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Sleep Station

Over the last few years my mates and I would get together at Ryan’s recording studio, we managed to borrow an old Sony tape machine from our friend Dan and we put it to good use. I’ll try to recap for you some of the many highlights we had during this experience.

The recording, mixing and mastering process was scattered over the course of 3 years between tours, mental breakdowns, and all of the other wonderful obstacles life has to offer. No problems or dilemmas we had in life really mattered when we got together, as soon as Ryan turned the lights on in the studio we were so ...read more

Over the last few years my mates and I would get together at Ryan’s recording studio, we managed to borrow an old Sony tape machine from our friend Dan and we put it to good use. I’ll try to recap for you some of the many highlights we had during this experience.

The recording, mixing and mastering process was scattered over the course of 3 years between tours, mental breakdowns, and all of the other wonderful obstacles life has to offer. No problems or dilemmas we had in life really mattered when we got together, as soon as Ryan turned the lights on in the studio we were somewhere else, in our own world where the only thing we cared about was making great music together.

Ryan’s studio has no windows and the tracking room is a finished basement that stylistically hasn’t changed since 1975. Ryan managed to fill the place up with Hammond organs, a piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzers, old guitars and amps. We would get together in the evenings and just fuck around until we would hit a wall.

Some of the best moments on the record took the least amount of time to do. “Hell Has Come With Me” for example was recorded in about two hours and it just felt like a great moment that was caught on tape. Label owner Alex Saavedra just happened to stop by that evening and he still refers to it as “one of the most frightening moments in my life..

Brad and Josh had just recently finished touring with the band, we had logged countless miles and near death experiences. I gave Brad some demo’s and the two of them would get together for hours and sit down with the songs, writing parts that were perfectly complimentary to one another. Brad and Josh came into the studio and knew exactly what they were going to do and exactly how they wanted it to sound, it was a pleasure listening to it, hitting the record button was rather easy. I still recall how we went about recording “Settle On Your Name” it was another late night and we decided to put up the mic’s plug in our instruments and just go for it. Ryan would run up the stairs to check and see how it went and then report back to us. We eventually got one take that just felt awesome, maybe not the tightest we played or the most in tune but when we played it we all really felt a connection between each other, we all knew we had to keep it. I remember feeling this amazing sense of satisfaction and relief, when it was over we all went outside for some fresh air only to find the car in the neighbor’s driveway was on fire. I’m still convinced we did that with rock and roll.

I gave Brad a rough demo of the song “Carnival Fire.” One night he called me up and asked me stop by his house where he was recording his parts. When I showed up I found a rather unclean Brad in a very dirty and scattered bedroom. I climbed over the instruments and tangled chords to sit down and take a listen. What I heard was brilliant, he managed to layer the song beautifully with great care. I asked how he got a choir to sing on the song only to find out that it was just him and his Mom huddled in his bedroom layering vocal tracks, I laughed my ass off at him and told him to please take a shower.

When Ryan and I sat down to master the record we felt that a nice transition needed to take place between a couple of the songs, that’s when Ryan turned me on to the many field recording he has compiled over the years. We sorted through hundreds of tracks and eventually narrowed it down to the three that really made sense for us. Because of our lack of great mastering gear the process took us a lot longer than most records. We spent about a week on it until we felt like we got it just right, we didn’t want to drop the ball in the final hours. We settled for nothing less than what we felt was perfect to us.

The content of the record had weighed heavily on me for quite sometime. I often felt myself reflecting on it whether it be in a small hotel room in Paris or in my sleep. Writing the songs was the easy part, they came naturally, living and reliving them was far more difficult but some say that the joy is in the journey. The relationships I had with Ryan, Brad and Josh all came together perfectly, I felt the songs were somehow tailor made to there strengths, it was as if they were meant to be in my life at this particular time for this reason. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of the fact that this is the farthest thing from a Sgt. Peppers it’s just a few friends doing what they love to do, but of all the experiences I’ve had in music this has been the most fulfilling to me personally. I look forward to working with these fine young gentleman again and I hope you will enjoy this experience as well.

Sincerely.

David Debiak « hide

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