It’s taken us a while and we’ve taken many routes to get to our destination, but we’re finally nearing our goal of getting the album out.
Every musician knows what a wonderful, frustrating, time-consuming, inspiring (and many more adjectives!) process this is.
Capturing that elusive magic quality is tough no matter how great your environment or equipment is. Having a good producer is one thing – the person who gets the job of corralling a bunch of musicians into a cramped space and squeezing them of their creative juices…while walking the line between supportive musical midwife and gun wielding terma-gent (or terma-lady?). Then you have a variety of volatile temperaments to contend with. More than one songwriter? Check. Strong personalities? Some semblance of democracy? Check. Check.
Jason King, who worked with us up at Shed Studios in Oxford for some of the tracks, achieved his black belt in Advanced Diplomacy while we cooked soup and made salad in the luxury kitchen waiting our turn to do vocals or instruments. We chatted, wrote more songs and generally had a great time in the time capsule/space ship atmosphere created.
Then you have the mixer. This isolated soul (in our case John Laurence of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Daniel Green of Laish) has to listen to scores of tracks, sifting through the bum notes and the glottal stops and performing their digital wizardry. A thankless task when you have a band asking for you to ‘sort it out so it sounds good’. Reverb, equalising, panning…there’s an alchemy to it.
Mastering…don’t get us started. Who even knows what happens during that process. Geraint Jones and Daniel saw to our tunes but we’re buggered if we know how they did it.
With the goal in sight you start to feel nostalgic about the genesis of each track. Where the inspiration for each song first came from. Has it survived the process intact? Sometimes you never manage to recapture the special something you had when you recorded the song on your phone.
Hopefully, the Scarlet Starlings debut keeps its glimmerings of musical madness.
The Scarlet Starlings debut album launches in March 2014.