Looking back at the recording of 3 Headed Monster's debut LP for Melissa Records
A retrospective by C. Cecchini
Rome wasn't built in a day my friends, and neither was this album... But then again, we're not really talking about Rome that was hanging out in Italy, maybe something more along the lines of Rome, Michigan or something like that... assuming there is a Rome in Michigan.
So yea, late last year we walked into Jay Maas' Getaway Studios to start this album that we were determined to make the very best funk/r&b/jazz fusion album for you, our soon to be new European friends. Then suddenly, we remembered that we were a metal band and that we didn't have any funk/jazz fusion songs, all we had were metal songs! Would this still be the greatest funk album of all time?! Then most of us (except Andy) remembered that funk was really gay and we soon discovered that we had the makings of a bad ass metal album on our hands, and away we went!
So day after day we worked on these songs, some coming easier than others. The days slowly crawled by until days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years... well, back into days and at some point we wondered if we would ever see our loved ones again, and if any of us would survive this ordeal. I suppose thats a really weird thought process to have when recording an album.... But yea, I'm getting side tracked again, so why don't we break this down a bit and get into some of the specifics.
Jay the guy who works the knobs.
This is the type of you guy you want to have recording your album. When you go and play something all shitty, he'll remind you how much you blow, but he doesn't really think that (I think), its sorta like tough love to motivate you to do better, and sure enough you do. And if you don't, well he's right there to be a good friend and remind you that your skills are weak, which once again pushes you to try harder... or to sell all your gear, but that would makes you a wimp. Not to mention when your not recording anything you have Xbox 360 right there and a CD with EVERY old Nintendo game on it, now if thats not worth the studio time payments, I don't know what is!
Recording Varan/Perfect Plex/Ultimate Rage/Beast of Odo Island/Bitter End.
Well, to make sure we could get the best possible performance out of Andy, we first starved him for several days and then locked him in a sound proof room with his drum kit and told him that if he knocked all these songs out of the park, he could have a sweet steak dinner. While I don't suggest this tactic for every band, it certainly worked for us, however Jay ended up eating the steak while the rest of us were busy playing Worms on Xbox which in turn created the tense feud that would develop between Jay and Andy over the next several months and possibly still exists to this day. Next up, we did the guitars. Originally we set up to do about 85 rhythm guitar tracks to give that songs that extra thick sound, but after spending so much time playing old Nintendo games we decided to trim it down to 3-4 tracks for each song... and surprisingly, it came out pretty heavy... as heavy as 85 rhythm tracks would have? Who knows, maybe next time we thought. Next came the bass tracks which were just dandy. I don't know what sorta wit you were looking for here, but I've never found bass guitar to be all that funny, so I'm just going to say they came out fine and were done quickly. If you have any bass guitar jokes I could use in the future, please visit our Myspace and send them to me. So with all that done, finally came the guitar solos aka the payoff, the frosting on the cake, the crem de la crem, the... umm.. stuff people expect from an instrumental band. All of these were done over the course of several hours and most were nailed in minimal takes. So there.
Recording Ides of March/Bloodbath II/Engines of AKI
So we took a break for a few months so we could return to Jay's studio older and wiser (*cough* go to rehab for gambling addictions *cough*) and finish this CD thing and ship it on off to Europe for all of you to either love or hate. For some reason everything just seemed to go smoother, and by smoother I really mean like not at all. While we banged the songs out in no time flat (in basically the same manner as we did the last batch so I will not recap because I'm far to tired to do that), we then had a new obstacle before us.
Mixing and mastering...
I can't even begin to tell you how many times we remixed these songs. Every time we thought we had it, we'd get all up in a rut over something else and off the CD went to be remixed one more. I will say though, Jay was a good chap putting up with this crap... and the threatening voice mails I would leave asking Jay where our CD was... for about 2 months straight. But finally around the 25th try, everything was right and a great big collective sigh of relief was had by all.
And off the master went, on it's magical journey to the higher ups of Melissa Records.
And soon, it can end up in your hands.
Ohhh them happy endings.
- C. Cecchini