Rather than just update on the days particulars (cut the vocal for ANTI-HERO and Jeff added some guitar work; meaning work on the song is essentially finished outside of a few background vocals). I thought I’d get a bit into my lyrical process. And in offering this I’m going to say upfront that I’m not going to share the actual lyrics, for reasons that should be clear; so expect a somewhat esoteric dissertation.
Let’s say (for the sake of argument) that one had two choices: serious or ironic lyrics. Now let’s say that one didn’t like either choice. Why? Because with all the songs ever written laying about, what’s left to be said? Perhaps this is a cynical assertion, but that close to the way I feel. And in that I believe in penning lyrics that can exist on differing levels for different types of listeners.
To paint the picture more clearly, ANTI-HERO, on its surface, seems like an irony waiting to happy (think baby-baby ooh lyrics), but underneath that are dystopic ironies closer to the song’s message. Personally I think it’s both clever, cute, and sarcastic as fuck, and that would be the point; because the world is going mad while we discuss what celebrity a did to celebrity b at fake award show x last night. Point being that the violence of the culture is covered with a thin gloss of shiny-shiny; so why shouldn’t my song be the same.
Having the title ANTI-HERO before I’d ever written a line presented a challenge, simply because I’d assume that any song with that name would have a tougher message. Not a baby-ooh-wow-wow one. But isn’t it often that our relationships remind us of war (i.e. all’s fair in…), so as above so below, and so as in love so it goes, etc.
Anyway, ANTI-HERO is about a cause, in this case the cause of reaching the one you love while the structures around you crumble: be it school, government, culture, or who you thought you were living in that city you once thought you knew. Displacement, really, of energies you assumed would be there when you did say ‘baby I love-love-love you, you’re the one for me, there’s no one else like you girl, ooh, wow wow.”
And that I say proves what I’ve been saying all along: that SP is a piss take on a piss take on a piss take. What is real and what isn’t doesn’t matter. It’s all the same; real as important as false, death as valuable as rebirth, with only love as the ONE unassailable force (that’s a given.)
From SP-Nexus reader Paul comes this interesting slice of GISH promotional memorabilia, one of the few efforts made on the bands behalf in the UK in 1991, and notable for the fact that the Virgin Records office there refused to release the album.
From Billy: “We were aware of these mailers, as I’d received a few in the post myself that I shared with the group. Outside of this and that poster of us in the back of our van, I can’t recall any other items that were commissioned.”
Correction: Virgin UK did release the album, but didn't promote until late 1992. It was in fact Virgin Spain who refused to release the album.
A good day, despite the usual technical obstacles and receiving word that a friend of mine has passed away.
So if you’ll indulge me, I’m not much in a talking mood. Suffice to say that all basic guitar tracking is done now, and we spent the evening dialing in a lead vocal sound; the notion being that tomorrow we’ll ostensibly start down Singing Lane and make a left at Good Pitch Avenue.
Breaking the script and usual folly, please remember to consider those you love each day that it’s possible; as impossible as that may seem in amongst the zillion things we’re trying to accomplish. What of any of it matters I can’t say beyond that act. The simplest act of all.
In documenting what has been one of the strangest weeks of my studio life, I’ve run out of descriptors for the barrage of crackles, snaps, fizzes, and poof-poofs we’ve faced in attempting the most basic of recording functions. So in session we've stared down more of the same, although thankfully nothing blew up! But here’s a list of the wounded for one day: 2 matched mics that were found to be not functioning, an old board with a mysterious hum (later fixed), lightning strikes coming through my pickups, inexplicable amp hums, and a computer that decided to open up a channel despite it being closed; each issue killing valuable recording time.
So in a weeks time we’ve probably only ‘worked’ for half of it with great productivity, which is frustrating knowing all basic guitars would be done by now. But they’re not. Perhaps there is a divine reason for this, and in that I’ll go with the adage that ‘God’s will is your will.’
Anyway, finished acoustic (60’s J-200) and electric (BC Strat into 2nd Marshall plexi; a softer tone ironically) for BEING BEIGE, and then my side of TIBERIUS: my vintage Laney amp run though a variac to steam forward at what the man said was its preferred US power.
A glorious day; at least for the first 90 minutes in session. The above pictured pedal caressing a Sound City amp, it’s treble negated to zero. MONUMENTS it’s beneficent.
What did I just say? Translation: I got MONUMENTS done quickly (a single take, thank you) by 1:30. Fast forward 6 hours, you’d see me, BC, sitting on a bench, chin on hand. Why? ‘Cause my amp blowed up a-gain (3rd time!)
When even T Lee tells you to turn down then you know you got issues.
So like a good scout boy I tried to match blowed-up amp sound with the Marshall Plexi, and came darn close. But I must admit I was defeated by the sound that just can’t be reigned in. So I await a 3rd (or is it a 4th) repair.
This left Herr Howard saying, ‘fellas, what are we gonna do now?” Shredder: “My overdub on ANTI-HERO?” Howard, “Sure!” (think high voice).
You know the old adage, ‘maybe it’s not someone else’s fault, but yours?’ Neither do I. But let me say that this amp-blowed-up-again problem of mine is starting to freak me out. My tally today? Try two.
First one went like this: turn on amp, play 5 seconds, POOF! Second one went like this: turn on amp, play for 10 seconds, amp makes funny noise, drops to half power, then? You guessed it.
So what did we get done today? Shredder Shredding ONE AND ALL (just before a visit from indie stalwart-superstars Ringo Deathstarr). And a whole lot of noising around MONUMENTS, which will now just have one lean mean guitar. I would have finished tonight but I went deaf from the fuzz (Vox Tone Bender II: and no, we don’t have an endorsement).