Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our new record will make you deaf

Well, hello.... so, it's been quite a process making this new record (which is likely to be called Can You Hear Me?). It was initially something that began as a demo which I was going to take with me to Toronto to shop around to labels and have something to pass along to musicians to form a Toronto chapter of the band while Matt, Paula, and I kept writing songs together. After playing back the dailies of the first couple days at Maximus Sound, however, there was a sonic character to first couple bed tracks (I believe it was "A Gentle Art" and "An Evening to Myself" but I could be wrong on the latter) which captured the energy we had been pouring into the songs as we wrote and performed them in and around Vancouver... So, the nucleus of a new record was born and we approached the remainder of the sessions with that general mindset.

We tracked and tracked for about two months, during which time I got married(!) and started to get things organized to move to Toronto. I think two days after I laid down my final vocal, I was on a one-way plane out of Vancouver with no furniture, no money, no set plans -- just a beautiful wife, a bunch of guitars and records, and a safety in knowing that if the plane went down, my last vocal tracks were on Claude Laforest's hard drive!

After the New Year, we shipped the tracks to EchoPlant Sound, where Ryan Worsley finished a few vocal tracks with Paula and went straight into mixing.

Mixing long-distance is strange; every record I'd played on up to this point usually involved everyone in the band sitting in the studio with the engineer for days and weeks hammering it out. This time, Ryan would mix a song in Vancouver, email it to me in Toronto, I'd make notes, pass the notes and songs along to Matt and Paula in Vancouver, they'd add their two bits, we'd send it all to Ryan, and he'd go back and work on the songs again. Every song has been fully mixed three times now, a couple (like "After") have had a couple extra passes.

As we're now in April, it seems like all the songs, shy of a few small tweaks, are done. All I can say is, "Wow," and "Holy freaking f*ck, these songs are LOUD!"

Of course, it's easy to lose perspective on things when you're totally hoiled up alone listening to mixes -- so the songs have been let loose on a few close colleagues to make sure that everything sounds as great as we think it does, and affirm that we're not losing our minds.... THEN, and only then, will mixing be complete.

But that doesn't mean it's over then by any stretch; there's still artwork, mastering, packaging, etc., etc., and the new lineup in Toronto has to get out and start rocking the faces off audiences.

Though you might like to know all this in the meantime.