Andy had a huge warehouse behind the St. James Theatre for his PA business and he set up his concert mixing desk there for live recording. He and Brent McLachlan were helping a young Shihad with some early demos. Through his connections Andy had the use of an old classic 24-track – 2” reel to reel tape machine and we put down 16 of the new songs live with Brent engineering.
Brent had to take off to New York and so Neill and I took the demo to Ian Morris who was at Harlequin in Wellington then and had produced Your Body Stays ten years earlier. He liked it a lot and offered some suggestions but was busy with bigger fish.
So Andy, Neill and I did it ourselves.
We pretty much camped there for a few weeks and explored the sound of these huge rooms and got to the guts of the new songs. Andy borrowed a Marshall from hell for me and we let it warm up for three days before I plugged into it with the telecaster – a lot of the guitar was recorded at ear-blistering volume.
I think with this crop of songs I had learned the lessons of the earlier albums and they all stood alone as songs more – were less inward looking and more reaching out. They are all songs about love and sex still but without too many clever time changes and guitar solos instead of sax.
We approached each song differently.
When we were doing acoustic guitar over dubs for Stop the World it was pissing down and the warehouse sprung a leak and we had a waterfall which we recorded on the track.
When we put down the backing vocals for Laugh Away (the heaviest song I’ve ever written) Neill was in the middle of a painful break-up and tore up a phonebook as we screamed out the refrain of the title track.
I’m pretty pleased with all the songs still – it was like an outpouring for the first half of the 90’s.
They were all road-tested at the old Bodega.