One recent evening, here on the fourth planet from the Sun, I heard a band. As I listened, I was struck by how the vocalist was saying absolutely nothing at all. No, I’m not exaggerating. Just seemingly random empty words and phrases, delivered without soul or passion…and the lyrics truly felt hollow. The music didn’t speak, either. The band seemed to be speaking of nothing, just an empty sound and a hidden cry to be heard.
An image appeared in my mind of crowds of human beings, busily milling about, loudly talking to themselves, saying nothing of meaning or depth, but instead just chattering – talking and talking and talking – because they are desperate to be truly heard and seen. That same chattering, multiplied by countless microphones and cell phones and airwaves. The sounds of small talk and sales pitches bouncing off our planet and beaming into space. Is it tragic? In this amazing, wild, glorious and even terrible time to be alive, do many of us really have nothing of depth or passion to say? Are we truly reduced to mindless chatter?
I am so excited about the new songs that we’re writing! With the addition of Pete and Ian, the band now has three strong back up vocalists, which is allowing us to perform the songs with the nice full harmonies that I’ve always wanted. For those of you who liked “”Seven Wonders” and Arriving” before, wait till you hear them with harmonies!
Wow, some very cool new energies with the tunes ~ some new musicians and fresh ideas. There’s a couple of tunes we wrote last year that have gotten an entirely new energy to ‘em. I’m really liking some of the new directions, even though it may make some of the recordings obsolete. I love letting the songs just evolve.
“Arriving” is getting (probably) a new name because the hook is different now. And “Riding the Wheel” got entirely changed, with a new feel that’s just really fun ~ you won’t recognize it from the live show version or the old recordings you’ve heard. It’s like a new song.
And I’ve overdubbed some very dynamic vocal parts that you can’t normally hear in the live rock shows. Really pleased with the contrasting bits… can’t wait to hear what you all think!
The song “Arriving” has rarely been performed live yet, and even rarely played in rehearsal, so it’s been a bit nebulous to record. It really needed big harmonies, which we didn’t have in Rock Scarlet, and I’m hoping to add extra background singers with Psychanaut to perform this one live.
the song is a bit laid back in energy, kind of hypnotic and spacy. Initially we recorded very basic tracks for it, to allow us to develop it’s energy and see where it takes us. The drums were really simple, no fills or frills, and we used a slide guitar for the lead riff.
I’ve recorded the vocal tracks in almost every style, from big and loud rock to soft and breathy before deciding upon the approach that best suited the song. Usually I know right away how I want the vocal, but this tune is unique. It’s one that really encompasses the hybrid style that is Psychanaut.
We’ve been on this one for several days in a row now.
Working on a few new tunes that are going to be a bit more dynamic and airy than our usual fair, but definitely still rock. Finally, it feels like we’re creating the musical energy that goes with the lyrics.
We’ve taken a few photos at the studio, plus some video. Below are a few of the pics:
Doing the lead vocals on the enchanting C-24 mic.
I’m writing this from the studio: we’re working with Lav the engineer. Wow! He’s fast, intuitive, inspired, and fun to be with. Having been in a lot of studios, I can attest that the engineer’s energy can really make a difference! We’ve just captured the basic tracks thus far. As the mix develops, I’ll post more. 🙂
The next couple of weeks we are doing a bit of pre-production for going into Gung Ho Studios. As always, it’ll be a blast, and we’re looking forward to working/playing with Lav the engineer. Anyway, Lav has come to several shows and is excited to work with us, too. (Yeah, it’ll be really fun!) We have a huge body of work awaiting recording, and we’re very happy to have the opportunity to get a few more songs out.
Just a bit about vocal style: Turn on any radio and you’ll hear a lot of different vocal styles. There’s styles by genre and then there’s personal style. I once gave a workshop that focused on singing as both a meditation and also as personal expression…so a comment I heard by vocalist K.D. Lang recently caught my ear.
Well I wanted to give you another update on the recording…we’ve been at it pretty much non-stop…overdubbing, mixing…and basically seriously learning more about our studio gear! The songs are sounding really good with Brian especially just intensely focused on getting all these songs completed.