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.
Each of us have differing styles when working in the studio. When we lay basic tracks, it’s just a matter of all of us doing a take and getting the feel right… but with overdubs and production, personal style has more influence. Over the years I’ve realized that I tend to drive people crazy in the studio! Although I’m pretty mellow in most areas of life, I can be demanding when recording. I hear little flaws that nobody else hears, and I want little extra things that nobody else cares about. So recording at home is perfect for me!
I like to get immersed in one song, feel it, dream it, and stick with it for sometimes days at a time until it’s done. Brian likes to work on several in one session, moving on when he hits a snag, completing some parts and leaving others until he’s inspired. It sometimes slows us down to adjust to each other’s creative styles, but I think the end result is stronger for coming from both.
As a songwriting team it’s the same thing. Brian will write a riff and I’ll want to hear it a zillion times, letting it make visions in my mind, playing with melodies, vowels and sounds. Meanwhile, he’ll just fluidly play away onto a dozen more riffs, each one completely different. (In times like this, recording is your friend. :-))
It’s the yin/yang, feminine/masculine day/night dynamic that often appears as duality, but is really two sides of the same thing.
Back to Arriving… it’s almost ponderous rhythm was right, but not quite right. I kept hearing a rhythmic swoosh and after trying keyboards and guitars to get it finally realized that I could get it with a reverse snare on each hit. Usually that’s just an effect on one or two hits, but for this song it called for every one. I spent hours getting each hit right, but it was so worth it! It really works.
And the harmonies sound huge, and just…well, almost angelic.