On June 17 we celebrate the release of our debut EP, Take What You Can Take. Since a big piece of how people will experience this band is through the recording, here’s the story behind that process.
The band had been preparing to record, since we first started playing together. When we formed the band, our goal was to create music. We have all played a ton of gigs. They are a blast. However, this band is a creative project.
We recorded this EP with Jon Lupfer. Jon is a phenomenal producer and engineer and one of the owners of Q Division Studio. I have known him for a decade. He produced every major Muy Cansado release. He took on the producer role for Take What You Can Take and has been with us every step of the way.
For the Take What You Can Take sessions, we recorded basics over the course of a late January weekend at 1867 Recording Studio in Chelsea. James Bridges engineered. We tracked drums, bass, most of the guitar, and vocals for a few of the tracks.
1867 used to be a masonic temple. It has crazy high ceilings. It’s a pretty awesome space for recording. It feels like a time warped, musician’s paradise. (Fun fact: the neighbors really love Zumba. Really.)
When those sessions started I had not been in a recording session in almost four years. I was nervous and excited. There were some pretty awesome moments:
Travis is a nutbag. He had been playing to a click track for a month leading into the studio. He was dialed in and crazy focused. No surprises there.
Kevin was like a kid in a candy store with all of the bass (and guitar) gear. He was way into his bass distortion. He also started showing his production ears early on catching things the rest of us missed.
Mike tracked synth later, but at 1867 he tracked monstrous lead guitar for three of the songs. Just for the record, Mike had played guitar only once before at rehearsal. Once.
Throughout the whole process, Jon steered the ship with help from James. They changed up sounds up and kept us on track. We played for what seemed like endless sessions. The sessions were super productive.
Over the next month Jon worked with us to finish tracking guitar, vocals and other overdubs at Q, and Mike laid down the synthesizer.
The band got introduced to a lot of Jon-isms, such as: "I don't think it would terrible if we tried a different guitar sound"
"I think maybe that take is OK?"
or my personal favorite:
Jon leading a chorus of "Hey's" over one of the choruses while jumping around the studio.
From there Jon carried these tracks through mixing and helped make four people with very different ideas very happy. He has had a tremendous role in the music we are about to share. We are very grateful.
The songs are being mastered by Ian Kennedy at New Alliance, who is likely putting the final touches on as I write this.
So that’s the story about how these songs got laid to tape (digital tape). Next up - music.