Saturday, March 17, 2012
revisiting 4 - april 2011
Our April package was the last one for which we had any semblance of a sketch before the year started. Eric had created the main guitar and verse vocal idea for "your eyes were filled with violence", which I fleshed out into the final form over an intense few days in the middle of April. The whole thing came together for me once I added the 'tron part to the end section - I was really vibing on Italian prog glory while working on it.
Throughout the year, Eric and I always operated near the edge of what we could get done in an month, but these challenges were exacerbated in April by the length of the song. Long songs just take longer to put together. Same for songs with lots and lots of vocals or lots and lots of layers. Additional time and/or layers increased effort geometrically. This seems obvious, I suppose, but it was still amazing for us to experience it. It wasn't just time additional spent on the mix, though of course more layers mean more EQ, more cleaning and carving, more finding space in the mix, and more time spent on balance. It was also in figuring out the form, and sometimes just more time recording all of the parts. Especially with atypical structures, I felt like I had to listen to the whole song each time to see if the spacing worked, and the more my memory seemed to fuck with my perception of the whole thing.
In contrast, we created the April 15 track, "outer darkness", in one day and mixed it the next. One of our biggest inspirations has always been the band Sebadoh, especially their first album Weed Forestin', which includes a bunch of short, lo-fi snippets of songs that always felt perfect in their simplicity. With "outer darkness", I feel we've finally created a song that showed that influence. The percussion sounds were created by scratching the carpet next to a close-mic, though we did use a U87 to record it. Interestingly, I just discovered that Weed Forestin' was just re-released on vinyl. Check out the recent Pitchfork review of this classic album, which includes the tune 'temporary dream':