Sunday, February 27, 2005

Back in Korea

I've made my third trip to Korea in 4 months. The trip over was an eventful and we got into the hotel around 7pm last night. A quick dinner at O'Kim's our favorite Irish Korean pub and back to the room.

Before I left Jacki and I made a run to Tower and I made one of my largest single purchases in some time. I also picked up a couple of out of print discs from the used bin. The Four Horsemen - Nobody Said It Was Easy, which Amazon had starting used at $30 and new for $95, and The Wildhearts - Earth vs. The Wildhearts - which used through Amazon started at $20. The remarkable thing is I paid less than $12 for the two of them together.

I also got to try out my new headphones the Shure E3c. These are sound isolation headphones that do not use active cancelling, but act more or less like an ear plug with a speaker in it. My only complaint is that it sometimes takes some work to get a good fit with a good clean signal, but when they are in they work great. Several times the flight attendant had to tap me because I was either looking out the window or had my eyes shut and had no idea she was there. The other nice thing about the headphones is that since so much outside noise is blocked out you don't have to run the volume nearly as loud as you would otherwise.

I'm off to work in Korea.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Studio Day 22

Mike G finished up his part on All About You Wednesday night. We had a workable part after about an hour and half into it. I had to do some minor editing on the verse and Mike ended up punching in two parts. Remarkably all of the complicated licks he played he nailed, the trobule spots were around the verse and the groove.

Usually ends up being the opposite problem for me.

I'm off to Korea for two weeks so the band will be on their own. Mike V has been learning how to use the ProTools rig so I'm hopeful guitars and bass will be wrapped up for Lonely One and All About You when I get back.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Studio Day 21

Mike G continued working on his bass part last night for All About You. We aren't there quite yet but he is close. We should wrap up All About You tonight. The guy worked his ass off last night, and by far we have created the most complicated bass part for a Superlatives song to date.

I'm expecting he'll nail it within the first hour tonight and then we can work on Lonely One.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Some Kind Of Monster

Last weekend I was listening to Eddie Trunk's show on the Boneyard on XM Radio. Last weekend they had Bruce Sinofsky one of the directors on the show. Turns out that Bruce brought along a few copies to give away and I actually won one of them autographed by Bruce on the show. I got it in the mail today and watched about an hour and half.

I know I won't have anything interesting to say that hasn't been said by the press or in other reviews but Metallica was on their last legs. I hate to say it but it almost becomes comical considering they are the biggest metal band in the world and will probably have that title for many more years to come. If you haven't seen the movie check it out, the scenes with Metallica in group therapy are some of the best behind the music type stuff you will ever see.

And I must say thanks to Bruce Sinofsky, Eddie Trunk, XM Radio and Paramount Home Video for a copy of the DVD.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Studio Day 20

Tonight we spent working on Mike G's bass part to All About You. It was a pretty full night. We experimented with micing up both of his cabinets one with the bass drum mic and one with the floor tom mic. It was interesting to hear how the sounds differed. By itself the bass drum mic had very little definition, but the floor tom mic wasn't nearly as full sounding. Together it had clarity and punchness. I through a little compression onto the floor tom mic and we ended up with a good bass tone.

We ran Mike through the ringer tonight. Deconstructed his part entirely and built it back up. By the end of the night he had some pretty cool ideas and a good outline of a part for recording. Then all of a sudden we lost bass sound. He blew his amp. The first casualty of the recording sessions. At this point we went direct and Mike was able to lay down a rough outline of a final part.

We burned a cd with a rough mix for Mike to practice with and will continue again next Tuesday.

Darian joined us at the studio tonight and I took some pretty funny video of her dancing to and singing All About You on my Treo 650. I'll try to upload the video here so you can take a look. Pretty funny stuff!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Studio Day 19

Two hours and one drum track later All About You drums are complete. Drum sounds cooperated and I was able to get a good take the third or fourth time through the song.

We wrapped about an hour earlier than normal.

Bass tracks are next for Thursday.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Studio Day 18

Just the Mike(s) and I in the studio this past Thursday. Spent about 2 hours cleaning up the drum sounds. We had the ring problem on the second tom. When the bass drum is kicking a way the second tom just resonates. Nice sound, but not what you want for recording.

Once we got that under control I did a take and perhaps a first we kept the first take. The very intro of the song wasn't locked in so I lifted a part from the middle of the song that has the same part and then we had a finished drum part. The quickest recording ever.

I ended up spending about an hour listening to the take over and over to make sure there wasn't anything we needed to fix or improve. But no changes were necessary.

Lonely One drum part is recorded... All About You will be next.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Motley Crue in the news

Motley is back in the billboard top 10 with their new greatest hits compilation Red, White and Crue. The came in at number 6 with 90,000 units sold.

And then in not so good Motley news is that Mick Mars is being sued for $10M from an ex.

Not bad for a week in the Crue.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Studio Day 17

We took last Thursday off from recording and focused on playing and getting familiar with our instruments again. It was a good way to let off a little steam and of course have some fun. Tonight it was back to business.

The attention was all on me tonight. We worked out drums for both Lonely One and All About You. Spent about 2 hours cleaning up Lonely One, worked on tightening up the chorus and cleaning up some of the accents throughout the song. Also since I hadn't practiced playing drums in some time a good portion of the first hour was just working on my timing and syncing up to the click. The two hours paid off and I think we have a much better drum part. The intro and breakdown in the middle are drastically different than what we had done before. We gave it a double time feel and it really seemed to pick the energy of the song up right from the start. A little syncing up the bass drum with the bass guitar during the chorus and now we've got a good performance.

The last hour we spent on All About You. Interestingly we double timed the verse and it gave a great building effect against the guitars. Cleaned up the breakdown section. At one point the breakdown ended up sounding like the drums to We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister. So clearly had to stop going down that path. A little help from Mike V and a suggestion from Mike G and we've got a breakdown that is on the verge of working. And of course we made room for a huge sloppy Keith Moon drum fill towards the end of the song and it works perfectly.
Thursday we will get some drum sounds and work on recording Lonely One. A tiring night, but one of the more productive ones in some time.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wes Wehmiller RIP

This past weekend we lost another musician. Wes Wehmiller, most prominently known as the bass player in Duran Duran in the late 90s, and was also involved in the Zappa community of musicians (Mike Keneally, Joe Travers, Warren Cuccurullo). Circumstances behind his death are not known. He was only 33 years old.

Plans were mentioned that he was potenitally going to play bass on a Dweezil Zappa tour later in the year. His last public performance was with Dweezil on Jan 23rd at NAMM.

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Bryan Beller, bassist and Keneally alum, has posted a track on his website of the Bryan Beller Band's only performance, with Wes on bass with Bryan on lead bass. Warren Cuccurullo has also posted some performances with Wes on his site.

From Bryan's site...

In honor of the untimely passing of my dear friend Wes Wehmiller, we've cleared out this space to make room for something special - a tune from the one and only gig the original Bryan Beller Band ever played. It's a cover of John Scofield's "Blackout," on which Wes played bass while I played the lead.

Fittingly, he's the only one on this tune that doesn't solo. But all you have to do is hear this one track to know what an absolute genius he was.

I will miss him so, so, so much.

Click here to listen.

June 24, 2004
The Baked Potato, Hollywood, CA

Rick Musallam - guitar
Wes Wehmiller - bass
Joe Travers - drums
Bryan Beller - lead bass
anonymous audience member - unnecessary cowbell

Studio Day 16

We redid a couple of Mike's leads this past Monday and had Katie finish up her rhythm tracks. As it stands I'm pretty sure basic tracks for Can't Say No and The Weather Song are complete. During the listen back I put together a rough mix of Weather as this was the first time for the band to hear the basic tracks mixed, and I must say I think we are in good shape so far for this cd. Can't Say No sounds amazing and Weather isn't too far behind.

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