Back in the eighties we recorded in some wonderful studios – EMI, Marmalade, Last Laugh, Writhe but there were nearly always time and budget constraints. Our album The Moon was the exception where we got to spend a couple of weeks in Gisbourne recording at Capture in the evenings.
Then in the nineties Andy Craig had a big warehouse space and the use of an old school 2” 24-track plus all the engineering skills to record us himself.
For the solo album in the early two thousands I did a lot of the work at home on a digital 8-track then took that to Mark Austin’s studio where we added Riki and Tim’s drums and the other instruments.
At the end of that decade we recorded the bunch of songs I’ve come to call Blood Monster pretty much live with Riki and Ben Litchfield at the practice room.
This time around we are approaching it differently again.
John Taylor and Neil Bramley have been involved with the Spines over the last ten years or so – coming to gigs and rehearsals and supporting us in various ways. Neil has a building on Dixon Street with a vacant loft and John has been recording us there.
It is a process of laying down the bass and drums live in that space while I play and sing along just as a guide. There is a good sound in that room and an almost purpose-built drum-booth – lots of wood and angles and carpet. John has a very mobile and simple setup with good mics and just captures the sound we are hearing. In the next phase I re-do the guitars and lead vocal then Hannah does her thing.
We started with three songs – On a Need to Know Basis, Rachel and For the Vulture’s Sake. These are all songs I’ve been itching to record for years – I’ve been stewing over this for a long time. Les and Malky did a great job of the bass and the drums and I put down all my guitar ideas – acoustic, slide, Gretsch, Tele, Commodore. Then I sing the lead vocal – which means tidying up and finalising the lyrics.
Hannah has been in the band two years now and what she has brought to us I thought was immeasurable but you will be able to hear it on this album. Her violin and keyboards are one thing but her voice in the studio-setting has elevated my aspirations for this whole endeavour.
The three songs we have completed so far sound amazing – like nothing the Spines have ever done before and since then we’ve
recorded the rhythm tracks for the rest of the album.
Tomorrow I will mainly be working on…