#11 Fuck It, We Are Going in the Studio

by | May 11, 2023

It felt like we had captured lightning in a bottle. Maybe even “white lightning” in a bottle, as the music and playing together were intoxicating—but obviously not tequila-intoxicating. I went back home and couldn’t sleep because my mind was working hard. I had all these originals ready to go, and I had been discussing going into the studio with certain select folks for a long time. More on that later. 

I got up the next day and hit everyone up, and said, “Boys, we are going into the studio.” Man, Trey lit up like a damn Christmas tree in Times Square that Clark Griswold decorated. He LOVES the studio and has seven albums to his credit. It is like a drug to him, but that’s a good thing, because there are a lot of people who are not fond of recording and don’t do very well with it. For example, Butch Trucks, the drummer for the Allman Brothers, was not a fan of recording at all. For me, it was a chance to have my songs recorded and be forever cemented in the musical universe. It was a first for Mike to go into the studio to record a full album of originals, but not his first time in the studio. Rob had done a few full albums, and Chip had done 2 EPs and 2 albums. 

There are many different ways bands can approach the studio. Some, like you may have seen with The Beatles, enter the studio and write their entire album. That can become costly, and I was going for the much more economical way, which was to enter with the songs already written. The problem was that we were not well-rehearsed, which can eat up a ton of studio time as well. I called Rob and told him to give Bernie, the owner of The Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, a call and tell him we were back with a new lineup and needed a Friday or Saturday night gig in early January. Rob called me back and said the earliest he had available was January 6. I had one issue with that date—it was only five days after January 1. Many folks wake up with a month-long hangover from New Year’s Eve and then promise they are going to participate in “Dry January” or some other kind of healthy shit, which can completely ruin the turnout for a show.  

WIth that one reservation in mind, I chose to move forward with the gig. Mike had never played The Visulite, and it is a fucking BADASS venue that I hadn’t played in probably at least 15 years, so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. I called my Buddy Rick Kaplan with Carolina Video Productions and asked him to film the show. I also called my favorite photographers, Mimi McLeod (www.mimimcleod.com) and Jay Weinmiller, and asked them to shoot some live-footage photographs and to also take some still shots of us for some press photos. I called the cats from Matone and asked if they wanted to double-bill the show, and they were in. Our two bands really complement each other, and though we have some of the same fans, the others seem to really appreciate and enjoy the music of both bands. 

When the guys asked me how many people I thought were coming, I told them not to worry about it, and though I wanted a packed house, I had a completely different agenda for this show. You see, within this one gig, we were having live audio and video recorded. We were having professional photos taken. We were getting on the stage at one of the best venues in North Carolina. And MOST importantly, it was going to FORCE our asses to rehearse so we could rock the house. I booked a full three-day session in the studio the next week after the gig so that we could go in there well-rehearsed, with intention and a PASSION to record. The stage was set, and we were ready to jam.