KATERWAUL 45/R SESSION 2 (SALT AND VINEGAR WITH YOUR CHIPS?)
Last weekend saw Katerwaul pick up where we left off when we started recording our third album. This was going to be an optimistic task considering a) we wanted to tackle three songs recorded entirely live, b) these are the least rehearsed of the songs we were due to record and c) do all this with the added distraction of having Nick and Callum (The Suits) from Brave Or Invincible casting a watchful eye over their future investment.
I had planned on editing together another short video clip from the days recording but this didn’t go to plan for two reasons. 1) With the pressure on to perform and get it right video became less important and 2) we actually got through the recording quicker than planned meaning I didn’t get to set up multiple camera angles, meaning if there was a video it’d be really boring.
We recorded our three songs in record time so I guess you could say having the BOIs there was more of a calming presence than anything.
The first song we tackled was “You Love & I (When The Tyrants Have Won)” (formerly referred to on this blog as “Sunsets Behind A Silhouette”, renamed due to my dislike of a rhyming title). We did maybe four or five takes before we got something we were happy with before moving onto the next one. This track has a free form, rubato time at the start before the drums come in to keep time then crash in for the louder heavy sections. We normally have a habit for loosing where we are in this song. In practice I normally screw up my strumming pattern in the lead up to the drums and Nick occasionally comes in with his cymbal crashes a couple of beats too early (it should be noted now that Graham is almost always flawless). But neither of these problems occurred and it was plain sailing.
The next section is something of a change of style for us, the tone very much encompasses more of a dance vibe like Fourtet or In Rainbows era Radiohead. We played this section almost perfectly every time. The only thing that annoyed us was we let the adrenaline get the better of us and the takes would sound noticeably too high tempo. Once we’d relaxed and got a couple more takes of that final section it was time to move on to track number two.
Track two was a revelation. “Departures” is a song made up of one guitar riff played in numerous fashions over 6mins. That sounds reeeeeeeally fucking boring described that way but we fashioned a way of making that sound interesting, which is really hard to expain on a tumblr blog so I won’t even try. Basically its all about the dynamic shifts.
Sam let us know he was rolling before we went into what we regard as a 1st run through or a rehearsal. Well we nailed it… that is except the glaring fuck up I made in the first two bars. I thought that since it was the first run through it would go smoothly so it’d be best to just get through the whole song. I didn’t anticipate that we ACTUALLY NAIL THE TUNE FIRST TIME.
We did two more run throughs, but the ghost of the first one haunted us. We walked back into the live room and had a listen back. It cut me deeply to hear that the first take was the best and so perfect, because we had to spend the next hour and a half fixing that 2 bar mistake. On paper, for you pro tools enthusiasts out there, it sounds like an easy fix… well let me tell you it really wasn’t! I went back in a played the first sequence again, but it didn’t sound right. Without the rest of the band in the room and me being overly aware I was performing an over dub, the ambience and levels didn’t match enough to make a cut. So I did it again, and again, and again.
Eventually we got there and we sighed relief as we were all getting a little grump, bored and hungry. Nick Moreton even went out of his way to try and use figure out how to use his mobile as a modem just to stream the the Chelsea v Liverpool game as a way to take his mind off the mundane four chords that were being repeated for the past hour!
After this we made the trip through to Glasgow’s Dennistoun in the East End. We went to a place called Coia’s (pardon the spelling) and Italian eatery across from two tanning salons of the very same franchise fittingly named “Sunset Beach”… in Glasgow’s East End! Why in the hell would there be a need for TWO tanning salons on the same street, let alone ten metres apart? And if that wasn’t the worst part they were both part of the same company??!!! Has that what Scotland has become? Do people out there reeeeally have the need to… I need to stop now.
For those of you who have never been, Coia’s is place that serves amazing food and deserts and even has a great Deli. But the most unique thing about the place is that they serve FREE chips with EVERYTHING. Pizza with FREE chips, Spag Bol with FREE chips, Macaroni Cheese with FREE chips. Hell I wouldn’t be surprised if I ordered chips and got some free chips with that! Did this eatery that has been there for almost 100years just get tired and pissed off with people constantly asking if they got chips with everything, and just factor it into the price and dump it in with every meal? I can’t complain as it was quite a bonus having Spaghetti Carbonara with some really good chippy chips.
After sacking our diets for the day and gorging on pasta AND chips in an unplanned carbohydrate frenzy, (see above) we proceeded with the recording.
I’m not sure wether it was fatigue or the mass amount of crap we’d stuffed into our bodies but the last song seemed like a slog. However by this time last session we’d only accomplished the one track so we could take heart in that knowledge.
"Please Go To What’s Left Of Your Homes" (also a working title) is a long song that has many transitions to it was a daunting task attempting it live. After a few run throughs and a couple of false starts we began to find our stride.
Eventually we’d worked of the food and were back in business and before we knew it we’d finished with over an hour to spare. Considering the last session ran over by an hour or two I’d consider that a success. We even won the seal of approval by the BOIs tweeting; “The new KATERWAUL jams are making my Haggis wet”.
We were absolutely buzzing after that and decided to go to a pub near my flat to talk business, what we had planned for the release, advertising, formats, packaging etc. Instead the only place that was open was a bar that had the world’s worst open mic night. Middle aged men butchering the likes of The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Semi Sonic (?!!) and even Tenacious D (???!!!!) all in a very mid tempo, gruff voiced kinda way. We couldn’t hear ourselves speak so we just sat and drank quietly. Some of us even watched a re-run of the famous Liverpool V AC Milan Champions League final where Liverpool came from 3 behind to lift the trophy.
We did eventually talk business and I can say there are exciting times fast approaching in the new year. So keep your ear to the ground.