#18 Overdubbing

by | May 21, 2023

Earlier I wrote about not wanting to use the studio as a place to actually write the songs; however, that doesn’t mean things aren’t written while you’re there. As musicians, we begin hearing things in our heads that we may decide to add to a song. Recording is tough, as I’ve discussed. Sometimes you become intimidated or not as willing to take the necessary risks to make something great vs. something good, especially when you’re trying to record the main parts of the song live because you don’t want to make mistakes and have to make the band do it all over again. So you either go home and think, “Damn, I wish I would have …” or “Man, it would be cool to do ______.”

What’s awesome about recording is that you can come back in and record shit later. You have to be careful though, because you don’t want to put so much in that you aren’t able to reproduce it live. This is also when you can lay down any solo tracks you want. Mike V. went home, listened to the tracks, and came back in with some of the coolest shit I’d ever heard him play on these songs. He wrote a badass Allman Brothers-style harmony line for “Trippin” and contributed some beautiful guitar runs in “Friend” that totally changed the feel for the better. Chip’s solo on “Trippin” came out with great tone and harmony, and “Song A” was absolutely blistering. 

Jason, aka Greazy Keyz, texted us about when we were going to be laying down some of his tracks because John Le of Queen City News wanted to interview him. Their crew came into the studio and filmed an interview with Greazy for a news segment. They even gave our band a plug to let the viewers know whom he was recording with. They played our music in the background and even included a clip where I said that a record is like a tattoo, so we want to make sure it’s as good as we can get it. Needless to say, I was much appreciative of Greazy for bringing those folks in while we were playing. I owe you one, brother! 

This was a major fun time for me, because I didn’t really have much to do while the others were recording and I was able to mainly oversee things and put in my two cents. Earlier we talked about Mitschele laying a little track down for us, and this is when that happened. He told us about the idea and let us hear a song that had a part like he wanted to play. I heard him sitting in the control room playing the piece on a Telecaster (guitar) that wasn’t plugged into an amp while Jason was laying down his piano at the end of “Friend.” 

I looked over and said, “Man, that is fucking badass.” 

He said, “Yeah, man, I will show it to Mike or Chip so they can record it.” 

I asked, “Why in the hell would we want to do that? Why don’t you just play it?”

He replied, “I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, man.”

I assured him that no one in this band was going to get toe-hurt, or butthurt either for that matter. It was much more efficient to have him do it, and as a bonus we would be able to say we had Mike Mitschele play on our album, which is super-cool. 

We were finishing up with all the solo stuff, and as I was listening back to the tracks I realized Mike played a clean channel solo on “Wish to Be” because both Mitschele and Scavone suggested it. I didn’t think it had enough edge to it and asked if he could go back in and put some crunch on the tone. As soon as he hit the first note, we were all thinking “YES! That’s it there!” I also preferred an acoustic solo on “Don’t Come Easy,” which finished out the song perfectly. Now it was time for Scavone to do his magic and mix this damn thing down. We couldn’t wait to hear it when it was finished, because that’s when albums really come to life.