Thursday, 25 July 2013

Excited about Saturday

Looking forward to performing at Electric Owl this Saturday July 27th.  Combine the Victorious is on at 8PM, opening for Trails and Ways from San Diego.  Also on the bill is Gang Sings, who we've enjoyed on previous evenings earlier this year.  A great line up at a good venue.  Our set is really solid too.

Doors at 7PM
Combine the Victorious 8PM
Gang Sings 9PM
Trails and Ways 10PM
Tickets $12 in advance $15 at the door

Link to event Songkick

Facebook event

The Story continues...

Just spent the last three days on our song Brotherhood.  Last night I re-wrote the lyrics to make them a little more personal, a little less generic.  I think the new words really helped.  Singing came a lot easier.  It's funny how that could work.  Having the right thing to say helps you say it well.

It's coming along.  I think we have a mix tonight.  Will know in the morning I'm sure!

The lyrics now are:

I dropped out of school
when we first met
but we still tried
to take on the world

Just fighting for laughs
while we're looking for hits
until tension and rejection
wore me out

In a Brotherhood
I thought it was understood
that we always should
look out for each other
I guess it's times like these
when lost in your memories
you some how fail to see
how much you matter

And over the years
you would constantly fret
but still seemed fine as we'd
all get together

Then your little fears
turned into our dread
until you
a song

In a Brotherhood
I thought it was understood
that we always should
look out for each other
I guess it's times like these
when lost in your memories
you some how fail to see
how much you matter
What I don't understand
is how we could not lend a hand
before you quit this land
for another.

We we're just kids
when we first met
but we tried
to take on the world

Brotherhood by Combine the Victorious
Henning, Dunlop, Kadis, Reid

Monday, 8 July 2013

Guitars done for "Brotherhood"

We were busy this past week.  Between mixing several songs for other local groups I managed to fit in a couple excellent sessions on our new song Brotherhood.

Last weekend we tracked Misty on the drums, and the bedtracks still make me smile.  There are little subtle noises in the background which seems to bless this song with extra life.  I'd finished my bass part early in the week and then Juice added some expertly played hand percussion to give some polish to the song.  After that we put a guide guitar part down.  It was Juice's idea to track his guitars on two different sessions, the first time to simply capture what we were playing live, giving us a chance to listen back to the arrangement.  That was important because it allowed Isabelle and I to record our vocals to a backing track that had the full dynamics of the song.  One should never under-estimate how important the vibe needs to be before getting a keeper lead vocal.  Seems simple but even after all these years I still seem to forget that.

Attempting something new, Isabelle and I sang our parts together against the new tracks and everything started to feel right.  It's an interesting process to record the vocals simultaneously, rather than individually.  I found we hit our notes with more confidence and our timing was much tighter. Something to attempt again on the next songs.

Then Sunday night Juice returned to the studio to lay down the keeper parts for the song.  We'd done a little rethinking on the tone and part and I'm really pleased to say the final results are quite inspiring.  He came up with a couple new ideas that really pulled the song forward, and the final outro has never sounded more massive.  Check out the clip below for a brief segment of the guitar lead at the end of the song.  The Gibson 335 running thru his vintage Marshall JMP makes quite a lovely sound!

Just need a quick session with Isabelle to track her vocal part (we've got it figured out nicely) then I need to make a few touch ups to my part and I believe we'll have our new one ready to mix!

Brotherhood was written about our friend Todd Simko who committed suicide last year.  It's taken many months for all of us to come to grips with that tragic event and this song seems to have helped.  The arrangement is a little more traditional than our recent Crumbling Hearts ep, but I couldn't help grinning at its undeniable epicness during the final chorus and guitar solo.  It's definitely another Combine the Victorious song!

Okay, gotta get back to work.  Thanks for reading, I believe we'll have the song to listen to next week!


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Started recording new songs

This past weekend the four of us started recording new material.  I spent the Friday setting up mics for the drums and recorded me attempting various beats with the hopes of getting a good sound and possibly even creating a few loops.  Of course it's always a challenge to engineer oneself on drums.  Much too much time wasted running back and forth between the kit and the studio, adjusting things after you've recorded, trying it out again and then listening back to see if there's been any improvement.  However, on Saturday Misty Ried came in an laid down the law!  We swapped out my dodgy snare for Juice's vintage Ludwig snare and suddenly everything came to life!

Misty it turns out is quite a good drummer!  She has been performing drums on one song live, Brotherhood (the track we were recording bedtracks to on Saturday), but I will admit I never dreamed she had such good groove.  I think we recorded at least three killer loops for new song ideas, all just from the warm up and mic tests.  It's quite exciting to consider the possibilities: Combine the Victorious has never been so blessed with talented multi-instrumentalists!

Brotherhood, our new song, is turning out exceptionally.  The drums sound better than anything I've recorded in the Boutique Empire studio yet.  I've laid down the bass and put in a simple keyboard pad,  and I can't wait until we track Juice's guitar part (it's really good too).  Juice also has some cool ideas for percussion that should add a unique layer to the song.  The vocals and harmonies are figured out so we just need to deliver something appropriate for the tone of the lyrics.  It's very soulful, so we're going to keep the production a bit more limited than some of our earlier material.

We'll have something to share soon!  Gonna be great!

Thanks for reading