Saturday, 19 February 2011

How do we make records?

Hello :)

Thanks to everyone who downloaded my album in the last few days, you give me the opportunity to make more music. Amazing.

We're still recording. For my 3rd album and finishing the mix/last few overdubs on the debut Fierce And The Dead album. Thanks to everyone who has stayed with us during the recording process, it takes ages but we're really conscious of trying to do something special. Soon me and Kev we will be enjoying arguing over TFATD song titles.

The way we make my stuff and Fierce and the Dead stuff is pretty much exactly opposite, oddly as they are made by the same people. We do always try and keep costs as low as possible. The difference is that TFATD is very much a collaboration - three people decide on and define the creative process. With my own stuff only I have to like it (although Kev is very much a guide there as well and he puts in some brilliant creative ideas).

A Matt record:


Our current method of working is to record as much as possible at home. I have a rough arrangement of the song and the majority of the parts. We record the parts, Kev Feazey does the production/engineering and programming. My stuff is sometimes difficult to program due to the odd timings so using someone as talented as Kev is essential.

This way I only have to pay for Kev to engineer the record, I still pay him but its cheaper than hiring a studio. Then when most of the record is done we'll hire a studio (most likely Livingstone) and overdub drums and percussion/noisy guitars and other stuff. Also for this record I'm hoping to get some overdubs from my friends online, as long as i can find appropriate uses for their (vast) talents. I think if you're going to get guests in you need to be able to give them something good to do.

After this Kev mixes and we discuss and review the mixes until everyone is happy. Easy! (although the process takes around 2 years!!!).

My first album was done 100% in a studio, Ghost 80% so this is a relatively new way of working for us. The last few tracks for Ghost we did as above, I was so pleased with way they came out we decided to keep going this way (not to mention the amount of money it saves).

This will be the last one we make this way. Its essential to keep changing your working methods to open new creative doors.

A Fierce And The Dead record:

Stu at Liv
First me and Kev write/demo the songs - as a collaboration in my living room mostly. Then we jam/improvise/learn the songs in a rehearsal room for a few days as a 3 piece with Kev on bass and Stuart on drums, get the structures and all that.

Next step is to go into a studio (Livingstone again) and record the tracks, pretty much live, just a few overdubs. Then Kev mixes and treats/re-arranges the tracks, almost like a DJ record/krautrock type feel. Once this is done we do more overdubs and Kev carries on mixing and we all approve it. You can hear a track made like this here.

Then we learn the tracks off the recording so we can play then live.

Weird eh?

Hopefully i'll be able to play you some more stuff soon.

And the conclusion:

Work with good people, get out their way and let them get on with it (but retain creative control, if its your project).

Somehting else happened today - an old video of me playing in 2008 has appeared and had lots of views on twitter - no idea how it happened but i'm very pleased:

Speak soon

Matt Stevens


Anonymous said...

"This will be the last one we make this way. Its essential to keep changing your working methods to open new creative doors."

If it works for Radiohead... ;)

Unknown said...

Deffo - major inspiration :)


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