Fake Our Deaths – studio recording diary

Wow. I just found this and read it for the first time since it was written. In the studio, early 2003, as we were mixing Fake Our Deaths. Pretty emo, but that’s what studios do to the brain eventually. One for the trainspotters.

As is:

a weekend snapshot from the private collection:

we’re mixing here at sing sing. leigh’s next to me. hello leigh! he didn’t say hi he’s not here anymore. we’re listening to the sing sing version of battle happy, a version that right now i don’t think will make the record. A) because the feel of it i remember being appalling, and B) because I’ve always gotten a great deal of joy out of listening to the preston version, and it doesn’t fade with repeated listenings. feel like we’d be pushing shit up hill, a feeling not uncommon to this weekend’s mixing sessions. we’ve spent the majority of today remixing previously failed versions of drunks and atlas…which now has proved to be an important and right decision. cause prior to this they sucked mightily. it’s an extraordinarily sickening depression that creeps into your guts when your faced with a final mix of a song you’ve been recording for an entire year, have been playing as a band for 3-4 years, and was conceived with starry eyes and lofty ideals maybe 5-6 years ago, and is now entering your ears and failing dismally. were you wrong all along? did the version in your head ever exist? and if not then are you fucking deluding yourself? and part of the horror surely is that in the end, in really doesn’t – and didn’t – ever matter.

so anyway, this morning we had a minor meltdown…well at least matt (voigt) and i did, when we discovered that we both thought the previous 2 days work sucked. i of course wanted to redo it all, and matt of course was looking at the bigger picture, wanting to move forward. with me being the stubborn fuck i am and with the timely arrival of sarge and heelis to back me up, we started going over our nuggets of mixed refuse. once in, matt uttered the phrase ‘what the fuck were we thinking?’ which is always reassuring. and what do you know but throughout the course of the day we’ve managed to prove that one shouldn’t consider a turd a turd until every atom of its little circumference has been well and thoroughly polished. thus the mood lifted, table-tennis was resumed, dinner was served and the kids were put out to pasture. without even the ubiquitous ‘car test’ this time. what the hell it’s too far gone now. instincts are best left untouched…well not always but a can of worms is probably left admired than strewn around the room whilst four penniless adults wonder what the fuck it is they’re doing with their lives. why a row of buttons matters so much, and why we hole our way inside and out of harms reach of such distractions like…friends, family, pets, air, food, loved ones. cause it makes us happy i guess. it does.

last thursday, friday, saturday and sunday we were in here too. magic dirt were in the studio down the hall with fuckin adam kasper of all people. if i had every cent of currency this country has ever minted the first thing i would do would be to record or at the very least mix with adam kasper. the guy’s done some of my favourite albums of all time, responsible perhaps indirectly for a large percentage of what I’m currently sitting here listening to, and here i am politely sayin ‘hey’ in the hallway as i brew a coffee while he’s off to the toilet. (hearing problems with this track at present, thinking more and more that the preston versions gonna be the one) so anyway kasper was in the house while we actually had one of his CD’s (Pond’s ‘Rock Collection’) in here as a reference. the irony was touching. magic dirt are however probably paying the guy 10 times what we’re paying matt. wait, magic dirt are probably paying fuck all…well out of their pockets anyway. yeah yeah i know it doesn’t work like that. whatever. give us an advance to worry about paying back instead of sitting at a computer screen every day of our beige lives to pay for this stuff. they have to pay it all back? yeah by going on tour and playing and recording and promoting music. boo hoo.

so that weekend we got done these songs:
last day : sounds tops
warm: sounds tops. no little vox or incidental music (yet) and vox maybe a bit loud but it’s good.
feather figure: sounds good but i have an issue with the volume of a few things and the flamboyance of the ending. sad songs are good when they’re left to be sad and stumble quietly out of the room on their lonesome, not spelled out in neon building high letters and slapped about your head to stain the point home. give me a miserable song that trails off into obscurity over a acoustic rockout finale any day.
spaces: frickin tops, one of the best.
ice and peppers: really good, just have to wait and see if we use the trumpet or not.
local: really fuckin good also
o you’re gone: perfect.

and a couple of local edits for radio, if we get that far.

so that was all pretty good. it’s been fun in between the stress, arguments, grievance airings and meltdowns and whatnot. table tennis, bbq’s, stupid photos, heart to hearts, slander matches, and what not. as leigh said, it’s going to be weird after this when we’ve got no studio confines to retreat from the outside world into. we had a bit of a chat this morning about where we were, in crisis about all our plans, sarge is in it for the long hall, simon’s up and down as ever, saying he’ll quit at a moments notice, but then getting excited about playing and prospects and such. lambert’s always in from what i can tell. if anything else this whole ordeal had certainly bonded us in ways we wouldn’t have expected beforehand. it’s pretty great right now. i can only imagine the fun we’ll have once we get back on some shows, playing new songs. hopefully people like. time will tell.

voigts onto the drums on battle happy, soundin good. we just had some chai and donuts. sarge is next to me on the floor making stupid photo’s on his laptop. someone’s out in the games room playin piano. now we’re listening. better go.

teeg : 11:30pm
sat 15th may 03

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