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Yes, it is magic what we do here at SP Corp. And this I know because on the last album, OCEANIA, I managed to finish the work despite the prospect of kidney failure.

“What’s wrong with me?” I said to the acupuncturist.

“Your kidneys are failing.”


“Yeah. I can help, but not much. Any worse and you’ll have to go to the hospital.”

“But I have an album to finish!”

So as you can see from that bit of sample dialogue, when I start getting that ‘uh oh, my kidneys are failing’ feeling again I start to worry. But then I think, “hey, I’m almost done and I’m just now getting that kidney failure feeling!” Which in SP Corp. language means the processes needed on this album, to finish I mean, haven’t been too bad. But then again, MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY is only 9 songs, OCEANIA 13; and perhaps I’m being a bit unfair to our last effort on the ‘bodily organs failing’ chart.

Yesterday was a thrilling journey, as more consternation ensued over DRUM AND FIFE re: its lack of ‘big chorus’ harmonies. Now, I’m a DisneyKid like the rest of ‘em, but every dang 5th I sang over these hooks made the song sound like one of those songs they sing during the parades. You know the one: “It’s a bright world of tomorrow, where all your dreams come true!” And even Howard, much to his chagrin, had to admit this was true. Which you must understand: admitting that I am right to the deficit of what he calls the ‘chorus sandwich’ is akin to his version of organ failure.

Strings were once more rearranged, and a few new vocal snafus added, and we all agreed we’d done all we could.

“Give me 5,” said Howard, “to do some housekeeping.” He meant the digital kind, which put me out in the Sun for 20. Because 5 minutes at the studio always means 20.

We had a listen to TIBERIUS, which sounded epic. Enough to collapse one’s senses, much less any bodily systems. Shredder put up his parts; one negated as being too heavy metal, the other sweetly lain in. Back to me, and the ‘celestial, chorus sandwich.’ Luckily, there was nothing left to be sung high, and after your usual roustabouting about hooks a quorum was arrived at for probably the coolest harmonies on the record. Two hours later I’d nailed it (a common studio term), which left only some guitar lasers at the end. Simple right?

Cue kidney failure. Cue Howard saying, “too solo-ey,” “too strident,” “too old SP,” “too much,” and “are you sure that’s what you want.” So essentially every tool in his toolbox to manipulate me! And how do I feel about this? I don’t mind so much, as he really does want the best for us. It’s just that stuff is hard to hear after a long day and the pressures on. But I got there, and we voted the song as ‘done’ with the notion we’d check it in the morning.


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