Neill Duncan suggested Capture Studios in Gisborne, run by his old mate Maurice Priestly. We took the train.
Jayrem Records gave us a budget for a couple of weeks and I had most of the material written. Maurice and his wife Jenny put us up.
It was midsummer and we could only use the studio at night as it was in the CBD – damn, we had to amuse ourselves during the day in paradise. Wainui beach, the waterslide at the town pool and there was test cricket going on – bliss. On the balmy nights we would record into the small hours.
The newer songs had odd time signatures and we were grafting away to get them down right. Ross, Wendy and I had toured the country together and had a special energy in common that pushed the songs into a sort of Spines shape. Meanwhile, I’m still finalising the lyrics. Neill joined us and put down his sax parts.
Sublime player, Neill masterminded the solos on the recording and helped Maurice and I with the production side. The album was shaping up. Time for the vocals.
I have to say – this was when I found the voice that I still sing with today. Through the process of putting down those tracks I found it.
I had all the words sorted except for one song – One Way Step.
It was the evening of the Queen St Riots. We were at a Chinese restaurant in Gisborne, the band was eating and I had to write the lyrics. Then, on a small TV, we saw DD Smash and the news of what had happened. I just got up went to the studio and wrote it.
We needed one more song to close the album. I showed Wendy the chords to an older song I had written about the Springbok tour and she worked it out on piano. We put it down live in one take. Wendy on piano, me on vocals and bass, Neill on soprano sax and Ross on tambourine. Wendy dubbed the violin part and we had a lovely version of Lily and I.
We remixed two of the tracks at Marmalade with Nigel Stone.
There is a thread of lyrics through some of the songs on that album that are about the album itself.
A Shaky Hand. Hard to Swallow. One Way Step. When You Hit the Roof. When She’s Alive. You Should See My House.
The Moon got some good, intelligent reviews.