Tomorrow, The 109s will begin recording the second half of our third album, which has the working title of Sound Mirror (a title that will probably stick, as everyone already likes it).
We have six days to record four songs. For those uninitiated to the hurry-up-and-wait world of the recording studio, this will sound like plenty of time.
We have the song structures finished, but last minute changes always pop up – especially once Jason Wilson (the owner of Stakeout Studios, and the producer we have worked with on all our recorded material) begins to hear the songs and think about how he will shape the final soundscape of each.
When we are in the studio, Jason acts as a fifth member of the band, and his opinions and suggestions are always given a great deal of attention, for the simple reason that he is so damned good, both as a musician and a producer: this will be the sixth time we have worked with him, and there is good reason for that.
So, how do I begin preparing for a six-day recording session?
Today, I will be working on the charts I use to ensure that every stop, start, and fill we have planned is remembered tomorrow, when we lay the drums down – it is very easy to forget these subtleties once the red light goes on to indicate that we are now recording, a condition known to musicians as “red-light fever”.
Where it comes from or why it happens, I don’t know – but a terrible pressure descends on musicians when trying to record music, a pressure that can lead to all sorts of problems: once a mistake is made, and the song grinds to a halt, that mistake is often repeated – and when that happens, a particular section of music acquires a tangible sense of dread each time it approaches, lurking in the musician’s mind like a musical gremlin on each playthrough.
This is why it is important that each musician support his fellow bandmates. The 109s are an extremely tight unit, both musically and emotionally – outside of the band, we are all friends and often socialise.
We also do not drink alcohol or take drugs while recording, which helps to keep us sharp and attentive to both the quality of the musical performance and to each other’s feelings.
Anyway, I must return to my guitar charts. Check in here each for a breakdown of how each day of the recording session is progressing.
All the best,