STUDIO DIARY 2009

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October 26, 2009
August 20, 2009

Five different guitars, four amps, a cello and a bunch of songs to vandalize – that’s Marcus’s idea of Heaven! Slow, fast, soft and completely distorted, twisted and insane… is this bloke having a ball or what? :-) He does indeed… or he did, as we convinced him (finally!!!) that we were out of tape to record any more of this nonsense and – after a few days of redundant squeaks (believe it or not, but he still calls it “playing”!!! :-)  shipped him away safely… phew :-)

His somehow psychopathic enthusiasm is simply astonishing (and, quite frankly, a bit annoying): he’s in the studio at least an hour before anybody else and – after the session’s over – still sitting there for another hour or two, pretending to be B.B King on speed (maybe he is, who knows? :-)

Everybody and their dog’s been explaining to him how little his “creative” outbursts really mean to this kind of music (and haven’t these guitar solos been obsolete for years now?) but to no avail: probably, they’re putting something in the water (in Sweden) that makes these people to believe so strongly that its absolutely impossible to record a good song without including a guitar solo of sorts… Ask yourself: which country did Yngwie came from? See – all of the sudden it all make sense.

So – for a very few of you out there, who still think that guitars rock (oh naïve, misguided souls :-) – knock yourself out.

work-in-progress/sologtr


July 28, 2009

Bring out your dead!” – probably the best line to start the story of keyboard recordings with… 21st century is blooming outside, digital world is offering us an unlimited amount of any keyboard sounds from a tiny little laptop, but will André listen? Oh no, of course not!

“Authentic” – his favourite word at the moment, so we had to search high and low in order to find one “sound-producing corps” after another: Hammond organ with a Leslie speaker (weights as much as two fully grown up elephants), Rhodes electrical piano (looks like a used coffin, recently re-emerged), Moog synthesizer (ever seen a movie from the 40´s where a bunch of chicks – operators - connecting telephone calls with a million little cables on the wall?. Well, that’s how this monster looks like… but for some reason no chicks were included :-) ) and his little brother – MiniMoog (noisy as a two-engine jet and temperamental as… hmm… a word PMS comes to mind :-) ) plus tons of other ugly looking and

sounding devices… although we accept his use of that gorgeous Yamaha Grand Piano, but only because it was recorded “on site” in spacious Sun Studios and we didn’t have to move it anywhere… thanks God! :-)

Nobody knows what went wrong with our “keyboard abuser” and why – out of the blue – he decided to convert himself into a 2-meters-toll replica of what’s once been Jon Lord and Keith Emerson, but – here’s the result, so at least pretend that you’re enjoying it (otherwise we’ve been carrying all that stuff in and out of the studio for nothing!):

work-in-progress/keyboards

News Flash! We just received this piece of information from one of our undercover reporters: a poorly recorded tape containing an “uncensored” statement from Marcus, Allan and Andreas (as a part of a private conversation, taken place on an undisclosed location):

”If we listened to Andre’s tracks? Yeah, unfortunately we had this displeasure (making faces). Besides the obvious fact that he literally choked every single bit of “rock” (on this album) with his tasteless, self indulgent acrobatics (Allan spits on the floor), we must admit that he’s grown very good on covering the fact that he can’t play at all (sarcastic laughter)… and that’s an art form in itself, isn’t it? (more laughter, now sounding a bit more demonic).
And have you seen the way he’s been treating our little string section (Patricia, Soma and Sophie) in the studio? (Andreas nervously takes another sip of JD, his hand’s trembling). You could swear that their bows were smoking at some point! (everybody’s shaking their heads in disapproval). That was pure slavery right there and should have been reported!!!” (more nods, cheers and applauds).   

As you can see, something is rotten in the State of Denmark, so - in order to bring you all the answers to these intriguing questions - we’ll be following these dramatic developments closely. Don’t forget to check out our “Studio Diary” regularly (also transmitted by CNN, BBC, AL JAZEERA and other major networks :-) ).

 
July 9, 2009

Marcus is a lucky bastard: he already owns a beautiful Gibson Les Paul (two, actually), so our very own “Guitar Center” – Bjarke Hopen – had to supply him with only a few pieces: a Fender Strat from ´72 and a couple of other deformed objects. Sweden’s finest himself brought a few odd looking pedals and other guitar related devices from approximately the same era as well, while amplification for the task was chosen after a few try-out sessions: an old Marshall of sorts (in great condition) and a beaten-up Vox AC30 (looking like a shipwreck from the 19th century, but we’ve been told it’s from the early 70´s : -)

The entire crew was trying hard to make Marcus use some “exotic” instruments as well – mandolins, banjo, kazoo, sitar, harp and what-else-you (bizarre humour or a vicious plot?) – but had to give op on it early, as the string picker went straight into his favourite “embryo position”, enthusiastically sucking on his thumb and shivering wildly… poor thing :-)

As the “ethnic frenzy” slowly faded away, our “noise generator” quickly recovered, barked something about “beer and r´n´roll” (the rest was in Swedish, so we’ll never know), turned all his gear up to 11 and – finally - went to work, nailing all the rhythm parts in 4 days (and spending a few extra – very long - days on a vicious battle with our bar… yes, he won, so we have to re-establish the entire stash now).
Here’s his glorious contribution (faint hearted – beware!):

work-in-progress/guitar


June 22, 2009

Now: meet the new “Lord of that horrifying Rumble” – Andreas Passmark. Found by Marcus – assumable by accident - in the deepest forests of Sweden, this guy landed the gig without even auditioning (we thought – check out his picture - that he was Marcus’s lost´n´found twin brother and didn’t dare  to ask too many questions :-).

We do admit – the guy can play a little, but almost impossible to communicate with… He does talk a lot (but Marcus swears that it’s not Swedish) and all our fair attempts to explain the true nature of this album (remember – all that vintage gear etc?) in English, Danish, poor German and the most brutal and explicit version of Russian - failed miserably: the guy kept clinching to his ugly 5-string Warwick bass, weeping and shaking his head wildly than presented with a perfectly fine Fender Precision from `78.

Than, all of the sudden, André went alarmingly polite and asked everybody “to give him a few minutes alone with this individual”, but Allan categorically refused to leave the room; saying that he won’t bury “another musician the Dragon didn’t like” in his backyard, as the ghosts of numerous, previously “rejected ones” are already harassing his dog daily with their versions of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” … and not any good versions, but the one of G´n´R… dammit!!!

Everyone agreed (except for André, of course) that it was quite an unfortunate situation for Allan (ok, mainly for his dog) and stroke a compromise: Andreas will be playing his monstrous 5-string bass BUT through the old 70´s Ampeg stack (Geezer Butler’s all-time-favourite :-).



NB! The decision was made regardless of the fact that Andreas (without – we can’t stress this point enough – WITHOUT any kind of encouragement) put 5000 Euros on the table :-). Hell, all of the sudden… this guy sounds good! Check it out:

work-in-progress/bass


May 25, 2009

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Allan Sørensen has been brutally forced – for a period of approx. 2 months - to listen to some specific albums (in order to “catch the vibe”) which were –no exceptions! – produced and released way before he was even born. Being a good soldier as he’s always been, Allan took his orders seriously and (for 2 months!!!) woke up and went to sleep to some old-timer’s beats and breaks.

He pushed it even farther, ordering a few handmade, unbelievably expensive Turkish cymbals and    spend days in his rehearsal room incorporating and perfecting all those “ghost strokes” and “shuffle beats” into his playing style, while “moderating” (read: almost excluding) the use of a double kick which, by the way, is EXTREMELY ANNOYING for a metal drummer :-) !!!

And still, and still… nothing could have prepared him to the sight of a total wreck of a drumkit (labelled as a Ludwig Pro Beat from approx. `76)


waiting for him in the studio. André went on and on, explaining how difficult it was to find “an original” kit and how lucky he (Allan) was to have this company (a museum, probably :-) renting this thing out for this specific project… blah blah blah, it’s a wreck! Anyway – after two days of relentless tweaking, twisting and reinforcing this pathetic looking set went from “please don’t hurt me” to a “show me what you’ve got, mate” state. All of the sudden the snare was cracking, the kick was thundering and those toms… Surrounded by some funny looking, vintage mics the set was – just like back in its day – rocking!


The bottom line is: “It’s doable indeed!”. And – in case you’re a stubborn, all-questioning-non-believer – here’s a proof for you:  Allan’s take on one on the songs from the upcoming album:
work-in-progress/drums (Check out player above)



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May 11, 2009

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As you all know by now, this album will be recorded in an “old school” fashion (not only songwriting has been done in that way, but the actual means of recording are suppose to match the 70`s atmosphere as well); now – all of the sudden - it’s all about old analogue gear, drifty tape machines, noisy amps and kilometres of tape… in short: trashy ancient crap in different forms and shapes :-)
Without a doubt: an interesting – and somehow daring – idea, which might look and sound quite appealing (in theory), but is it doable? Only time will tell.

But – while in the process of figuring it out - why not make it a little bit more interesting (for some of you, at least)?... and after some head scratching we decided to give you a chance to observe (well, to listen to, mostly) how one of the songs from our future album will be build from scratch – an instrument at the time, all the way to the final mix. So don’t forget to check out our “Studio Diary” from time to time – the journey’s about to begin!