Writing and Recording

Chris Vos here.  You know, looking back, I am thankful that I was personally in one of the scariest places of my life when we recorded this record. When I arrived in New York to do this with Andy and the guys, I was fresh off of a move from Milwaukee to Los Angeles. So, when I landed in NYC I was still reeling from having just made the crazy decision to suddenly move halfway across the country and was generally doubting if I was still of sound mind.

My cab arrived from the airport at Andy’s apartment on the kind of humid summer morning that can only happen in New York.  Once I saw Andy I realized that he was in the throws of massive changes in his own life! My first thought was, “How are we going to do this? We are both clearly freaked out, and we need to find a way to make this work.”  Now, Andy and I have always been very chilled out when we work together. However, this time was different somehow.  I think like we both felt like we had something we wanted to say but didn’t know what it was yet.   The problem was, we really didn’t have much time, we were going to be recording in a matter of a few days. So, other than a show at The Bitter End, we would not have much time to rehearse the new material.

Enter the morning of the recording.  I woke up, and I still had not written the lyrics to some of the tunes, including “Burn Me Down”!  I am a little concerned at this point and thinking, ” I can’t believe I flew out here and I have no idea what to do!”  I found myself sitting there, on Andy’s couch, drinking coffee and drifting inside some hazy mixture of confusion and fear.   I distinctly remember being so worried that I was going to let everybody down.  Finally, at somepoint that morning,  I just decided I had to try and start catching up to the conflicts that were floating around in my head. Once I began writting I felt a really strong push from so many emotions. I was thinking about the my recent move, missing my friends and family, missing my wife who was in LA, and generally just being worried that I was on the verge of totally blowing it for everybody. It was a combination of all those thing I think that made what had been impossible to put into words for the months really clear to me.

After about an hour, I noticed that I had some words and stories that I really believed in, and I couldn’t wait to sing them.  The first time that I sang the completed lyrics to “Burn Me Down” was the first take that I did with the band.  We had only two days in the studio to cut the whole record!  In order to save on time, we decided to cut the vocals live with the band.   I found that needing to sing the song with the band live created a feeling so much stronger about the content and performance.

Honestly, the recording itself went by in a blur.  I just remember feeling so relieved when I heard the playback and could really focus in on what the rest of the guys where doing.  That fuzzy feeling of defeat and fear gave way to a feeling of relief and happiness. What I remember most was Neesley smiling in a huge toothy grin as we listened to the recordings that night back at his place sitting on that couch.

The day after the recording was done, I was back on a plane to LA, and Andy was starting the process of mixing the tracks.  It was a great experience, and I can’t thank everyone enough who recorded on this record!  Finally, if you are this far in the message, then thanks for reading my little tale, and as always thanks for listening to our music!  Both Andy and myself really appreciate it so much….