First comes the inspiration, then the songwriting, arrangement, rehearsals, re-arrangements, more rehearsals… …and THEN – the recording. So after one false start we finally found ourselves at Fluxx Studios, Munich with the lovely Lori Lorenzen ready and eager to record. We wanted to capture the live essence of our Chaotic Alternative Band and so we were careful in finding the right studio for our current station.
We want to play together.
We got a fever and the only prescription was more cowbell baby! From Mr. Noelle
We were lucky enough to secure a guest drummer / percussionist for the recordings of an extremely high calibre. Taking on the role and responsibility of percussion within Gurdan Thomas is no easy task. The music at first listening may seem simple but ask anyone who has ever played with the group (and the list is extensive) and they will put you straight. The GT sound dies without a delicate and artistic touch to any rhythmic shenanigans. But we could relax and leave our trust to the task in the capable hands of Mr. Stefan Noelle, who also has his own new album (Meinetwegen im Regen) coming out very soon. Check his website for details.
At Fluxx there are 3 booths and a live room with plenty of windows – so we were able to play together in an almost live situation whilst laying down our chaotic but beautiful sounds onto tape (or in the form of lots of 1’s and 0’s in a hugely powerful calculator), whilst at the same time keeping the sounds separate (which is very helpful for mixing, or when one of us feels inspired to shout out some expletive during recording). This will be our seventh album. I say ‘our’, but at least the first two albums were almost completely self recorded. In a bedroom. Having started this project by my lonesome in 2006, the journey (so far) has been one of exploration, surprise, fascination, frustration, elation, loss, discovery, fear, excitement, setbacks and a whole tenacious bag of determination. It has been my life for the last 9 years – and what a life changing experience it has been! And I think I can say without fear of immodesty that I am very proud of the music I have created. But I’m even more proud of the group that Gurdan Thomas has grown into. Gurdan Thomas as you now may know it, would be a pale wilting thing in comparison without the fascinatingly different characters that make up today’s ensemble.
Recording takes a whole lot of energy
It was fun (I have a passion for recording, as well as for cooking) but it’s incredibly demanding work and drains one both physically and mentally extremely quickly. On the first day of recording we played with very little breaks for around 5 hours! And that’s 5 hours concentrating on every little detail. Your mind wanders only a little and you lose it. I can tell you at the end of that day I felt like a zombie. So we took extra care to make sure that we catered for our energy needs through a wide range of delightful drinks, snacks and main courses. This was a crucial element in helping us to get on with the main job of recording – never underestimate the damage to projects caused by lack of sustenance!
And nothing really is the end of the world…except the end of the world
But it’s not over yet. This was just the first leg of the recording process. We recorded the base or foundational recordings for 18 songs. Next comes the choosing of different takes and then the editing. Then we start with overdubs… …then we mix.. ..it gets mastered.. ..somebody makes some pretty artwork.. ..then we birth it to the world.. We’re all very proud of this project at this stage and everybody has put at least 109% into it. This album will be the best thing we or I have ever done, and a real step up in terms of quality of songwriting, arrangement, performance and sound definition. We may be a relatively unknown small band on a small (but growing and groß Artig) label (Beste! Unterhaltung), we may not always be drawing massive crowds to our gigs, people may not ‘get‘ us and our non-conformity, and we’re certainly nobody’s latest ‘darling’ on any Radio station or in the music press. But you know…
…It’s Not The End Of The World…