Monday Overview: April 10th – 13th

April 10th: Billy talks a little bit about his cat Sammi and her brother Mr Thom, hew beloved cats that he adopted from PAWS. He then talks about his day of work in the studio:

Started with a quick demo of a song written this morning. It’s called ‘HUPPY.’ Had a general review of the STARS left. General agreement is that the demos will stand till the deeper arrangement business starts next week.

This precipitated my saying, ‘Why don’t we spend the next 3 days trying to top what we have.” And with that I re-initiated work on ‘ANAIS’ (which was COUGARED). “ANAIS’ is a riff I’d come up with during the OCEANIA touring, but its shred-factor gets lost because it’s too busy. Stripping away what wasn’t essential about what sells in it, I locked a synth bass through a fuzz and ended on one drilling figure, and that broke down the guitar part until there was just a ghost left. Vroom! SP magik.

moonApril 11th: We got a surprise scan of an old Pumpkins artifact that had nothing to do with the post (see pictured on the right).

In the midst of our trawl, we started with a review of ‘HUPPY.’ “Too chirpy,” I said, so we tried it a little more darkly. “It was better the other way,” I said. “Let’s just do it straight. As simply as possible.” Improvement. Move on.

Tripped to ‘BOO,’ my latest. Started with an acoustic demo. Nice but wrong album. “Try it heavier,” Howard suggested. “It was better the other way,” Jeff said. After that, we left it alone.

Recut ‘ROUSTABOUT,’ Howards ‘jam.’ As it stands, a definite contender for ‘Day For Night’ album. And would be on this album if the album had swung more darkly. “

Now what?” I said out loud. Back through the COUGARS we fell. I circled round ‘SOLARA.’ “Too grunge though,” I offered, a negative buzzword in these parts. “Better if it was straight, or more psych.” Singing the melody I came up with an opening figure reminiscent of ‘Heaven and Hell’ Sabbath (Go Tony). Sketched out a basic 2-part guitar demo, and with some digi-magik made the beat that made it a rocka-rolla (Go Priest). Funny what a riff can do to a spine. So ‘SOLARA’ is back with the STARS.

April 12th:

Started session with a new theme (think Russian art film/Tarkovsky). A short demo, ornate and all, led to a heavier version (think late 70’s British metal). No go. Broke riffs over and over till the right one popped (think sick party anthem for a dying world). I’m guessing this shoves ‘SOLARA out of the way. New tune: ‘AELITA.’

Back to ‘SOLARA,’ to try to up its game. Lots ‘o mincing about; improved originality, but less exciting than yesterdays effort. Ran through different drum profiles. Fail. Broke riff apart. Fail. Tried a new riff, found some improvement. So that’s where we left it.

And though this seems like not so much work, we went about 6 hours straight (minus Tom Kha soup!) and any day with a killer new jam is a good day by me.

Album just gets better and better (I feel)…

April 13th:

Billy writes about the current footwear at Pumpkinsland, followed by telling us about 1 track that they worked on before taking a 3 days off for “a secret mission”.

Today was one-song pony time; being ‘in or out for ‘SOLARA.’ Tried it: acoustic, the same, psych, synth, Sabbath shuffle, and dead-flower straight. Somehow it kind of works, and lives on.