It’s a little embarrassing…. I had to print out my lyrics sheets so large this time...
The headphones, after a few hours press into my glasses and my glasses burn into the side of my head behind my ears, and then, OY. So in order to remember, and see, and NOT have to get that headache? ENORMOUS lyric sheets.
How do I describe working with these musicians? When you tell Steve Gadd that the feeling you need at the end of the song “My Misery” is just like the rag tag chaos at the end of the movie King of Hearts when the whole gang is traipsing back to the asylum because they don’t really like the “real world.” He can PLAY that. He just gets it.
When you say the song "What do I Know?" needs a small but earnest “caboose” that just propels it along, he and James Genus merge into the most compelling combination of rhythmic choices and melodic genius.
When you tell Ben Butler that the chorus of "Mom’s Song" needs to feel like WHOMP, it’s opening wide, he comes up with a chiming gorgeous escalating arpeggiated waterfall.
And just say gnarly and slappy, greasy and dark, and BAM they all start rocking on the song “Scars.”
I have not been in “the studio” as in, a REAL, big, world class studio… isolation, priceless mics, great board, compressors, etc… since we made The Works back in 2008. So needless to say, I was a little nervous.
But I like working under pressure. And I LOVE tracking with the band. There's a vibe when we're all going for it at once. And I believe, if it’s not there in two takes? You’re probably not going to get it – so move on!!
There is an intensity, an energy in those moments that is intoxicating for me, - ok, there may be tiny flubs, but it’s REAL. That was how that particular song went, at that hour, in that proximity to the mic.... I love recording with that kind of abandon. OLD SCHOOL.
So that’s what we did. And I’m in love. I can’t thank the guys enough for their incredible sensitivity to the material, to the stories that informed these songs. They were listening so deeply as I pulled them out, and they GOT it.
These songs are EVERYONE’s songs. Everyone has lived pieces of these stories... Crazy mother, goofy Uncle, love lost, love redeemed, just plain loneliness. LIFE.
Needless to say, It was powerful to feel that recognition in Studio B.