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.


perjantai 11. helmikuuta 2011

Day twelve: Dark Side of The Tune

Friday: Italian open faced oven baked pie with toppings of choice. Oh...and guitars to shake your booty to and smoke 'em if you got 'em.

A ridiculously long, but hopefully descriptive intro to the procedings of this fair day inside the walls of Sound Supreme.
I got up at about eleven and found our producer Janne Saksa hard at work behind the Pro Tools console. I soon excused myself from his audio potential prescence as there are many things that are best left to the professionals. He was making vocal edits and trying to figure out ways to make the vocals sound sweet and brutal at the same time. You know, like a sugar coated sledgehammer. 
I dazed back in to the lounge that serves as our living quarters and found the rest of the lads sleeping. Not wanting to disturb any one I go some quality listening time with Pink Floyd running through the headphones. Served well for later on today. Read on.

Once the house had awoken we headed in to the recording room and got down to laying my guitar tracks to a song under the name of "Same Difference". A full blast rock tune that is equal parts Prince, vintage thrash and shamelessly 80's influenced rock. Janne busted my balls rightfully on this one, for the intention, ladies and gentlemen, is to bring you nothing but the grooviest heavy guitar on this one. For those inclined to care about such things: I used a Washburn N4 Vintage through a white Marshall Randy Rhoads amp and some Mesa MK III, thrown in for measure. And I do believe I wore purple underwear, which obviously makes all the difference when you want to go for that gut bucket soul wrenching chucka-chucka vibe!

Friday is pizza day so the four of us headed to town to a pizzeria that Amoral has frequented every time while recording in Hämeenlinna. It is strange to note that there is another pizza joint immediately on the opposite side of the two lane street, but in a time span of 10 years no comparision between taste and quality have apparrently been made. Oh well, I guess you got to stick to your guns if you found a good one. Besides there's enough A-B testing going on in the studio, so explorations in to the potential quality differences between Turk operated Italian feederies are not the order of the day.

Back in the studio we tackle the guitar parts to what looks to be the ending song to the album. I dont want to give away details, as this one truly needs to be experienced. I will however reveal that listening to Pink Floyd served the recording of this song.

Tomorrow: More guitars!
Catch you later.
- Masi

torstai 10. helmikuuta 2011

Day eleven: susceptible saxomaphones

So, I woke up this morning to the sound of the cleaning dude's vacuum cleaner, but just for a second and slept a couple more hours to wake up again when Juffi was calling me. At that point it was already two o' clock so it was about time someone woke my sleepy ass up. Ben made me some coffee and I started to slowly rise from my "bed" and tried to shake off that zombie-like feeling I have every "morning". Yeah, I like to sleep, and I need at least 10 hours of sleep every night to get those vocals flowing.

Well, that's the thing... Watching animal documents and Pitkä Kuuma Kesä after recordings with Ben last night and listening to Masi and Pexi doing G-tarz and bass stuff on the other side of the wall till almost 6am wasn't exactly putting me to sleep like a baby early, so I just tried to get some sleep and watched Super Bowl and some Zen Of Screaming. I finally fell asleep at some point around six but due to the lack of vocal rest and long singing days before, today wasn't the best day for those high pitched rock and roll angel-like vocals so we did one funk/rock song almost all the way with some nice crunch in the voice and two nice cultivated softer songs with judicious soft vocals. Oh, it was susceptible!

Earlier Masi was nailing some geetar stuff like the pro he is, and today it was pretty much Ben's day off, at least he didn't record anything, but was in the role of "Ryppy Rubiini" (producer Rick Rubin's long-lost Finnish cousin) and had the demos always ready to show how "everything is always better on the original demo" :) After we nailed those smooth and elegant, not to forget tasteful, vocals it was time to eat some chicken done by our head-chef Pexi. The Pexmeister then pulled out his Mississippi Saxomaphones and Masi went into the vocal booth and started blowing... All I can say about that is that I laughed with tears in my eyes. A shotgun sample was the icing to the cake!

Now it's time for me to start chillin' and prepare for some screaming stuff next week by watching some more Zen Of Screaming and Pexi will continue laying those sexy lower frequency's down. Everything seems to be going smoothly and much faster than I ever dared to even dream, so I hope we can keep up this kind of pace and get some nice cultured tunes done like this, most of the stuff have been keepers in less than 10 takes! That means it's rock and roll and, once again, VERY elegant ;)

Oh yeah, and my set of equipment (if everybody else lists them, I will too):

Set of Plica Vocalis
Coca Cola Light
Ginger Tea
Tons of Nescafé Gold

Smell ya laterz peeps!


keskiviikko 9. helmikuuta 2011

Day ten: there's a new sheriff in town

...and finally my first day inside the beard farm formerly known as Sound Supreme. 
Well you know, my incoming was delayed for a good reason. Miami, Mexico and 70000 Tons of Metal had to be done by someone in our (facial) hairy organization. After the sunshine and good vibes of the Caribbean came the inevitable cold hearted embrace of our wintery northern home country and and the equally inevitable "fuck your system up and drive you in to bed for two days" flu. Fucknuts!

Somehow I feel like I missed some magic studio moments, but coming in at day ten is really not all bad. First of all I get to be blown away by the stuff that these crazy hermit Gandalfs in the making have been laying down on the proverbial tape. (Though everyone knows it's all digital and bytes these days, we musician types still like the warm emotive qualities that come from saying we're laying shit down on tape.) There is some really killer stuff coming towards your home speakers, brothers and sisters! In fact the snare sound alone is so good, that if it was any thicker you would have to listen to it by digging it out of your speakers with a spoon and ingesting it orally! And believe me Julf man deserves any form of oral gratification you may desire to give him for his work on this one! 
And if your dirty minds are gearing towards some twisted sexual imagery here, for shame! I merely meant you should go up to him and say in your best proper queen's english: "Smashing job, dear Sir. Simply smashing!"

The seccond good thing about coming in on day ten is that I walked in as brother Ben was laying down one of those killer solos of his! Usually you have to wait for ages to hear slippery licks in the studio, but I got to witness some licking action straight off the train! (More cheap sexual innuendos, coming your way, but hey if we can't be free, lets at least be cheap!)
Third, there's already some vocals on the tunes, so it's way cooler to listen to the songs as they're taking form. Somehow vocals really make the songs more like songs, don't you agree?
In fact the lads are recording some vocals right now as I am writing this!

Pexi and I are in the lounge watching the Mötleys on DVD and getting ready for some late night bass action again. I'll be there egging him on to some stellar bottom heavy performances of brutal sensitivity. You better believe that some serious shit is really gonna go down tonight!

Oh, looks like the guys just came out of the control room. They must have done made some rock 'n' roll history. Ben in taking some photos of my Washburn N4's, Ari is acting as visual producer. It's all too much! Looks like it's next batter up, so Pex-head and Mas Papas will put our heads on the chopping block.  


The graveyard shift reports: I managed to record basslines for four songs on my own last night and I guess the same thing is gonna happen today (we'll see what Janne thinks of my production). Rough job; takes a lot of patience and shitloads of beer, but after all everything went on tape quite smoothly. Oh yeah, the gear I'm using on this recordings:
Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass
Jackson CMG-bass
Epiphone Nikki Sixx signature-Blackbird
Marshall JCM 800-basshead with 4x10” and 1x15” cabinets.

- Pexi, The Lord of the Low (frequencies)

tiistai 8. helmikuuta 2011

Day nine: men at work

What a productive day! We're doing mostly "night shifts" with Janne this week, as it's much better to record vocals during evenings and nights instead of mornings/days. Me and Pexi got up before 11am and continued with melodies and solos. We got some tasty licks on tape, with Pexi encouraging me to put away the girly Ibanez and play the Les Paul for every part.

Janne showed up after 2pm, and it was time for him and Pexi to hook up the bass equipment and dial in the ultimate tones to make this album go boom. The guys were fast: about two hours later I check on them and not only is the sound set and banging, Pexi has already laid down one complete song! Now this what I like to see!

But the idea was to dedicate the lion's share of these days for the vocals. Ari got into the vocal booth and went to work. The goal was to get two complete songs done: we got three and a half. Great success! The boy was sounding good and was on a roll, so who am I or Janne to hold him back? The smooth singing session was interrupted only for late supper: Pekka "the chef" Johansson had cooked us a delicious meal, which me were very grateful for. Quick grub and back to work. The songs Ari finished were described by Janne as "fusion punk", "adult oriented doom", as well as "a hit that's arrangement Per Gessle would not approve".

Around 10pm it was time for Janne to go home. Pexi "working hard is my middle name" Johansson decided to stay in the control room and record bass on his own. who knows how long he's gonna be there. My guess is I'm gonna fall asleep tonight listening to low frequencies through the wall...   


maanantai 7. helmikuuta 2011

Day eight: Monday Bloody Monday

Woke up after just a few hours of sleep, tired as hell. Oh well, tough shit: Janne was already waiting in the control room, checking out the stuff we had recorded on our own during the weekend. So I drag myself out of bed, get a cup of coffee and go see what the producer thinks of the material. I'm glad to hear that most of it is worthy of keeping, only minor tuning issues (that nobody besides Janne and his golden set of ears would ever hear) are fixed. And then it's the moment I've been dreading: all rhythm tracks from my part are done, except for the fastest, hardest deathmetal-y tune I've been trying to avoid the past week. I'm not the most experienced seven-string player as it is, so trying to get the "way-to-fast-for-me", "million-notes-flying-by" riff  recorded properly gave me a lot of time to curse the day I wrote the damn tune...

But hey, all my rhythm guitars are done! Now I can fully concentrate on leads, add-ons and "ear candy" guitar parts, as well as other minor things like finishing off the last set of lyrics and co-producing the vocals during my, Ari's and Janne's sensual late-night threesomes.

After office hours me and the guys visited the now legendary Poppa Joe second hand bookshop, where we stocked up on old Guitar World magazines, Pink Floyd vinyl singles and DVDs. Poppa Joe has provided this band with entertainment since the Decrowning sessions, and is yet to let us down. Big up!

Peksi helped me track a couple of leads later on, which also was a pain in the ass for some reason. Problems with the rhythm guitars, problems with the leads... I guess today just wasn't my day? Well, maybe tomorrow morning my fingers will be back on their A-game. And if not, I'll just let Masi "Reb Beach of Helsinki" Hukari play all the rest! 

The 40 Year Old Virgin is on the TV, I'm restringing my acoustic and Ari is snatching some of Pexi's whisky while the bassist is practicing in the control room. Tomorrow we'll start searching for a divine bass sound, as well as starting to record Ari's vocals. Over and out!


sunnuntai 6. helmikuuta 2011

Day seven: reinforced & reloaded

Howdy! Today we hit the studio with Ari. It's been just a quiet day at the office, checking out some cool stuff that the guys have done this week. Our guestarring producer Valtteri laid some additional guitars to one song (yeah, it's gonna be big hit). To my fresh ears the material sounds very promising indeed even with only drums and rhythm guitars on tape. Nothing special to tell you for today: right now Ari is playing the pinball machine (Royal Rumble baby, yeah!) I'm chilling out at sofa, listening Big Ben's playing in other room while drinking whiskey to get in the right mood for recording our next gold record, ha! Maybe after few shots I'm gonna show these mofos how to make platinum albums...


Today we had some lineup changes in this correctional facility of ours, with Juffi heading home and Peksi, Ari and Wally getting in. I decided to take it easy today, and focus on things I've been meaning to do for many days now, like going for a walk outside, a shower and some excercise. This magical combo did wonders, and for sure will help me get through the upcoming week. I also got a call from our merch dude Ilkka "näätä" Taponen, who will apparently be driving past the studio next saturday, so he'll drop by to give us the latest scene news from Helsinki.

It hasn't been all fun and games though: after we finished our pizzas and the women in prison movie that went with them, it was time to grab the sexy Gold Top and lay down the first solo for the album. All three amigos worked as producing engineers, which was interesting to say the least: three different options after each take is a lot to handle. But it turned out cool.  I tried to insert some Juhani "DeadShapeFigure" Flinck -style facial expressions to my lead playing, and I think it actually helped make the licks a little more soulful! Thanks Juhis, luv ya man! 


(special guest photography: Valtteri "iPad" Hirvonen)

lauantai 5. helmikuuta 2011

Day six: weekend warriors

After a week of starting work at 9am, me and Julf gave ourselves the luxury of sleeping late today. It is saturday, after all. For Juffi this actually meant more work than usual, as Janne wasn't here to handle the first 8 hours of recording. But he engineered like a champ, whipping me until he was happy with the results.

We did some double tracking for songs recorded yesterday, and then tackled the behemoth that is "Beneath", a 9-minute sonic odyssey that might very well open the album. Just bursting with complicated rhythms and riffs, this song took a long-ass time to get right. it was a little after midnight when the second rhythm track was completed and we could call it a day. Though we rewarded ourselves by listening to some of the material we have recorded during the week: both just amazed at how good this sound with just some guitars and drums! If it's this good now, I might be afraid to listen to it once we're all done!

Valde will be popping by tomorrow, to see how we're doing. He'll be bringing along some mofos, namely Ari and Pexi, who we might end up using on this album as well...


This was my last evening at the studio, and I celebrated it by drinking a couple more beers than yesterday. Kinda sad to leave, it has been nice to act like a producer and record guitar parts with Ben. But hey, I have a shitload of Shear & Tornado songs to rehearse in the next couple of weeks. And some academic commitments as well. Maybe I'll pop in after a week to see how things are progressing. I'm very happy that the drum-recording part went so smoothly and easily. Recording the guitars was also a nice experience. I just dig what we are doing here, simple as that. I hope Pexi, Ari and Masi will deliver some golden shit to the record because, not to boast or anything, we set the bar pretty high with Big Ben. I can't wait to hear the album after mixing & mastering, because we have some great stuff here guys, believe me! 


perjantai 4. helmikuuta 2011

Day five: shark 1, seal 0

I opened my eyes at 9 am just enought to see Janne arriving and Ben getting up. I was happy to turn over and continue sleeping. Next time I woke up at 1 pm when the guys came to the "lounge" for their first break from recording. It was time for me to get up as well.

We were watching this cool nature-document today. It was on ocean-themed episode and had alot of penguins and seals on it. The occasional white shark popped in as well, doing an impressive jump up wrom the water and snatching a poor seal between it's massive jaws on the go. Now, how in the name of Jesus Christ do you get enough momentum to get your 900-pound ass up about three meters above the water? Apparently the force of the impact is enough to kill the seal even before the shark's jaws crush the mofo. We were also wondering the thoughts that go through the seal's mind in the second or two when it realizes that there's no way to avoid getting eaten by a huge-ass shark. Must be something along the lines of "f*ck my life".

So yeah, Janne left and we're gonna continue recording some guitars with Ben. It's gonna be awesome.


Another day at the office for me: went through last nights recordings with Janne, who luckily approved most of what this dynamic duo had gotten done by themselves. And then more of ther same: tracking a whole bunch of ryhyhm guitar throughout the day. Set up both Marshall heads and grabbed the Les Paul for a nice, fat little tune that went by the name "rock song" for a long while. No click tracks, no bells and whistles, just straight-up southern boogie. A track titled "Partysong160bpm" (well, for now anyway) ended up being anything but, as the supposedly easy pop song took forever to get down properly. A very special "fuck you!" to Masi for providing these tricky riffs for my discomfort...

Yesterday I learned that it takes an episode of the BBC "Planet Earth" document series for me to actually get my thoughts off this project for even just 40 minutes. I swear to god, last night, watching all those bugs and freaky-looking birds in the jungle was the first time for the past week I've actually gotten a little break from the album, so I'm gonna make sure I get at least one episode squeezed into each day. I got Juffi hooked on the stuff too, as you probably noticed from his update above.

Aaight, enough with the pinguins, it's time to get back to work!


torstai 3. helmikuuta 2011

Day four: rhythm & blues

Dear diary,

it's been days since I've last been outside these four walls. Fresh air could do me good, though the heavy snowing doesn't make me all that eager to go out. But I'm running out of food, so I guess a quick visit to the grocery store is inevitable... As for the studio beard, I'm happy to say I've already passed the Sonny Crockett point ("the five o´clock shadow"), and am now slowly but surely moving towards my final goal, which is the "LA Woman -era Jim Morrison" look, also known as "the Canadian lumberjack".

It hasn't even been a week yet, and already I start to feel the lack of rest. Going to bed early doesn't help: I keep waking up at these fucked-up hours with a riff or a lyric I've been working on running in my head. Juffi says I need to reset every once in a while, but I'm not sure how to do that. Oh well, I'll rest in March! 

Me and Juffi started recording rhtyhm guitars yesterday night, and got the first track down, yay! with "punk rock" as it's working title, we didn't wanna overdo it, so we left it a bit rough on the edges. Not too much though, jut a little. Think of Boston playing a Sex Pistols song and you get the idea!

So today was more of the same: Janne commanding me to do take after take until it was good enough for him. The man runs a tight ship! But that's how we like it. We're trying hard not to choke all the "rock" out of the takes by fixing every little sqeak, which has been the norm with metal recordings for the past decade or so. We got a bunch of songs done with Janne, and me and co-engineer Julf Sondino will continue on our own in just a second...

And for you likeminded gear nerds: here's a couple of pics of the guitars I have here with me. As you can see, we have "the adult stand", with all the tools you need for making a valid classic rock album, but naturally there's also "the metal stand", with all the funny-shaped shred machines for that bangin' metal madness!

The axes I took with me:

-Jackson USA Warrior, Tigger
-Jackson USA Warrior, white/green
-Jackson RR Pro
-Charvel Star
-Ibanez Universe
-Gibson Les Paul '57 Reissue Gold Top
-Fender Stratocaster Eric Johnson model
-Fernandes Tele
-Guild 6-string acoustic
-Guild 12-string acoustic

Masi will bring a couple of his Washburn N4's, and I'm waiting for a friend to install a Fernandes Sustainer system in my Jackson Dinky, for some last-minute feedback funnyness. Yes, that's a lot of guitars, but with material this versatile as we have for this album (not to mention different tunings) we need a bunch of different sounds for different parts and songs.


keskiviikko 2. helmikuuta 2011

Day three: Tone Chasing

So, Juffi left me here all by myself yesterday night, which gave me a great opportunity to restring (most of) the guitars and feel sorry for myself. So I popped Independence Day in the DVD player, got the peg winder and string packs out and went to work. After five guitars I was tired of both stretching new strings and Will Smith throwing funny one-liners at aliens. Polished off my can of Pringles and decided to call it a day, as I knew I had a long day of sound-searching ahead of me...

Today was spent entirely on the guitar sound. Me and Janne tried every possible combination of amps and cabinets before deciding on which two to go with. It looks like the main rhythm sound of the album will consist from mixing the two following signal paths:

1) guitar -> Boss SD-1 overdrive -> Marshall 1959RR -> Marshall 30th Anniversay cab
2) guitar -> a modified Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer -> Mesa/Boogie Mk III -> Marshall JCM800 cab

We also tried out Masi's Carvin Legacy head, my Marshall JCM800 2205 head, a Mosvalve Dirty Boy head and the Perfect Connection GP-1000 preamp with my VHT 2/50/2 power amp, but the aforementioned two sounded the best. We'll probably use the Dirty Boy for some stuff later on, and the GP-1000 will for sure be used once we get to recording leads.

So basically I've been playing the same riff for about 8 hours today, listening to different amps. Not the most fun a guy can have, but hey, it's gotta be done! The tones we ended up with sound big and rockin', so it's about time to start recording geetars!

Juffi will be back here in about two hours, and we'll try to get at least one song completely done tonight, with Julf acting as the engineering producer.  Ok, less talk, more rock! Talk to you tomorrow!


tiistai 1. helmikuuta 2011

Day two: the drummer & the damage done

All drum-tracks recorded, wohoo!!! We started at 9 am, and at 4 pm all the drums were done. So I nailed 7 tracks today (we have 14, but there's one that doesn't have drums in it so I had 13 to record). Feels good! We did two songs Bonzo-style without a click-track, so there's some good old jamming vibes going on. Nonetheless, my favourite one to record was a poppy-ish song that has a lot going on drumming-wise. Damn, this day was full of some genuine classic rock let me tell you!

And yeah I forgot to tell you guys about my studio beard yesterday. I took a headstart a couple of weeks ago and stopped shaving my chin, and still it isn't anything to boast about. But hey, it's the closest thing to a beard that I've ever had!

So, I'm leaving to Helsinki for a day now and Ben will start working on the guitar sound tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow evening so that we can maybe record some guitar-stuff without Janne. Let's see if things continue to go smoothly this week, hope so!