• White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
TheDramedy_ContemporaryLogo_White.png
TheDramedy_ContemporaryLogo_White.png

BLOG

Search

NOTE: Due to time constraints, Robert Frank was unable to submit his part of the entry as originally planned ::::womp womp::::


Though the drums, bass and vocals were recorded separately at three different studios (Gotebo Studios, One Man Garage Recording Facility and The Stray Cat Studio), the majority of "And The Light Goes White" was recorded/mixed by Robert Frank at Minor Chord Studios. The original plan for 2020 was to get an EP done and have it recorded by Dante White Aliano at his studio The Cone in Los Angeles. I ended up meeting with Dante to check out The Cone, talk more about the direction, and right when I was about to book dates for the session the pandemic hit. Scratch that plan! Once the decision was made to record an album in separate studios only one place came to mind to fully finish the record, Minor Chord Studios. A little bit of history, Minor Chord Studios has been the linked with The Dramedy since the beginning. Nearly every release has been recorded there by main man Robert Frank. He and I met through a mutual friend of ours way back in 2012. Minor Chord is set at Robert's house and back then the control room was in the garage while the band room was in the living space. The bass and guitar amps were set up in the bathroom and a bedroom. I don't remember where the "vocal booth" was but it may have been in the same bedroom. This session spawned "Not The Only One," "Ring For Two," "Little Lies," "Broken Arrows (version one)," "Rejection Piece" as well as early/never released versions of "Lights" and "Judgement Day."

For the "StrAngr(S)tiL" album Minor Chord got an upgrade and evolved into a full blown studio right in Robert's house! At the time I didn't have a band so most of the instruments were played by me. The original idea for the drums was Robert (who is a fine drummer himself) would play a few measures and we would cut/paste the structure. After hearing the demos, and especially the song "Salvation," he offered to play the drums in full for all the songs. And thank god for that! Who knows how the album would have turned out had we done my original plan! As far as mixing the album I really didn't have a vision other than that I wanted it to sound loud with the guitars up front. Total punk rock! Listening back I have some reservations about the way it sounds but hey, that was my headspace at the time. And I've grown as a musician since then.


Which brings us to 2020 and recording "And The Light Goes White." Truth be told, after "StrAngr(S)tiL" I really didn't want The Dramedy's next release to be recorded at Minor Chord. As an artist I always want to do things differently to move forward, and that includes a change in recording facilities, to mix things up and try new things, hence why the original plan was to record at The Cone. Due to the time/financial constraints of 2020, I found myself feeling like it was the best choice to work with Minor Chord again. The Dramedy and Robert Frank has had enough experience with each other to establish a decent working relationship. He and I are familiar with both our work ethics which makes for quick and efficient sessions. And, in a way, I was already doing things differently, because the album was recorded at four different studios. As I previously mentioned I wasn't really happy with how "StrAngr(S)tiL" turned out, so the most important thing I wanted to do for "And The Light Goes White" was to really get the sound I was looking for. I wanted to be ready and not waste time. I listened to so many records (so many) to really pinpoint the direction I wanted my album to sound, as a whole. The one main album I used as inspiration was "Love Life" by Lush. Having done the whole "in your face" thing on my last record, I wanted this new one to be less abrasive. Lucky for me, Robert was VERY familiar with "Love Life." Of course some songs on the record used a different mixing approach to get the right sound such as "Circle The Road" being more influenced by Green Day and Metallica being referenced for the song "Vow." But having "Love Life" as the basis for the album made things easy. I feel very fortunate to have met Robert Frank. I'm sure I'm repeating myself here when I say that I don't really call myself a musician. I don't know how to read notes nor do I know the right terminology for certain things in the music realm. Put me in a room with musicians talking about gear and I would be like a deer in headlights. I'm basically just a guy who enjoys writing, recording and performing music. But even though I didn't really know any of these things, Robert NEVER made me feel uncomfortable. He took it all in with patience and would try as hard as he could to get the sound I was describing. Not only that, he has a good balance of knowledge between underground and mainstream music. Any reference I made, he would know what I was talking about, and if he didn't, he would look it up. And what makes our relationship really work, is that we really just get along. Most—if not all—of our sessions are pretty relaxed and filled with us cracking jokes left and right. KEY in ANY working relationship. ;) And that about does is for this series on "the making of" the album "And The Light Goes White!" I hope you enjoyed every bit of info. Of course there's more to be said but that will have just have to wait for the when I get the autobiography done ;). It's time for me to head over to Minor Chord Studios so Robert and I can get to work on remixing the album for the CD release, stay tuned! You can purchase the digital form for now if you haven't already ;). d.


73 views


The words and vocals for the new album "And The Light Goes White" was an unusual process. Last year, I spontaneously decided to make this new Dramedy album and there really wasn't a plan really in place. All I knew is that I wanted to release it in March 2021, which meant the whole album needed to be 100% recorded by the end of 2020, with January and February focused on mixing. Like I mentioned in my previous post about how writing the music was "loose," I came at writing with the lyrics with a similar approach. I also wasn't recording the vocals with Robert Frank (of Minor Chord Studios), so I had to work extra to make it sound how I wanted. Normally, I want to make sure that what I convey in my lyrics is clear: a process that can sometimes take days, weeks, even months to get right. I prefer to have the lyrics nailed down so that I'm ready for recording day (and so, you know I don't make too many changes :P). Also, I don't really think of myself as a writer, so sometimes I'm a little self-conscious with my lyrics. There are so many other artists that are so good that it's hard to not feel a little bit small compared to them. If anything I'm just a guy that can get the job done. I'm happy if my words make sense! I found the lyric writing process easier that anticipated, even with the pressure of my tight timeline. The lyrics came to me in a sort of "stream of consciousness" way (a process I usually NEVER trust, as I prefer to meticulous in my writing process). The words flowed, I wrote down the first thoughts that came together, using the previous line as reference. It was kind of my way of splitting the difference with my usual process, and I was satisfied with what I came up. It all comes down to how you sing something as opposed to what you sing (a lot of the artists I admire frequently don't have complicated/challenging lyrics). It's all integrity and conviction. Recording the vocals was another story, but much like the lyrics, once I delved in everything was fine. In fact, I found the process much easier and more comfortable than had I done it with Robert (I can be shy!). I had concerns doing it on my own, such as the bleeding of sounds, mic placement, volume, etc. Robert understood the limitations and was extremely helpful in teaching me the best way to utilize my equipment to get the best recording possible. I had a few odd technical difficulties, but nothing too problematic. Although, I found out that the mic that was using (while technically a good mic) wasn't good for vocals. It didn't capture any bottom end! Hence why the vocals have more "high end" on them. (Oh well... now I know for next time!) Vocal sessions were completed at One Man Garage Recording Facility in about 4 or 5 days. I had my work cut out for me, but there were some benefits to recording on my own. Because I was on my own, I had no pressure or restrictions on how much of the day was available to me and I could come and go as I pleased, which enabled me to experiment with vocal layers and harmonies. I adopted a more calm singing style as oppose to the "hard" style I normally use and that made things a bit easier, albeit interesting. (Another reason is that the guitars and bass were tuned to E flat, heh! To give me a break on hitting certain notes. Hehe.) I think it all turned out great! Lyrically "And The Light Goes White" continues the theme of loss and relationships as established in "StrAngr(S)tiL." Whereas the first album deals with it through anger, the new album is more in a calming / reflective way. What follows are some track by track notes to get a deeper look at "And The Light Goes White."

_____________________________


VOW Originally the lyrics for "Vow" started out as being the lyrics for "The Clock Strikes Heaven." But after singing them to the music for "Clock" they just didn't fit. Instead of abandoning them, I continued to finish the words as I thought they were off to a good start. Both "Vow" and "Clock" were inspired by a friend of mine who was very unhappy in their relationship, feeling that no matter how much they gave their partner was never giving back. (I'm sure we're all a bit familiar with a situation like that...) You start out willing to give because you love the person so much, but then you start feeling short changed and slowly stop giving because of fear. It's a story that happens too many times which is sad. There's about four layers of vocals going on. The way the vocals are mixed in the final version was actually how they were when Robert gave me a rough mix of the song. He did another mix later where the lower vocals were in the back and the higher vocals were upfront. But I found myself loving how they were in the rough mix, so we switched em back!



PARASITE "Parasite" is technically the first song that I wrote lyrically for the album. At first glance it may seem like it's about the pandemic, but other than the title and line in the chorus being loosely inspired by it, it's not. It's about feeling lifeless, trapped, not recognizing yourself and questioning on how you got in this situation. You can get help via friends or whatnot but sometimes that's only a temporary solution. Hence lines such "Outside there's nothing to hold on to" and "Get ready for the drop." The vocals that you hear in the final mix of the song was actually meant to be a test, but when I heard the playback they sounded too good to throw away. "Parasite" was much easier to sing during rehearsals, but very tough to sing in recording. During the test vocal I sang the whole song in one go and literally collapsed to the floor when I was done. It took a lot out of me (and probably another reason why I stuck with this take for the main!). I eventually recorded a couple more to add layers but the prominent vocal in the mix is the first test.



THE CLOCK STRIKES HEAVEN

As soon as I realized that the lyrics I wrote for "Vow" were not going to fit, I immediately started writing the words that eventually ended up being "Clock." I had the words for the chorus, so all I needed was to fill in the verse and bridge. What really set me off was the song "Salt Of The Earth" by The Rolling Stones. During the first verse of that song Keith Richards sings "Let's drink to the hard working people / Let's drink to the lowly of birth / Raise your glass to the good and the evil..." That gave me the idea for the first line "I raise this glass for you" that kicks off "Clock."

This is the one song on the record that I'm not 100% completely satisfied with vocally. I feel that there were things I could have done better, but didn't have the time to finesse due to the time restraints. I made do with what I was able to accomplish, and doubling the vocals helped a bit, but there are places in the song that are a bit... not up to snuff for me. Ah well. On ward to the next record!


POPSICLE

As I mentioned in my previous blog, this song is the oldest on the album with the music being written in 2011. The majority of the lyrics however were written in 2020. I had the vocal melody (which pretty much stayed intact) and the first verse written which gave me a base to spring from. I had to shift around a few of the lines during recording to make them work better together, but for the most part the words stayed as is. The underlying sexual connotations are meant to be there, but really the song is about the nature of the Hollywood people and this game of doing anything to get ahead. If you think about it the two things go hand in hand.


I had a lot of fun recording this song! Singing the song utilizing different ranges was really cool. The album as whole has a more subdued vocal delivery than "StrAngr(S)tiL," so it was especially cool to cut loose on the screaming parts. Listening to the playback was very satisfying. (And maybe I am becoming a better vocalist?? :P)


DAYS

This was the last song written lyrically and musically! Much like the music, I just could not get an idea of what to write. When the day came to finally record this song, I basically had a skeleton set of lyrics and finished the rest during the session. For the most part the words for "Days" are alright, but there are some lines that sounded good, but I don't even know what they mean, or what I was intending! ("Your lies my truth, bound in deep cement," what does that even mean?! Ha!) I suppose I could play it cool and say something like "oh it's an abstract commentary on blah blah blah" but honestly I'm just human. I tried, and maybe this song was not 100% up to my own personal expectations, but I tried, and I'll always jump in and do something rather nothing.

Doubling the vocals in different octaves for "Days" is what saved the vocal performance in my opinion. On their own both the high and low octaves don't work. Rather than do another performance I layered them together and to my surprise it turned out really cool! It's also worth noting that my inspiration vocally was Dave Grohl. I'm not a Foo Fighters fan AT ALL, but that doesn't mean I can't take influence from them. This is also the second time I drew a vocal influence from Mr. Grohl, the first time was for the song "Not The Only One."


WAITING ON YOU

So about 2014 / 2015 I was going through a rough time and one evening I had a very fruitful writing session that spawned many a song. This was one of those songs. Besides being inspired by my personal experiences, "Waiting" is also inspired by the live version of the Depeche Mode track "Death's Door." In fact, the "mother and father" lines is a slight rip off on one of the lines in the Depeche Mode song. My favorite part lyrically is what I sing during the "noise" part where I list all the things like the "local bars" and "evening strolls." This song is also completely autobiographical (and you can probably figure out the situation by listening to the lyrics).


Because this was the first song to be released, it was the first song I recorded vocals for. I was pretty nervous since I didn't know how things were going to turn out with the equipment I was using, not to mention I was singing in a completely different style than what I'm used to. Overall it turned out pretty well! (Of course, being my own critic, there are some parts in the song where I feel like I could have done better, but we'll keep that out of this part! ;P) Oh, that layered "radio voice" during the "noise" section was completely spur of the moment.


WHAT'S LEFT TO SAY?

Another song that was birthed during that all-nighter circa 2014/2015, and completely autobiographical as well (figure it out yet?)! Originally this song had more words and completely different music. After I rewrote the music, I edited the words down to something more manageable. In terms of the album, "What's Left To Say?" is the point where, if there was a "protagonist" they begin to see that there is no hope in salvaging the relationship. The only way out is acceptance.

I had a bit of trouble with the vocals for this song, not so much in performance but in the technical side of things. It was hard to find a good placement for the mic as well as recording level. Everything I did was either too soft in the mix or too loud. If you listen closely to the vocals on this song (and others on the album) you can hear a bit of static coming through. A lot of the technical difficulties were fixed during the mixing process but some we just had to make do. A part of me wanted to keep them in because it added to the vibe of the song and also shows that this album was a product of this time.

LIFE BITES ME

The title for this song was originally for another song for a different band I was in, except for them it was called "Life Bites Man." I changed it to "Life Bites Me" because it related to the overall theme of "loss and relationships" on the album. This song in particular is about panic, losing control as well as losing your sense of self. It's about feeling like life is just taking everything away and you have no choice but to let it. Love can bring you joy and happiness, but it is also something that can tear you down in the form of heartbreak. The funny thing is that we're all essentially in control of the situation, we just have to let go.

Like "Parasite," "Life Bites Me" is another song that was easy to sing during rehearsals but hard to sing straight through during recording. Each vocal section of the song was done separately because I couldn't consistently sing them all at once. I would be out of breath! In the end though I think the vocal performance is pretty good. "Life Bites Me" also contains my favorite part of the whole album: the scream at the very end! It was actually from a session I did with Robert recording guide vocals, and is my unofficial tribute to Bon Scott.

CIRCLE THE ROAD

This song was written around the time I was recording my first album "StrAngr(S)tiL." I had all the words but nothing concrete for the music. There isn't that many words but I think what's written says a lot. "Circle The Road" is basically running through the thoughts over and over and over again. What's happening? Why is it happening? Thinking about all the times you tried to salvage the relationship, all the times you saw things their way, etc. You're just stuck with all of this in your mind and it prevents you from moving forward. It's about regret.

This was the toughest song to sing on the album. I wanted my voice to sound gentle but still convey a sense of anger in it. I had the sound of what I wanted pictured in my head but I just couldn't get it right! For inspiration I listened to vocalists like Davey Havok, Billie Joe Armstrong and even Tom DeLonge of all people. I did my best and eventually I got it right. I really like the layered "shouting" vocals in the song.

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

In my previous post I mentioned that I wrote this song in about 30 minutes, and that includes the lyrics. I remember singing random words over the chord progression. The more I sang the more the words took shape to what you hear in the final mix. I didn't even write them down until way later! I like the fact that the words pretty much repeat throughout the song, and like "Circle The Road" they say a lot. I literally cried after writing this song because the subject matter really hit home for me in my heart and soul. One of the goals for The Dramedy was to write a song that people could have a sing-a-long with and this song works perfectly for it. It's my favorite track on the album.


Caroline Blind did the back up vocals here. I also wanted Adrienne Pearson from the band Readership Hostile (which I did some time in handling the bass) to sing as well, but we weren't able to coordinate due to scheduling conflicts. Caroline does a wonderful job on her own. I told her to sing the parts in at least three ways in different octaves, as well as the option to do some harmonizing if she wanted to. I recorded my main vocals three times but kept the first two takes. Then I did my own harmonizing twice. I think our voices together really shine and really work well together in the song. And oh how they sound during the 1:53 mark! It really melts my heart. _____________________________

Stay tuned for the third and final part! Robert Frank from Minor Chord Studios joins in and writes his thoughts on working with The Dramedy on the new album!

72 views


So it's been about two weeks since the latest Dramedy album "And The Light Goes White" dropped. I figured it would be nice to give you some "behind the scenes" notes on the recording process for the album. I can't get super granular with all of the nuances, as doing that would require something longer than a blog (haha). This first entry will focus more on the music side of things. There were quite a few things that were done different, obviously because of the pandemic (as mentioned during my interview with All Access Music. You can read the full interview here). First, the recording had to be done separately, with each of us doing our own parts on our own time. Second, all three of us never came together to rehearse the assortment which appears on the album. Drummer Michael Collins and I came together to get the arrangements down and locked in the groove for each of the songs. Bassist Africa Swenson meanwhile was rehearsing on her own and riffing off of the rehearsal tapes. And third, the songwriting process was very "loose" compared to previous Dramedy releases. The timeline for recording went like this:

May/June 2020 was reserved for songwriting and rehearsals, recording continued from July to December 2020, and mixing happened between January & March 2021.


Four recording studios were used:

Drums recorded by Michael at Gotebo Studios.

Bass by Africa at The Stray Cat Studio.

Guitars/bass/drums/"metal" at Minor Chord studios with engineer/mixer Robert Frank.

Vocals and even more bass by me and Africa at One Man Garage Recording Facility. That's basically a summarized version of how the recording went down, but I assure you there's plenty more. I have to commend both Michael and Africa for their hard work which really shines through in their performances. Michael really nails it on "The Clock Strikes Heaven," "Waiting On You" and especially on "Circle The Road." Africa created some really amazing bass parts throughout. It was quite an adventure for us all. What follows are some track by track notes to get a deeper look at "And The Light Goes White."

__________________________

VOW This song was the first time I used the "cut & paste" method. Basically I played each chord progression for a few measures, recorded them and then just "cut/paste" in whatever arrangement I wanted them to go in. If you're seasoned in this kind of thing then it would be no problem, but neither myself or Robert Frank were so it was a bit of a tricky process. We figured this method was the best for this song because all I had were the lyrics, the title, and the chord ideas. After we finalized the arrangement, Robert and I would take turns on the drums to see what kind of beat would work best. Of course, to get the right mood/feeling for the song, the drum pattern we came up with was a bit tough to play (XP). Listening to the playback of the "Vow" was... tough, and I couldn't help but think "Is this even going to work?" because it was sounding pretty damn wonky. Thankfully, after adding in the bass, "metal" noises, samples, vocals, and whatnot, the song began to take shape. Overall, I wanted the album to be less in your face and more melodic than "StrAngr(S)tiL," but I also wanted to start it out with something that was very loud and "ugly." If anything, to create a bridge to the first record. "Vow" fit the bill perfectly. This song is one of my favorite songs on the record, mainly because of the process of putting it together.



PARASITE Michael came up with the riff for the verse and pre-chorus of the song, and originally the song was played in D major. For awhile I worked with it, but something wasn't connecting for me. On a whim, I switched from D major to D minor and it was like magic, and all seemed to fit together. The strum pattern and chords for the bridge all fell into place shortly after. As far as the chorus goes, I had had this vocal melody floating around in my head for years, and now seemed the perfect time to use it. After some small modifications to the chord progression, I was able to fancy something that fit the vocal. I then quickly sampled a drum beat to make a demo and sent it to both Michael and Africa.


Between the demo and the final version there isn't really any difference in the arrangement. The galloping drums during the bridge and the vocal break between the third verse and final chorus were some of the things that came up during rehearsals. Other than that it's pretty faithful to the demo. This was also one song that I requested to play the bass on because I had something in my head that as perfect for it. Lesson for the day: sometimes switching from a major key to a minor can really make a difference.



THE CLOCK STRIKES HEAVEN My initial idea for "Clock" was a lot different than the final version. I never made a demo of it but in my head it was more along the lines of Depeche Mode a la Music For The Masses. It's also worth mentioning that the only thing I had for "Clock" was the chorus vocal melody, so everything was pretty much based around that. Being a fan of music, there's something really special about the art rock bands that came out of New York during the early 70's. Stuff like Patti Smith, Television, even stretching far back as The Velvet Underground in the 60's. You can really feel the somber and fury within the music. That's something I wanted to achieve with this song (or any of my songs for that matter) but with my own spin on it. Will the my initial idea for "Clock" ever get made? Well.....there's always a remix! But, I still love how the final turned out!



POPSICLE This is probably the oldest song on the album, having been conceived somewhere around 2011. I pretty much kept it on the back burner, but around 2013 I took it out and considered recording it. There was a really cool three-piece band in Los Angeles that I liked called Shegun that I thought would be really cool to have record it with me. Obviously that didn't happen, Shegun ceased to exist and "Popsicle" was put on the back burner to simmer once again. When the idea for this album came about, I thought now was the perfect the time to finally record it. Judging by the response I've been getting for this song, I think it turned out really great. I really like the bass playing done by Africa on this song, it really gives this indie grunge dance number a post punk/U2 feel.

Fun fact: The drums are slightly sped up. While Michael and I were rehearsing the song we were trying various bpm's to get the tempo right. The first bpm speed was too fast, so we slowed it down a bit (and that ended up being the speed that Michael recorded his drums at). It sounded fine, that was until we started to layer the guitar in the recording process... Rather than rerecord the drums, Robert and I just sped it up in post. If you listen closely to some of the snare rolls you'll hear some choppiness. Although it could have been fixed I left it in because overall I think it adds to the song giving it a frantic feel.



DAYS Days was yet another song where the initial idea was much different than the final product! Originally I wanted to do something pretty wild, like something the lines of the song "Yu Gung" by Einsturzende Neubauten. Not sure why I abandoned that idea but I think it had something to do with time (or maybe laziness. Oops...) So to keep things simple, I decided to keep it as an acoustic track, which posed a few problems, like the verse riff didn't have a lot to work with. Musically this was the last song completed because I kept pushing it back. I was really at a loss for how to structure it. To pull inspiration I listened to everything: metal, world music, industrial, soul, goth, indie, country, etc. Nothing gave that spark. I tried it fast, I tried it slow. I tried doing something clever with the vocals, the picking style, still nothing. What ultimately inspired me was the Tom Petty record "Long After Dark." After listening to it I came up with a pre-chorus riff, which prompted me to pull out an old riff I had for the chorus and the whole thing came together. (Whew!) The lesson here is if you're ever in a bind writing music, just pull out a Tom Petty record. ;)



WAITING ON YOU As you know there are two versions of "Waiting On You," the album version and the "ballroom mix" version. (I guess three if you count the "stripped" version that came out in 2019.) The "ballroom mix" came about because I had planned to release this song in Dec 2020 as kind of an "end of the year" sort of thing. But I quickly changed the date to January because it made more sense with the album coming out in March. Why not start 2021 off with something new! Because it was originally planned for Dec 2020, it ended up being the first song mixed. During the mixing process, we found that it was going in a much different direction than what was done with the "ballroom mix." If you listen to both mixes of the song, the differences are slight but noticeable. The "ballroom mix" has a much more polished feel, especially on the drums. While the album version has a more "shoegaze noise" feel during the second half. Personally, I prefer the album version, but I also think the "ballroom mix" is pretty cool and great variation of the song.



WHAT'S LEFT TO SAY? Yet another song that started out sounding very different! (See a pattern here?!) Believe it or not, this final version came about while I was watching the movie "Paddington" (yes, the bear movie, you caught me). Originally the song was very similar to the Tom Petty (there he is again) song "You're Gonna Get it." I really liked the way it was sounding but the arrangement made the song longer than it should be. When I was watching "Paddington," the song playing during the end credits had a shuffle. After hearing that, I tried putting that same feel to "What's Left To Say?." It ended up working really well and the song became what it is today.



LIFE BITES ME This started out as one of three pieces of music that Africa sent me. What's interesting is that if you listen to the final version and her demo version you would never know they were the same song. The notes are the same but the strumming is completely different. What's funny is that when I showed her what I had done she didn't even know it was her song! During rehearsal, Michael and I felt like there was something missing. At the time there was no "chorus" section for the song and I was running out of ideas. So, I handed Michael the guitar to see if he could come up with something (he's a guitarist too!). After a couple passes he played a few notes that ultimately ended up becoming the vocal melody for the chorus. From there, I quickly came up with the guitar chords to pair with that melody and the rest is history. What I like about this song is that there is a bit of 80's new wave flavor to it, especially in the chorus and the galloping bass line. I had to handle the bass for this song as Africa was out of town (which kind of sucks considering she wrote the initial demo! Blah!). I had also asked Zo Guthrie from The Razor Skyline to handle the keyboard parts, but to time wasn't on our side, so I became a keyboardist for the day! (I'm hoping Zo and I can collaborate on another song in the future. And who know? Maybe a remix??)



CIRCLE THE ROAD "Circle The Road" has taken on many forms throughout the years. It was initially written around 2015 (and it even may even have been performed once in one of those early forms). The first version was more a spaghetti western affair a la Ennio Morricone, and even shared the signature lick from the song "Salvation." Then there was a full on punk version, and then a more post-punk gothy version. They all sounded good in their own way but there was still something missing. So in preparation for the album, it was time to go back to the drawing board. I didn't really hit my stride until I played the chords in the style of the XTC song "Dear God." Playing it that way seemed to be a good thing, but it still didn't feel right, it felt a little rushed. But once I slowed it down a bit, it really took shape. Michael really settles the song in a good groove with the drums while Africa elevates it with the bass. "Circle" is a good song as is, but both Michael and Africa's performances really make the song shine.

Fun fact: While recording, we decided to extend the end section an extra minute or two. There was no purpose for that extension other than to give us the freedom to fade out wherever. Africa took it upon herself to write a bass piece during that section. For time purposes it had to be cut out, but it's in the vault waiting to see the light of day...



ALL OUR YESTERDAYS I wrote this song in about 30 minutes right after I listened to the Rilo Kiley song "Small Figures In A Vast Expense." The two songs sound nothing alike, but it served as inspiration. The guitar solo I played is pretty much the same one that I wrote in my head while I was writing it. Since the drums and bass are very minimal on this song, Robert Frank and I took the liberty respectably.


There's not really anything else I can say musically about this song other than I really like the way it turned out. I'm really happy that even in its elementary and straightforward form it's still pretty epic.

__________________________

Stay tuned for part two, where the focus will be on the lyrical and vocal recording process!

73 views