All The Night
March 9, 2018
..there was a girl and boy, then there’s just a boy
Sometimes he wears her dresses and breaks his sister’s toys
Yeah, another one. Goddamnit.
I hear ya, when are we gonna get over these fuckin studio posts and get back to what the people really want: boozy stories of 1983 tour life, huh?
Hey, I’m getting tired of this too, and I have to write this stuff.
So settle down.
The tracks are full now, and the last couple meetings in the studio are like walkthroughs of a newly constructed house: we wander the walls, running our hands over flawed drywall textures, add another note to the punchlist for final clean up.
Nick is in there now with a Dr. Seussian box of shakers and percussion toys, coaxing out the sproinks and klik klaks that will subliminally flavor the tracks.
I clean up a few lines, mumbled verses and cheesy lyrics replaced.
I go back into the vocal booth and make some harmony passes on few tracks, but it turns out just awful.
Jim gives me the note, I sing it fine a few times, but when the track is rolling I just end up doubling the lead track.
It’s as if I cannot separate my self from that other guy, can’t channel my inner Keef to yowl a plaintive 3rd above the original line.
We consider just using the ‘ol group chorus on every fuckin song, that old standby that reduces every nuanced melody to a drunken football chant.
Fuck that though, we need help.
Put in the call, and get Steve Soto in here!
Lucky we are, Steve is not out on the road with one of his dozen acts this evening.
Hard working bastard that he is, the guy is on in constant motion worldwide to ply his trade, guitar or bass in hand, sweet voice soaring above us all.
We meet at the studio and it turns into an three hour chat fest.
We tell inside jokes, repeat road stories we all know by heart, gossip like catty teenagers about scandalous band rumors.
We talk of the very real aches and pains of our age, the wonder that we are still allowed to play this stuff and get paid.
We talk about Gabby, recently gone, and wonder what, if anything, can replace the hole he punched through the local music scene.
Then Steve goes into the vocal booth alone, gives Jim the ok to roll through one time.
I watch as he marks the lyric sheet here and there, nodding to himself as he hears the voice missing.
And then we roll through again, red light on, and he nails it.
Effortless as lying to a cop.
He puts the missing note to each of the tracks then, sometimes going back a second and third pass to layer them yet even higher.
We got a wall of Soto going here.
We do the listen through again, rough mixed and everything up.
The record is done.