Notes From The Road Pt. I: September 4 & 5, 2015
Released the new record, Songs From The Adjacent Room on Friday. Put a lot of work into that thing. Started working on it last August. I know that we did the bulk of the tracks for “Jeanie Says,” “I’ve Seen You,” “I Saw You,” and “Lightswitch” last summer, as well as a few tracks that are not on this record. This was at the old rehearsal space, before we did a midnight bail after it repeatedly flooded and nothing was done. As soon as we decided to leave the landlord decided to fix the flooding problem. Our new jam space is quite a bit nicer though, and some of our good friends jam there as well, so there are always people hanging around, which is nice.
But the record took some time. We tracked it in a bit of strange way. Started with my demos, and sort of fleshed out the parts and deleted old tracks as necessary. It was a somewhat scattered and time-consuming way of working. All the arrangements and vocal melodies were written (lyrics were written, the final vocals recorded at the end), so that helped keep all the parts organized at least. It actually worked really and gave everyone a chance to really think about what they wanted to add to the tracks, and then lay it down. Also a lot unrepeatable mistakes were made, ie: this guitar track interacts in a funky way with this other guitar and together make a new sound.
I took about two months to mix it, and had to make sense of the mountains of track and draw the parts out of the sludge. Our mastering engineer Orion Paradis mastered it at his studio SoulSound in Regina, and definitely pulled it out of the murk and arguably remixed the record in a way, or at least drew out some definite oversights on my end when I was mixing. John drew the cover late this spring. Jeff did a print of it. Our friend Matthew Danchuk in Vancouver did the layout, and she done. Looks pretty good.
It’s been an exciting way to work. We have about four songs leftover; we recorded two more at Jeff’s parent’s cabin this June. There are a couple new songs written, so we’ll have another record done in the spring. That one will likely be a little more jammy, upbeat even. But maybe should just focus on this tour and making sure this tiny baby of a record has some kind of decent life first. But fuck taking long to put new music out.
The night before the show Amber put our little book together, which has a story I wrote. It’s called The Adjacent Rooms. John did the cover, Jeff helped with the layout and some printing, and Amber designed the books and put them together. They look pretty fucking cool. We’re pretty much sold out of them now, but we’ll make more. We’ll probably do this for every record: have a short story of some kind that accompanies the record. There’s a story for the McKruski record too, maybe should do one for that one as well.
Our hometown release show was at our favorite local venue, The German Club. Had a solid turnout. Oiseuax kicked ass. It’s always good to see people trying new things and succeeding at them. Radiation Flowers made the trek down from S’toon and also kicked hard ass. Their new record is amazing. I was waiting to get a copy of it at the show, in the meantime I got barred from their Bandcamp page, because apparently you can only listen to something so many times before you should pay for it. Fair enough, got the record now anyway.
Got up early the next morning, grabbed the rental van. Took awhile to get everyone together, but we did and drove to Winnipeg. Jeff and Amber cam up separately and went back to Reg this morning for a wedding. Jeff is flying out to MTL tomorrow, so we’ll meet up with him there. But Winnipeg was great. Played at The Good Will Socail Club, which is actually an amazing venue. Got to play on one of the sweetest bills ever: us, Basic Nature, Living Hour & Mahogany Frog. Basic Nature is so fucking sweet (also got locked out of their Bandcamp for too many plays, but I have their record now). There are just two people in their band, but the sound is so full, yet perfectly sparse. Leaves lots of room for their great vocal melodies to live in. Living Hour is also fucking deadly. At times their music is chill, then suddenly it’ll morph into something else in the middle of a song, and you often don’t even notice, until an entirely new groove has formed; very solid shit. Mahogany Frog is intense: crazy, pulsing noises that are wild.
We have an epic drive today. Hope to get to Blind River tonight, then be in MTL early as possible to hang before our show at Barfly on Tuesday. That’s more or less all that’s happened. I’m not even going to commit to doing more of these, because you know how these things go, and I’m mostly just bored in the van anyway, and this was a decent way to kill some time. Syd Barrett helps the time pass today, The Madcap Laughs is the album for this early morning drive along the No. 1, somewhere near Kenora.