Greetings, Detholians, and forgive my protracted absence from the blogosphere!
Over these past weeks, I have been caught in the undertow of a magical tsunami, madly writing orchestral scores, mastering the new Baby Teeth record (ETA July 09!) and disappearing to distant lands to start the tracking process on the new Detholz! record, “Death to the Traitor.” These are the times in life when I am truly grateful to be in music — it feels like living inside a pleasant dream and not at all like work, despite the lack of sleep, late nights and near total and constant physical exhaustion.
I have no track to offer this week, just an old-fashioned blah-blah-blog about our 4-day marathon session at Key Club, Bill Skibbe’s fantastical recording emporium in the unlikely burg of Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Utilizing the classic Prussian Dao of Detholz!, we were able to complete basic tracking for 10 songs in just two days. For this recording, we have enlisted the services of the giant brain of the tiny master impresario, Bobby Conn, who has given 110% thus far in making this record the best Detholz! outing to date. Arrangements have been improved, thanks to Bobby (including a significant overhaul of the songs “Catherine Zeta-Jones” and the title track, “Death to the Traitor”), bongos have been expertly played by our keyboardist/Zen Master-in-residence, Jon Steinmeier (why not visit him today at jonsteinmeier.com ?), theremin has been not-so-expertly tracked by yours truly, as well as a host of other goodies as we flesh out this unseemly beast.
Recording is by far my favorite part of playing in bands and our session last weekend proved my favoritism is well-placed. Key Club is the perfect place to make a record– it’s far enough away from anything that an epic odyssey is almost always required before you begin the recording process. This record was no exception– we migrated there in a caravan in near white-out conditions.
Once you are there, you are in a magic cave. Time literally ceases to exist — it has no meaning whatsoever. This is the perfect environment in which to make a recording because, as I am loath to admit, recording has more to do with “vibe” — how you’re feeling at a particular moment in time– than it does with raw preparation, musicianship, or even the science of recording. It always pays to be prepared going into a studio, of course. The last thing you want to have to do is spend money on time to practice when you should be tracking. Simultaneously, I think it’s possible to be OVER-prepared for a studio session. You want to leave room for magic-making, improvisation, and a little dash of old-fashioned chaos.
There was plenty of all three in our session. You will not recognize a lot of the songs from the demos I’ve posted here over the past few years– which is a good thing. The session (and hence the songs) took on a life and breath all its own. We want this record to be a little more organic in scope than our past highly controlled albums — the material is a little looser and needs to breathe a little easier than our past gyroscopic contraptions.
That’s exactly what we got. There’s even material that, dare I say, sounds downright sexy. And, as a great man once said, “What’s wrong with being sexy?”
We are very, very excited to be cooking up this violent, bloody dish for you. As Flannery O’Connor once said, “a writer with Christian concerns need[s] to take ever more violent means to get her vision across.” This is shaping up to be what we hope you find to be a delicious and challenging cannibalistic feast to enrich both your flesh and your spirit.
We go back to Key Club for Round 2 this weekend. Another update to follow next week…