Recording "Salt" - Part 1: Drums

12.10.2009 – the drums are recorded!
Here´s a little insight into the recording of the new Wuthering Heights album for you all. During the last four days Morten and I have been at Jailhouse Studios in Horsens, Denmark to record the drums. And once again Morten raises the bar for heavy metal drumming. And once again I´m quite lost for words trying to describe it. I dare any drummer on the planet to try and follow this! But anyway, here are some of the facts…

Cheers!
ERIK


Thursday, 08.10.09

I had arrived to Horsens on Wednesday to avoid getting up too early (hmm…), and Morten arrived Thursday morning with his car vacuum-packed with drums. He had room for hot coffee and a couple of bottles of single malt whisky, though (and we´re back in WH-land…). 

The grey eminence, Mr. Tommy Hansen, arrived and we started setting up the kit. Finally, Morten gets to use his own drumkit on a WH rerding – and what a kit. It´s sound is metal beyond belief and really suits Morten´s heavy, noisy yet technical style.

Time for soundcheck. At first we thought Morten´s own snaredrum was a bit too deep and resonant for this type of music, so we tried two different ones, before returning to Morten´s snare – which turned out just right anyway, after a bit of tuning. It has a lot of life to it and fits the organic sound we try to achieve.

And then: the first song! Actually, the song “Away!” is just a sort of overture to the album, but anyway, it was done pretty quickly.

Next one was “The Desperate Poet” which is a typical, diverse, semi-long WH-tune. Without Morten knowing it, we recorded him rehearsing, and we actually ended up using most of the rehearsal track for the final cut! Says something about our drummerboy.

And that was the end of day one, and a good day´s work we had done, so we were quite pleased with ourselves and therefore had to empty one of Morten´s whisky-bottles…


Friday, 09.10.09
After coffee we went straight into the next song – the uplifting “The Mad Sailor”. And it was indeed smooth sailing for Morten who nailed it in record time. And then: “The Last Tribe”, which proved to be probably the toughest song on the album. So it took almost the rest of the day getting this song done.

With ten minutes left, Morten still wanted to continue preparing for the next day´s recording, so he played a few run-throughs of “Tears” – where does this kid get his energy??

Then we went for burgers, and for me being used to Copenhagen and a fastfood-shop for every 50 metres, being in Horsens makes you feel a bit like having to hunt for your food. Anyway, we found a place at last and the rest of the night was just a movie and off to bed, not so rock´n´roll. Though, for Morten, having two small kids and all, being here at the studio is almost like holiday camp – a full night´s sleep and everything…


Saturday, 10.10.09
We knew we had to get a good day´s work done today or the schedule would start to slide. First up was “Tears”, which shouldn´t be too hard. Still, it has a sort of Viking theme that proved tricky. But nothing too hard. Next song was “Weather The Storm”, which is probably the easiest track for the drums – and indeed it was done almost in one take. So now we were back on schedule, which is always good for the spirit.

The third song of the day was “The Field”, which we recorded a little differently. On the other tracks Morten had done one whole take, and then made corrections. For this song we chose to start from the beginning, and then stopping to rework things, then moving on. I don´t know exactly why, it just seemed to fit the song. Anyway, this turned out to be Morten´s star moment. I´ve said before that you have one moment on every album, where everything just becomes magic and the people behind the mixing desk drop their jaws in awe of what they´re witnessing. This was Morten´s moment when towards the end of the song he delivered an ultra-performance, and I couldn´t help cheering aloud in the control room. The very ending of the song proved tricky, though, but it got done in the end.

During the last hour of the day we managed to get almost all of the bonus-track “Discovery” done – except for the very last drum fill. For this track I had brought a set of octobans that I´d borrowed from my old friend and original WH drummer Kenneth. They are a sort of long toms with a high, distinct sound. They give that extra 80´s sound to this fun song – which is a Mike Oldfield song, by the way.  


Sunday, 11.10.09
So this was the last day of recording, which always makes things a little nervy, ´cause you never really know if you´re gonna finish on time.

We started by fixing that drumfill on “Discovery”. No problem.

And then we started on the monster track of the album “Lost At Sea”. This is the longest WH song ever and therefore we have split the recordings into two tracks which will then be joined later – otherwise the files would be too large to handle.

Anyway, the first part went relatively smoothly, even though it has lots of insane bassdrumming – but of course, this is Morten´s specialty.

So we moved quickly on to the second part, which has – surprise! – even more insane bassdrumming. Just wait till you hear this song, it is full of everything WH and at the same time doesn´t really sound like anything we´ve done before. Great stuff!

With the clock quickly ticking away we went on to the recording of the second bonus-track, Uriah Heep´s “Sympathy”. This is a very straight forward shuffle tune, but full of great melody. This was quickly done, ´cause we didn´t have that much of a fixed arrangement – it´s more of a jam thing. Morten paid his tribute to Lee Kerslake with some nice twists on the ol´ hi-hat and it all turned out really cool. Then within the last hour we managed to do the little acoustic thing called “Water Of Life”, which here in the studio is merely nicknamed “Whisky”! Morten played some of the parts using clubs instead of sticks for that softer, folksy sound. 

And that was it! In just four days we´ve made all the drumtracks that will be the basis of all of the rest of the recordings of this new WH album. If the rest will be as good as these recordings you´re in for a treat when the album´s out, I tell you! HEAVY METAL!!!


12.10.2009 – the drums are recorded! 
Here´s a little insight into the recording of the new Wuthering Heights album for you all. During the last four days Morten and I have been at Jailhouse Studios in Horsens, Denmark to record the drums. And once again Morten raises the bar for heavy metal drumming. And once again I´m quite lost for words trying to describe it. I dare any drummer on the planet to try and follow this! But anyway, here are some of the facts… 

So that´s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for the next studio report.

Cheers!
ERIK