Captain´s log, Sunday 14.11.2010 23:30 EST.
To the Batplane, Robin!
The good ole Cumulus greeted our cold- twisted faces with hotdogs and beer, which we still got from the lobby bar when we arrived there 01:00 AM. After the nightcaps, we fell back to our trusty room in order to sleep.
(Note to self- bringing your kid to swimming school, then going to sauna at home, watching tv in the sofa with a glass of wine, having a regular cozy family- oriented sunday evening....ONLY to suddenly hop into an aeroplane at 23 PM feels really awkward and otherworldy.)
As I told you earlier, it took us many days to polish the mix of the FIRST song. So, after spending half of my weekend on pondering what the fuck is *still* wrong with it, I made a huge list of "things to remove" from the mix and started my monday on doing as the list suggested. Which was nice, as after the tweaks, the song breathed way better. Even though we have a certain "progressive edge" on our music and have a lot going on in the songs, too much was too much and the butchering was necessary.
Later in the hotel room, we found the mix was now perfect after 5 versions and four days, hehe. We celebrated the evening by checking bad folk metal from Youtube. Did you know that at worst, folk metal is really the most horrible music mankind has ever invented? I´m pretty sure on that. Except for Heidevolk, which must be actually the best central European band on that matter. Suolaa, suolaa!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell who we are. We switched Markus for Mitja this week! Marko couldn´t get any vacation from work so we have just been bombing him (and the rest of the guys, depending who´s with us and who´s not) with MP3´s of the mixes.
So, at this point we had one song ready, one 80% ready and had already spent half of our schedule. (no, there are not two songs, we were actually quite fucked, especially considering that these two were supposed to be the easiest ones to mix, heh) Next move was to finish the second song from 80% to 100%, which was done quite easily.
After the day at the studio, we got back to the hotel room only to find out it wasn´t cleaned because Mitja had slept until 12 and forced the cleaners to stay out. It´s amazing how three guys can fuck a hotel room up in one evening! It seems you only start to notice and appreciate little things in life when they´re gone. So, we bulldozed the empty beer cans, empty meal- boxes and newspapers aside and made room for creating another, even better mess. Then me and Ville headed to the sauna and had a quick swim. Ah, the glamour! Comparing a fully- equipped hotel with a sauna, swimming pool and Wlan with that gypsy camp hostel called Hullu Pohjola we stayed for the first 5 Kemi sessions (JUST LIKE REAL VIKINGS), we couldn´t help ourselves not to praise this luxury every evening again and again. Even though we´re exactly no princesses, one really appreciates clean, noiseless and functioning resting place after an exhausting day at the studio.
And as all serious rock stars do every now and then, we picked up Mitja from the hotel room (who, in his own privacy, had EMPTIED my laptop´s cookies and cache meanwhile! Probably because of...erm, virus danger? Yeah, that must be it. :D ) and went to have a late dinner in the hotel restaurant. Another piece of luxury to have a real restaurant downstairs instead of eating cold meat pies in your filthy bunk. Ville took my advice and ordered asparagus on his pizza, poor sod. While Ville and Mitja were watching Finland´s Pride from Youtube, I was doing crossword puzzles. How very metal!
Greetings from the Metal Institution!
Luckily I didn´t drink that much than some OTHER PEOPLE (ahem :D ) and I actually hit the studio with Mitja 10:30. 3 beers and soda for the rest of the evening = pure win.
After threatening Ville with violence to put the "please clean this room"- tag to the door when he bother to wake up and gets to the studio *grin* I was sent an SMS at 11:26, clearly stating that "yes, you nitpicking asshole, I DID IT. HAPPY?" with one picture and nothing else.
Being a nitpickin asshole that I am, I immediately sent him my response.
I wonder why everyone else are allowed to be lazy except for me? Oh yeah, because I´m an anally- fixated control-freak- studio führer and mixing the whole shit, how could I forgot that?
So....anyway. Aaaaand baaaaack to...business! Where was I? Yes, I still tweaked the second song and hopped to another. Reverb automation, panning, "that vocal line is 20 milliseconds too early", "that pad is one dB too loud here", automation volume curves...snare EQ tweaking from 8k up, bass compressor threshold levels.....who really gives a shit? I know you only read this for the off- the- record- stuff, don´t even try to deny it!
And frankly, I can understand it. You should have seen how bored the other guys were after listening me looping one guitar lead for 20 minutes in a row or trying to balance four different melody- instruments for one part. It´s a tough job but someone´s got to do it! I´d probably do it this way, anyway, than sleeping late myself and letting Mitja mix the album.
I think Mitja would also agree on that.
At some point, Blastmor from Thyrane (do they even exist anymore, actually? :D) ...well, anyway, Blastra Mer respectively, got the studio and we were supposed to go drinking with him. However, we were so horribly late from the schedule and he´s family needed him after all that we ditched the idea of being rock´n´roll and went to the hotel after working for almost 10 hours in a row.
Mötley Crüe would have been proud of us.
Or rather Satyricon, methinks. Where´s me fruit juice and Personal Rainer?
Luckily, we had bought (again) a crate of cheap beer to our hotel room, so we spent the rest of the evening"enjoying" that and all sorts of ÄIJÄ MUSIIKKIA we could find. Then we swithed to Killing Joke, Cure and watched Dom Joly from Youtube. This guy is pure genious. He´d prolly answer "I think it´s shite", but I respectfully disagree anyway.
We also talked about covering Killing Joke, so beat that, Legions of Play- Doh!
After drifting away from the Gothic Movement (tm) we banged some Mystifier and other fago stuff, had more beer, realized it was 4:30 AM and it was probably best to get that 5 hours of sleep before tomorrow´s studio.
Thor´s Day 18.11.2010
Last song and three cans of Red Bull. I skipped the omelette in order to sleep until 10 AM. A wise decision after last night. There´s not much to tell about this horrible, horrible day. I spent 11 hours on mixing ONE FUCKING SONG, which luckily was the last one on the list. Mitja and Ville bought me pizza (from which I praised them eternally) at some point and Ville got us some red wine and an extended sauna- session at the hotel. I wasn´t complaining- yes, I did the mixing but it wouldn´t had succeeded with the catering and moral help from the guys. Kudos!
Mitja took a plane home at the evening while Ahti banished us from the studio after being there hours for overtime. :D We had a glass of red wine with Ville, checked out the semi- ready mix of last song, were surprised how finished it already sounded, had hotdogs and went to sleep.
Last day inc, shitloads to do. Gotta be sharp!
I skipped the breakfast again in order to sleep! What´s happening to me? :(
After packing my uncanny amount of gear from the hotel room, I was ready to leave it for good and headed for the last day behind the mixing desk. After checking my THREE A4- SIZED LIST of fixes for ONE song, I decided to start with something else instead....and that was tweaks to the first song. (...) That song will never be ready. It´s cursed, really. It was ultimately the most painful to everyone to play and perform and now it seems that it was also the hardest to mix after all. (later I found out in the weekend at home that the mix had corrupted not once but TWICE, and am now having to use three different versions in order to create one perfect one for the mastering. The curse is upon us for REAL.)
Ville arrived at some point, while I was tweaking some backing vocal echo- automation.
He told me it sucks. I told him to fuck off and die in a fire.
No, my nerves weren´t starting to be wrecked at all.
The next five hours were spent tweaking the final mix of the last song, and at some point I realized I made it. I made an impossible task done and was fucking bouncing from excitement! It took me 17 hours (!!!) to TWEAK the last song alltogether, but it was now perfect and we could record it to the disk and call it a day. Except for that our CPU and RAM (Hi Jartsa and Kaitsu!!! :D ) started to tremble on the sight of the plugins, automations and track count. It took me and Ahti about an hour to figure out how to unburden the computer but we finally did it and got ourselves a mix!
After having now all songs on our backup- hard disk, we were ready to head for the airport and "Kohti Yhdeksän Nousua".
I got home friday evening at 23:00, ready to die. But as a happy man after all!
Thanks for Jukka, Ahti, and my fellow bandmates, this has been the longest studio session ever but also hands down the funniest. The music is quite far from the funniest we´ve done but probably be the heaviest and most oppressing, yet melancholic and even aggressive.
After the mixing I´d describe it as Kivenkantaja from Hell. Kivenkantaja- meets- Verisäkeet- meets Hävitetty perhaps?
You´ll hear it soon anyway.
Coming soon to a torrent service near you,