Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's Been A Long Time Baby.

Fuck, what a week!
Ok we went up to Auckland on Sunday. I got picked up on Saturday, I'd been fighting with Heather and not told her of the exact timing, so I got up and pissed off, just as she was in bed wanting to talk. Go Joel! Fucking aye! So yeah bad moves there, but we've done the whole --Break up but still friends-- thing. But that didn't happen till I got back from Auckland. I didn't tell Heather where I was going, who I was staying with or give a number, not as a straight fuck-off but as a more "i'm only 19 this shit's getting a wee bit heavy", still bad move.

Having said all that, the trip up to Auckland was fun. We got up at 7, at Duncan's dad's place, finding out of David Lange's death. We piled into the car at maybe 8:30? and cruised off up the North Island. Making fun of town names and stupid slogans was theme of the trip "You're so excite-a-bull! Don't be so predict-a-bul!" so much fun! But the fun went up a level when we stopped in Taihape and brought up about 50 past-use-by-date beers, being imported Brazillian beer which had been kept in the chiller, meant it was some of the best beer i've had in yonks. So the rest of the trip is a bit of a blur, consisting of lots of pissing stops, suggestive shots on the tank at Waiurou and fuck-loads of bad jokes with accompanying raucous laughter.

Arriving in Auckland we relied upon the iffy memory of Bernie and Brad to find our way to our residence for the week. Having met Jed (MAINZ student, and old time Lester friend) we sorted out our temorary pad. Fitting four of us into one room was fun (Brad resided in the ill-named 'Porn room') and proved oderous after a while, possibly due to bad diet leading to BO? Who knows...

Anyway. The first day at the studio was really good. It took a while to set-up but that's to be expected, as you're not setting up drums everyday. The engineering students (Sam, Anthony, Ralph, Rachael, Jed and someone else I forget) started setting up the mics. They were good, the big sticking point being overdubs. Now for those out there who don't do the whole recording thing (why the hell would you?) i'll give a quick (edit. extra big and extended) low-down.

-The big debate centres around whether to record the band as a whole and or record them all seperately. Now if you recording as a band you save time, as recording the band playing a 5 minute song will take 25minutes individually (assuming they play it well and in time, which doesn't happen), which we will get to later on. The other big thing is that the band playing together has a spark which doesn't always get transferred when done individually. I've found that it sounds better when bass and drums atleast are recorded together. This of course relates to Rock n Roll and not orchestra recordings. Individually overdubbing tracks means you have more control. On the Alabaster Theatre tracks, the rest of the band is present on every track (The guitar can faintly be heard on the keys, drums everywhere etc.). Now if you're going to get a record of the band playing the song then that is fine, because a little bit of bass in the guitars is fine because it's the same bass recording. If your band isn't good\tight enough to get a good take, then it's much more important to individually record tracks, as re-doing the bass track over the drums can sound different if you have a majorly different bass track, so doing it seperately has its advantages.-

Anyway the engineers wanted to isolate the tracks. Which I saw as a bad idea as mentioned above:
a) Alabaster Theatre are good and tight enough to do the tracks together
b) It would take much longer
c) When you turn the amps up and chuck them in a corner, the ratio of wanted noise to leakage (other noise e.g. bass coming into the guitar mic) is so low, because you have the mic pointing at the amp and any extra sound must come through the amp to get in (Trust me, if done well it is neglible).

So anyway the previous EP was done by overdubbing and took months (not totally because of overdubbing, but it helped take ages) the result, didn't really sound good and was quite disapointing, as it didn't capture the really good songs that were recorded. So the band were totally against overdubbing to start with. Anyway we got the engineers to try recording the band and making sure the sources i.e. amps were as isolated as possible. How surprised were they when it sounded great AND there was little instrument bleed in other tracks. Hammering away at tracks for the rest of the day we got maybe 3-4 done which is pretty bloody good in the scheme of things (we were expecting maybe 1-2 songs per day). The basic songs (they weren't finished, needing bits an peices to make them 100%) sounded good and something that we could be happy with releasing to radio. Leaving at around 11:30am we were still pretty excited.

The next day we weren't in till 5pm (rather than normal 10:30-11am). So we walked around eating dunkin donuts (fucking aye! sooooo good!) and sushi, and not doing anything at all, rather just hanging out. Anyway getting back to recording, we jumped in and did another 3 tracks (thereby finishing our lowest expectations of 4 drum tracks and the higher one of 6 full songs). Which was amazing as in 1 1\2 days we did 6 tracks.

Debating what we were going to record was a big one. I was keen to get a particular song from the first EP recorded, but the band weren't keen. Apart from that I think everyone was very happy with the procedings, especially Brad and Bernie's finally sloting into the band musically.

Anyway blah de blah blah. We recorded heaps, from wednesday to thursday we did overdubs, adding extra nice bits to the songs among other things.

We had a gig at Edens Bar. Showing up at 7pm no one was there, so we waited up till one of the Chinese managers opened the place up. The first thing I noticed was that the mixing desk was behind the bands. BEHIND! I had no way to hear the mix coming out of the speakers (Not having a pair of headphones to use) and luckily we had another band (The Tuts) bring an amp and microphones, although the mics didn't show up till 9pm. So one song by each band and then Alabaster Theatre were on stage.
I think they did alright, they got an increasing loud support from the crowd. Keeping people there rather than going outside. I was told that it sounded alright, so yeah who knows... We got a bunch of people along who hadn't seen the band before.

The trip down wasn't anywhere near as eventful as the trip up. Lester and Bernie in particular were hungover and the cheap beer at Taihape was 2\3s of the way down the island. All in all we had some fun and got some tracks down which will be seen around these parts in the future!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Almost there

I'm on the verge of getting a job at The Parlimentary Library. They already liked my CV, i've gone in and done their required tests and now i've been asked to come in and face an interveiw... I hope I get this job. Well what else can you do apart from go along and hope for the best?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Gee Whiz, I Just Ate A Couple A Kids

Fuck! It's amazing how long it can be between posts. So a quick cap:

I was an Interpol roadie
-I ate roadie food, I drank roadie food and I looked disdainfully at those fucking students, arrogant pricks
-I got a free pass to the gig, I ended up going halves on a door sale with Heather (yes there were 30, pays to be a roadie sometimes so you can find that stuff out) as she wanted to see the Demi Whores.
-Interpol were good but they too-often decended into sameyness, I asked Heather about it and quite a few times we had to ask ourselves if we'd heard that song earlier... Having said that they played well, the leadsingers vocals rocked. I liked The Shins better.

I spent the week postering (somewhere between 700-1000) building up to Thursday at the Quad. The band were there from 8am (11:30 start) and were all set-up by about 10:30 (we weren't rushing ;). We had the PA turn up just after 11 and Cortina at 11:20. Netherless the band were on at 11:50 so as to disrupt the kids as little as poss.
Anyone familiar with the Quad will know its like a big plastic\concrete block. It has some bad echo to it, and for a band to sound passable is a nice complement, the band sounded passable. Cortina were very loose\out of time, but by the time they got to "2001 Ways To Love Me" they were on fire. The finished as a tutor came out with arms waving and ranting about the noise, he went first to the guy videoing the show (don't ask why I have no idea) then to the soundman (who didn't give a fuck and was not the man to talk to as he kept on telling the tutor) all the while passing me (the one to talk to) and having no idea. This on top of the 200 striking staff who came for 5 minutes and then fucked off (did they want some lunch?) was a real kick in the nuts. We were trying to raise awareness of their issues (low wages being a biggie) and they couldn't give us the respect of waiting 30 minutes (we would have been happy to let them speak while the bands were playing) instead they walked off to do their own thing. Thanks a lot, going along with thier previous displays of solidarity and good strategy I can safely say AUS , in Wellington atleast have shot themselves in the foot. Instead of getting us battling lazys on, they've managed to get a lot of the people who care (6 of the 10 people infact) rethinking their support.

I've found a flat. Containing atleast one member of The Anticapitalist Alliance, Stephen Hay (Who won 1200 votes in the mayoral elections, hows that for popularity, specially on a stance of nationalising EVERYTHING) It's a nice place, either $70 for the small room or $100 for the bigger one if Chris from Goldenaxe wants to come.

Heather and I have gone further down on our roller coaster of love and dispair. We haven't ahhhhh done "It" in a while (measured in many weeks going on months) I don't do it, theres just nothing there aparently. That does lots for the old self confidence, the only thing keeping it up is that in Christchurch (by the way did I say I went down for my nana's funeral?) on the bus to the airport. I'm looking all too cool for Christchurch (too easy, even I can pull it off) and this girl's all like staring at me, trying to not making it obvious, but being totally obvious (come on, we've all been guilty) and compounding it by taking a pxt photo of my indie posuerness to ohhhh and ahhhh over with her friends the next day. Either that or she wanted a picture of the metal rail slightly above my head. My ego allows only one of those options.
So anyway it's just getting into a nightmare, just really cold and miserable. Were we too young to get into this? Am I really as cuntish as she says I am? Was it only because I didn't have any money to do stuff with her? On that note I applied to the parlimentary library for a position and I went in today for a typing and shelving test, here's to a job this time next week!