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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dyan's Studio Diary, Installment #1: Zachary bangs drums; Ariel starts brushfires

This is Dyan's first installment of BLOOD AMBITION 2006 entries from behind the studio's locked door as the Blood Arm records their second album, Master of Ceremonies (not the real title). For photos from the first studio sessions, click here.

Earlier this week, we finished up recording all of the demos for the new album. We demoed 19 songs in total, the majority of which are being recorded for the first time (we've been road-testing the new songs at our shows, so you may recognize a few of them). The days were long, but fortunately our producers Ariel and David are master storytellers--the hours just flew by. We learned of Ariel's late-night Fatburger encounter with Suge Night, David's ultra-rare opportunity to film an interview with Rick Rubin for which he forgot to record the sound (whoops!) and later replaced it with the sound from an old kung fu movie (nice save!), Ariel's brush with death by brushfire when he decided to set off fireworks between a dry field of bushes and a gas station while on tour in the Southwest with one of his bands, and David's studio time with Steve Albini who insisted that all of his workers wear pseudo-scientific jumpsuits while on the job.

We wrapped up the demos by recording vocals at Nathaniel's apartment, much more comfortable than our dingy practice space… While Nathaniel was belting out the songs in our improvised isolation booth (his bedroom), Zebastian, Zachary and I were left to our own devices in the living room. Zachary broke into a stash of whiskey to pass the time, and within minutes he was doing lounge-singer interpretations of all of the songs Nathaniel was singing in the next room – in his best Tony Bennett, Zachary swished his tumbler full of whiskey with one hand while pointing at no one in particular with his other, singing "How are all you beautiful people doing tonight?" and "You know what I'm talking about!" and "This one's for you!" to Zebastian and my endless delight. We then discovered that his rather sudden inebriation was due to his not eating dinner, so we suggested that he help himself to a snack from the kitchen. Zachary proceeded to devour a Tofutti cutie, a Fudgecicle, an Otter Pop and a handful of peanut butter cookies--dinner of champions! Fortunately, we kept our rowdy selves out of Nathaniel's way and he managed to lay down vocals for 19 demo tracks in a matter of hours.

And now the real work begins… We'll be using these demos as the foundation for the rest of the recording process. Yesterday, Zachary started laying down drum tracks at a studio called the Steakhouse (David glass-half-emptily calls it "the Mistake House" and Zebastian glass-half-fully calls it "the First Take House"), where he'll be hammering out drums for the next four days. After nearly twelve hours straight of drumming two days in a row, Zachary was still full of energy and ready to keep going…very impressive. I hope the next few weeks go as smoothly as everything has gone so far. I'll keep you posted!

-Dyan Valdés

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Dyan... it's always refreshing to hear from you... :-)

1:14 PM  
Anonymous stacey said...

Food in LA sounds so much better than food in london. Tofutti cutie, fudgsicle and otter pop. OTTER POP ... I mean seriously what is that?

Come visit soon we'll treat you to kippers, bangers, pie n' licor and some jellied eels if you're lucky.

I've found a Krispy Kreme next to a late night bar in Holborn just incase you needed any further impetus.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous geoff said...

mmmmmmm.... otter pops.... i loved those things...

11:04 AM  

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