Friday, 29th June 2007
One aspect of the recording process that I'll never get used to is tension.
Tension is an inherent part of recording. Without tension, there's no focus. Without focus, the work becomes shoddy and ineffectual. Tension means that people actually give a shit. I myself am not very good at dealing with tension. That's why I only spend short periods of time in the studio. I dip in and out. I'm too thin-skinned to thrive in the studio atmosphere.
If you place six strong-willed men in a small room for ten months, working ten to twelve hour days on something they all care about passionately, friction is inevitable. What is remarkable is that this friction very rarely ignites into flame.
The key is communication - on Monday we had a five hour meeting. We discussed our approach, our methods, our timetable, our goals and pretty much anything else that came into our minds. Brian drew up a list of all 25 pieces of music that have been worked on during this session. The four band members, Brian, Markus and I all shared our thoughts on each and every track: how close it was to completion, what needed to be added, what needed to be removed or replaced, what sounded new and exciting, what sounded tired and old. The meeting was a ruthless dissection of all the work done so far. Markus was particularly brutal (as usual).
Very little material got unreserved thumbs up from everyone. However, far from feeling dispirited, we all came out feeling a lot more confident. It feels a lot better to check the map and know which direction you're headed and how far you've got to go rather than wander around aimlessly and hope for the best.