Studio Diaries – Part 4
And we’re back…
Once Mathias had done most of the mixing, we got a chance to come in and give it a listen and make some comments. It was the day of the big barbeque and Dave had been cooking a brisket since 9am, so we were excited for that but wanted to go through our tacks during the day. This session, however, was pretty short lived because the Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse Hughs popped in for a visit and when Jesse walks into a room, he just takes over… it’s in his nature, and it’s what makes him such a great performer.
So with that session put on hold, we were used to bait Jesse out the house so Mathias and Dave could keep working. So we headed off to visit the Integratron closely followed by Jesse and the Vice crew who are busy documenting him. The Integratron is a structure built thanks to the instructions from visitors from the planet Venus. It was thought to be capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel… Although we didn’t really notice any of that, the structure is acoustically perfect and many bands, including the Arctic Monkeys, have done some recording there. On Dave’s instructions we were there to experience the sound baths. We arrived a bit late, with no signs of Jesse in tow, and walked into this large domed hall with people lying around on mats. The host of the event sits to one side and plays these large quartz bowls with rubber mallets, to create a loud humming sound, kinda like running your finger around a wine glass. It was pretty cool to zone out and listen to the sounds.
When we got back to the house, we had some more time with Schneebie to go over some tracks before the large barbeque began. The brisket was smelling amazing! It was quite a crazy experience to see these people rolling in for a braai, people like the QOTSA guitar technician, Hutch and his family, Hayden Scott (ex-Awolnation drummer, who spoke so highly of touring in SA), Jesse and the Vice crew, Dave and a couple more of his mates from around the desert. And everyone was just out for a usual Sunday evening braai. Dave had been sent a speaker from Marshall that he was using for the sound at the party and we were lucky enough to have Jesse DJ, which Dave says costs people up to $5000 sometimes. We had such a great night and towards the end people were all in the studio jamming different instruments, like some sort of mini desert sessions.
The brisket was smelling amazing!
That night was kind of the culmination of our trip and signaled the end as we were leaving on the Tuesday. We spent our last day tying up loose ends before we headed off. One thing we wanted to do before leaving was do some night shots in the park, so we headed off at dusk in the red shark. We found some great rock structures and went trekking through the bush to get to them. As the sun was setting we were racing up the rocks to get a good shot when suddenly Kim shouts ‘Snake!’ and jumps back to get out the way. We went in for a closer inspection and when we got too close, this thing rattled at us and we all shat our pants as it was so loud. Even Dan at the bottom of the koppie heard it. So we were a bit skittish after that, and watched where we were stepping. Needless to say Kim got some great shots.
It was really bleak to say goodbye to Dave and see the Rancho sign disappear behind us, wondering if we would ever be back to see it again. But at the same time we were so happy about what we had achieved there that it felt like it was the right time to move on and share it with the world. And although we were leaving Joshua Tree, we were heading into LA for few days!
We were lucky enough to be offered a place to stay by one of the guys who we played with at Pappies. We weren’t too sure where he stayed or what he was offering us but at the time we didn’t have much choice. Turns out we had landed with our asses in butter and stayed with one of the nicest guys we had ever met, a guy called Robert Holguin. He lead us into his building and we knew things were going to work out great as the building was called ‘The Chester Williams Building’!… And we were right. He didn’t murder us but instead lead us into an awesome apartment that even had his own small home studio. We were all wondering what he must do to have such a rad place and turns out that, not only is he a great musician, but he is also a news anchor on the popular channel ABC 7.
The next day we had some admin to sort out and then head off to Schneebies LA home studio to go over some final mixing changes from Dave and ourselves, aswell as decide on an order for the album. We didn’t have many changes and had settled on a song order back at Roberts so we didn’t have much work to do.
We finished up with Schneebie pretty quick and then headed across town to the Santa Monica Pier because we heard Xavier Rudd was playing a free show. Due to some luck we arrived bang on time for his set and stood on the pier watching him play. We were amongst a crowd in front of the stage of probably about 300 people and then there were plenty more people sitting on the beach below watching on a big screen that was projecting the concert over the beach. At the end of the set, Matt caught one of his drumsticks that Xavier threw into the crowd.
To be continued…
Love and hugs