Strangely unlike me, I have begun this weblog half way through the project… may I catch you up a little?
My wonderful Dan and I went traipsing across the United States and a little of Canada, taking in the sights and sounds of the East and West Coast, with a touch of New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta in the sweaty summer of 2011. Not a single gig was played, but a song was indeed written, sitting on a couch in San Francisco on the Garageband App on our iPad which sparked a groovy kind of feeling as we shimmied our way along.
When we landed home on our Aussie soil my usual New Years resolutions were made. I usually choose to make new years resolutions as I fly in to my home after being away. It happens less often than every year, which reduces the threat and challenge of change, and it’s easier to consider what you want when you’re looking down over it, like some out of body experience.
Instead of the usual: “I promise to jog around the nearest oval 6 times a day for a year”, which has never happened once, this one was different. “I shall make an album”.
It couldn’t be an Ep. You can’t drive anywhere listening to an Ep. You get halfway somewhere and start have a recurring dream, and I have a suitcase full of unwritten songs hiding in every cranny of my house.
“And you’ll need a deadline to go with that” said my wise old brain, knowing otherwise it would become like the oval near my house…
It was early August as we landed into the time warp of the Brisbane International airport, gathered our trinkets from the stopover in Fiji and headed home to Lennox Head. So I looked ahead, and set for myself:
September: Finish songwriting of song ideas.
October: Rehearse band for songs.
November: Record. It. All.
December: Mix & Master
January: Artwork & Duplication.
February: Have a party somewhere.
Anything that ends with a party can’t be a bad thing.
Sitting here on December 30th, 2011, things pretty much went vaguely according to plan.
October kind of fell apart when I realised gathering a crew to rehearse my songs, give me their time and generally prance about like it was Christmas wasn’t really going to happen. People have lives, children, jobs, cats, dogs… fish.
So Dan and I tucked ourselves away into our garage, and made complete band versions of the songs, on “Garageband” none the less. If you’re going to do this, I suggest “Orange, Fenugreek, Mint and Lemon Balm Tea“. As fresh as you can get them. Poured from a glass tea pot so you can see the colours. Makes for a great album…. we hope.
So we produced everything, from August to November. Complete songs. With the firm intent to record live drums, bass and track vocals in the studio as the November deadline.
November has come and gone, with the delight of tracking Pete Wilkins (of Blue King Brown fame, but my friend from the Red Eyed Frog days), the ever smiley Grant Gerathy “Bobby Alu” & “Ray Mann Three”, Thierry Fosmale (local bass legend), as well as my list of favourite people to make music with: Tim Foley, Sonia Leeson, Carla Versitano and in a swift visit from Melbourne, Te Ua Houkamau.
Our studio recording has taken place in the Byron Industrial Estate at PatchWork Studio’s with the ever chilled, Mr Nothing’s Too Difficult James Boundy. Stunning microphones, really relaxed studio sessions, peppered with sushi, coffee and sweet sweet ginger beer.
Currently we’re in mixing. Thus bringing you up to date. I’m eagerly awaiting a cal from Boundy, but silly me made mixing time co-exist with Christmas and New Years, an outrageously bad idea, but, that’s the way it is. It’s my deadline. If I break my deadline, it’s my thing to deal with.
Highlights, as always, have been the little things. The giggles and the outtakes, the hugs and the thank you’s to friends, playing the songs after a week away from them and still loving them. Low points were earlier in the game, when things here and there fell apart; people couldn’t commit, people couldn’t make time, lost voices, the day Boundy turned grey all over from sleep deprivation…
But all in all, this Twig Bird just want’s to fly, and it’s coming along nicely.
Can’t wait to share it with you. But you’ll have to wait just like me.
Last time I sent a friend a desk tape, he played it on the radio…. so this time he’ll have to wait. I promise it won’t be long.