For the last three years, since releasing ‘Bittersweet’, which also featured on Society of Sound, we’ve been doing occasional short tours, playing the songs from that album, as a three piece.
There is an economy in the music that three people can make together, without recourse to sequencing or pre-recording, which is deeply appealing. There’s no spare flesh. It works or falls apart by how you do what you do. There’s nowhere to hide. You have to listen, play and be very aware of dynamics and what’s going on between you.
The new album, inspirationally entitled ‘Rhodes’, is a band project that pursues that musical path and grammar.
The initial plan with the recording, was to rehearse for a couple of days, to get to know each other again, and for Chris Hughes (the producer) to come in and routine the songs - that is, to make sure they were in good shape to record. It transpired that Chris was ill and couldn’t make the rehearsal time.
We set up in the live room at Ashley Manor Studio, with a small PA, practicing at relatively low volume. The idea was to keep the vibe of our live work, the dynamics and range of what we do together, and then add as few overdubs as possible.
When we came to record, Chris was able to come in and guide and cajole us through the recording. He ended up being heavily involved, which was great, even if it had not been in the original plan. (It was a good way to reconnect, as we’ve known each other since we were teenagers, but not worked together or really seen much of each other in the intervening years.)
The tracks were done in five days; the singing and additional work took another couple of weeks.
The tracks were then sent off to mix engineer Tchad Blake, who works his secretive magic in mid-Wales. He sent an initial approach to one song, which sounded great, so he then pursued that path for the whole album...mysterious and wonderful!
In the mastering process, all we did was place the songs in order. The mixes required no further attention."
Thank you very much to the Judgeday Limited gang: Dave-T - Chris Hayter Beckie Parsons and Isabelle Sully, who make all the practical things happen. Rivera Amplification, who make such great guitar gear. Thank you Paul (Snr) and Paul (Jnr).Peter Leinheiser, at Gibson, who has helped with their MinE-tune system.
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