finally writing again. as we have another studio session going on, i’m writing this entry while sitting in the mixing room: gert’s recording his bass part, jonathan is talking about happy pizzas he had in cambodia, oleg finished his drum parts for ‘fluorescent lights’, kaido is reading something and kikas is fixated on the computer screen, as usual.
last week we had a video shoot in tallinn, so some of us gathered there seven days before to come up with some new ideas. it was pretty fun to write music in gert’s room with only a few instruments and pretty much unlimited time. we worked on two songs – an older one from october and a totally new one that we came up with on the spot. there wasn’t any arguing or that sort of thing going on; all the different ideas we had in mind seemed to work together instantly. it’s quite rare – at least for us – that everything happens so smoothly and easily. as time goes by, it seems that all of us are getting more self-confident and aware of what we’re trying to accomplish.
the video shoot took place in an old building with no heating system, so the main task was coping with the cold since we were wearing relatively thin outfits. other than that, it was great fun – everything happened quite fast, the crew members were very professional, and since i don’t have anything against cameras, the performing part, at least for me, was quite enjoyable. can’t wait to see the result.
this recording session is a bit different from the first one: we didn’t try to complete all the ideas at the rehearsal space before entering the studio. the main reason for that is we didn’t have enough time to go through all the mumbo-jumbo we usually do before recording. the second reason is that we wanted to try something different. when the vibe is right and everyone is getting along and feels involved, the songs can change for the better within minutes. i think we realised this during the ‘pawns in a line’ session. i don’t want to sound pretentious or anything and make you feel like everything just ‘happens’; the work behind every track is still quite systematic, but a little bit of luck and spontaneity can sometimes add something extra and create good results.
all in all, the past few weeks have been great for us: three of the songs are completely recorded, we pretty much have the core ideas for the album together, and a music video with the first single is coming soon.
the first real studio session is over. six days and three songs. got pretty much everything done besides a little guitar lick at the end of the ‘trip-hop’ (from now on ‘pawns in a line’) song, minor percussion elements and vocals.
we started things off with recording drums last thursday. only about 100 takes and napoleon was done! it went more smoothly with ‘amnesia’ and ‘pawns in a line’, followed by bass, various synths and guitars. the things were quite mechanical with ‘amnesia’ and ‘napoleon’, because we knew what to do. had more room to build stuff on ‘pawns in a line’, though. kaido came up with an awesome guitar part, i had some time to write lyrics and everything else kinda fell in place.
i did some vocal takes at the studio but the results weren’t that good. have to deconstruct the melodies at home on a piano and learn every note i sing before i go back to do it again. the reason why i haven’t stripped down the melodies before is that i usually come up with them while just trying to sing something and therefore i haven’t needed to pick up an instrument. it’s ok, but with a little help from the paino it’s better to systemize the melodies without any confusion and learn things better. now i have a lot of time to practice and redo the stuff before the next big session (at the end of december-january), so i’m not really worried. besides that, everything is going according to plan (so far): the songs are strong, we have plenty of new ideas and what better is there to do during a cold estonian winter than to write and record music with good friends.
here’s a verse from ‘pawns in a line’ song:
“staring straight right in the eye
of tiny pawns placed in a line
and when the hand decides to move
the tiny pawns obey the rules”
i know that i promised to write a new entry about a week ago already, but we were busy at the studio and after being ‘inside’ the music for the better half of the week, the last thing i wanted to do was to write about it immediately. so it goes. last week was great; we spent long days at the studio working on three tracks. as we finished demoing on thursday, i decided to move away from it all for a few days in order to be a bit more objective when i listened to the songs again, which i did today. have to say i’m quite happy with the progress. ‘napoleon’ (kaido and gert think that i have a short-term fascination with orwell and we should come up with a better name) is as groovy as it has ever been. ‘amnesia’ is working as well. a cool thing happened with the radiohead-esque song; we played it out together and already after the first take it was clear to some of us that the song wasn’t working. it was bald and boring. a typical rock’n’roll song. for a while, we were stuck. the thing that saved us was this tiny loop based beat that mr. kikas wanted to try out. and almost instantly, the atmosphere changed – we came up with some new parts on the spot, tweaked the vocals, and at least for me the whole song turned into something much more than it was before. it’s loose, it’s cocky and it has this i-don’t-give-a-fuck-i’m-a-lazy-dopehead vibe to it. completely new area for us. of course, we argued about it the whole day because it was almost frighteningly different from the ‘original’ version and it’s not easy to let go of something you are used to. anyway, i believe this track has potential now. this week we’ll dedicate our time to trying to come up with some new ideas. a wave of new energy would be appreciated. will write again as soon as something happens.
listening through the practice recordings we have made during the week; ‘napoleon’ sounds pretty good, and we are slowly starting to understand how to play out the energy the song contains. tight! ‘amnesia’ is just beautiful. after six months i still really like the core of the song and think this is the most delicate idea we have come up with as a band so far. don’t have a recording of the radiohead-esque song (still don’t have a proper title nor the lyrics for it, though we have played it many times live), but i know there are parts that are not 100 per cent ready yet. anyway, tomorrow we are finally going back to the studio to record the demo versions of the songs mentioned above. will definitely write about it on tuesday. enjoy your day!
last week we were trying to demo ‘fluorescent lights’. we spent seven days and more than 20 hours in the rehearsal space practicing and capturing the track, but the effort came slightly short – the song doesn’t flow, some of the parts don’t fit and the overall feeling is kinda meh. although the time spent working on the song wasn’t as rewarding as i had hoped, i feel pretty okay: the errors we didn’t see before are right in front of our eyes and a few adjustments should make the track ‘run’ more smoothly. now it’s time to rest a bit, toy around with other ideas and wait for oleg to come back from italy. next week we start working on the song again and hopefully are able to finish it by the end of the month.