The Making of an EP (Trials and tribulations of a wannabe musician, his fiancee and their Merry Band of Miscreants… The Typical Johnsons)
What you are about to read is kind of a diary. It is a studio diary that will be kept during the making of “The Sailor & The Siren” the new EP by Jeremy & Lynne , or if you prefer them as a whole band “JL & The Typical Johnsons” Enjoy! (Honestly I’ll be surprised if anyone reads this!!! )
DAY 1: Click Tracks and You!
(Intro) HELLO!!! For those of you not familiar, we are the artists Jeremy & Lynne. (See our Facebook, reverb nation, twitter profile, Instagram page etc etc etc etc etc…) When we play with our full band we call ourselves “JL & The Typical Johnsons!!” Last year, (2015) we released our first full length album of original music called “Drawing Blood” [DB] and to say we learned a lot in the process is putting it very mildly.
Several times during the making of DB we talked about the need to document the making and process we were going through, not for anyone else really, but so that we could one day look back and remember these days with either love or hatred, or both. This blog/diary/rambling nonsense is our attempt at documenting the entire recording process of our next recording adventure which is to be titled “The Sailor & The Siren”.
Over the last year since the release of DB we have played approximately 40 or so shows and tried hard to promote the album as best we could, but the transfer from writing the songs to recording them in the studio was tough and sometimes the feel and ideas were lost in translation. So we had it in our minds fairly early on that we were going to try again, and agin, and again if necessary to get these songs and the ideas in them to come out rig. So we kept playing out and promoting DB as best we could, and even garnered interest from a small label in Columbus Ohio! In a perfect world, that would be the end of part one and the start of our meteoric rise to local, regional and national fame…
In an all too common set of circumstances, we could not come to common ground with the fine folks at the label, try as though we might on both sides. No matter what we did we just could not make it work. It became a simple struggle for recording rights and revenue streams v/s how much we were willing to give and what the label was willing to live with in good conscience on a bunch of unknowns [us]. The whole time, we were ready to record a completely new album of material! The songs were literally burning a hole in our pocket so to speak.
In the interim while all of this deliberation was going on we somehow found ourselves a band and became “JL & The Typical Johnsons" [JL&TTJ] for at least part of the time! **Insert epic music here**
So we set out to play, perform, practice and make some new recordings. Which brings us right here, to day one in the ICB (International College of Broadcasting) studios, (Studio B to be specific). After much consternation and gnashing of teeth we decided on the tracks for the EP and set about arranging parts while playing them live. We knew all too well from our last attempt in the studio, that the best way for us to go about the recording process, was to create click tracks, (Scratch tracks) of just myself playing and singing to a metronome. Then like a castle of blocks, we could add one block onto the other until we had 6 quality recordings. For those of you completely not familiar, the click track works like this…
1: Click track starts
2: Inexperienced guy on guitar starts playing like he has never picked up a guitar
3: All life and soul is sucked from the track at an exponential rate to how hard he/she tries
It’s an acquired skill is what I’m trying to say here folks… and the jury is still out as to whether at least one member of JL&TTJ has the skill or not (Meaning Jeremy)…
Day one in the studio, doing the clicks for
1 Good Ones
2 How I Died Today 3 Inside My Head
WHOA Wait a minute Jeremy & Lynne! I thought you said you had all these new songs waiting to be recorded and yet here you are, and your first day back in the studio and your RE-RECORDING THREE SONGS FROM YOUR OLD ALBUM!!! WTF FOLKS!!!..
Calm down, let me explain…
As we slowly came to the realization that the label wasn’t going to pan out, and all of our day dreams about being a signed band weren’t going to take shape, we really listened to our first album and decided that we needed to re-represent some of those songs. The translation from pen and paper to a full fledged song sometimes doesn’t make it the first time through. So we chose the three songs from DB that were most unlike what we had envisioned. The photos with my entry today are from the click tracking of Good Ones, How I Died Today and Inside My Head. Which, looking back is kind of funny, because IMH actually won an Ohio Music Award for being “Best Folk Song," and we are going to deconstruct the song to its core riff and redo it…?