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Monday, April 4, 2011

Studio Update - Day Three

We made sure to get to bed early (by order of J. Robbins) to ensure Matt got a lot of sleep before our final full day in the studio. While we did follow orders, it was not enough to heal Matt's sinus infection, so while we spent some time trying to get good takes, in the end Matt decided most of it wasn't usable, so we called our friend and producer Phil Martin (To Bed to Battle, Gasp Asp) who just happens to be moving to Austin this week, and it looks like Matt and Phil will be finishing up the vocals together over the next couple weeks.

With vocals not happening, we decided to move on. We finished all the guitars. Nick did some background vocals. We even got J to lay down some vox and a really cool Jerry Lewis style piano part in a chorus.

Though some of the day might have seemed rather uneventful, there were other definite bright spots. A lot of time was spent with Chaos the Cat, playing Grand Theft Auto 1, watching Matt trying to flush the snot out of his nose, layering breathe-right strips on his nose in hopes of ridding the nasally stuffiness, spending hours on twitter, etc. There's quite a bit of downtime in the studio. Probably best to bring a book.

So that's it. Matt and Phil just have to finish vocals and then we will send it back to J to mix. So stoked to get this record finished and out to you guys. We are really proud of it so far.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Studio Blog - Day Two

Day two, we arrived at the studio ready to work. We pulled the amps we wanted to use into main live room and J went to work carefully placing mics to get the best sound. Matt used his Vox AC-30 and doubled with a Marshall JCM 800. Slate ran stereo with his twin and J's Ampeg Gemini I. Once we had our tracks done, J went through and did a rough mix to make sure we were getting the right sounds and bam, this thing is sounding absolutely huge, loud, and energetic.

That's what we are loving about this recording experience. J won't let us get bogged down on anything, and the push to keep the process moving, with J's mic techniques, is really capturing the energy on our live show in a way our other records don't. Our last few recordings we did over the course of a month. This whole recording and mixing process will take a total of 5 days. We are very stoked on this method and are already talking about coming back and recording with J for our next full length.

Once we knocked out a few guitar tracks we planned to start vocals, but as luck would have it, Matt's sinus infection was getting worse and we had to push vocals off to day 3. We decided to use the rest of our time knocking out percussion. We all got in the live room and laid down our hand claps. It took a minute to get them tight and as a result our hands were red and raw. We then tuned up the timpani and Nick laid down some sick parts. We tied it all together, got completely stoked, and headed back to the hotel early so Matt could get some rest and we could start on vocals the next day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Studio Blog - Day One

Well, before we talk about our time at the studio, I guess we should tell you about our journey to the studio. We booked the time with producer J Robbins (Against Me, Braid, Dismemberment Plan, Murder By Death, etc..) about a month ago, but we had to keep it a secret until the release details were ironed out. We heard (thanks to our friend Chase at No Sleep) that Into it Over It and Mansions were planning a few dates after SXSW heading towards Birmingham for our good friend Ryan Russell's birthday party/show. We had to be apart of it.

The tour was loads of fun, and so were some of the shows, particularly Waco and Birmingham, saw some old friends and made some new ones. Into It Over It and Mansions are some great songwriters and we feel privileged to know them now and call them our friends. Hopefully we can do it again sometime in the near future.

After the Birmingham show, and the exotic wing eating contest, and the hilarity that ensued as a result, we got a little sleep and hopped in new drummer Nick's Tahoe, trailer in tow, and started the 13 hour trek up to Baltimore. It was a nasty drive, we forgot about the time change and arrived at our hotel at roughly 430am. We caught a few hours rest and rose to meet up with the man himself.

J's studio is magnificent. Wood floors, wood walls. multiple isolation rooms and top of the line gear. We were immediately in awe. J himself is such a nice guy and obviously knows what he is doing. He told us how much he loved the new songs and how confident he was in how this recording would turn out. Obviously, we were completely giddy, like little kids at an ice cream truck.

We set up our amps in the isolation rooms and all played together live in the big room. Nick and Smith were totally tight, with all the inevitable kinks being worked out on the tour. With about 3 takes per song, Smith and Nick finished 5 songs in just under 7 hours.

J's suggestions were right on point. Who knew increasing/decreasing the bpm by 1 could really open up/change the energy of a song so drastically? He is such a pleasure to work with, making us feel comfortable and at home. He works very quickly and efficiently, and even with just bass/drums complete, and some scratch guitar, we are all very excited and believe this will be the best thing we have ever done. We wish we could go back to the studio right now. It's 130 AM.

We are also very excited to announce that we will be teaming up with Adeline Records (Co owned by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day) to put out this recording. It will be a five song 10" ep/digital download, currently untitled, and it will come out sometime late summer/early fall. Expect a full U.S. tour in support. We feel very lucky to be working with such a great label and are very excited about the future of the band.

Got to get some sleep, guitars in the morning!