Week 32. The Final Frontier
Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:44 pm
Monday August 23
Welcome to The Last Week
This Blog Should Die
Apologies for getting sucked out of the forum for the longest period of time
in boyd history. I had to get that html eblast out, crank on revisions to
the cd graphics, handle stuff for the band re: new gear, get artwork to
the screener in LA and deal with all the communication, work on tour -
(thank God Kimbertones is helping) routing, hotels, etc (ahhhhh!!!!) ...I'm
stopping there because the minutia is way bigger than what I just listed.
So, officially, HI everyone. Good to be back on the forum. I feel like life
is normal when I'm here. Anyway, we're here in sunny, near-down-town
Burbank at a studio called El Dorado. I don't know that much about the
place other than Jane's Addiction (widely heralded as the fathers of
Alternative Rock), Talking Heads (...hmmm, more like Art rock) and
Hanson (uhh....m-bop rock) recorded here, among many others.
So much is happening behind the scene...gosh, nothing earth-shattering;
just lots and lots of details I guess. What do you want to know? I know it
all. (a regular know-it-all; what a joke) hmmm... This studio is very cool.
A huge console room. So huge, we're all in here hanging out non-stop.
The people here are stoked over the whole (almost) fam' thing and speak
of how awesome those Hanson guys were. Of course, they're quick to
say how different the music is...and they say they love Eisley. I
think it's true because they bought the ep's and know all the songs.
There's a big Hanson sticker on the fridge.
The new Rob and Doug team is very familiar (There was a different Rob
and Doug team at the beginning of the year, remember?); we were with
them over a year ago tracking songs at Glenwood Studios. They're
funny, friendly and great at what they do...just like Rob S's team. That
We're getting into midi. I've been pushing as hard as I can without
getting anyone irritated. (not the band...they're all about it) It's just
expensive and always a struggle to push into a new level. Figuring it all
out is just part of it. I've had tons of help...from friends like Thomas on
this forum. He's king of this stuff. (thanks Thomas)
Anyway, so...in order to better demonstrate the wondrous layering of
keyboards on the record, we have to move into deeper technology. The
Rhodes, of course, is always a part of the live show, but when you start
having to cart around fragile, beat-up, organs from the 70's, mellatrons,
piano's, b-3's, you hit the limitation wall really fast.
So, we're working on all of this stuff and it's so cool...like, i'm talking
about what can be done. Authentic sounds that have been recorded
with millions of subtle dynamics from keyboard instruments like samples
at various volumes, attacks, etc. You can almost hear the hammers. On
the strings, you'd swear you can hear the bow grinding across the brittle,
wire-wrapped strings. The b-4 is virtual. It's freaking amazing.
Hoping to get into the right gear before this tour starts next week. Stacy
will be using my Powerbook on stage - accessing a variety of amazing
sounds to embellish these songs. Where instruments can't be virtualized,
the band will be using tracks to build the live show. I can't wait. If not
for this tour, the next one. Either way, you're going to see an Eisley that's
steeped in vintage gear, but knows how to utilize technology... Bjork
style, if you will. I'm glad they have this tour to get their feet wet before
the record release tour. (whenever that will be)
Stacy just got thru tracking acoustic piano for Telescope Eyes and is
about to lay down Rhodes. Weston has already tracked drums. I'm not
going to say anything about the tune. It's sounding pretty cool so far.
Well, I could say a little. Sherri's verses are back from the original indie
version. (yes!!!) It's faster - which seems to work. Strangely, everyone
likes the tempo, especially Weston.
Trade off's, right? The funky bridge still doesn't work...gosh, the song
would be way too long. Also, before, you were left to daunt over the lyric
as if it was the only real content to be valued, now you can't help but feel
like the song is suppose to offer something aside from just the meaning
of the song... like, something rhythmical...something to make you move.
Then again, I note, also, that the song now has an urgency that seems to
underscore the emotion in the lyric. hmmm. deep thoughts. somebody
pull me out.
Friday is the last day of tracking for this record. I can't believe it. Eisley's
record will be finished Friday. And...this blog will end. I look back over
the 32 weeks and wonder why I kept this going... it's not like there was
that much to say about the record, you know. I had to improvise and
search for words to fill the pages. Hope it was somehow meaningful - at
least in describing the journey through this maze...this bumpy landscape.
I'll pick up on the tour, of course... Oh Lord, am I going to have my
hands full - tour managing, driving, toiling for hours in the wee morning
keeping up with this forum and making it as effective as it's been
historically during tours - all while continuing to design and build the
graphics for Eisley's first cd package...oh, and then there's that web thing
that has to happen. If I survive this, if we survive this, it'll be a miracle.
OH my wow...help me. We heard another mix tonight. I'm going to keep
it a surprise...the song, that is. I wanna talk about it so bad. mmmm...
biting my mind and tongue; my fingers. It's so... you guys are gonna
love the fact that this song is on the record. Yes. yes indeed.
woah...that guitar tone is the best I've heard for the chorus of Telescope
Eyes. She's using Rob's 335... "Lucille". It's, you know... the B-B King
body with the cutaways, partially hollow. I think it's like the 355...almost.
Anyway, it's coming out of an old Vibro-King amp. (for you gear heads)
Ok. I've done enough damage. Talk soon. I'll go catch up on the forum
before getting off. Rock.
I typed these in a minute ago, not for the purpose of the forum, but I
don't want to have to do busy work so I'm leaving them here.. (Eisley's
A&R's bands; I asked Craig because I was curious. trivia.)
my chemical romance.
the diddy bops
hot hot heat
avenge seven fold
rilo kiley (well, sort of)
Tuesday August 24
The Telescope Monster
Fears for Tears
T.E.'s is having the icing put on. You know... like decoration; final
touches. There's mixed emo on this one ya'll. But, isn't that always
the way it is? Bands historically hate their biggest songs... and this one
just won't go away until it reaches it's final destiny. Certain band members
don't like the tempo, other's are ok with it, others like it. (only fair to say
the writer doesn't like it...wups!)
Yeah, the day has been a struggle to get through - sparking every
gamete of emotion, challenging communication...relationships. While
that's true, it's very objective of me to note that this is WEEK 32!!
@#$%!! sheesh. I am a peacemaker, but wasn't really successful today
- ha. Songs are very emotional, right? But in 2 weeks from now, nobody
will care. Everyone will be jamming to tunes in the van, rocking it out for
you guys, and loving being out of the cage. DUDE. ok?
I'll say this, it's certainly a song the label needs to market the record with
some kickbootiness. So, that's the label...does Eisley need a hit song? I
think they need one in the same way that they needed the Escaping
Song. (figuratively) I don't know. I'm too close to it...but am trying to be
objective. I think the record will offer a great mix of everything in Eisley's
arsenal. Seriously - stuff that's artsy, folksy, poppy, quirky, big, small,
hard, soft, indie, Brit-rock, happy, sad...but it's all woven together with
Eisley's very definitive style...and it's all mixed under one sonic space.
Maybe it'll be the most controversial song...the most loved, the most
hated, the biggest...therefore, the one that divides us. Fast, slow...
whatever; the band is tired of this one. And some of you are too. But, if it
goes on the record and gets on the radio, it's going to be the handle on
There are very cool things happening to the song. Like...hmm, what is
that? - bells? or a glockenspiel? Stacy is over there hammering out
something with a mallet and rob is holding an sm-57. 20 minutes ago,
she tracked a 70's Wurly which really made the song for me. 1 hour ago,
chauntelle tracked a new guitar solo using an high track and a low octive
on another - giving it a sorta eerie sound. Tomorrow, they're bringing in
a toy piano. Bass tracks went down this afternoon, Weston shook a
tambourine...it's pretty fat. I think the song sounds great. very
different...but very great.
Gotta go. Tomorrow is Lost at Sea...
Wednesday August 25
Lost at Lost at Sea
Searching for Treasure
Lost at Sea is presenting itself with a built in anchor that must be
unchained if the song is to float, ride the 7 seas and find it's way - "all the
The day started slow...with time invested in the rough mix for Telescope
Head...I mean Eyes. The band wandered around - bored to tears as
producer/engineer worked through the difficult process. It's a crowded
house - support people/assistants from the studio, A&R from WB,
producer/engineer, band... lots of talking heads. But eventually, the room
cleared out and sleeves were rolled up.
The song has a cadence but not a heavy beat...so solving the rhythym is
foundational. I still don't know what they'll do. It's not solved yet. All
kinds of antedotes have been dredged from famous loop fabricators...at
least 4 that I heard; the band/producer didnt' like any of them. Weston
took a shot at pounding an overturned water jugs (the giant, thin-plastic
walled ones that dispense water) and created some interesting, sensible
rhythms for the song... at least enough for Stacy to track piano.
(beautiful baby grand)
There have been strings submitted for the song...that didn't work. They
were beautiful, but... a little to traditional. The band wanted more counter
rhythms. Toss that one overboard.
Anyway, the day went well...just slow. Guitars were layed down... some
guitars. Rob and Chauntelle spend hours tweaking tones and trying
various guitars. (omygosh, you should see the arsenol) At the end of the
day, the anchor was still attached.
I'm going crazy with TM duties. My brain is that of an egghead - housing
pieces of scrambled hotel confirmations, venue names, logistics,
mapquest bits and dates - all being tumbled with grey matter in my skull
tumbler. Last minute details pertaining to merch, advancing the tour,
meetings, graphics and worries of all are raging through my abdula
longata with the fury of 12 vibrant, red pakman chompers - who desire
nothing more than to rid me of my only brain stem.
Thursday August 26
Found at Sea
Killing the Sharks
It's the day before the last day of tracking...the day before the day we
leave to head back to Texas - the day before we leave for the tour.
Chauntelle and Rob are still hacking away at the rusty, weakening chain
that stands between the the song and it's freedom to float into the
harbor. It's sounding sweet... but they're very, very picky. We're a long
way from home, but I no longer sense that anyone is lost...and the
sharks no longer seem to be encircling.
Telescope Eyes is being fixed and shipped over to Jerry to mix. If you've
the previous tempo for the song in your head sac, it's time to start
erasing the file. It's faster. Like, for this song, here's what I recommend:
When you finally get the record, drink lots of coffee, turn your stereo up
loud...get comfortable...and give Telescope Eyes about 4 spins before
you make a judgement... It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's alreay
feeling right to us. Or, if you don't like it, removed the tune from your i
pod and just leave it for the radio/mtv peeps to chew on. (another shark
reference...we saw "Open Water" the other night with management and
Today we'll hear another mix - for another song. Can't wait. You know,
one of those songs I'm not telling you about because I'm so mean. Lost
at Sea was a no brainer. You knew it would end up on the record - by
Captain Hook or crook.
I have to get back to it. Later, Thomas is flying in to help us with midi
keyboard solutions...getting Stacy ready to wow you with new
technology. I have to pick him up at LAX around 8:00.
Stay Tuned. If any newsbreaks happen, I'll let you know. later yall.bd
Did you stay tuned? NO!!! I asked you nicely and YOU DIDN'T STAY
TUNED! It's 3:22am Texas time and you long horned whimps are sleeping
like flabbly little babies.
We're still working. There's a room full of amazingly talented people in
this mongous console room who are working feverishly with Eisley to help
produce these songs...it's so cool. It's 1:30am and they just pulled up the
last song to begin work on. (shhhh)
"Lost at Sea" is boyant... it's floating... it's sailing... They brought in these
amazing vintage keyboards, moogs...i don't even know what this stuff is;
they're finding great sounds that enhance the song. I'm impressed. I'm
so dang impressed with Rob and company. Rob Cavallo is a seasoned
veteran... he's the land of opportunity...he's the realm of possibility... the
pool of talent he has available at his fingertips is a casm...with no
So far, there are really no drums. The bass and piano/guitar patch
makes the song. There are cool layered vintage keyboards. Sherri is still
going to sing tonight.
But..the OTHER song. wow. I love it. they just did hand claps. I have
video-tape. laughter and frollicing. Stacy is tracking vocals right now.
woah, perdy. woah... so so perdy.
Anyway...oo much fun around here tonight. Weston has this little
keyboard that records samples, so he recorded his voice and is making
all these alien sounds. Rob walked thru the tracking room and Weston
turned off the lights and made us listen to how scary it was... like some
horrid, amphibious sasquatch...at any pitch. The low one was scary.
Now it's 4:31am Texas time and you sick little goat ropers are counting
sheep. How could you be so spineless!?
Well, I have to trolley off now.
FRIDAY AUGUST 28TH
THE END OF THE BEGINNING
Please tell me...will we ever find it again.
I know I won't be able to express in words how we all feel about being at
this place...sitting in the studio on the last night of tracking for record
number one; it's a happy, happy time... not just because it's over;
because Trolley Wood is growing into a beautiful, rootsy, woodsy,
painting right before our very ears. The mood that's pumping through the
studio speakers is bringing closure to the 32 weeks that you guys have
had a tiny window into. I think this track would be the perfect ending for
the album. It's making us all want to cry...and smile at the same time.
It's all been worth it. I hope you'll understand when you hear the record.
I love you guys and will try to finish out the week as promised. We're leaving the studio right now. The end.