Recording a New Album: Day 1!

Some time ago Paul Haugen and I, along with several other musicians started fleshing out songs for an album Paul had envisioned. It’s a long process to write an album. Just the scheduling of musicians alone is enough to kill a project. Add in musical and personality differences and you can begin to see why so many musical projects fail. Our project started out really well and the creativity was awesome, but after many months of jamming, we had really only fleshed out a few songs. The process was just taking too long. So Paul decided to shrink the group down to a few key songwriters to get a dozen or so songs written that could then be fleshed out and recorded at a later date.

That date has arrived.

During the past few weeks my old friend Chris “Mouse” Chmielewski and I have joined Paul and the immensely talented Tim and Jill Douty to rehearse the 13 songs that came out of those songwriting sessions. That list was then pared down to 10 songs and yesterday we entered the studio to lay down the first tracks on the new album from our group, The Avenue.

Recording in the studio is an interesting experience. I’ve done it only twice before so I don’t have a huge amount of experience, but I can say without a doubt that this time around has been so easy compared to the first two. The first time through, I was working with guys who are very talented but also very particular. Nothing wrong with that at all, but for my personality and playing type, it makes the process more stressful. The second album I played on I was responsible for playing drums as well as recording and mixing down the album. I’m not an engineer so this was a huge learning experience for me as well as a ton more work. This time around I just got to go in and play drums and working with such a bunch of really laid back guys made the process so easy. We all exchanged ideas, gave suggestions and then let the drums just “happen”. I think the end result is a set of simple, solid, very natural feeling drum tracks.

So my tracks are done. 8 hours to lay down 11 songs (we recorded an extra song before realizing it was on the “cut” list). Not too shabby if I do say so myself. On Wednesday we go back in with Chris to lay down the bass. Then we’ll progress on from there. If all goes well we should have a finished product by May. I’m really stoked about this album and I think it’s going to be a first class product. I’ll be posting here as we continue to make progress.