I’ve been slacking on writing an update on where my band’s first album stands. So here goes!
Eric, Carrie and I spent the Sunday before Memorial Day in our final big recording session. Petras came in and did his final bass tracks during the first hour . . .
. . . we stretched our limbs and prepared our souls for the work ahead . . .
. . . and then it was up to the three of us to check everything off our master list and get this thing done.
With 19 tracks in various stages of completion, we still had lots of work to do–some djembe for our song Lucien . . .
. . . Eric’s awesome ipad organ for Watchman’s Back and Mary Sang . . .
. . . some of Carrie’s main vocals for Dive Down Deep, Breathless, and others . . .
. . . some re-do’s on parts of Eloise . . .
. . . some re-do harmonies from yours truly on Scarecrow (I was a tad bit off my game on the first go-around) . . . a lot of tambourine-ing . . .
. . . some glockenspiel for kicks (which adds a ton to the fabulous song Dinosaur), a little melodica, etc, etc.
6 1/4 hours after we entered, we were putting the final touches on the final songs.
You may remember that during our previous session, I had unexpectedly and irrationally been filled with terror when I approached the microphone to record my lead vocals on a song that had quickly become the embodiment of my recording fears: the dreaded Green Wheat and Poppies. After spending most of Sunday recording harmonies and banging the tambourine against my thigh, it was all coming down to this song.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from my emotions when the moment came. I gripped the mic stand to prepare myself.
But guys . . . once I heard the guitar track playing in my headphones, I was 100% calm. It was 100% enjoyable.
I actually had fun.
I thought about the words I was singing, what I wanted to convey when I first wrote it, and just . . . let go.
Looks like the terror was a one-time thing, perhaps caused in large part because that was the first vocal track I had attempted (in retrospect, not a good idea–I should have warmed up to the whole thing with some harmony tracks).
So what’s left, you may be asking?
Well. Well, well, well. I vill now tell you, ja.
So: our engineer Rick gave us his initial mixes last Wednesday. But as this is a self-produced album, it’s our responsibility to weigh in on the mixes and participate in that process to the fullest. So we have been listening to each track over and over, taking notes on any changes we want (lots), met Friday to discuss them all, and have emailed our list to Rick.
This week, Rick will re-mix with our requested changes, and give us the new set.
Then, we will listen again and take detailed notes again.
Then, we will schedule a meeting with him to go over all our thoughts and get the final mix in place. This will include re-recording any tiny pieces that just can’t be re-worked with digital magic (hence the “kind of” disclaimer after that words “final session”). At that point, we will listen to all the tracks together in the studio and make the decision that that’s all she wrote. (Which I hope we can make in good conscience–I don’t want any of us to feel like we’re compromising on the quality of our stuff.)
Once that’s accomplished, it’s just (“just”! Hah!) a matter of putting everything together–editing the amazing pictures that my friend Zane took of us the other weekend and deciding on an album cover and an EP cover. Divvying up the 19 tracks into an album and an EP (the EP will be released a little later) and finalizing the song order on each of those. Getting copyrighting and all the legal stuff done. Finalizing the verbiage we need on the album with all the right credits (I’m already terrified of forgetting someone). Getting the graphic design for the jacket done. Placing the order for the CD’s, and paying our dues and going through whatever channels we need to get it on itunes and other methods of digital distribution.
And then, having a CD-release party/gig, promoting the heck out of it using whatever channels we can, and seeing once and for all if this lovely album is going to make any more than approximately $40.
Which I think it will . . . but ultimately–and I say this from my heart–I don’t care if we never recover our investment. Because guys–I love this album. I’m proud of this album. And I’d do it all over again even if we were our only audience.
But let’s be honest–I could definitely use a margarita (or three) to help me get through these final steps.
Over and out!