The RocketGirl rec deal was a much needed diesel injection. The label will be paying for the studio (25 days), and release of the album. How brilliant is that?
But we still need to raise a little extra cash to cover some of our expenses, so I'll be setting up a Pledge fund, as a fun way for fans to get involved in the project and be part of the adventure.
Not planning on any ridiculous expenditure, and here are some of the things we'd be using the fund for:
sesh players: mariachi on 1 track + strings on 1 track (only!).
zones 1-6 travelcard for all - (studio is miles away from central London and quite expensive to get to)+mike's flight from LA.
a few days off work we might need to take during the rec session.
food and drinks: there are no shoppes on the island, but would be great to strike some deal w/ a couple of take-away places in nearby Hampton, so we can get a pizza or something delivered to the nearest bridge each night - (surreal, or as Yuuki said: poetic).
So, as you can see, no Prada boots on the list, just a few things to make sure everyone's reasonably well-looked after, we can all relax, have a good time and make a pretty record.
And here's a preview of some of the things you'll be able to get hold of on our Pledge fund:
Heartbroken? Wanna find out if your dirty little partner has been cheating on you? Is your sex life as exciting as daytime telly? Miss M, our residnt agony-aunt will dish out made-up advice over the phone and sort out your luv-life in no time at all. Call me!.
You and a best mate can spend a day at the recording studio, take pics, hang out and inspect the chaotic, wine stenched world of Drugstore at close quarters.
----------------------------------------------------------------------An afternoon at the Cave
Visit Monteiro's Cave. Play songs, inspect the pathetic shoe cupboard, tea and cakes in Kew Gardens. Go home with a bag of unique Drugstore goodies + a free hug.
----------------------------------------------------------------------Choose the album Ghost-track
That's right, YOU can choose a song, any song, we will record a cover and the little gem will appear as the album secret ghost-track. Priceless.
----------------------------------------------------------------------Drugstore Hang the DJ set
Classic retro grooves, while band loses dignity on the dancefloor. yeah, baby.
Had drummin' epiphany while watching that 'Anvil' documentary the other day.
Right at that moment the two old friends are standing together in the middle of Tokyo, in wonderment, happy to be alive after all the years of shared struggles, joys and heartaches.
Took a long breath, a very deep shot of brandy and decided to call Mike Chylinski, in LA.
I don't think there is a drummer left in London that we haven't auditioned and then politely sent away, and I just about had enough of wrong shirts and deadbeats. For as really nice and efficient all of them were, none could quite replace the very long and unmistakable shadow left behind by El Gran Gorilla, Mike.
And how could they? The man's got a degree in philosophy, for chrissakes, impeccable taste in everything, the intellect of a giant, and a heart as soft and big as his own shadow. And that's even before he even hit a drum. And when he does, it's always right, perfectly drugstore.
We just gotta hope that miss M and the Titan Americano will avoid clashing cymbals, and make the most of the beautiful album path that lies ahead.
Mike's coming back, and another great mini chapter is about to begin.
ps1- it really is m.a.c - mike alexander chylinski, how cool is that?
ps2 - i'm setting up a Pledge £ fan-fund, we're gonna need it...
day 482- Finding a studio and the battle of Analogue x Digital
A decade ago if you'd asked me what makes a 'good studio', I'd probably have said: a Neve desk.
Then, no cool band worth their indiesalt would have considered making an album on anything less but the old Neve Master, and recording on a digital SSL would have been akin to supersonic suicide.
How things have changed. These days the snobby distinction between digital and analogue has blurred, and I confess, I no longer have any retro hang-ups.
The record company would argue that a good studio is one that delivers the album on time and on budget. Fair do's.
But from experience, having had the opportunity to record at a variety of different places, and under very different budgets, the best studios are the ones where the band feels at home, has a decent live room and good vibe, and above all, a sympathetic engineer who understands what you're trying to achieve.
As studio time draws nearer, a few fans have contacted me, expressing their concern that we might end up over-producing ourselves, that the album needs to capture the same 'intimate, warm feeling' of my homemade demos - and so forth. I agree.
But let's kill the debate between digital and analogue once and for all: those 'warm, fuzzy, intimate demos' have all been recorded d.i.g.i.t.a.l.l.y:
from my Roland Vs-16 digital station, via dodgy-sellotaped lead into the PC, into a pirated copy of FruityLoops, edited on freebie Audacity, then, finally compressed and converted into an MP3 on a torrented copy of Media-Converter-Pro - ufff... some journey.
The reason why it still manages to sound warm and intimate, it's to do with the performance, the way it was delivered, with feeling.
For me, that's where it's at, and whether or not it was recorded on a retrodesk it's totally irrelevant, really.
I've spent the last month researching studios, and the thing I was dreading the most was to end up at a place, in the middle of trendy Hoxton square, where they churn out indie bands all day long, with a grumpy engineer, who can't wait for your session to end, so they can get down and mix their own music.
I desperately wanted to find somewhere a bit special, which is quite a challenge when you're restricted by a small budget.
But, seek and you shall find - and out of pure chance, I came across this great little studio, set on an island on the Thames - right at the edge of west London, where the boundary between city and countryside fades, and all our daily worries can be safely left behind.
It's a non-commercial studio, run by a very cool guy, who's engineered, produced and worked with some very big names (he joked that he only works with 'tall people'...), like Paul McCartney/The Cure/Depeche etc - and it has a decent mix of both digital and analogue gear.
I love the fact that it's totally out of the way, there's absolutely nothing on the island, except for a few beautifully derelict boathouses, and getting there every day is gonna be a mini-adventure in itself.
We're gonna have to make the effort - I believe it will be worth it.
A short entry to celebrate the victory of Dilma Rousseff, candidate for the Workers Party (PT), now elected: 1st President and guerreira do Brasil.
Lula, the ex-factory worker, union leader, mistrusted and snubbed by the elite, has proved that it is possible to combine economic growth with a social agenda: during his 2 presidential terms, through a number of programs, over 20 million people has been lifted out of poverty.
What a record.
You could mention the party-politics, the odd corruption scandal, which, let's face it, no political party in Latin America, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, is ever immune from, but no discord can overshadow the indisputable fact that the standard of living for the majority of its people has increased dramatically.
At the same time, while we read heart-warming tales of social and economic development in Brazil, it is very disheartening to see the British Conservative government doing precisely the opposite, as they, under the guise of 'deficit busters', shamelessly dismantle its social welfare program and drag Britain back into darkness.
This nomad budget champagne socialist is very proud that, alas, it is not the 1st World who is setting the standard and example, but south of the Tropics, a vast and chaotic nation of scantily-clad amazons and barefooted kids kicking ball on the sand, are showing the rest of the world how to do it.