The recording diary of “A Columbus Feeling”

Again we were hitting the studio after the recording of the last album “Set An Example”, released in 2004. It took some time because we have jobs, family and sometimes we travelled around the world to play our tunes. BUT in 2009 it was definitely time to record some new stuff.

Because we all work out the songs at home, we are very fast working out the songs in a practise. So after we started practising in the middle of 2009, 27 songs were in the pool to choose 18 for the recording. Beppo practised a lot before the actual recordings practising by himself on clicktrack – the little machine that make all drummers go crazy because the click (giving the tempo) knows no mercy at all.

Once the drums were set up in the BluBox-Studio, Beppo was very positive starting with “Stacks & Piles” because the song worked easy in the practise room but excactly that song turned into a nightmare first. 3 hours later, Beppos first recording was done and Beppo was pretty depressed. Espacially knowing that there was a tight schedule for another 17 songs but than Beppo turned into a genius and hit the drums like a machine and two days later all drums were fine and recorded.

A week later Markus flew in from Berlin to record bass. For those recordings we went into our practise room, set up the amp in a neighbours room next to ours, stuck two mics in front of the amp and checked the sound. We just used my laptop, a line6 UX1 soundcard and a good mixing desk. Some songs were easy for Markus but some turned to be a beast. Especially when the rhythum was fast or a little crazy like “Honestly”. Groovy but with a hell lot of notes. We recorded between 10 to 12 hours every day and in two days Markus was done too.

Steve and me were up to record a week later. Because Thilo Schenk, our Co-Producer, wanted us to play both the part of the other, became another hell for Steve and me because you might be used to play your part but playing the others part is a nightmare. Need to think over or change your thinking with every song. Autsch. Steve was fighting through the recordings in 3 days and done.

I was sitting alone than, pushing the recording button, started playing over and over again the same part. Thank god to harddiscrecording because you can start over and over again or somtetimes cutting the parts behind each other easily. My special nightmares were “Columbus Feeling”. Especially the banjopart. I was totally stroked by the idea playing a banjo in the intro but didn`t know were to get one or find someone playing it.

So I called a musicstore, asked if I could borrow one but they denied. But asking if I just could come over with a mic and my laptop they agreed. So I went there with my laptop and a good mic and sat in a little soundboost and playing the intro melody on a banjo first time of my life over and over again. I think it worked great and gives the record a certain note we never had before that much.

You need to remember, that all this had to happen in a very tight timeframe because of the upcoming tour. So when Lee hit the BluBox-Studio for recording the vocals, the pressure was already up high. And, as it has to happen, after the first few tracks Lees voice started to crack. A flew that was hitting Lee two weeks before came back and gave Lee and all of us a bad time. We tried tea and I even got some special “Singers oil” for his vocal chords but nothing helped. Frustration and timepressure collided and stressed us all out. We had to stop recording after 6 songs were almost done.

Lee went to a doctor just to get told that his whole chest was infected. SHIT. At least one to two weeks break, all deadlines needed to be removed AND without knowing if we could hold any timeline at all. 10 days later, after Lee swimming in antibiotics we played Regensburg and his voice stayed alive. So Lee went to record the other songs with the help of  Max in Saarbrücken. I had to roughmix all songs as MP3s, put them for download in Dropbox, Max got the so Lee got the sound. AND IT ALL WORKED GREAT this time.

So, we really hope that you enjoy this record because it was some hard work for all of us and sometimes, when this is suppose to be fun it turns into hell but once it`s done and we are satisfied the only thing that`s left is to see how all you people out there react to it. In comments or live.

Cheers, roger

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