I don’t know if anybody reads this stuff. I suppose that doesn’t matter because being able to get it down on paper….or uhmm….onto the Internet means someday it will serve as a record of something significant that occurred in our past. Maybe just the four of us will look back at this or maybe nine quadrillion people will and some poor soul will have to translate this into Chinese. To that poor soul, I say: have fun with the words ‘bitchin’, ‘rad’ and ‘amazeballs’.
I’m an analogy machine. Ask anyone. Most of the time I draw analogies between band stuff and professional team sports stuff…usually football. As a band we’ve been preparing for next weekend all year and then some. We’ve had two intense, productive four hour rehearsals every week since early December with only a few holiday-related exceptions. What’s that… approximately 120 hours?? It’s been a grind not unlike a football team going through the rigors of the regular season in preparation for the playoffs. Like any team in the playoffs, your hard work is supposed to lead you to the Superbowl. Do you like fun ironic facts? While each of you was actually watching the last Superbowl on TV - the most viewed broadcast of all time – take a guess where the four of us were. Yep, we were grinding it out at rehearsal.
If you follow us on social media at all, you know how bitchin it is for us to be working with such a well-known producer and for us to have the opportunity to make an album at such a famous recording studio. For those who don’t follow us, here’s the scoop. We are working with legendary producer Brian Virtue, a guy famous for making killer records which include Audioslave, Jane’s Addiction, 30 Seconds to Mars, Deftones, Army of Anyone, and on, and on, and on. Seriously, his pedigree is top notch and he’s widely-known throughout the industry for making records that sound absolutely incredible. He’s also a direct disciple of two other iconic producers Bob Ezrin and Rick Rubin. Those dudes are each responsible for making at least a dozen records in your collection. Here’s the tip of their iceberg: Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Run D.M.C., Lady Gaga, Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, AC/DC, Kiss….uh, hello…Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’!! As you can see, Brian has learned from two of the very best. Having him involved with Modern Bronze is nothing short of an honor….one might call it amazeballs.
Now, let’s move on to the studio. We’re doing this record with Brian at Stagg Street Studio which boasts a who’s who clientele list including: Jeff Beck, The Pixies, Flaming Lips, Johnny Cash, Queens of the Stone Age, Macy Gray, Tenacious D, Faith No More…..I could literally do this all day. This place is known for its killer big room drum sounds (swoon), lots of rad vintage/analog gear and probably some the best sight-lines in LA which means we can track this thing together in the same room, separated by dividers with the ability to see each other. This is such an incredibly special opportunity for us and we’re beyond excited. Christmas morning has absolutely nothing on next weekend.
The only thing that makes this even more exciting is the fact that we are most certainly PREPARED. If you know the four of us then you know we’re all nose-to-the-grindstone nutcases with at least one screw loose, dedicated to honing our craft and convinced the devil is in the details. That’s really where pre-production comes in and that’s WHY we’re prepared. Sure you can rehearse a ton, but getting in a room with a producer to actually dissect, tweak, and alter your material is a whole different ball of wax. Getting the songs to a point where you agree they’re ‘done’, then trusting someone (an outsider) enough to come in and suggest they’re NOT is a sobering, humbling, potentially uncomfortable and mentally exhausting process that lasts longer than anticipated. Navigating impactful input like ‘what if the whole song was faster’, ‘maybe try playing this song in an entirely different key’ or ‘everything is cool except the chorus isn’t working’ are all game changers. It’s like having to win the game even though your best player can’t play anymore because he exited at halftime with an injury. In the end, after sending Brian several Dropbox folders with updated recordings and a couple in-person sessions with him visiting us at our rehearsal studio, we’re all happy with where the music is – and how much BETTER it became. Being armed with an objective pair of ears and years of experience, Brian’s input deserves a lot of credit for getting our music to the next level. In some senses, he’s the coach helping to prepare the team to win.
Ready for the last analogy? In terms of the recording process, it all starts way back when we begin writing new material (preseason), then we rehearse all of it a ton (regular season), then if the music is good enough we enter pre-production hoping to get better (playoffs) and then if we get lucky it culminates with a trip to the recording studio (Superbowl). Needless to say, we are poised to win the championship and bring home the trophy.
Ok, I admit it. That was uncharacteristically cheesy but it doesn’t matter…only the four of us are going to read it anyway. [insert winky face here] Go team!
Go favorite sports team! Go squadron…do good! Beat the opponents…soundly…in the skirmish.
(If you get this reference, you receive our new album for free when it comes out.)