This summer we have mostly been playing music, mostly…
We also teamed up with some very talented dames to create a music video for our song ‘Wave Goodbye’.
Many thanks and high respect bows to Stine Sampers, Sofie Hoflack, Mathilde Strijdonk, Gytha C Parmentier, Kyky Kong Kong, Valentine Galeyn, Emma Verbeeck and Inez Verhille.
You never stand alone, therefore big hug and big kiss to Maximiliaan Dierickx and his crew and Kunstencentrum Vooruit.
We’re deep in it now. Working our asses off, some days for 12 hours a day, following the songs wherever they lead us, adding and extracting and balancing the weight before we get ready to dive into mix world next week.
Teles, old Lespauls, Danos, Supros, Fender amps, Gibson amps, Ampeg amps and guitars, Orange amps, bells, chimes, triangles, biggest toms ever, whirly, rhodes, weirdness and a whole lot of tambourine for party flow have all passed the revue. Gots to have your eerie sounds, crackling noises, little interludes here and there or whatever element the songs needed for the full on 3D record experience… and what can we say: audio soup is where we live. Sonic washhh makes us happy. Big brushstrokes all over the place.
In layering and recording vocals Chris’ philosophy hasn’t changed. The first take is usually the one you want. Spontaneous and dangerous. Melodies, vocals and solos that start and don’t know where they’ll end create more dialogue with a straight up gut feel. Never let the comfort zone take over, that way lies boring fucking perfection. Enough of that out there already, right?
Also. We’re set on a title.
Come fall “The Orb We Absorb” will be up for grabs. We hope you find a copy or steal one on the internetz or from a buddie and maybe let it change your life. *coolguystance* + Michael Jackson “Hooooo!”
Two more days of recording and we’ll be clearing our ears before we embark on mixing week. San Diego, here we come for some downtime.
14 days in and the desert is starting to feel like the actual desert. Summer is kicking in, windscorpions are coming out to play and our eyes, lips and faces are adjusting to the dry heat out here. Only thing to do is not let it get to you, apply mmmmmoisturrrrizeerrrr and enjoy the breeze in the evenings. Focus on nighttime.
We’re joined on our mission by mister Hayden Scott (freelance drummer, currently with Brody’s band) as our tracking-engineer/mix wizard and meanwhile most of the vocals are done and our skeleton is starting to sound like the storm we want it to be. Getting closer to it as each day goes by. Also, we’ve already killed one of our darlings and shot one of the songs down, as it wasn’t standing up to the quality of the other 11. Not the same ballpark. Part of the deal is knowing what to say and what not to say. When to say it. The bigger picture is all that counts, all that jazz.
In between sessions we’re getting to know the place and the people of the desert. Southern hospitality is not like hospitality anywhere else. We found a lot of friendly faces along the road, such as our new buddy “Crash”, who, equipped with only a hammer, has the magic ability to save dying cars and lost road warriors in need of help, get them back to checking out localÂ yardsales for great, idiotic memorabilia. Two dollar-boardgames (Monopoly and Trivial Persuit), check! Self-help books with golden titles like “All the questions you are to weak to ask yourself” and “How to end up a rich woman”, check! Powerfull stuff ‘erywhere.
On a day off this week we refreshed our ears at Pioneertown in Yucca Valley. A site that’s been used throughout the ages for a great deal of Western gunslinger movies and home to Pappy and Harriet’s, the club we’re playing on one of Dave Catching (or Dave Cat$$$hinggg, if you will) his birthday-bash-evenings. Turns out the first ever gay marriage in Joshua Tree was happening right when we were there. Thumbs up feshow!! Can’t stop progress
Off to enjoy all the ice-cream Foo Fighters left in Brian’s fridge on their way through the Valley. Wounded soldiers must be taken care of! Supa scoopa and mighty scoop.
Second week in and we’re done with the skeleton of the record.
“Fuck me, this is serious business”… meanwhile it’s raining quotes at the Rancho.
12 takes of organic live-feel and it’s all there… with dirt, speedups, hickups, crazy energy and that secret ingredient called reallness. We want you to feel that we’re human and we want you to hear it like we’re playing it, laying it down. Not in 200 takes, not in a bunch of comps, a song is a take, best of three, usually take two. That lovely push/pull.
So we’re getting into overdubs and vocals now and are already starting to think fantasy. The elephants are making their way to the gate, but they need to be decorated with gold and silver, emeralds and diamonds, bloody ornaments, spears and armour and a banner made of lightning. Nothing less. Secrets of the sound… Fun Machine all over the place. Try to spice it up, not to fuck it up and paint the message instead of singing the lyrics and playing guitars. If that makes any sense.
Meanwhile Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect spot for soul-searching, walks around massive boulders, mountain climbing, photoshootin’, sightseeing and dodging lethal snakes. But hey, the snakes in this backyard warn you before they sink their poisonous teeth in your tasty heels. Thems the good guys.
Ayway… a wise man just told us if enough shit piles up eventually a flower has to bloom. And that angels are gathering.
After 28 hours of snoozing in planeseats and carseats we found ourselves at the infamous Rancho De La Luna, one of the last houses of rock ‘n’ roll, in Joshua Tree, California, set to record the follow-up to “Lions, Liars, Guns and God” with mister Chris Goss. A great deal of legendary music has been made right here and the mood, spirit and history of the place are nothing short of powerful. Cool breeze, clean air, hospitality. There’s a lot to be found where things are scarce and the desert is a world on it’s own. You don’t take it in, it takes you in. We are but humble travellers on our way through, set to spunge-mode, hell bent on absorbing everything this place has to offer on life and music.
We’re staying at Brian – big hands – O’ Connors house this month, close to the rancho, and right after our newfound morning ritual of throwing hatchets, shooting bb-guns and jumping the dirt bike, we get to walk a beautiful walk facing the mountains towards the little studio crammed with enough vintage gear to make any gearslut splooge. Once there we’ll be jamming and re-inventing our songs with Goss at the helm, who’s been eagerly diving into our musical world and devising a map to the sounds we’re about to record, giving us the thumbs up when we provide the energy he’s aiming for and just generally being a positive, amazing entity every chance he gets. In between sessions we’ll take the car for a spin to test-drive the song structures, find out what the gut says and return to recap and adjust where needed.
There’s an army base a few miles from here, one of the biggest marine facilities in the US, stationed with thousands of soldiers that run training missions every day and at night we can hear the booming of the shells in the distance. It’s the sound of powerful masters, preaching only for profit, shaking the earth and prepping more young men to do their bidding in what most of us still consider this “free” world. The thumping sounds serve as a reminder of the dangers of reality and are constantly fuelling the message we want this record to carry.
Buttons are buttons, guitars are wooden boards with metal coils on them, but the message in the playing, from the gut, in the delivery… is the only thing that really matters. Our producer agrees… so I thought I’d rain on your parade and party poop the shit out of this blog from day one.
As Dylan sang… “Sometimes Satan Comes As A Man Of Peace”, and this day and age evil knows how to play nice more then ever, lurking beneath the surface, around us, nesting inside of us, keeping us blind and hungry for things we don’t need. Evil at the army base, evil at the shopping mall, evil in our computerised radio and media, evil in our education and miseducation, evil in our consumerism. Evil in Belgium and in every other part of the globe. This computer, this man-made money machine has us all wearing a ball and chain, promising us each a piece of the pie, but meanwhile our collective blindness is invoking the wrath of our planet. You’ll never find your piece of the pie unless you realise it’s already there.
The time is nigh and you know it. Shit is going to hit the fan tomorrow.
We feel like thats the only message now.
So this record is to be 12 songs that sound the alarm and help expose our shared cluelessness.
Welcome to our world. Welcome to your world.