Thursday, 26 February 2009


You may have noticed the promise of an hourly update throughout the recording process wasn't exactly upheld. Anyone who has ever done any recording will probably be aware that, while an hour seems a fairly lengthy period of time in any other situation e.g waiting for a bus, watching any Tom Cruise film, in the studio it can take an hour to find the right guitar tone. Bearing that in mind, count up how many hours it would take to set up, record, then pack away. Then imagine reading about it......actually, don't. I had to sit through it, I'm not going to try and relive it anytime soon. Instead, I'll do a brief summary, focussing on the positive. 

Overall, it was a good weekend. Everyone just about managed to play everything right, it still needs some mixing but it's already sounding good. Our extremely long suffering engineer Win is the closest thing to a perfect human I've ever met. Not only did he put up with our combined incompetence/back-seat production driving/flatulence, he also made us sound something like a proper band. One with fans and everything. We celebrated Elliot's birthday on saturday by going to one of the 5 pubs in the village I live in, then playing drunk table tennis back at mine. 
Sunday comprised of not quite finishing the mixing, before heading to brighton to play my old band Once Over's last ever show. 

Again, although I had a great night, there is nothing to write that will be of any interest to anyone else. So to summarise, there were a lot of faces I havn't seen in ages, a lot of faces I don't see enough, and some faces contorted in a mixture of disgust and fear. Everyone dressed up, some better than others (Stee>Melmoth), we managed to remember all the songs, and Elliot stagedived. If I knew anything about computers I would do a link to the photos, but I don't. If you want to see them that much, find them on facebook or something. Snide.

Oh yeah, the main highlight of the weekend was Scott of Soundlocker Studios fame offering me a few shifts working at the studio before I go on tour, which is a godsend because I really didn't want to have to make up 8 things I supposedly did to find a job when I went to sign on. So that's where I am now, at the studio, listening to the band upstairs kick into Vertigo by U2 for the 9th time. One more time and I'm setting off the fire alarm.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


So I might have been a little optimistic to think enough would happen in an hour worth writing about. I may have been optimistic that anything that happens today is worth writing about. Never the less, I've started this so I'll finish. Besides, there is literally NOTHING else to do. The studio is in the middle of an industrial estate. I've been and spoken to the guys moving into the unit next to the studio who are starting a custom door and window company (they were an interesting bunch). Then I chased some seagulls. Short of walking the couple of miles in to Lancing town centre(!) there is nothing to do but sit here and watch Win display superhuman levels of patience and restraint as he resets for the 23rd guitar take. ("You've nearly got it, one more"). Pid is sitting next to me smirking as he did all his guitar takes in under an hour. Eddy is staring at the floor. Elliot has just redeemed himself with a take reminiscent of a young Eric Clapton. We might have lifted the curse. I'm going to stop writing before I jinx it. Vocals are next - hilarity may ensue.

Drums are done.

It's 11 am. Drums are finished. I will now update hourly. Eddy is dominating his bass tracks now. From outside the door you could be forgiven for thinking Mark King of Level 42 was creating a new prog-pop odyssey in there. Elliot is tracking guitar after this. He's currently sitting opposite me with his ipod in trying to remember the chords. Tensions are already running high. Elliot is coming closer to tears with every stumbled bass note. He's just told Eddy he's got 10 minutes to finish. Elliot is threatening us all with violence now. I'll be back in and hour if he doesn't break my fingers.

Friday, 20 February 2009


Sorry about the unnecessary apostrophy. That's going to torment me.

Drum mic's are set up.

We're cooking on gas!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Train Spotters recording starts tomorrow.

My other band Train Spotters will be recording a demo tomorrow.

For me, any type of recording usually consists of 90% setting up and 9% listening back to takes I end up not using. The remaining 1% is the time I spend making mistakes while the red light is on. You may have guessed by now I don't enjoy recording very much. 

So, to make my studio experience a little bit more enjoyable I have decided that once I have tracked drums I will do an hour by hour updates as things progress. Or don't. We will have a video camera, so there may be some footage at some point, provided I can work out how to transfer it onto here without having a(nother) breakdown. If I'm successful you can expect to see such scenes as Pid deliberately playing things wrong to make Elliot cry, and Win (engineer) watching the clock and/or taking long periods of contemplation asking himself and, possibly the almighty lord, what he's done to deserve having to endure three 12 hour days with us.

I know you're all excited, but try to get some sleep. Tomorrow's a big day.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

It worked!

Unbelievably, the first post worked and is now visible to anyone who cares to gaze upon it.
Which is probably no-one. I wont let that get to me however, and am now posting with a brief explanation of why I have started this blog. 

Without going on far too long (failing already), it is a small number of things.
Firstly, I am currently unemployed. As you can imagine this leaves me a great deal of free time, which I should be spending reading improving texts and actually learning the songs we are demo-ing for the new record, but in reality usually sees me shouting incoherently at the television/cat/outside world, and drinking far more coffee than my body will thank me for in later years. So this is an attempt to fill some of that time doing something other than those things, and maybe even encourage me to go out and do some exciting things to write about.

Secondly, I am going on tour in march for 5 weeks, after which I head to Boston to record aforementioned album with my band Dead Swans. In tours previous there has always been well intentioned talk of a tour diary, which never seems to get beyond a few pages of my appalling handwriting in a tesco value notepad, resplendent with phallic symbols. Needless to say these transcripts never make it anywhere near a computer, besides, the crude penises are the best part about them, and I don't know how to use a scanner. So I am hoping that this will be a good way to keep all 2 fans (my parents) updated and at worst, something for me to look back on in years to come and be hugely embarrassed about. 

Third and finally, I have been trying to be more creative recently and this seems like as good a medium as any to do so, especially seeing as I still haven't got all the paint out of my eyes from my last creative expedition.

I am imagining that I will mostly be posting about band/tour related matters, but you never know, I may do something of note between now and March. Thats it for now, time to go and see if those Demo's are in my inbox (thanks Burt).


In the beginning...

This is my first post, and I am not entirely sure it is going to work. Those of you who have spent time with me are probably aware that I struggle to turn my phone on or off. 

We will have to see how I fare in this frankly quite alarming expedition.

God help me.