Monday, January 11, 2010

Concentrated. Issue #136

Like most young kids, I was a big canned juice fan. I looked forward to every other night when my mother or grandmother would set out a can to thaw and use the next day. In the morning when we woke up, I would ask to make it if only because it meant I could taste the pure concentrate in it's intensity from the lid...and maybe a little in a glass too. Perhaps a bit odd. Still, this past week has felt like that; the most concentrated, compact and intense week of music I've had in a while...

Last week when I updated this blog Kirby Krackle had just gone into the studio and had began laying down final drum tracks for our new album due out in March. This past week we announced the name of the record would be E FOR EVERYONE; a tribute to the video rating system culture, and also an acknowledgment that though specifically about geek culture/comics/games, we feel strongly that it crosses the niche to rock music lovers in general. Here's the logo as it appears on our yet-to-be-released album cover...


As you can see in the video above filmed during the week, we made a grid of all the parts/instruments that needed to be recorded. In a "normal" band situation (no band is normal) the different people take turns layering the songs with their specific parts/talents and the rest of the time is spent listening/playing video games/sleeping on the couch etc. Our process was different because once the drums were laid down it was my show solo style to make stuff happen from there on out over 6 10-hour days of loud guitars, vocals, bass and misc. additions as the songs flourished. It was a very different, fun, and honestly exhausting way of recording that I haven't done outside of my own studio in the way of so much needed to be recorded by me. Still, it was a great way to stretch and see what I'm able to get done on the quickly ticking clock before the album goes to print in a few weeks. Once the first day of instrument tuning (or lack of tuning) issues and then my developing bad attitude as a result was in the rear view mirror, we started to hit our stride. The few videos below are a taste of what it was like tracking guitars and we had been sharing them via twitter (www.twitter.com/kirbykrackle) all week to include our fans on the process if they found it interesting. If you've never been in the studio, it might make a little more sense when you know that though you the listener only hear my guitar, I hear the whole song that I'm playing along with in my headphones...









Thursday night brought the EXPLONE gig at the newly remodeled and reopened Crocodile in downtown Seattle. I've only had the opportunity to play Croc once years ago with a band I was helping out called SWEET LOU, so it was a pleasure to experience the new club. I was very impressed with the new layout, venue, and the employees that actually didn't hate you that you were in a band playing that night. Seriously. The venue really upped their game and professional atmosphere in general and I highly encourage all to go check it out for a great night. I'll be back as an audience member for sure. The show? I had a great time, but had to concentrate really hard on my parts after a few botched chords and realizing that my brain was still in studio mode. The sound was huge though and I was happy with the onstage mix that made my guitar sound like an axe of the gods. Truly one of the best on-stage mixes I've ever had and if you're a performer you know how important that is. Bravo Crocodile.



After 4 days of being in a studio with just Jim, our producer Don Gunn and myself, I think we were all ready to see some new faces stop by. It was good timing too because on Friday we flew our friends Jay Kinko and GMK The Great up from L.A. as they stopped by for GMK to lay down 12-bars of flow on one of our favorite songs for the album. It's a head bopper and I'm sure people that are familiar with my music will be surprised when they hear it. I literally CAN'T WAIT to play it for you guys. Sitting on my hands here.

Inside The Session with Kirby Krackle from GMK on Vimeo.


Saturday we had an off day which was nice to recharge for a lot of singing that took place on Sunday and getting many of the minor melody guitar lines and textures put on tape. Shannon and Matt from Seattle Geekly stopped by to sample some of the new jams, and Patrick from EXPLONE took time out of his day to play on our album as well. I've spoken highly about Patrick's melodic ear and face melting solos before so it was a no-brainer to have him play the parts that I wouldn't have done nearly as well. Not my wheelhouse for the hardcore rock solos, but he delivered like I knew he could and then some. So much fun for me to have a different ear interpret some parts that I've had right in front of my face for months. Very fortunate, and you'll know what I'm talking about when you hear it.




So, we're back tomorrow morning (Tuesday) and I have a day to clean the rest of my parts up before our keyboardist Bryce steps up to the plate on Wednesday for twinkling and shimmering ivory. Wish you all could see what's been going on in person (wanna come over?), and if I'm fortunate enough that some of you loved the first KK record you'll be pleased with how the new disc is coagulating. I'll be pleased. Awesomeness awaits.


Skipping in the streets is normal this time of year,

KS



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