It’s me, Gareth.
I thought I’d write a blog post to let you know what the haps are at the moment, as those of you who follow us on any one of a MILLION social networking sites that I type shit on, will likely be aware that our new album is all but finished and we’re very excited about it.
I know that a lot of people get frustrated during the period of time between an album being declared “finished” and the album’s actual release, so I thought I’d let you know what’s going on at the moment.
Right now, our main man and sound guru, Tom is exchanging final mixes with producer John Goodmanson, pruning every last note and drum hit to make sure every song sounds as perfect as it can.
“I think the lead guitar line treads over the vocal a little bit there, maybe pan it right rather than down the center”
All stuff like that that I’m nowhere near intelligent enough to hear without prompting. It’s so exciting hearing newer and newer mixes and the songs becoming bigger and better. Perhaps it’s presumptuous to think everyone will know what’s meant by mixing, so, without wanting to patronise:
Recording: being in a studio, playing the songs. Recording what’s played.
Mixing: putting everything that’s been recorded together. Making sure every part is at the right volume, making sure it sits nicely in the speakers or yr headphones or doesn’t sound too terrible when you decide to play it through YOUR SHITTY TINNY MACBOOK SPEAKERS. Ahem.
Next comes mastering, next week in fact. But even after recording and releasing as much music as we have, I still really don’t understand that. I generally just chip in with “make the gap between songs 3 and 4 half a second longer, maybe, idk?”.
So by the time of mastering, we’ll have nailed a final tracklisting, something which seems so close but is so important that it’s really hard to finally settle on something. And that’s why I would never dream of listening to an album on shuffle. They’re in that order for a reason, y’know?
This is one of my favourite parts of being in a band, though. I love writing the songs down in order, looking at how the songtitles look written next to eachother, and what story the titles alone can tell. Thinking how the narrative will develop across an album, and where the curveballs will come.
As this goes on, so does artwork. This doesn’t just mean cover art, but liner notes aswell. We’ve always taken great pride in our artwork and making sure our records are something worth owning physical copies of. This is the first time I’m handwriting the lyrics. It’s such a personal record that it seems completely appropriate/necessary.
In the meantime, we’re also working out Pre-Order Bundles. Stuff for you ‘normies’ and extra-special, exclusive stuff for Heat Rash members. A band like ours wants/needs as many people to pre-order the album as possible, so we’re trying to come up with stuff that you’d be silly to miss out on.
What sort of things do you want in a pre-order? What would you be excited by?
Oh and there are music videos and things to think about. A particularly troublesome matter, but one that will hopefully fall into place easily.
And then, of course, we have to be able to play the album live. We’re particularly looking forward to this. The songs are so massive and powerful on record, and I can’t even begin to imagine how much damage we could do with them live. Comewhat November (which is when the album’ll be released, and when we’ll be playing some proper (ie, non-festival) gigs) we’ll be a band with 4 records under our belts. It’s gonna be such a challenge to work out what to play. I hope we’ll be able to play much more varied sets, and I also hope we’ll have the balls to relegate some early-career set staples to the substitutes’ bench. This record is where we are now, as musicians, and as human beings, and I cannot wait for us to be able to present it to you.
Well, that’s quite a rambling post, but I thought some of you might like to be kept in the loop.
If you’ve any Qs (reasonable ones, obv) relating to this sort of stuff, feel free to stick ‘em below.
ATB (All The Best),
ps. OH YEH, HEAT RASH UPDATE: as is probably clear, our commitments to recording an album/completing an album/playing festivals has slowed HR issue #2 down a little, but it really is very close to being finished, and I’m really proud of it. It’s a lot more focused than the first issue, the songs are wonderful and interesting undertakings and the written content is, I’d say, more personal and meaty. Thanks for your patience.