We made our way to Airlock Studios in the preserved valley of Samford. It seems almost surreal that a pocket of untouched nature remains quite close to Brisbane. Here, sits the studio of Powederfinger member Ian Haug – and boy what a beauty this studio is! Sitting on a hilltop surrounded by trees and resident kookaburras, this well sound-proofed studio is full of vintage goodies. From Whirlys to organs to grand pianos to gorgeous electric guitars to rain sticks to ARIAs and countless music awards plastered all over the walls, it was a musical sight to behold.
We spent the morning setting up. Mainly the drums of course. The band was kept in the larger room while I was isolated in another with only a pane of glass allowing me to see the band. We wanted to capture our live component so this was how we decided to do it. Being able to see each other let us continue to vibe.. and helps us stay in time too.
After setting up, we began the tracking. Day 1 saw us lay down the rhythm for three songs. It was more than we were expecting. Probably due to our sound engineer, Yanto Browning’s efficiency and skills.
The second day was spent tracking the rhythm to another three songs. We were only planning a 5 track EP but due to how well we were progressing, we threw in another favourite. At least the hard part is all over and Jack (bass) and Luke (drums) get to rest a little. Jack made everyone lunch. He’s a keeper.
Thanks to Josh O’Reilly for coming in to film our work in progress for a day and to enjoy Jack’s toasties.
Although we recorded as a band, it was time for Joe and I to re-lay down our guitars. Beforehand though, I had to go and get an emergency nail fix as I cleanly sliced it the day before. My acoustic guitar was recorded in a long room with a 1960’s microphone in front of it. Sometimes I was lucky to be able to feed my guitar through a gorgeous 50 year old amp. Oooh and I played a 12 string for the first time and one of my song’s choruses.
Joe and I took turns laying down tracks to give each other mental breaks and then we decided to do vocals for one song to wrap up the day. I’m always scared to do vocals, I always feel I’m not ready for making vocals a permanent thing on my precious songs. As I don’t want to cut corners, we laid down the main vocals over ten times. Boy was I tired and grateful for my mum’s Chinese herbal tea in a thermal flask.
And so comes forth the cream and cherry for the cake. It was time to lay down the things that only probably dogs would be able to point out. It had been years since I played keys, but it was so fun and almost a rekindling moment for the piano and I. I think once I graduate, I’ll dedicate some time to re-learning it again. It’s actually my first instrument from when I was 6 til 12 years old. Then I became an angst teenager.
If you keep your ears peeled you’ll be able to hear piano, organs, bass organs (which I played with my feet), all sorts of guitar effects and then Luke came in at night to add some extra percussion. Hint hint, tambourines. And we’re not done yet!
It was sad to have to leave Samford but it was so good to nut out the majority of the recording. Still some more icing to add and then vocals. Tough job ahead but I’ll keep you posted!