Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Peter Feldman talks about recording the new CD

It all started with the idea of a demo.

When a band is relatively new on the scene and looking for gigs, a demo is a quick way to get the band in front of a few designated listeners, i.e. club owners and bookers. So it came down to the question of which three or four tunes we’d like to include to best showcase the group.

This was easier said than done. We eventually narrowed our “book” down to 10 songs that we felt showed Big Chill at its best. Somehow, the discussion evolved to “Why don’t we do a CD?” After a bit of thrashing around, we liked the idea. At the very least, it was something that friends of ours could have as a souvenir!

We decided right off the top that even if it wasn’t to be a “live off the floor” recording, we wanted the CD to be the best possible representation of Big Chill’s live sound—no overdubbing, no extra instruments. So rehearsed our list of 10 tunes for two solid weeks—around 14 hours of rehearsal.

When we went in to record, we were tight! The objective of laying down 10 instrumental tracks in one four-hour recording session seemed overly ambitious to Luke Duross, our recording engineer, but we were confident that we could do it, with vocal tracks to be done in a second four-hour session. We would soon find out…

The first session was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I think we may have done three takes on one tune, but two was the maximum on most of the others—and we chose quite a few of the first takes to use on the recording! I’m not sure who was more amazed that we were able to lay down 10 tracks, Luke or us. We knew the vocals session had the potential to be quite a bit more difficult.

And it was. As the lead vocalist for seven of the 10 tunes, the second recording session was much more taxing for me personally—again, in a good way—and totally exhausting. I felt the same after seven tunes as I do after a three-set performance—totally bagged. But Wanda and Ted Duross’s baking and tea saved the evening for us; gotta love that carb energy!

All in all, I have to say we had a real blast making this disk. We hope you have as much fun listening to it, and that you’ll tell your friends!