45 Seconds of Stink

Was up way too late last night (as in 3:00 AM) laying down vocal tracks for the AMERICAN FALCON record we’re working on. I posted this picture before I left of the essential tools I would be taking with me to get the job done. We had quite a bit of fun and got a lot of work done. We’ll see how much we actually keep, though I expect most of it will survive. Here’s 45 seconds of groove from the basic tracks before we threw vocals on this tune. You hear “metal band” when you hear this stuff? No, neither do I. . . .

http://vimeo.com/30995559 w=604&h=400

Can’t wait for it to be finished.

Report from the Rock n’ Roll Trenches

The stars finally aligned for my band, AMERICAN FALCON, to get in the studio and at least lay down some basic tracks. That’s how I spent my weekend. We convened in the Rock Office, where we rehearse, on Friday night to get set up. Travis had a show with one of his other bands, Tom Catmull and the Clerics, that night, so we couldn’t go too late. Saturday morning we reconvened, finished the last little bit of setup then laid down the basic tracks for two songs: “Tallulah Black” and “When All Seems Lost We Shred.” Then we headed out so Travis could go play another show up in the Flathead with the Clerics.

This morning we hit the room at 11:00 AM to finish up. We were finished and packed up by 4:00 PM. The five remaining tracks that will go on the album are called, “The March of the Mexican Death Squad,” “Blood Drunk,” “Femme Fatale,” “The Falcon Kills Tonight,” and “The Beast of Bray Road.” We’re pretty excited for how it sounds so far.

Here are a few pictures I took of the gear.

The Command Center
The Bass Cabinet
Jimmy’s Pedal Board
The Freakin’ Rack
Vintage Ampeg Thunder Source
Matchless DC30 + Rivera Knucklhead + Marshall 4×12 = VOLUME
Travis Dialing It In

Oh, and for the uninitiated, what I mean by “basic tracks” is the first layer of the recording. Some bands record each instrument one-at-a-time by itself. We do it live style. We set up and play as a band all together, with each instrument isolated as much as possible so that one instrument doesn’t bleed into the mics of another. That gives us control of each individual track/channel, even though they are recorded simultaneously. We also record a “scratch” vocal, which is the lead vocal sung just for reference while we’re playing. It will ultimately be replaced by an overdubbed vocal using a much more high end microphone. So what we have now are seven songs using twelve tracks (each track represents a microphone; I think we used something like seven or eight on the drums, two on the bass, and two on the guitar). We will set the studio back up in Jimmy’s basement at his house since moving forward we don’t have to play as a full band again. We’ll overdub all the vocals and a few guitar parts. Maybe some other stuff too, who knows. We’ll get to that over the next few weeks. Hopefully the thing will be all wrapped up by October or so.

It was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to hearing how it sounds when it’s complete.

Loud and Proud

On the road in Oregon for work today, and planning to meet up with one of my favorite writers, Bonnie Jo Campbell, at a reading at Powell’s tonight. Busy, busy! Nice thing is Julia is with me, which doesn’t happen often.

The Independent came through on the article about the mighty AMERICAN FALCON today. While you wait for my post-Oregon update with fists clenched and breath baited, you can dig that HERE. We happen to be playing this Friday night with Sid’s band as well. Should be a blast.

Oregon borders the ocean; who knew?!

Humor for the Godless Heathens

Last night at band practice we were scheduled to be visited by a photographer from the Independent to take some shots to accompany the article running on the band in this week’s edition. We don’t rehearse in the greatest location for quality Rock imagery, so we walked across the street into the fairgrounds. There are some murals along the midway that the photographer remembered as maybe being decent background material.

Soon as we arrived where he was thinking, we realized they wouldn’t work — the murals are all over what must be, obviously, a booth run by SHEC, i.e. the South Hills Evangelical Church. Obviously not the kind of thing one wants associated with one’s playing of the Devil’s music.

We cracked up, though, at the rough pentagram that some pack of ne’er do wells had scrawled next to it. I’m not condoning this kind of thing (:cough:), but I still got a good giggle out of it.

It’s actually kind of a bizarre mural, with all these little chicks (as in, baby chickens) with human heads. One is even popping out of an egg.

In this next photo, at the far right you see Chad, the photographer, pointing out the image that would make my freakin’ night.

Upon closer look, more graffiti (click the image to see it in large size for greater amusement).

All for the glory of “Satin”? Clearly, the Fallen One needs to institute some standards when it comes to the proper spelling of one of his many diabolical names. Reading that makes me laugh every time — it’s just so damn stupid. There is a Scott H. Biram song where he talks about that very thing, and he even remarks in his song that “That is some stupid shit!”

You think Jesus and Satan every hang out and talk about how moronic their followers can be?

I probably get more of a kick out of this kind of thing than I should, but hey, I think it’s funny.

Speaking of the photographer, Chad Harder. A couple years ago the dude had a climbing accident, I believe it was, where he almost severed his hand. Last I saw him a year or so ago his hand was sort of functional again, but they didn’t know if he’d ever get back enough use of it to even hold a camera. The guy is back in the saddle now, taking pictures again, and I think that’s fantastic.

This Just In

Got a phone call last night, and it turns out the magnificent AMERICAN FALCON is going to be sharing the stage with the mighty Judgment Hammer tomorrow night (April 27th) in Missoula at Harry David’s Bar. It’s last minute, yeah, but if you are in Missoula you should come out (9:00 PM) and rock out with us. There’s no cover charge, and it’s HUMP DAY for crissakes! And remember, the more you drink, THE MORE WE GET PAID! Don’t be wimps, posers, or whiners.

Best thing is Harry David’s isn’t far from my house. At my age, the sooner I can get home and get in bed, the better.