It was an interesting day. 12 hours with several breaks in between during the recording session, and midway we hit the road to pick up Matt Fearno. I had only heard Celladora’s work through iPhone speakers, but honestly I couldn’t wait for Matt to hit up his feature part. The guy was seriously appreciative of the opportunity we had given him. We got to Great Depths Recording’s studio around 12 to 12:30. Little house out in Crosby an hour out from Katy. Aaron’s studio was being built in his garage. We just couldn’t be more excited to be getting the single done. Aaron had given us an extra day to record and we got it done in one.
There we were. Aaron at the helm. Ward started things off. Aaron got out his keyboad and Ward played the piano intro he had wrote for the beginning of the song. Before, when we were trying to write instrumental for the song I’d suggested a dark melodic intro. Ward made it real. Strings were added for more effect. Things were taking shape.
Ian laid down a rhythm scratch track. Luke was unable to join us so Aaron laid down the drum part with the help of the scratch track. Our good friend Tyler Hulbert of Embrace the Distance was there taking in every riff and witnessing every piece of recording first hand. Aaron pushed us to give it our all and let us know straight when something needed to be redone. He’s good like that. Gotta lot of respect for the man. We ordered pizza, nommed hard. Chicken bacon ranch O_o
4 or 5 o’clock rolls around and Ian’s contacting Matt. He just got outta school. Time to pick him up. Ward and Tyler stayed with Aaron while he continued to construct the drum part. Ian and I hit the road out of Crosby back to Katy. It was getting dark now and the traffic was getting heavier. With every slow down, sudden stop, and flash brake lightshow we were getting a little concerned with how long this would take. But Ian’s playlist kept us motivated. All I remember is King for a Day by Pierce the Veil (feat. Kellin Quinn) and King of Amarillo by Issues blaring. Two of my favorite songs. One hour turned to two. Finally we hit the exit into Katy and got to Matt’s place.
Here he came. I’d never seen him before and while we had been driving Ian had been telling me a bit about him. Been in a band for awhile. Ian’s previous band, Divisions, had played with Celladora. The guy’s 15. I couldn’t wait to hear his chords rage. We talked music on the way back, faith, and life in general. Getting there was half the battle. That one hour drive turned to two again and soon we were getting a call from Ward. Good news though. Aaron finished the drum track, added some sick breakdown for Matt’s feature part and Ward had just finished his lead and did the bass part. We were pretty stoked but anxious to get back.
Hitting the studio we came in to hear some pretty familiar licks and beats. Matt and Aaron talked with each other a bit. Aaron joked around with Matt and told him to warm up. Matt went to a corner and with one breath he let this Dragonborn, Fus Ro Dah, make the children run, all anarchy crushed the nation, behemoth of a scream. I whipped my head around and could only think, this guys only 15 and he has that kind of power. That’s amaz-zah-zing. Aaron in turn let out his owe goliath of a scream which I was equally impressed with. It was Ian’s turn. Nix the scratch track and hit the rhythm section with tremendous focus. Ian sat with Aaron hitting every riff. Aaron stopping sometimes to get a redo. Aaron told Matt to get ready because he would be next once the little tweaks were done to the bass and lead once Ian finished.
Soon enough Ian was in the clear. Ward came forward to tweak the lead, bass got done. Now it was show time for Matt. After contacting our other good friend Ryan White earlier, also from Embrace the Distance, he showed up with two of his friends just as Aaron was setting up a makeshift booth for vocals to be recorded. We said our greetings, let Ryan listen to what we had so far, then Aaron hit the lights and asked most everyone to step out while Matt recorded. I stayed inside to run him through the rhythm for each line as he hit it. A couple takes here and there. Matt was getting it. All the while Aaron gave out suggestions for what to do next. Hit it high, now low, lets layer this, hold this out. It was going great. At one point, mid feature, Matt made a 5-layer burrito of a scream. It was beatiful, soaring, high, mid, low, plunging. He cleared the feature and I was up next.
I had my inhibitions stirring. Reminders of past studio recordings came back. In the past I had too much anticipation. I struggled to just let my screams flow, let the lyrics mesh into the song. Small story: once while recording for our EP I decided to hit a high and see how long I could hold it. Ward was ready to record and gave me the intro. I took a deep breath, began to scream, and soon realized I was getting light headed and I passed out on his floor for a few seconds. Listening to the recording was hilarious though because you could hear Ward jumping out of his chair and running over to me saying, “Oh crap!!!”
I had to let all that go. I was hear to do one thing. Let all the imagery, all the thought, the creative process, the emotion, all of it, i had to make the lyrics i wrote a reality. I wrote the lyrics over a year ago. One night fueled by the desire to erase all that was ugly in me. One moment to capture the essense of what we as practicing Christians deal with. Our own inhibitions, our doubts, our fears, our failures needed to be called out. If I had the chance to bring all the ugliness out, all the transgression, what would I say? How would I react? If Satan himself turned up, how would I remind him of the devastating fate that lie ahead of him, other than spitting in his face at first sight.
Suddenly I was free. Took me a few takes to get warmed up but I hit it head on. 26 years of pain, regret, failure, malice, heartbreak, anger, and rage spewed from my mouth into a poetical discharge I’d kept inside too long. All the scars I’d inflicted on myself stood only as reminders of how far I’ve come now. No longer were they a painful memory. This was our time. This was our battle cry. Line by line was dished out. I was nearing the end. Soon I was done and I felt good.
Aaron set up for the gang chant. It was cool because 5 bands are represented in that one chant. Aaron puts his own house out there for bands coming into the area to stay at. So a couple members came in to check things out once I’d finished my recording (I can’t remember the guys band name though). When it was time for the gang chant I looked at the remaining guy who stayed in the studio and got him to join us in the chant. Oh, Infamous City, Embrace the Distance, Celladora, Concepts, and the dude for the band staying at Aaron’s place. It was sweet.
We finished up by layering my vocals. Aaron hit record and I filled in where I thought would be good. We were done after that. We packed up, gave a big thank you to Aaron for producing us, Matt, Tyler, Ward and I piled into Ian’s SUV and headed back to Katy. It was a great night and we all look forward to doing it again.