So, after a about a 2 1/2 year hiatus, I was back in the studio with Shirk again yesterday starting work on the next record. And I’m happy to say, it was both a pleasurable and painful experience.
First, the pleasurable part…. it was so nice to record again. SO nice. I’m not sure I realized how much I missed it. I mean, the itch has clearly returned in the last few months, considering all the new songs that are spilling out of me lately, but I forgot how completely contenting the experience is for me. The quiet of the room, the hum of the gear, the extended focus… There really are few things I enjoy more than hearing a bunch of these thoughts and ideas I’ve had rattling around in my head being realized into something tangible. I walked away from yesterday’s session floating.
And the whole endeavor feels less anxious then it did before…. no managers or agents giving me direction, no timetables. And the process overall… there’s so much less mystery to it. Shirk and I’ve had recorded about 20-25 tunes together now and I think we both have a very good idea of what to expect from each other.
That being said, it’s awesome to see the evolution of it. When Shirk and I first started recording, we were coming in after hours at Pink Noise (the Music house in Soho Shirk worked as Executive Producer at), working with 2 or 3 mics, a few preamps that Shirk had begun accumulating and a trimmed down pro tools rig. We would track instruments in the office’s small common area (no quiet rooms or sound proof spaces), experimenting with sound dampening and mic techniques. I had barely been playing guitar for 3 years and had only been hitting open mics for about 6 months before. The whole experience was exciting and challenging and completely fulfilling, but also chaotic, frustrating and totally messy at times. It was relatively new ground for everyone involved.
These days, Shirk has a fully loaded studio, a beautiful sound-proof tracking space and countless hours working with bands under his belt. And I don’t suck as much.
We get the sounds faster, lay the parts down faster… there’s so much less trepidation.
Now the painful part…
Besides the shredded finger from 7 hours of guitar playing, I quickly remembered how hard this shit is! Recording for me is one of the most humbling experiences. No matter how much you practice, or how tight you think you’ve got your stuff buttoned up, you’re NEVER as good as you think you are once you get in there (my scratch vocals were beyond embarrassing yesterday.)
So, despite a little rustiness, it was a good first day over all. We started recording guitar parts on a big fun happy song called “Spinning On” and a bluesy song that I haven’t given a name to yet. Mostly sketching, but a fruitful day nonetheless.
Was GREAT to open up my new Tele… really glad I picked it up. Shirk quickly found a slew of great guitar sounds that worked perfectly on these tracks.