Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who's Dog Is This?

Sitting here listening to the rough mixes for the new record and I wanted to write about some of the times we had creating this thing. First off I should say that I am more proud of this record than anything I’ve done creatively, ever! I went in with the intention of making an old style “album” (remember album’s from your ancient history books kiddies?). 10 songs, a side A and a side B, and you can drop the needle (figuratively of course) on the first track and listen to it all the way through, or you can embrace the iTunes world we live in and sequence it any old way you choose!
We recorded in Minneapolis, at The Terrarium, with my band and co-producer Truth on keys, (anybody remember Machine Gun at Shaw’s that night???). My friend and amp guru Tim O’Brien made up the third member of our production team and with the help of our ninja – engineer Rob Oesterlin, we cut 13 tracks in 6 days, counting all overdubs!! 8 songs the first day alone! Trust me, that’s pretty quick. A friend pointed out that I always say the latest record is my best yet, so while I say that again this time, I really mean it!! I’ve never been involved with a record project that has this much soul in it. Every single person involved with this record gave 110%.
Things I learned and observed while making this record;
1. The human body can exist on a scone and 3 gallons of coffee with a quart of black tea for dessert per day for a period of 6 days!
2. You can haul $100,000.00 worth of really cool vintage amps into the studio and set them all up and if you use O’Brien amps, it will be a waste of time.
3. Start every project with a prayer. Invite God in on the deal and you’re guaranteed to have an environment of positive energy and creative bliss.
4. The following things are nuisance in the studio; sleep, food, chairs.
5. Unusual but necessary items for this record; Big Nasty, Dave Gardner albums, a shotgun, iPhones, WD-40, lighter fluid, a really really (really) nice pen!
6. Making records is supposed to be fun.
7. Truth is the best vocal/acting coach in the world!

We started planning this record about a month ago. Truth, Tim and I set up a Skype thing and had several pre-production meetings on line, picking the tunes and getting them into shape. (Our last meeting was supposed to be at 10:00pm on an off night at home for me and I fell asleep and missed the meeting!!). We drove in from our last gig in Vegas to my business partner/manager’s house in St. Paul and spent the next two days rehearsing the songs (and basically destroying his house in the process! Seriously, both toilets, washing machine, garbage compactor…it was pretty amazing considering we were being really careful!) First day in the studio, we cut 8 songs. Our rule was simple; no more than 3 takes. Anything more and the vibe’s in danger of being lost. If we couldn’t get it in 3, we left it. We never had to do more than three takes!
So what did we end up with? A record like nothing I’ve ever done before. The best thing I’ve ever done and a record that I am so proud of that it’s hard to explain. Stay tuned for more info soon! LIG!!

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