So I had to build myself a guitar from parts specifically for this song, which is the ash Strat with the solid rosewood neck you can see in some pictures. I ended up using it for almost all rhythm guitar overdubs in the end though, as it sounds quite fat.
|Nihlathak tracking psychedelic bass madness|
|Mithras overdubbing the fuck out of "Astronomy"|
By this time, it was getting late and we started running out of energy, but after getting a bit of a reality check on my guitar playing, I wanted to end the day with something cool. So I went in and recorded a fuckload of lead guitar overdubs for a little bass/guitar harmony thing we have going on in “Astronomy.” Feeling all like Brian May, I could go home satisfied and have a few beers with Nihlathak, who was staying at my place for the recordings, as he lives a few kilometers away.
But really, “Astronomy” wasn’t all that bad. “Children Of A Nuclear Dawn,” which we have been playing live since, well, almost forever, proved to be a bitch to record. We should have thought of that before we came up with a 11 minute song that is mostly fast… anyways, it took quite a while to nail that motherfucker down, and because we can’t have our drummer blasting away for hours on end, we needed to give him a break. So the guys chilled (and bored) out on the sofa outside our room, while I went in to record guitar overdubs. That turned out to be relatively easy, with actually a lot of one-takes on the rhythm guitar parts, but a lot more takes for the solo guitars. Turns out, the two guitars I have fit together very well and provide a very full sound. I can assure you, the recordings already sound better than the last album… which is true for bass and drums as well.
|Playing "Children Of A Nuclear Dawn" for the 57th time|
So, after Sperrfeuer had relaxed and recovered a bit, we recorded the missing parts of “Children…”, and I completed overdubs for that song as well. Done. Now, Nihlathak and I need to go to Rene’s Wasted Life Studio to record vocals sometime during the next weeks, and we hope to maybe release one of the recorded songs in advance. Meanwhile, we’re working on more songs for the album. All the basic stuff has been written already, but we need to learn or re-learn a lot of it, clean up some lyrics and arrangements, fix up solos etc. We will definitely record the rest of the album this year, and then we’ll see how and when we release it. It’s going to be a while, but mark my words, it will be worth the time spent waiting. We hope to present a few more songs of the new album during our next live shows (we already did a few at our recent gigs.) So I’d advise you to move your ass there to get a bit of a preview.