r&r diary – Tracking with Victor! – 12.18.13

microphone in studioWe recorded a slew of new songs over the weekend at Victor Sanders’ Chicago studio.  It was an intense experience. It was just the core band – guitar, bass, drums, with Carla on “guide” vocals. Two 4 hour sessions spread across Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We laid down basic tracks for 14 or 15 songs. Some of these songs we know well, we’ve played them out live over the last few months, and some are really, really new.

Not sure what we have, we will be listening over the next few weeks, but it felt like we captured some cool sounds. We worked with Victor on our debut CD, and that experience was super-positive, and we all know each other even better this time around. We are trying to capture an organic, live, band sound: big, bold drums, a fat, powerful bass, a warm, lively guitar and silky vocals.

Victor’s studio is cozy; we played together live in a little room, with Carla behind glass. We all wore headphones, we were simultaneously together and isolated in our own worlds. The music was the meeting place! Music was all around us. And the sounds were slightly different depending on where you heard them: in the studio, in the headphones, in the control room.

There is an ease and simplicity in some of our new songs which I hope comes across. I learned this time around that simple can be powerful. Trust the note, trust the words, trust the sound. Quiet and soft can actually be big and powerful. I also learned that “silky” beats “honky” every time.  Little gestures can have seismic effects.

Now it’s up to the songs to stand up and demand to be counted. Which songs will emerge? And did we capture the band in peak form? Did we catch the “vibe” the “feel” the “groove?” Did we capture any moments that transcend the moment? We shall see… – Jammer

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