perjantai 18. helmikuuta 2011

Day nineteen: Arnie & Bert signing off

And so we have reached our very last day of recording. Not that all that much recording took place today: I did some last-minute feedback-wailing (not much fun standing in front of two 4x12 cabinets with two 100W tube amps screaming at full volume only 30 minutes after you've woken up), Janne played three chords on the keyboard and I played one single D5 chord for a riff I had misharmonized weeks ago. Other than that it was just double and triple checking that everything we need is actually recorded. Seems like it! Just a few lines for Ari to redo and the album is wrapped!

Ari "I've turned my sleeping rhythm around" Koivunen was still asleep when Janne left for the weekend, at around 5pm. He ended up coming to life around 7.30pm, but didn't actually get up and put some pants around them sexy pale legs before just now, quarter to midnight. I gotta say, even I am impressed!

I packed the guitars away with mixed feelings: ending a project is always bittersweet, but I must admit that I've really felt the long days of the past three weeks for some time now, and am ready to move on. I've heard every single riff, drumfill, and vocal line so many times that A few days of silence could do me good. But at the same time I'm excited to hear these songs properly mixed by Janne, and hopefully we'll start getting songs emailed from him next week. The bottom line is: to me, we've never sounded better. Everyone played great, the material feels strong and Janne really helped us get killer tones down. You guys will dig this stuff for sure!

After Janne is done mixing these 14 songs (of which we still don't know exactly which or how many will end up on the album itself), we'll have some test masters done to see what kind of sound works best for this material. I'm guessing that by April the album is mastered into it's final form.

Ok, time to go do the final vocal thingies and pack the rest of the gear. We'll keep you updated on news about the release through our website/Twitter/FB/whatever happens to be the medium of the day at that point. Thanks for following, and stay tuned for this metallic classic rock masterpiece that is the Amoral album number five!


PS: One thing you dear readers need to know is that it's been a real challenge coming up with fresh things to say and new things to photograph when you spend 19 days it the same two rooms, doing the exact same thing day after day with the same people. So to celebrate the end of this session, here's a pic of Ernie and Bert for you to enjoy!

torstai 17. helmikuuta 2011

Day eighteen: Supersexy Swingin' Sounds

Today was all 'bout them sweet harmonies. Well not all, but mostly. Janne was already mixing and editing our poor perfomances when I got up around 11am. We went through some last-minute touch-ups, more programming for the "industrial waltz", etc. I then listened through all the songs with headphones on, just to see if we're missing any guitar parts, or if I'd hear some spots for backing vocals. And sure enough I found little things here and there to do. Janne took a break at this time: he'd be back at 6pm for the nightshift. The mission: finalizing the vocals. We had a whole song of growling, a whole song of clean singing and lots of backups and harmonies to do. So let's get busy!

Singing some backups to Ari's leads was fun. I got to be the Richie to Ari's Jon Bon. The Jerry to Ari's Layne. The Ice Cube to Ari's Eazy-E. You get the idea. I handled the more punk rock parts (with my punk rock tuning!), and let Ari take care of all the creamy Boston/Chicago/Kansas -harmonies. There must be other brilliant AOR bands with stellar vocal harmonies that are named after American cities or states, but those three are the only ones I could think of right now.

It's 2.30am, and we just finished with Janne. Ari still has the growling song to do, and apparently he's about to go record them on his own now. I'm too sick (as in flu) and tired (as in tired) to join him, but he says he knows what he's doing. I guess first thing tomorrow morning me and Janne will have the exciting task of listening through Ari's 200 takes and pick up the best ones....


keskiviikko 16. helmikuuta 2011

Day seventeen: Leather Boyz with Electric toyz

Have I succeeded on turning my sleep rhythm? That will be yet to see but at least I tried :) It's up to this night really, but hey, everyone has to suffer for this "art" we are making! That's how it is huh?

(Editor's note: no, Ari, you haven't. We had to drag your sorry ass out of bed after 3pm, so I wouldn't call that "turning your sleeping rhythm".)

When I woke up today Pexi and Masi were packing their belongings, leaving some weird stuff behind like some underwear and Masi almost forgot his cellphone as well. Well we all do forget things sometimes, some not so often and me very often. So they got all of their parts for the album ready and headed home to do some not so pleasant work but hey, it needs to be done I guess. That leaves Ben and myself alone in the studio and we miss the guys already, there is no one to make food for us! How could Pexi do this to us?!? We're fukken' starving! Ben seems to be texting to Pexi so maybe he'll jump on the last train and come make us some food.

Anyway, we recorded some backing vocals today, even Ben went to the vocal booth and gave us some smooth lower bax vox. With most of the tracks pretty much ready the album is starting to sound nice even when not mixed at all yet. Later we recorded a couple of additional guitar tracks where Ben tried to imitate my singing wearing those XL slippers for extra wah-wah pedal comfort. It looked like there was no pedal under those things. I say delete the vocals and let's make this an instrumental album with wah-wah guitars as the "lead-vocals", or what do you think? Well, maybe not...

We just watched the most disruptive television-show, I can't even find words to describe it! I need to go wash my eyes with soap now, maybe that will help me to get some sleep too. Laterz!


tiistai 15. helmikuuta 2011

Day sixteen: Pushing days, not daisies

Exiting day for me. Reason; my last leads for the record were done today!

Woke up before 8 only to find that Ari had'nt even bothered to go to sleep at all. He had been up doing growls on a death metal thrasher and spontaneosly decided that it would be a good idea to try and turn around his haywire sleep rhythm by not sleeping for the whole day. It kinda worked, I think. He got 40 winks in at some point of the day when Ben and I where toiling away in the sugar mines. I DO know that the growls sounded great!
Anyway, I geeked out on my lap top and guitar rig software and metronomed the fuck out of those licks in the last two solos. Maybe a bit too much, because when it came to play at first my mits were saying: "gimme a break already". Plus flu and all that felt like my nose was running faster than my fingers and brain combined. Oh well, went through without too much of a hassle. Good thing Ben was in the control room egging me on with ahem...shall we say "possible rewards awaiting further down (or on) the road". That is if in the here and now meticulous attention was paid to the phrasing of those ellusive alternate picked 16th notes at 182 bpm. Pexi provided the also very much needed punk rock support with his constant demands that "it should not sound like it's made to order". "Ettei tuu tehdyn kuulone..." Loose translation, but little lost.
While I was in the martini lounge nerding off and annoying Ari (who for almost the entire duration of my practice session sat on the other end of the sofa) Pexi was in the studio room putting the finishing touches on some of his bass lines with Janne (who you should know by now is our producer).
During one of his breaks I chanced to ask him how it was coming along and he replied: "Iz spektacular, me fuckin' fapulous!"  So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, straight from the horses mouth, as the saying goes.
Ben also laid down some soulful acoustic guitar today for the song he told you readers about in last nights entry. It's gonna be epic. Already in the demo stages I (not entirely) playfully dubbed it the "Planet Caravan" for the 2010's, but eventually you'll be the judge.

We're officially in to the last push of the sessions. The final heave where the t's need to be crossed, the i's dotted and just generally made sure that everything that needs to be on these 14 tunes is indeed there, so Janne can start the arduous mixing process. Everyone is kind of feeling it, but spirits remain high. With that note Ben went off to put some finishing touches on some final lyrics that are the order of the day tomorrow. We'll see what's in store tomorrow. More cross checking and miscellaneous bits and pieces recorded, plus some vocals for one of the more grandiose songs, is my bet...


maanantai 14. helmikuuta 2011

Day fifteen: Mourning sickness

We six-stringers hitched a ride back to HML Rock City first thing in the morning, meaning we were here by 9.30am. Tired as hell but kinda awake, we dove straight into work with Janne: quick touch-ups on our saturday's work and started to program the beats and synths to the "mellow song" of this album. If we pull it off it should turn out pretty cool: eerie melodies, cold industrial sounds and absolutely no commercial potential! I can't wait to hear this one finished!

I tracked my very last lead for the album, which means 99% of my playing is done! I still have to do so little thingies here and there, but the hard part is over.

Everyone seems to be more or less sick at the moment, which is a bit of a drag. Headaches, sore throats, running noses and constant fatigue don't exactly help us finish this thing, but we won't let it stop us either. I'm gonna jump to bed early and wish that tomorrow will be more energetic!

Oh, and check out my studio slippers! I decided the studio needed some youthful innocence in the slipper department, as all the other dudes are equipped with grannyshoes. The softie Converses made me the coolest cat in town!


sunnuntai 13. helmikuuta 2011

Day fourteen: Bass Sabbath

Whats up folks!

It's you're favorite bass-freak speaking, Pexi. Sunday may be the most frustrating day of the week, but not for me. Last night/today I nailed down almost all last bass tracks!

 I have to say, overall this week we've been working more than ever in the studio. As you have read, I've been doing my tracks mainly by night; yeah I feel like a robot but the tight schedule always needs hard work. No rest 'til grave, ha! This weekend I had my first good night-sleeps after sleeping something around 3-5 hours per night.

I've had my own tired, freaky moments in the late hours when recording alone: The air conditioning in the monitoring room does creepy sounds from time to time and when you're alone doing stuff the horror movie-feeling is guaranteed. What makes it more freaking is the Janne's mixing board slides, which have been automated so it lives its own life while playing the songs.
Tired or not, I don't care. I am more than happy with the results. For not getting enough training in technique I've played bass mostly with a pick in this record. For all you mofos who think that bass should be played only with fingers I have only one word: killer-fukken-sound!


lauantai 12. helmikuuta 2011

Day thriteen: Leadz N' Soloz

I wake up around 1pm and see that Masi had tried to call me an hour earlier. Apparently the guitar slinger had locked himself out while we were all sleeping. That'll teach him not to go to the store without a key during small hours! He got in without too much hassle. Luckily breaking and entering is apparently not a crime in Hämeenlinna...

Me and Masi spent the day on solos and add-ons. Taking turns at dropping licks like the Tony McAlpines we are, we got a lot of bends, hammer-ons and taps down. The pinball machine kept Ari busy, and after recording bass until 9am last night Peksi had deserved his extra sleep.

The guitar patrol is gonna be heading to Helsinki tonight for one day, meaning we're leaving the singer and the bassister alone in the studio for a while. A very scary thought, yes, but we're willing to take the risk. What we'll find recorded on the songs, spread in the living room or hidden under our pillows remains to be seen. The "plan" is that Pexi will nail the remains of his bass tracks while Arsba will get ready for mondays growling sessions, but I'm sure the guys will find more useful ways to spend their sunday.

We seem to be perfectly in schedule: all the rhyhm guitars are done, almost all the solos, acoustics and add-ons, over 50% of the vocals and most of the bass. And of course the drums. So we'll be able to concentrate on vocal harmonizing and last minute touch-ups next week.