Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Moving right along

I've been letting Morgan handle the whole blog operation thus far, but she's in NYC and I'm in the studio, so I figured I'd make myself useful.  Morgan and I have been fully hands-on through every aspect of this project to this point, but this is where we have to trust our producer/music production savant, Dave.  Looking over his shoulder at the color-coded sound waves on the screen in all their countless representations, it takes me about five minutes to get a handle on what he's actually doing at any given time, and by then he's moved on to the next editing task.  We wrote strings parts together, made GarageBand mock-ups of all the songs testing out bass and drums and keyboard parts, but this is where the musicians don't bring a whole lot to the table.  The great thing about Dave Hidek is he's a phenomenal musician himself so he can work in both worlds and sometimes translate engineer techy things into a language we in the band can understand.

Dave has shared Morgan's and my vision for this record from the start, and the same can still be said, but that's not to deny there are some disagreements.  But I prefer it that way.  Ultimately the goal is to capture the raw Broken Fences sound as purely as possible, but that can mean a lot of things.  Of course instrumentation can enhance a performance, but it can also detract from it, so we're finding the sweet spot.  Morgan and I wrote the songs, but the whole process as been so collaborative that I've learned even more than I expected.  Zoob's given tons of input Dave Throckmorton (drummer) was a true professional laying down his parts, and he really put his stamp on those songs.  Jason Rafalak (bass) couldn't have been easier to work with, and his parts sound phenomenal.

When I think about the record, my heart rate invariably skyrockets.  It's a pretty potent mix of emotions, the strongest of which are definitely excitement and anticipation, but there's an inevitable element of fear wrapped up in there.  We've invested so much into making this album, from the actual songwriting--songs are like children to most songwriters, remember--to the humbling Kickstarter experience that funded it, to the time and effort spent not only in the studio but all the obsessive planning, envisioning, and brainstorming we do when we should be working or sleeping.

I'm thrilled with how everything sounds.  I know we captured great performances of what I know are great songs.  Sometimes the obsession and anxiety that come along with it make me think, though.   It's so tempting to let this album define us as people.  I see it as a reflection of myself, shared with Morgan and Dave and Zoob and the other musicians---but at the core of it are me and Morgan, and that's a scary thing.  I feel exposed and vulnerable, but at the same time I'm desperate to show it.  It's tough to keep it all in perspective.

But enough psychoanalysis.  We're incredibly lucky to be doing this, honestly.  We're having the time of our lives here, playing music, doing what we love.  The generosity of our friends and fans, as well as Treelady Studios, has given us an enviable opportunity to be heard, and we're making the most of it.  Thanks, guys.  Now please enjoy this incredible video of Ray Lamontagne singing "Henry Nearly Killed Me":

No comments:

Post a Comment