Friday, June 19, 2009

stu stu studio

Yesterday we arrived at Atlas Studios around noon. Matt, the engineer, wolfed a junior whopper with some fries that were deemed “better than McDonalds” by the end of the meal. Chris had a veggie sandwich from this place called ‘the goddess and grocer’ (I know, such a terrible name….good sandwiches though, and surprisingly inexpensive wine). I don’t know what Neil or Justin ate. I had a turkey sandwich at home and then a blueberry and granola parfait yogurt cup, just to keep things punk rock and aggressive.
We set up to record the bass and drums live with scratch guitar, which, if you aren’t familiar with the jargon, means we all set up to play, but only neil (our drummer) and I (the bass player) were being recorded. The guitar is a sound you really have to fuck with to make interesting (so are the drums and bass, but we got those sounds set the night before) and is just in general a more specific and layered process than the bass and drums, so we figured this would be the best way to go. God, this shit is boring, isn’t it? It’s almost like BEING in the studio, but for someone else’s music, where you aren’t bound to the impossibly eternal minutiae by the undeniable lure of seeing your vision through. Let me skip to the visceral parts that I think would be interesting:
It’s been so long since I’ve recorded, the longest break in my life since I first picked up an instrument, that I no longer have what I would call “studio ears.” This is the ability to see how the little ditty that you crank out on your shitty acoustic guitar in your living room will eventually sound when it’s finally laid meticulously to tape. Of course, a great and dedicated engineer and producer can always supercede even your loftiest ideas of how shit’s gonna sound, regardless of if you or the songs are good or terrible, that’s sort of their job. They’re like makeup artists. They hide your receding hairline and your gut and your wrinkles and make you perfect. That’s why Good Charlotte sounds (and looks) how they do.
At the end of last night, we had the bass and drums on all five songs done, and we had laid down the rhythm guitar on one and that one, wow. It really came to life. This is a song that I’ve played acoustic before and it’s met an extremely split reaction. Some people love it and some hate it, but man, I can promise that NO ONE is expecting it to sound quite like this. What was a breezy little almost ska like number in the world of me just sitting on my porch playing it to my baby on a wooden guitar is now a big, burly, punchy really dynamic sounding song. I had forgotten that this is why we go to studios like Atlas and pay guys like Matt to be there and guys like Justin to run to the store and get us coffee and goldschlager…Because it makes all the fucking difference in the world.
We worked nonstop from noon to midnight yesterday, no small task for five notoriously lazy men. I play guitar on one of these tracks, and for reasons too dull to get into here, let’s just say that I HAD to do it live, with the drums and bass and I HAD to do it perfectly. There would be no way to go back and just fix a bit of it, if I fucked up, it was all the way back to the beginning. Well, I fucked it up in this way that I love, and so I’m keeping this shaky, crappy sounding guitar because it’s so much cooler than anything I could have ever done on purpose. That’s exciting. It’s just awesome and I don’t know where it came from. They say that kind of shit about kids. One day they’re just great at something that you’ve always sucked at, and supposedly you just go “holy shit! Where the fuck did that come from?!” and then you sit back and smile and slowly let your pride harden into jealousy. That’s when you get drunk and fight ‘em I guess. Hey, that’s what it says in my parenting magazines at least.
Man, those little accidents can really make you think, huh? Heh. Well, I’m jealous of neither my kid nor my song as of right now. Today, I head in in a moment to hear Chris blaze down the axe (which is nerd slang for ‘play the guitar’) and then we sing. I hope I can sing (and I hope the songwriting is) up to par with the instrumentation we’ve laid down. I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, but it’s a big challenge, and as I mentioned yesterday, I haven’t sang in a studio for three years, and that wasn’t even the Lawrence Arms. Jesus, I just read over this again and besides the part about food, it’s insanely dull…Allow me to spruce up the gash a bit:
We ordered a pizza from this place in wrigleyville last night around ten. A large pepperoni and an extra large half sausage/half cheese. It was pretty good, but that place uses brown sugar or something in the sauce and it’s more like a desert pizza to me, which isn’t typically my favorite course for pizza. We ate pretty much the whole thing, and when I got home, around 1230, full to the brim with pizza, my wife had left the remnants of her pizza in the fridge for me. Pizza pizza pizza. It’s the summer of pizza. Actually, I think that’s what we’re changing our band name to. “The Summer of Pizza.” It’s good. Yes it is, assholes! See, the Lawrence arms have been around too long, no one’s giving us a chance now…we’re doomed to just ride out the clock, Samiam style, but with a new band name and a new look (I’m thinking Red Baron style just to keep shit classy and well, pizza themed) I think we’ve really got a chance at the big time with this EP. Okay, that’s it. It’s decided. The Lawrence Arms are officially breaking up and starting a new band (all the same members) called “The Summer of Pizza.” Don’t tell anyone it’s us though. That’s gonna ruin our fucking chances in Hollywood. I can pass for nineteen, right?

38 comments:

turnitout said...

If you wear fake mustaches and the anti-lawrence arms the falcon wore on tour no one will b the wiser.

I am totally going to make some of those pizza rolls now.

DrDoom said...

i think a nice sock drawer fight would make this Friday kick some ass. Hey, turnitout... we typing the "e" at the end of "be" too much work for you? You fucking dick knuckle.

Gregory said...

excellent. i'm aware of the nervousness that comes with going into the studio. i'm going into the studio for the first time in 9 years (i was in there as a teenage drummer a few times, but never with a click track!!! YIKES!)

anyway, i have to sing and play guitar and play drums. fuckin hell

Landmines said...

How the hell is Mettallison these days. I like to think of Justin as "mini-skiba", cause he almost kinda looks like a little matt skiba. Whether or not you agree you should just start calling him that because i think it pisses him off, and makes him smile in equal parts.

Ask Matt someday about the lost city of atlantis on google earth, then ask him which fisherman's opinion he'd most trust with that.

matisfatt said...

you should name the ep "the summer of pizza"

drew said...

Those little idiosyncratic details of you guys recording that you call "dull," are literally the most exciting words I have ever read on this blog... aside from you publicly calling me out on my sociopathic 6th grade tendencies!

Either way... I am SO fuckin stoked for Summer of Pizza, in those three simple words you've managed to epitomize everything I love about life!

Brian Detweiler said...

I just ate a Healthy Choice, which is not a pizza.

Summer of Healthy Choice is not nearly as catchy.

Where can I pre-order my Summer of Pizza?

CrgFlxbl said...

You should definitely just scrap the ep and cover an entire Ramones album.

Then you can be in a remake of Rock 'n' Roll High School.

After your success you can be on the Daily Show and reminisce about the last time you were on the Daily Show.

Then in ten years you can host the next Rock of Love with Glen Danzig. The winner of the show gets to be double teamed by you two.

Brendan Kelly and Glen Danzig, best friends forever.

Scott said...

Brendan, just use the back cover of "greatest stories..." and add scarfs and leather hats. Red Baron Look DONE

Robb said...

K first off--if BK went back on the Daily Show, why would he reminisce over the first time? It'd be STUPID!
Second--can you really see he and Danzig being best buds?

You're fulla CRAP, buddy!
(microwaves a hot dog)

Troy said...

I would have to second naming the EP The Summer of Pizza. You gotta post at least one of those tracks ASAP, man.

Tim & Rac said...

bk fries are better....

Dan said...

who is releasing 5 song lump of fools gold anyway?

rpophessagr said...

i hope it was ian's!

kylewagoner said...

Nice to see that I don't play in one of the only bands that is more prone to keep bad takes than good ones because they're unique. We tend to say "SHIT!" or "Oh fuck" when fucking up or more often when getting something right. This one time in particular, our male singer was trying to harmonize some shit and it was like...okay, the song is in E and the vocals are generally like the 5th of the chord being played and he was doing a 5th to that, I think. He was having trouble, anyway. So Jason, who records us, told him to just try singing along with the track and warm up. He sang it right, said "SHIT!" because he didn't think it was being recorded, and it WAS being recorded so we kept it in there. Whatever. Not that interesting maybe. I think maybe recording stories and descriptions might only be interesting to those who record.

love,
Kyle

Tony said...

This post is the most enjoyable thing I have read in a long time! I s'pose it's too early to discuss release date? My erection needs some sort of respite.

Sickie27 said...

I vote for naming it Pizza of Summer. Like a subliminal message. And changing your name and image reminds me of Hannah Montana. Throw on a wig and everyone just believes you're someone else. Fuck MTV, go on DISNEY.

james said...

nah summer of pizza isn't that great of a name for anything... it got old before i finished going through the draw

Joe Mushugana said...

I can't believe you still drink Goldschlager.

PIXI said...

Your names could be Bucky Kentucky, Hennessee Tennessee, and Dane Maine.

sheila said...

BK, in my drunken enlightenment last night, i came up w/ an idea for your 10th anni. shirt design... i need a photo of the actual lawrence arms, tho...not the band, the place. do you have one? if not, back to the drawing board.

also, there will be drunken and/or drugged out sesame street characters involved. don't like sesame street,, you say? then i need a suggestion as to who/what i should put on the front steps of the lawrence arms (assuming there are front steps to the place)...

forgive the rambling, i think i am still a little drunk from last night.

Banana@1000MPH said...

sheila, I think BK said in an interview once, that they never took a picture of the place back when it existed. It is probably sad that my memories are like half used up on facts about people that I don't know...

sheila said...

sonofabitch

Robb said...

You could call it "More Songs For Ben Weasel (To Purchase Viagra To)". Or alternatively, "Suck My Cock, Ben Weasel". I know the singular seems incorrect what with Larry Arms being a three piece and all, but 'Suck Our Cocks, Ben Weasel' just sounds way too 'busy'.
Hey Ben--do you ever lurk on BK's blog? Suck mine as well.

Daina said...

This is pretty exciting.
I'm excited.

turnitout said...

I am sorry that I missed the e in be DrDoom and I am also sorry that your such an asshole that you took offense that.

planespotting said...

Hey BK - there's a vid on YouTube of your band playing Jawbreaker's "bad scene everyone's fault" at what appears to be a wedding.

1. How often does TLA break out a jawbreaker cover?

2. How do I get TLA to play at my wedding?

Candice said...

happy father's day bk!

Sickie27 said...

I came to say Happy Father's Day.

But I'm leaving with, "Robb is butthurt, but I still love him and Ben Weasel."

Banana@1000MPH said...

planespotting, I'd rather see them playing "Push It". I'm also not sure why you think that is a wedding. I guess it might be.

Daniel said...

Is Chris a vegetarian?

sheila said...

oh yeah,

Happy Daddy Day!

xoxo

word veri. = scram

Robb said...

Umm...I admit "butthurt" confuses me, in this context. Wouldn't that suggest Ben Weasel had somehow wronged me personally? It's just a (stupid) reference to the (stupid) shit he said about Larry Arms on his (stupid) radio show; as well as a general reference to his overall douchebag aura. On a side note, both TBR albums essentially dwarf Weasel's overrated contributions. Yea I said that.

planespotting said...

@Banana

There's a woman dressed like a bride in the front ... and then in the bridge

" ... and they looked good, I mean like in love ... "

Everyone looks at these two people and they share a sweet moment and kiss ... even though the lyrics are referring to the singer's friend's ex-girlfriend who's with another guy.

PIXI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Poopy said...

Samiam style. they are so good, I don't mind the slow fade. great analogy though.

Captain Poopy said...

OH! and I hope I'm not the only one who caught the Phil Collins jam? It's the little things.

Kira said...

the goddess and grocer is one of the places i miss. they have this one sandwich that tastes like thanksgiving - it has turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing; delicious!