We have been in the studios for a solid week now and so I thought that now would be an opportune moment to explain the process and give you some sort of update. On Monday (19th Jan) we travelled up to a studio in North-West London to start the tracking process for our album. For the last three months we've been tracking some fairly extensive demos so that our entry into the studio process would be more focused. About six months ago we decided to leave the older songs (from the original album) and move forward with a new set of songs specifically designed for the sound of Two Down in 2015. The more we talked about song choice and creation, the more we realised that we would be neglecting a whole host of songs that would likely never see the light of day. Instead of starting from scratch we decided to compromise and so we exhumed a couple of the original songs and have refocused them for our new sound. Although the songs were built the same they are almost unrecognisable from their original counterparts.
What is really interesting is that the music we were making 5-6 years ago is now becoming really popular and so we've had the opportunity to evolve our sound so much that hopefully we will be making something new and refreshing. We've changed a lot in seven years and so our sound has changed dramatically too, I guess it shines through when you look at our keywords for the album; exciting, epic, huge, positive, resolving. Other than 'I'm Still Here' you really have no idea what our sound is now and we've been trying our hardest to keep it under wraps.
Back to the studio, when Callum and I were talking about making an album I was in a studio in London and was working on another project. I ended up talking to the mixing engineer at the time and playing him the single we'd already released. He was immediately interested and cited us as being a 'better version of Hacktivist' lol. After that initial talk we didn't discus Two Down until the end of December. The best thing about The Two Lost Boys is that we didn't really need a 'producer' as we've written the songs to our tastes and to our specifications. Instead what we needed was someone who was able to transform our ideas into reality. We've always been quite good at reimagining our own ideas but to have someone else involved adds a layer of interpretation that only benefits the end result. That person would be Tim Morris.
We've always spent a lot of time writing our songs and a huge part of that starts with the drums and that has been this week in a nutshell... drums. (and beats) As I said we hit the studio on Monday and the first thing we started on was laying down all of the drums for the album. Tim told me a while ago that he had someone in mind who was just the most disgusting drummer he'd heard, he was also working with him at the time and so the scheduling allowed us to have one of the best drummers i've ever heard on our record! Seriously... it's fucking mental how sick this guy is at the drums. Enter... Steve Muncaster.
Below is an exclusive interview with Steve recorded on Tuesday and it was a moment of refrain after an entire day of solid drumming. In the interview he talks about a song currently titled 'either'... he's right... that song is hands down the most fun song to play that i've ever played, let alone written. Steve has brought something to this album that we couldn't, namely being, his personality. You will hear it instantaneously.
Later in the week we started looking into the electronic components of the album's makeup. First of all we started sampling some interesting sounds to use on the record and since then we have been programming our rig for a live play of sampled sounds on the album. I always feel like it's nicer to play beats live and have the timing discrepancies than letting pro tools create something 'perfect'. It really takes away the human feel and it would negate all of the hard work and energy that Steve put into the drum recording. That's where we are right now. It's been non-stop as we are preparing for a week of beats/synths and drums comping this coming week. I'll try and have another blog up next Sunday to keep you informed.