Monday, August 28, 2006

1986 - first time in a recording studio?

having played a bit we decided we should release a cassette.
we had 11 songs.

there were some old punks who ran a community arts centre and they often recorded local bands so we hired them.
turned out we weren't even recording in the arts centre.
no, we were in their flat on the 8th story of an 8 story block.
being old punks they were a bit grumpy.
and a bit stinky.
but loveable all the same.

recording should have been fine as we were drum machine driven so there was little setting up to do.
except i had a very cheap gibson es333 copy and it wouldn't stay in tune.
in fact, by the time you had tuned the final string the first one was already out again.
and it was difficult to play given that i had painted the entire thing, including the fretboard (!), in blue and white stipes using acrylic paint.
that was fine and dandy when playing live but we were making no friends in this squat-by-numbers we'd, ahem, booked.

so the whole thing was a pretty miserable experience.
the vocals were done sitting on the toilet with the door shut to deaden the sound - the light didn't work in there and it smelt a lot like it was used by slightly dirty vegans.
which of course it was.

but, by the end of the day we had our 11 songs recorded and we were happy.
i printed some covers at work the next week and we had our first release:

cheese engineers | batman

listening to it now it's pretty poor.
we thought we'd made it when, during a piece about bands doing the batman theme in sounds, john robb had mentioned his favourite was "batman" by the cheese engineers.
he was obviously trying to be as obscure as possible as we may have called the tape batman but it didn't contain that or any other theme song.
in fact the picture had been drawn by my friend's then 7 year old sister and i thought it was neat.

never trust a journalist eh?


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