Scruffy, Indie folk-rock from Transylvania

Over-producing

Posted by admin On April - 2 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

I have been playing and recording music for over 13 years now – been on the payroll of one of my favorite local bands when I was 18, have played in more than a dozen bands and helped out in countless projects, albums, etc. ever since and I’ve also been employed as a composer for two and a half years – still, I don’t feel the least bit closer to knowing what makes a good musical piece, or even begin to understand what the ingredients to a well written song are.

My answer so far was simplification. In theory, at least. Every time I started up a new project, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it. But, as things seldom go according to plan, the Indie Folker project was no exeption. Things are just not ever that simple, I guess. I think I’m learning that much already.

I recorded the song “Monsters In Rome” with the initial plan of having just a siple guitar + voice track, and maybe a foot drum kind of thing (a wooden box) somewhere in the second part of the track, as my good friend Sergius Gregory suggested. Need I say: the plan failed miserably? The track is just crawling with instruments, ranging from electric guitars to drums, a string section, female backing vocals and even a theramin kind of instrument in the bridge. So I over-produced my title song. But it sounded great. What was I to do, strip it anyway? Of course not!

Anyway, this “herratic” behaviour of mine continued during the recording process of “Afraid Not Scared” as well. Initially, I just wanted a piano and voice track, to keep things simple and stick to the initial plan. But the strings, drums, bass and acoustic guitars somehow made it into this recording as well.

By this time I knew the plan was screwed. I had to continue producing every song the best I could, and I haven’t got very much experience, so the thought scared me shitless.

Anyway, here I am 8 tracks later (and probably 2 more to go), with a world of things that I learned, and a decent sounding record.

Oh, yeah, and I forgot to mention that “Monsters In Rome” is going to be a full-length album after all. Inspiration struck me during the Easter off-time and have managed to lay down some new material.

So the record will be coming out soon enough now, and I can hardly wait to share it with you all later this summer, during my tour and the very few select festivals I will be appearing @.

Talk to you soon.

In A Team

Posted by admin On March - 21 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

The week after I got back from our last tour in Hungary with Jokerman and SzER I lost a lot of control over my voice because of the constant strain I unwillingly subjected myself to. We were up quite a lot and I was driving the whole way there and back which, for me, is quite a lot. So against all my efforts and willingness to record, it looked like I had to abandon everything and crawl away in shame until my voice recovered.

People in the studio thought I was a joke, they’ve never heard me before so this was our first encounter, and I hadn’t prepared for things to go this badly. Also, I hadn’t prepared for the amount they were going to charge me even though I hadn’t recorded a single note. I immediately called a few good friends to help me lay down some tracks and get things moving without my voice. I decided to re-arrange everything, going from a one guitar+voice arrangement to an entire ensemble of instruments, which I never intended for at the beginning. At least I was getting my money’s worth, I thought. Plus the opportunity to jam with some good friends again. So we just kept on going until my voice recovered enough to let me sing again.

A few weeks later the tracks were done, but I still couldn’t record a single vocal line the way I intended to. I could sing, but my sore throat made everything seem out of place and messy at the time. I got used to it ever since, and now most of the songs feature my voice from exactly that period. Also, the finished material ended up being much more “produced” than I originally hoped for it to be, and it had all those flavors of diferent people on it – which was great! I almost forgot how good it feels to get something done in a team…

Reporting From The Lab

Posted by admin On March - 19 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

I’ve realized a few things during the months that went into the production and recording of this album, LP, or whatever they call it.

First of all, I like not having any time for so called “fun things”. Many people would hate that, but I don’t. A good friend and I were talking about this two days ago, when we met for lunch. He loves doing all kinds of things besides his work. Taking his time enjoying afternoon activities, whatever. I can’t even remember what that is like, as most often I feel like I’m wasting precious time no matter what I do.

I thrive on the accomplishments, I guess. I’m addicted to that cozy feeling of one step forward. Even if it drives me to depression.

I keep promising myself that I will try mountain climbing or at least learn to ski. Don’t know when I’ll get around to it, but those are two things I would really like to do… Still, improving on my piano skills is a lot more tempting for now.

Started mastering process for the Mini-album

Posted by admin On March - 19 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

I have a few songs recorded and mixed to an almost final and releasable level. Some of these songs I’ve played a gazillion times before live, but some are totally fresh.

I am currently driving around town, listening to the newest mixes on my car stereo. It’s kinda cold here, just like that day I recorded Monsters In Rome for the first time here at my house. By the time I got to lay down the first chords to Silver Screen, it was already snowing, and I had to drop everything to get ready for New Year’s.

In the three months it took me to (almost) get this recording together I don’t remember ever caring about the weather, and most of the time it was really freezing. Why is that? I guess i was way too rapped up in the process to notice. I even forgot to eat sometimes. I’m not used to caring about what goes on outside there. Anyway, I have to do regular things again now, meet with people, organize, go swimming, get drunk, things like that.

I usually hate to listen to my finished mixes, but thinking it’s the first time I got to do this my way, I am as pleased as scared as fuck. Sometimes I think the record sounds great. Other times I can’t help feel ashamed. I mixed it locked up in my apartment, recorded it all over town, re-recorded it at my house – in the bedroom. I’m not going to waste time with singles and whatnot, I am not that kind of an artist. I don’t care to release one song at a time. So the record comes out as soon as possible. Possibly less than a month. Hope for the best.

Sounds like the soundtrack to winter. Or summer. So I guess it won’t make it to Grey’s Anatomy. Not like I care.

I am going to work like an insane lunatic for a few more weeks, and then take a brake before committing to a full-blown tour. I’ll be visiting Italy, Finland and Hungary if everything works out as it should. I can hardly wait.