Produced and Mixed by: Rich Costey
Engineered by Rich Costey and Wally Gagle
Assistant engineer: Darren "Sulu" Leffler
Drum Tech: Gersh for Drum Fetish
Recorded and Mixed in Los Angeles, CA at Cello Studio
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering
LABEL: RCA Records - [ RCA 07863 68131-2 ]
RELEASED: March 18th, 2003
Yes, we're well aware that ZZ Top had released an album of the same name on the same label years ago. Was it as good as "Tejas"? Probably not.
Anyway, the "Antenna" album is our first record on a major record label. It was also the hardest record for us to make up until this point in time as a band. Writing for the album began shortly after the release of "Jupiter" in September 2000 with the songs "Day Trader" and "Seafrost". We quickly made a demo recording of these songs with Brian McTernan, which unintentionally became the first "demo" that was "shopped around" to a growing list of record labels interested in the band. After a long-winded and laborious process, we finally signed a deal with RCA Records in April 2001.
Shortly afterward, we booked time at God City Studio with Kurt Ballou to record more demos. In May 2001, the following songs were recorded during this demo session: "Stained Silver", "Day Trader", "Breath Of Water" (originally 8 minutes long), "Bigger Riff" (now known as "Rubber And Glue", because we soon realized that it wasn't actually 'bigger' than "Big Riff"), "Devil's Head Piñata", "Harmless, Armless", "The Callus" (originally written by Giants Chair, and later re-recorded for the "Tides Of Tomorrow" EP), and "Chinese New Year / Honolulu Face".
More demos were recorded in August at a rehearsal room located near the Fenway in Boston on a 1/4" 8-track machine being operated by Carl Plaster and Charles Hansen. This low-key demo session produced rough sketches of the following songs: "In Harm's Way", "Dark Driving", "Woodwork", "Lost In The Air", "Penny Racer", "Youth Overrided", and "Lift-Off".
After a U.S. tour the following summer, we spent some time holed up inside the legendary Cole Rehearsal studio in Los Angeles to work on writing more music. Playing some of the newer material live for a month straight helped us to refine certain songs and to completely rethink other ones. It was during this time that the songs "Joy Opposites", "Come Into Your Own", "Inspire", and "Anchor" were developed. This is also when we first met with Rich Costey about possibly working together on an album. Demos made on a 4-track cassette machine document the work we had done during this month-plus long period in Los Angeles. Before departing Los Angeles, we booked a day at Sunset Sound with Mark Trombino to record a demo of the song "Woodwork".
Over a month of touring the U.S. and over a month of touring Europe soon followed, which left us somewhat exhausted and looking forward to some time away from the road. During stops near D.C. on this U.S. tour, we spent the daytime before the evening's show working on demos with Brian McTernan at Salad Days. In three days, the following songs were revamped and recorded: "Stained Silver", "Lost In The Air", "Bigger Riff", and "Anchor".
Back in Boston during the late winter/early spring of 2002, we worked on refining the new songs we had accumulated over the past two years while writing some new ones as well. Demos with a cassette 8-track machine were made to document the progress. "The Calypso", "Tides Of Tomorrow" and "Everest" were written shortly before entering a few studios in the Boston area to record what was to be the "Tides Of Tomorrow" EP. Doing this helped us narrow down the song selection for the new album we were about to record, because we planned on saving the more linear and unashamed rock songs for the album. It has been assumed by some people that "Tides Of Tomorrow" is a batch of songs that RCA would not allow us to include on the "Antenna" album. This could not be more untrue. Perhaps the same people who assumed this are many of the same people who would soon spread rumors about us being forced to record the "Antenna" album multiple times until RCA felt it was "good enough", or that we were forced to work with song-writers outside of the band.
Anyway, we arrived in Los Angeles at the beginning of June and a two-week long pre-production session with Rich began immediately, once again at Cole Rehearsal studio. Songs like "Breath Of Water", "Joy Opposites" and "Youth Overrided" received big make-overs, while most of the others were only slightly tinkered with. Work on the recording began in the big room at Cello Studio. We tracked live, playing together simultaneously for about two weeks until drum takes were completed. Bass and guitar overdubs soon followed. Guitars took the longest because we were virtually changing guitars and amp set-ups for each individual part in almost every song.
Much down time was spent trying to master Grand Theft Auto III, toying with an old ARP 2600, ping-pong, flying a toy zeppelin around the live room, eating at Vegan Express almost every day, spending stupid amounts of money at a nearby Ameoba Records store, recording with the band-owned portable 4-track cassette machine, listening to "Songs For The Deaf", and hiking at Runyun Canyon.
We tried unsuccesfully to get Slash to play lead guitar on the song "Penny Racer". The vocals were the last thing to be tracked, and the work continued right up to the night before we flew out of L.A. in mid-August to play the Summersonic Festival in Japan.
Mixes for the album were done in September while we were touring the U.S. with Jimmy Eat World and Sparta. However, we weren't satisfied with the results, so a few of us stayed in Los Angeles for about a week in October after the end of the Jimmy Eat World/Sparta tour to work on remixes. The only mix from the first mixing session that made it onto the album was "Beautiful Son" - the rest of the songs were remixed.