It’s been a busy couple of months for this project. Fortunately there is fruit to show from our labours. Like a mad man, I have decided to tackle two tracks almost simultaneously. If I’m honest, it just sort of happened like that but either way, it’s been an interesting juggling act. The two tracks in question are Nightdrive, the prog rock protagonist at the heart of my previous blog, and Kemosabe which is more of a classic rock song.
Since last time around, we have been into the studio for Nightdrive, under the steady gaze of a chap called Al – a producer whose own music I admire greatly. (Check out ‘From Sea to Sky’ by Heights.)
Such is the length and sheer mayhem of time signature variation involved, it took a whole day just to lay down the drums. Marcus, the man tasked with this hit those things all day and must have been exhausted, while Sanj and Tom bonded over their lack of anything to do.
We are due in to put the rest of the track down next week so watch this space.
Kemosabe meanwhile crept up in an entirely different way. While most of these tracks are going to involve new and previously unlinked musicians (hopefully) this track was always going to be an exception to that rule. Since I wrote this song, I have always had it in my head that it would be perfect for one of my uni bands, formerly named Iguazu and more recently a switch to the ridiculously named ‘Tempest Kings’. The issue with this is, as often happens with groups of friends, the members of said musical group have been torn asunder and cast in all sorts of directions. Al (another Al) now lives and plies his trade as a GP in North Wales, Jono is an all action A&E consultant in Bath and Ben is also a GP but rather than living in North Wales, he decided to run off to Australia. Problematic for a reunion one might think. So it was that when I heard that Ben would be gracing the UK with his presence for 3 weeks, I had to make it happen.
Cue some hasty doodlepolls and an online practice session over zoom and all of a sudden we were in the same studio that we had last used to record a whole album a few years back. This time, we would be calling upon the services of John David, an experienced rocker and producer who had just had Shakin Stevens into his studio a few days before and who plied his trade with the Dave Edmunds band back in the 70s. A nicer man you will struggle to meet.
Considering that was the first time we had all been in the same room for a few years (since Jono’s wedding in fact) and considering we had not really figured out how the track was going to go, that we got a serviceable song out of it at the end of the day is a bit of a miracle! I must admit, I had been anxious as to how it would all go but we got it done. The studio helped, walls replete with records John had written or produced from the likes of Mr Stevens, Robert Plant and Status Quo to name a few.
Racks of cool looking guitars created the backdrop for a productive day (Jono and Ben are both guitar geeks and got way more of a kick out of these than I) as did one of the best coffee machines I’ve yet to come across.
Inevitably, the song could not be completed and mixed all in one day so it needed a second one. Alas, Ben had returned down under and Al had returned to patients and children in North Wales by the time a second day could be arranged.
Jono was on hand however to help with the finishing touches which turned out to be more extensive than any of us had imagined. With that done though, the final track, needing some fairly extensive mixing still, was done!
Once Nightdrive is done too, I might provide the snippiest of snippets from each track on here but for the full ones, you’ll all have to wait until the remaining nine tracks are all done! If you follow the instagram and social medias links however, you never know, you might get a few extra bits and pieces here and there.