Friday, March 30, 2007

Recording: Day 14

I lost track of days and ended up a bit behind. As usual.
So guess what?


We wrapped on Wednesday night after I finished up vocals for the last 2 songs. Afterwards we sat down and listened through all 12 tracks in their rawest form to make sure we had not forgotten anything.
It was amazing to hear all of our work blast through the speakers. 22 days of hard work and stress came out in musical form and couldn't have been better. We're all very excited to get the final mixes in our hands, but we also know that Travis's job is just beginning. He has to sit down and listen to these songs over and over to get them perfect. I said this a few other times, but these songs are HUGE!

In my opinion, the "Sarcasm" EP was very one dimensional due to time and budget constraints. This record is three times fuller and the life and personality just seeps out of the songs. I'm very proud of all my bandmates for their hard work and dedication to this project. At some point or another we all pushed ourselves to our limits and at the same time we were always there to lend support and to give words of encouragement. I'm thankful to Travis for taking on this project as well. Knowing him, he could have worked with anyone that he wanted to, and he chose us. It makes us feel good to know he believes in this record as much as we do and wants it to be as amazing as we do. What more could we ask for?

Last night, which was Thursday, we spent the evening loading out all the gear we used for the record. The amps, guitars, console, and loads and loads of cables were all piled into our van and returned to Travis. It was a little sad to see things go, but I know that JoAnna was happy to have her room back. She wasn't even able to sleep in her room for this process. Kudos to her for sticking it out and making the most of the situation.

Over the next few weeks we now have to go back and re-learn a lot of the new parts that we added during the recording process. It's going to be fun getting everything tight so that we can replicate what will be on the CD into a live show that holds up.

We'll rehearse through most of April and pick up shows where we can, but due to this schedule along with various vacations happening through May, we might not hit the stage til the Florida Music Festival happening May 16-20.
It's all up in the air right now, but we need the time to get our heads on straight, get back into playing together as a band, and making the extra cash so we can put this record out ourselves.

Tomorrow night we're going to throw a small celebratory bash in honor of our CD being 100% recorded and then over the next few weeks we'll be checking in with Travis from time to to hear the mixes as they progress. Once we find the point where everyone is 100% happy with how things are sounding, we'll get that sucker mastered and sent off to the presses.

Please keep an eye on this blog as we'll be releasing the title of the record (once we have it) and a tracklisting of all the jams which will fill it out.

Lastly, here are some photos from the last few days of recording that I took on my new phone. They're kind of lame, and I apologize for that.

The mixing console and effects racks in our makeshift control room.

This is the bathroom where I sang all my vocals. That is the microphone I spit all over.

These are the guitar and bass amps that you will hear all over our album.
Sweet tones derived from these monsters. They do not belong to us. We are not that cool.

Travis, Doug, Bert, and JoAnna take a break from recording to play some Tetris attack. Everyone else was good at it except for me.

Thanks for checking in throughout the process, and please keep coming back for more updates.

It's been a blast!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Recording: Day 13

My stress level has been all over the place as of late. I want nothing but great things for this record and I'm feeling pretty good that it will meet and exceed my expectations by leaps and bounds. Having Travis around has taught us all so much. We've approached these newer songs way differently than we may have otherwise and it's opened up our ears and minds to new ideas. Having a producer is one thing, but having a producer who has written some records that I spin on a regular basis and thoroughly enjoy is another.

Personally, I've learned quite a lot about tones, sounds, vocals, melodies, harmonies and... "moxy".
I know that when it comes time to start writing again I will be approaching things way differently and keep a much more open mind than in the past. I'm very excited to see where this record takes us and even more excited to write the next chapter.

Last night I finished up vocals for two more tracks leaving us with just two more to finish. I get more and more excited with each session that we do. Most indie records take about two weeks to finish and tonight we'll crack the 14 day mark, so by all accounts we're really on track even with most of us working full time jobs.

Like I mentioned in yesterday's blog, we should have a guest vocalist coming in tonight and I can't wait to tell you about that after it happens.

Two more songs, a few handclaps and shakers, and we can call it a wrap!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Recording: Day 12

Let me think a second... how many songs do we have completed for the record?

That's right, folks we are now down to the final four tunes. Tonight I plan to wrestle my way through two more and then we'll be sharing some ideas on the final tune that is pretty bare bones at this point. Tomorrow during the day, Travis and JoAnna will take those ideas and coordinate some drums. I know that I've said this 100 times throughout the journal here, but we are not sure which direction this song will take so it's a bit of experiementation on all of our parts. It will be... interesting, to say the least.

Tomorrow evening we're planning to have a guest vocalist come in to lend his pipes to our record. We're not exactly sure where it's going to fit in, or what exactly will happen, but we shall experiement until everything is perfect or at least listenable. More on that after it actually happens. It will be cool. I hope.

So as usual, it's all work and no play, but things are surely coming together nicely. Travis is a vocals kind of guy so we've gotten to toss a lot of great ideas back and fourth. He's been a joy to work with, through and through.

We're all very anxious to get back to playing shows ASAP, so hopefully in May we'll be able to line up a few and we're pretty certain that we'll be showcasing at this year's Florida Music Festival as well.

We hope to have something for you to hear before too long, so keep those ears on alert!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Recording: Day 11

Yesterday was possibly the longest day of my life.

I had to get myself to work at 5:30am and didn't get home til 5:30pm.
We had decided to take a week or regain our composure and opted to kick back up this week to (hopefully) finish up the record. We've put ourselves on a bit of a time crunch, but deadlines create results. I hope they are good ones.
I spent all of last night in the vocal bathroom belting out extremely high notes to the microphone, the shower, and possibly the neighbors.
I had spent the entire day on my feet and talking so I'll admit to not being in prime singing condition. However, we finished up yet another tune! I believe that brings our total number of songs complete to six. Halfway through vocals!
The evening was dedicated to a song that I was never completely taken with, but it has done a complete 180 since it's conception. The drums are more driving, the bass walks nicely, the guitars shimmer, and now the vocals are sassy, sexy, and driven by some slick harmonies and a big chorus. It is slowly turning into a song that I find to be listenable. I'm sure I will love it after it is mixed.

Tonight the rest of the band is headed into downtown Orlando to see Rory at The Social while I stay home and sing. Sacrifices must be made, y'know?
I'm hoping to get through another song or two this evening and have something to show the rest of the band when they get back. We already wrapped up (what's looking to be) my favorite song for the record, but there are some others coming up that I think are phenomenal as well.

Also - I still have video that I'm editing. It ended up being quite lengthy, so it's just taking a little longer than expected.

Take care!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Non-Recording: Day 1

Today is break day!!

We're getting a 2 day break to catch up on some sleep and not listen to our own music. It's much needed. It makes me smile though when even when we aren't making a record we're talking about it. Everyone here in camp ENY seems genuinely excited about getting this thing done and getting it out there even though we really don't want it to end. More vocals, harmonies, guitars, and handclaps are due in the future but I think we'll use the next couple days to just chill and catch up on our movie watching. I'll attempt to finish editing some video (if I can sit still long enough to focus) but most likely just be kind of lazy.

I have "Snakes on a Plane" on lease from Netflix and I am dying to watch it. I also want to see "300" sometime in the future. It comes highly recommended from Travis and everyone else I know who has seen it.

If anything exciting happens, rest assured that you will hear about it. I'm trying to book us a few shows for March, so keep an eye on that show listing.

Also, since I'm a bit behind on my music recommendations, here are a couple of records to check out!

Out Now:
Sherwood - A Different Light
A great new album from a great band. Please go get this record if you like music, life, and the world in general.

Out April 3, 2007:
Here are a few records being released on Bert's 22nd birthday!

Chevelle - Vena Sera
The Academy Is... - Santi

Out April 10, 2007:
Limbeck - Self Titled
This might be the only record of 2007 aside from ours that will matter.


Recording: Day 10

Tonight's session kicked off around 9pm. Even though I was a little late in getting there Doug was recording some acoustic guitar for the tune that we chose to rebuild.
He built a solid foundation for the tune and we'll prepare to build on it another night. We once again turned the bathroom into a vocal booth and dove into some more tunes. I got a little too frustrated on the song we chose to start off with decided to find something a little more suited to the moment.

Myself, JoAnna, and Bert all ended up lending some vocal stylings to the track and by 1:00am we had something pretty solid. That's 5 songs finished. Doug bumps the percentage complete up into the 80% range.

Travis packed up some gear to get away from us crazies so he could do some mixing in peace. We'll get a short break and then hopefully kick up again on Thursday.
It was obvious that we needed a break simply because as we all sat around in the control room listening back to various parts we were totally reusing all the same jokes from previous days. We were all completely out of new material.

There's only so much verbal, mental, and airsoft gun abuse that people can take!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Recording: Day 9 redux

Last night we finished up vocals on yet another song.


We turned one of the bathrooms in the house into a vocal booth by throwing towels everywhere to deaden the sound and then stuck a mic in front of me. At this point both Bert and JoAnna have contributed background vocals and things are sounding big, full, and harmonious.

Tonight we power into day number 10. So much for a break, eh?

Travis seems to want to get this thing done about as badly as we do (probably just so he can stop seeing us all the time), but we're anxious to get it done just as much.

We're still re-building one tune from scratch (it's almost there!) and I have to do vocals for 8 more songs. We're averaging about two tunes a day and hope to get through at least one more tonight since we won't get started until around 9pm.

I am still completely baffled by how hard it is to make a record.

More later!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Recording: Day 9 - Part II

That's 3 songs in the BAG!

We are officially finished with 3 out of 12 songs. Fantastic.
Everytime we complete a tune, I get more excited.
I rounded out vocals for one of our newer tunes and then the rest of the band joined in for gang vocal madness. We've got some super big songs coming your way. I think I can perhaps bump up our percentage to 65% complete.

Ugh, I feel like I keep writing the exact same things a different way.

The recording is going amazing. It baffles me how much work has gone into making this record. Each person put all of their energy into making their parts the best they can be and I couldn't be more proud of my bandmates. Even though I sometimes spent six hours sitting in one place listening to the same song over and over I go to bed each night absolutely exhausted.

I'm a little sad that our sessions are winding down but we have more to do and I hope that it can be completed sooner than later.

We're about to take a quick break for dinner and then hopefully kick up with another round of vocals. I'm a singing MACHINE!

Recording: Day 9

Here's another quick update while we take a quick break...

We've been working on vocals all day. We officially have two songs finished at this point with one more whole tune to record. Today is our last day for these sessions and we'll likely take a week off and then resume a little later so that we can get both our passion and energy back.

It's coming along! Slowly but surely.

Recording: Day 8

Just a quick update before I turn in for the night. It's about 1:30am right now and we just wrapped recording for the night. Today was by far one of the longest days for us.

Last night we started on the synthesizer side of things and got through 5 out of the 6 songs which utilize the high pitched squeels of joy. I actually had to take a step back and bust out an older synth and we used that on one of the tracks we finished up first thing this morning. After wrapping that up we headed back to the guitars and fixed up a few things and completely tackled one additional tune that we had yet to touch.

A little later into the evening we decided to start on vocals. I found myself in one of our bathrooms surrounded by towels and I belted through one song and that is now officially in the bag. I started on another song but it was getting pretty late so I only made it a few parts in. Tomorrow we'll finish up with that and hopefully toss a few more in the bag by the end of the day.

As things stand we have one songs COMPLETELY finished. Chances are that vocals will take a few more weeks to finish up as we have time. There's still one song that I've mentioned a few times that we were toying with. Travis wasn't thrilled with the original demo and we broke it down so we could rebuild. However, due to lots of overtime with the guitars I'm not sure if the song will be finished in time to be included in the record. It's a little hearbreaking since it was definitely one of my favorite songs and definitely one of the most personal. I'm not ruling it out yet, but 11 songs is better than 7, yes?

I started editing some additional footage today but since I was playing a more active roll in tonight's session (i.e. playing instruments or singing rather than sitting around bored out of my mind) that will be put on hold until I get a little more time to finish it up.

I hope that tomorrow will be very productive since it's the last day that we have scheduled right now. We'll let you know how things go and hopefully we can make a big dent in the tracks that we have yet to finish.

I'm so tired that my eyes are blurring.
To bed now. Sleep. Good.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Recording: Day 7 - Part II

So it's been quite the day. Quite a long day to be more specific. Doug and myself have been plugging away all day with the guitar side of the sonic spectrum. Yesterday we finished two songs and got ourselves halfway through two others. Today we riffed it up and I think as things stand right now we only have two more songs that have nothing as far as guitars. There are a few things we plan to revisit over the weekend, but right now it is late and we had to shut down the amps and plan to focus on something a bit quieter. We just made a quick trip to our favorite restaraunt, Ti'Juana Flats and have returned stuffed to the gills with mexican food goodness. Everyone is couch surfing for the moment while I our minds get refreshed and our stomachs settle.

For the remainder of the evening we'll either tackle acoustic guitar or Moog lines. I don't think we have decided as of yet.

When Doug was asked what percentage of the record was complete he responded with 60%. That sounds good to me. We're 60% done with our full length record. Some songs are shaping up nicely, others need work, and some even blew us away.

Have I mentioned lately how excited we are to release this?

Travis has been awesome to us and fits in very well with the crew. Our slightly askew brands of sarcasm mesh nicely and he likes to pick on Doug just as much as the rest of us.

It's been a heck of a day and I can't wait to update you more tomorrow. Soon we should have enough footage to post another video journal, so stayed tuned for that as long as I have time to do some quick editing.

Thanks for checking in!

midday mayhem

Hey guys,
JoAnna here. Just keeping updates and whatnot. We're halfway through day 7 of recording, and we're crankin' out the tunes like nobody's business. I know we keep saying it, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to hear the revamped versions of some of our stuff. Guitarmonies galore! Anyway. It sounds awesome. We're still only about halfway through guitar parts, but the time and patience is well worth it, because we know this is going to sound great.
Some time is always spent picking on/beating up Doug, but that's everyday. We don't need to be recording for that to happen. For me anyway.
Eh, I'll leave this short and sweet. More to come later, I'm sure.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Recording: Day 6 - Part II

Aaaaaaaaaand we're done for day numero six!

As I mentioned earlier, tonight was all about the guitars. Switching guitars, shaping tones, and playing really loudly through crazy amplifiers. Nothing better, right?

We spent a whole lot of time making sure that we're really happy with how everything sounds. Sound is important when making a record. Just so you know, this record is so far sounding amazing. One of the big reasons that we wanted to work with Travis in the first place was because his records always were so sonically pleasing. He's an advocate of big sounds and lots of layers. Remember that "Sarcasm" record? This record is going to sound 300 times bigger. Possibly 500 times bigger. There's no telling!

As far as guitars go, we finished up all the guitar parts on 2 tracks and I layed down rhythm guitar on 2 or 3 other songs. I honestly can't remember.
Our ears were starting to get tired so we decided to break for the night and resume tomorrow morning. We should be able to finish up 4 or 5 more songs tomorrow and then hammer through additional guitars, bass, and other instrumentation over the weekend.

While playing through tunes over the course of the day I realized how excited I am to start playing these songs at live shows. Sure, some of them we've been playing live for a while, but they have taken on completely new life and it's going to be exciting for everyone.
As a whole, this experience of working with Travis who is an all around fantastic musician, producer, and person is going to make us a stronger band. You'll see. Soon.

Tomorrow I shall update you again.
Until then...

Recording: Days 5 & 6

So I totally missed a day. Oops.

Let's see if I can remember all the craziness I missed reporting on...
Yesterday was focused on recording all the bass parts for the record. Bert spent Tuesday and Wednesday hammering out parts for everything. Things were a little bumpy along the way but as of yesterday evening he had laid basic tracks down for everything and I think we're going to go back to a song or two and review them over the weekend.
That went fairly late into the evening and around 9pm we started with some acoustic guitar sounds and decided to tackle one of the tunes that we wanted to rework from the ground up.
We got some structure ideas down and tracked a few things but it was getting late and we decided it would be better left for another evening. We'll also be clunking out some additional drum and bass tracks for that at some point.

This brings us to today... Thursday. Doug and myself managed to get a few days off of work to bring guitars into the mix. We started early at 11:00 in the A.M. and we tracked guitar lines for two songs. So in five hours we did 2 songs. Sure, sounds like a long time, but the stuff we did record is pretty killer.
There were two songs that I wrote the same week we started tracking and we hammered those out first.
A lot of time was put into finding ideal sounds and tones.

We're about to kick up on song number 3 for the day, so more on this as it develops.

More crazy camera footage was captured last night, so expect more video soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Recording: Days 3 & 4

I was slipping there for a day, but I'm back in action now.
Hopefully you enjoyed the video. I put absolutely way too much work into that for what it is.

Anyway, yesterday JoAnna finished up her drums... for now. We have 11 songs with drums. Gotta start somewhere, right? We still have one other tune that's up in the air as far as what we direction we will take with it. It might have some percussion and.... it might not. We don't know, honestly.

After drums wrapped up last night Travis set out to find a good bass tone for the record with a crazy old Mesa bass rig and a Marshall guitar amp. He does crazy things, but the sounds are crazy good.
Today was Bert's day to be in the spotlight and he, Travis, and JoAnna spent all day working on the record's lower end. I believe he completed bass lines for six tracks out of 12. Tonight we're going to turn the focus towards acoustic guitars for some mainlines and some backing layers and then tomorrow Bert will finish up with the bass (hopefully).

Hopefully more video to come soon. JoAnna had control of the camera all day while I was away at work, so I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of craziness she captured.

Are you still with us?
I know it sounds boring, but we're working dilligently and want you to hear this album. We only say that because we know how much you're going to love it.
Trust us.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Video Journal: Recording Days 1 & 2

Just a brief re-cap of what's been happening... in video form!
Click here to view the madness!

More later!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Recording Journal: Day 2

Alright alright alright!

So we worked late into the evening last night recording as many drums as we could for the songs. We ended up getting through 4 tunes before calling it a night. Sessions started up again today around noon and since we had already set up mics and got all the sounds, we just jumped right in. Recorded first was one of our newest songs and then we tackled a few older. As things stand at the time of this writing we have 3 songs done for the day and are almost midway through the fourth song, Lifeless. It's been quite loud in this house, but we're hoping to finish up a few more yet.

Bert is scheduled to start bass tomorrow or Tuesday, but we're confident he can rip right through his parts and get started on guitars by mid-week.

JoAnna is powering through like a trooper and we're feeling real good about the sounds and parts we have. Doing our best at this point to make sure everything is real tight.

The rest of us go into the control room, listen, nod and then hang around or get lost in various video game systems found lying about the house. Normally I would be hanging on every drum hit of every song, but we've got Mr. Adams overseeing everything and he's got a good ear for knowing when things can be better or tighter. We've been having a blast working with him thus far and we've barely even began!

Stay tuned for an update later in the afternoon!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Recording: Day 1

Hey there!

So today is the big day. Today begins the recording process for our follow up record to our 2005 EP release "Sarcasm is Your Friend."
We've been preparing for quite a while now and for the next 8 days we plan to record as much stuff as humanly possible.

We've been concealing the identity of our producer, but now we're ready to tell the world who will be manning the wheel of our record, so to speak.
I'm very happy to announce that our CD is going to be engineered, mixed, and produced by a fellow by the name of Travis Adams. He's an Orlando based musician who recently produced the Band Marino record and is the former frontman of the Doghouse Records act, My Hotel Year. In his free time, he also sings for a little band known as Inkwell. He also engineered and produced their releases as well.

When it comes to bands that everyone in ENY can enjoy, MHY and Inkwell both made the list, so we set out to get him as our unofficial fifth member. Turns out he's a real nice fellow and he spent the last 2 weeks listening in on our practices, disecting our songs and giving advice and pointers on how to make them better, more dynamic, and more diverse. After getting used to everything, we're loving the new material more by the day.

As I've mentioned in previous postings, we opted to record in our house in Winter Park, FL rather than to spend a buttload of money on a studio. This lets us not only take the time we need, but it's a place of comfort to us. Well, it was a place of comfort. Last night we brought in all the gear we'll be using to put this beast of a record together. Currently, our kitchen is full of drums and microphones, our living room is playing host to a countless number of amps and guitars, and JoAnna even sacrificed her bedroom which is now home to our control room which holds a 16 channel mixer, effects racks, computers, and us.

Last night after we had run all over town with Van Diesel picking up gear from shady warehouses, we loaded in all the gear, hooked everything up and proceeded to record some scratch tracks which JoAnna will use to play her drum tracks to. That went late into the evening but we've set the foundation for almost all 12 songs.

It's a new day. Day 1 of recording. As I type this, JoAnna is in the kitchen getting drum sounds while Travis and Doug monitor from the control room. Things are running smoothly and I expect to be hitting the record button before too long.

Throughout the recording process, we'll be taking a lot of video and I will be leaving my computer is our designated "Blogger" where this blog will be up at all times and anyone from the band can sit down and give you an update. So check back with us often for all the updates.

Get excited!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Pre-Production: Days 6, 7, & 8

So apparently I'm updating in 3 day blocks now. Better an odd schedule than no schedule, right?

This will be quick...
Throughout Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we spent a lot of time just practicing. Just playing and replaying focusing mainly on songs that had significant changes and the brand new songs which are shaping up nicely and quite quickly. Most of our time has been spent standing in a circle in our kitchen staring at one another. It's been loud, long, exhausting, and exciting. The kicker? We aven't actually started recording yet!

We're feeling pretty good overall and are going into this with the correct mindset and fully prepared to do anything necessary to get the record that we hear in our heads.

Tonight we start bringing in all the studio gear. Computers, mixers, guitars, and lots of amps. Tonight the house officially turns into the recording studio.
There's no telling what we'll get to tonight, but tomorrow we're slated to get things rolling around noon. This is it. The time has come.
In fact, with my next post (whenever that may be), I'll finally give the heads up on who is at the helm of this project for the producing, engineering, and general awesomeness responsibilities.

Stay tuned everyone. We'll be making a conscious effort to grab photos and video as we have the time! This will be your best bet for up to date info for all things ENY.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Pre-Production: Day 3, 4, & 5

So I'm a bit behind. I'm always behind. The fact that I haven't been updating this thing every 5 minutes usually means that I am keeping busy, which is a good thing since there is a lot to be done.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we kept the Pre-Production ball rolling and continued to run through each little nuance of the songs. As things stand we are taking 12 tracks to the studio and are generally excited with how they are shaping up. Some have taken on completely new life while others remain similar to their original intent. It's exciting, I promise. We're really looking forward to playing some of these tunes live and can't wait for people to see how they've changed from how we were playing them previously. It's gonna turn heads, for sure.

On Friday, there was an 8 hour day of work and then it was right to rehearsal. We had worked songs to death the previous week and then started on 4 more. At this point we had 10 songs that we were ready to work with, but since options are always nice I decided that I could pen 2 more for the record, so after 3-4 hours of rehearsing I was then demoing on my computer for the rest of the night. I laid the groundwork for 2 brand new songs that were complete polar opposites. I think they'll develop into some of the strongest songs and hope they make the record.

Saturday was a full day of work and then back to rehearsals and more writing. Many other small details were thrown around and other parts restructured and then I laid vocals over the new tracks and added some polish to those suckers.

Sunday was a full 12 hour day of work and then back to rehearsals yet again for another round and then we took a bit of time to learn the new songs so we can start working on those at a feverish page throughout the week. Yoda listened to the new stuff and didn't hate it, so onward we went.

As you can see, we're busting our butts for this and we really want everyone to understand the blood, sweat, and tears that will go into the creation of this. We all had an exhausting but oh so gratifying weekend. On Friday we start bringing in all the recording gear where our producer/engineer will set up shop. I believe we'll also be bringing in a handful of extra amps and guitars to utilize.

It's just starting to dawn on me that we'll be making a record in just a few short days.
I still have many reservations about certain aspects of it all, but we have put full trust into The Chief that he will steer us in the direction we need to head.

Stay tuned for more details and prepare to be surprised.
That "Sarcasm" record? Psh. That was nothin'.