Friday, May 1

Album 3 Recording Diary: Day 7

I'm actually writing this the morning after Day 7. Steve will be here in about an hour and I'll take him to the airport so he can fly back to Seattle.

Yesterday we spent the morning finishing off the final set of guitar overdubs for You're Out Of Luck and Say Goodnight. Then we took a lunch break and spent the afternoon and evening packing up, cooking up rough mixes of all the songs and backing up files. It was what Steve calls a "low rent" day, though his standards are a little skewed. Steve works hard!

At about 8:45pm, Chad and I rolled out of Eudora with two hard drive copies of the entire session. We high-tailed it through a a few thunderstorms to my house, where I burned him a copy of the rough mixes before he went home. At about 10:30, Steph and I sat down to listen to our own CD copy of the rough mixes for the first time - the first time that I really got to hear what we had done on my own stereo, without interruption.

Now I know I went on and on about the stress, etc., of the last few days. And it WAS stressful. But holy cow this album sounds good. And as early as the car ride back with Chad, I felt a change come over me. It's a feeling of being done. The feeling of accomplishment is only now starting to appear, but the feeling of "done" started to hit pretty fast. I already feel like a different person, like I'm back. And even as I type these words, the feeling gets stronger.

This album has been a huge mental focus, and a huge time consumer. We started rehearsing twice per week on January 10th, 2009, and continued a weekly regimen of two three-hour practices all the way through April 11th. We worked as a whole, on our own and in various sub-groups. During that same time period, we also played six electric shows and four acoustic shows to help prepare. In point of fact, I've probably never put more effort into any single project, and certainly not into any project of my own creation and initiative.

And dang, does it sound good. Steph was floored when she heard it, and the tracks aren't even properly mixed! I don't want to hype things up too much, but this is most certainly the album I set out to make, and I'm thrilled about that. It's an album that I would really, really enjoy listening to even if it weren't my band. I can't say that about anything I've made to date, going all the way back to my bands in Pittsburgh. There have always been obvious, significant shortcomings (at least in my mind) in my work to date. But this album is different. It is what it is, but it isn't compromised. The songs will stand on their own merits. The performances and recordings are excellent, bar none.

And so, cheers to Daniel Torrence, my talented and diligent drummer, who really made this all click by insisting that we play with a click. It was his personal preparation that laid the foundation for all of our success. Cheers to Chad Toney, who aced all of his guitar leads (and almost all of his parts period) during his first takes, which created time for percussion overdubs, vocals and new inventive guitar tricks. And here's to Pat Padgett, whose solid playing anchored us, and whose constant gigantic grin reminded me of why we're here in the first place - because this stuff is fun. And because it's really, really satisfying to MAKE something. And finally, thanks to Steve Fisk for flying out to the middle of nowhere to take a chance recording a band he had never met all on the strength he saw in a a few YouTube videos. How hip is that?

And so, my friends, this ends the recording diary. The album is tracked. It is yet to be mixed and mastered, but our part is done. Vive la Sexy Accident! And oh, BTW, come out to see us rock tonight at the showcase at Davey's Uptown in downtown KC. We're headlining! Pat Padgett's other band, Six II Chaos, is also playing.

Rock on,


- Jesse Kates / Download Kinda Like Fireworks for FREE