Updated: Dec 1, 2020
We are currently in the midst of recording our debut EP. Watch this space for an update on release date and a flurry of photos and vids as we record.
Thus far we've recorded two of a possible four tracks which are now being mixed. It's all very DIY learning on the job goings on here. We recorded Harry's drums at Pirate Studios in Greenwich, London, which is only really mean't for rehearsing in. We set up several mics, the only decent one being an SM58 on the snare, the rest were the Stagg mics which came with the room, not even good for singing in. There's so much sound bleed from other rooms that during the entire 2 hour session all we heard was a constant EDM drum beat coming from the neighbouring room (see if you can pick it out on the clip below).
In doing it this rough and ready way we're hoping to steer clear from that perfect, over-produced sound which seems ever too present in this super ordered, squeaky clean modern age. We want a bit of chaos. Or it could just sound shit...
After starting mixing on Blood Red Fox and Why'd You Let Your Hair Grow So Long? we noticed something wasn't right, particularly with the vocals on BRF. They sounded too clean for the live, rough n ready, in the pub sound we were aiming for. We realised we were only going to achieve that if we actually did a live recording of the whole band at once but we didn't have the means and technical ability to achieve that just yet. We decided to leave that idea down the line and focus on what we already had recorded for now.
Over the summer while we were planning the EP and deciding the location for the all important launch party (which is 75% of the reason of deciding to launch an EP in the first place) my cousin, Rosie and her boyfriend Phil suggested their venue. They lived above and ran Work Bar, a night club in Angel, London, which could be hired out for private events. Perfect!
This was when we all thought the country would be back up and running at full steam come autumn and Covid would be a mere smudge on the lens of 2020. How wrong we were. Well, the party couldn't happen but the venue was still there and better yet it was simply sitting there gathering dust like every other club the country wide. It'd be silly not to make use of it so make use of it we did.
Over a period of two months we filmed seven live streams either as a trio or a duo each time improving the sound and lighting and the performance in general. We recorded each session and will be editing and releasing the sessions as a live concert film called The Grant Street Sessions come December.
During that period, which has sadly come to an end after the owner sold it, we re-recorded mine and Pauls vocals for BRF and WYLYHGSL respectively. This gave the vocal that live room sound we were searching for and a nice natural reverb. The space also harboured a lot of fond memories and just a wonderful, warm vibe in general, something that holds a lot of import for us when it comes to recording, even as much as the song itself.
Over the weekend Paul came around to mine to start recording another number for the EP, Bread n Butter Boy. The usual process when we record begins with throwing down a simple beat using the midi keyboard or drum simulators on the computer for us to then lay guitars and vocals over, with the idea of later taking the demo to Harry to put some proper drums in its place. However we found ourselves with the whole Sunday at our disposal with a mantel piece adorned with a new collection of spirits at our weak finger tips, compliments of Phil and Rosie at Work Bar, so we decided to create our own beat from scratch.
I don't own a drum kit but my room is laden with a din of instruments and objects I can thwack. Dusting off a kick drum which I found outside a neighbours house on it's last legs (or no on legs for that matter) at the beginning of the year and stored in the garden shed, we put my trusty SM 58 up to the job. The tuning knobs were all broken on the drum so we weighed the drum skin down with two wine bottles and a complete works of Shakespeare, how very bourgeois. After a good old whacking with a rough end of a stick and enough processing to make a cheeseburger look healthy we ended up with a tasty booming thud.
Next we sat our little Fire Cracker snare drum on top of the kick, mic'd it up and Paul laid down the snare part with out moving from his original position.
Two whiskeys and one cigarette break later we topped our drum tower off with a tamborine atop of the snare in lieu of a hi-hat.
Another whiskey and half a bottle of wine down the track and we'd recorded Paul's guitar and vocal, opting to record the two simultaneously to again get as close to a live feel as possible when the guitar hand follows the urgency of the voice and vice versa.
It was a successful Sunday afternoon, good enough to please the Gods (not so much our neighbours, although their dog has forfeited them any future complaining rights through its restless daily yapping). We spent the rest of the evening congratulating ourselves and bragging about our ingenuity. My final memory before I collapsed into a disturbed slumber was sat in bed, Anya Taylor-Joy giving me an urge to play chess whilst chewing my takeaway Chinese to the rhythm of that kick drum thumping relentlessly somewhere in the back of my head.
I'm yet to listen to what we produced last Sunday. I guess I'm putting off that possibility of disappointment, that crushing realisation that what we thought was revolutionary through our half drunk filter was in fact just a gaggle of rhythmic fart sounds. There's only one way to find out...