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Posts for February 4, 2003

Tomorrow I’ll be burnt as a witch for playing punk rock

Spent the weekend at ‘s doing some recording. See the band’s blog at for blow-by-blow details (with pictures), but here’s my take on it.

We were up till one on Friday night doing initial setup and soundcheck for my guitar. Got my rhythm (god, that’s a stupid word to spell; I always take about three goes, and it still never looks right) guitar for ‘Naples’ down in the first hour or so on Saturday morning. There’s a part in it where all of us are having difficulty locking into the beat correctly (note how I avoided using that word again). This was where demonstrated that a drumstick could become a conductor’s baton. All these years we thought he was air-drumming, and here he was really practising to be a conductor.

Actually it was very helpful.

We then decided we needed a different sound for the next song, ‘Massachusetts Avenue’. And spent the next hour playing with gain and EQ controls until we had it right. Karmic is nothing if not a perfectionist, and I’m sure we’ll thank him for it when we hear the final results.

Fortunately, we were able to use the same sound for the third song, ‘Cowboys and Indians’, and it went down without too much fuss, leaving us only to choose a suitable clean sound for ‘White Line’. That didn’t take too long,and before the night was out Ol, the lead guitarist (and sole non-LJ user in the band, I might add) had done his rhythm part on the last song.

The next day he did all his other rhythm parts, and in the afternoon I started singing.

That’s when we discovered all the parts in the songs where I had been getting it wrong up until now. I didn’t write any of the songs we’re recording at the moment, so there’s always someone else to know what I’m doing wrong (in many ways this makes it easier for me than doing my own songs, when there’s only me who knows what I should be singing); however, it’s not always easy to catch such things in a rehearsal when everyone is playing.

Still, as said, taking two hours to record the entire lead vocal for a track is not, in the grand scheme of things, that much.

In the end, though, we only managed to finish three of the four tracks before we all had to go home, so ‘Naples’ remains undone as yet.

And in the middle of all that we heard the tragic news about Columbia.