.entry.July.2002 //

.July.24.2002 //
We've finally begun tracking vocals, the most nerve-racking part of any recording for me. It's so much easier getting comfortable doing guitar overdubs than it is trying to be comfortable singing. I tried singing into a mic that's worth more than almost every material item I've ever owned in my life - combined! It happens to be a favorite of both Chris Cornell and Johnny Cash, to name a couple. But I couldn't get myself to feel comfortable in front of it, so I settled for a Shure SM 7 mic that Rich brought with him. At least I don't have to be careful not to touch it with my mouth or something.

As of this posting, "Inspire", "Day Trader", "Penny Racer" and "Sea Frost" have been completed - although I suspect we'll try re-doing "Sea Frost" over again. Maybe inside of the old reverb chamber that's now being used for storage.

Rich had recommended that I see this guy named Ron Anderson for some vocal coaching. He's worked with everyone from Billy Joel, Seal, Tori Amos, Björk, and Janet Jackson to Axl Rose, Chris Cornell, Maynard James Keenan, Scott Weiland... it's safe to say that Ron is the "Jimi Hendrix" of vocal coaches! I had about 5 or 6 appointments with him that seemed to help me out a great deal, but the frusteration really stems from the fact that I've been singing most of these songs a certain way of my own for a long period of time. I mean, "Day Trader" and "Sea Frost" are both almost two years old. Trying to incorporate some of Ron's technique into my own has been almost too challenging for me at times. But Rich and Wally, our assistant engineer, have been really helpful and supportive of me during my meltdowns and I want to take a moment of silence to commemorate them for their undying patience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

   - Stephen


.July.05.2002 //
My favorite part of recording, guitar overdubs, is finally looming in. Using an old Echo Plex and manually bending the pitch during highly guitar-driven sections seems to happily invite the spirit of Kevin Shields. With having lots of time in the studio, it's cool to make almost each individual part of a song treated sonically different. It's something different for us, anyway... in the past, recording sessions were always a frantic speeding frenzy of work from the moment the drums were being tuned until the final mixes went onto a back-up DAT.

To kill time, I have set up a 4-track machine inside the iso-booth of Studio 1. Aptly named "Studio .3", it's nice to be able to quickly put songs and song ideas onto tape. Adam furnished the room quite nicely with a giant Jim Morrison tapestry, and now the vibe is complete. Thanks a million, Lizard King. Perhaps some of the music done in "Studio .3" could potentially accompamy some video footage we've been taking of ourselves in the studio. The only notable shots so far are the killer ping-pong games we've been having in the live room. Truth be told, it does get brutal!

Mark Thompson of Hydra Head Records and his esteemed colleague in neo-rock journalism Jay Bennett are presently visiting L.A. We did a photo-shoot for Rock Sound magazine and once again, Mark Thompson will be seen in at least one of these pictures fully exposing his balls. A giant hairy peanut. Blekk.

   - Stephen