Doc's diary and Frenzal Rhomb blog

This is archive of Doc's diary and Frenzal Rhomb blog

Entry 34

And there you have it. Album finished. 10 days, 27 songs. That's 2.7 songs a day. about 4 hours per song. That rules. Friday was indeed party day, as the photos below will attest. We also did an audio commentary for the DVD that's gonna come out sooner or later. Cheers to Mick and Uncle Bruz for the humourous (and possibly defamatory) assistance. We start mixing in about a coupla weeks.

Entry 33

Oh yeah, about 8 songs left to sing. All good. Well, it’s taken us three and a half albums, but we finally got Gordy onto a microphone. Don’t worry, just backing vocals, but he’s there. Worldwide superstardom is only moments away. Won’t it be nice to hear an album not bathed in Aborto-tune for once…

We’re over halfway through the vocals now, so pretty much on the home stretch. So much so that Gordy’s just decided that Friday is officially “Party Day”. So feel free to drop on by. We’re at the Sausage Hotel, on Coo Coo Street.

We had a large Indian dinner, and listened to TOTO IV for inspiration. So far, potential album titles are “Pappadum Preach”, and “Lukather love in all the wrong places”. We’ll keep thinking.

Remember, as Bobby Kimball says “Why don’t we make believe we’re in love again”

Entry 32

So, two days off, one day on. The doctor’s sick, but he finished his guitar parts yesterday, so that makes him fully sick. Which means that all the musical instruments are done. Drums, Bass and Guitar. That’s right: no pianos, no tubas, not even the farfisa that’s been beckoning to us from the corner. Wait a second, there is one more piece of musical instrumentation left for the album – the vibraslap. Once we work out where it’s going to go.

So halfway through yesterday Jason and Tom started on the vocals. They’re doing them song by song, all the leads, doubles and backing vox. There is even talk of letting the Doctor and maybe even Gordy near the mic. The preferred method thus far is to stand in front of the speakers in the control room and bash it out into some fancy mic. No headphones, no worries.

Tom’s singing some backing vocals right now, and he’s singing, this may give you an exclusive insight into the lyrical depth on this album: “Cool, whoah-oh-oh… Mule whoah-oh-oh-ohh”

Oh, and Nigel Roberts from Ray White Industrial has got a little shed just round the corner for auction. We weren’t interested, but if you want to take a look, here’s his card:

Lesson for today: Don’t fret when your choruses sound more bombastic than Toto, more harmonies than a Stryper song. Don’t feel bad about losing that all important top harmony: That’s why god invented the third chorus. For the specific purpose of overloading with more decadent vocal layers than David Coverdale ever poked a mic stand at. Here endeth the lesson. Amen.

Entry 31

Day off. Phil McKellar prefers to spend his weekends with his two near-newborn twins. Apparently, compared to us, he prefers their mature conversation skills and superior toilet-training. Jets whipped Wests arses, 54-10.

So Tom and Gordy finished their basic tracks on Thursday night. 23:37 to be precise. And that included a time signature change and everything. Aren’t they just wonderful? So we all celebrated, although the Doctor went home, because the next day he had to start laying down the second guitar parts for all of the songs.

And that’s what happened. 22 out of the 27 songs now have all the guitars, bass and drums. This includes all rhythms bits, solos, pickslides, feedbacks and fingertapping. Yes, even a bit of fingertapping. Just a bit.

Here’s some pictures.

Some amp heads:

Some more amps and boxes:

Some more amps and boxes from the other side of the room:

Amps and guitars:

Tom laying down the groove (that means playing his bass):

Gordy, having finished the thing he’s second best at, begins doing what he’s best at:

Entry 30

Hey there partygoers. No photos today, we got lazy on the snap front. Been taking a lot of video, so if you like the idea of a camera sitting behind Gordy, shooting his arse, and Tom and the Doctor’s fine licks, then stay tuned. Once we work out how to put em online of course.

Yesterday morning was spent fixing the snare drum: Gordy, in his super-rockness snapped the snare wire and it pierced the bottom skin. That’s punk rock for you. Or ineptitude. Thankfully a dreadlocked ranga who looks like the guy from Killing Heidi has been conscripted to make Gordy’s drums good. He also came back round dinnertime, to make the toms sound nice as well.

The Doctor has used the following guitars so far. Mostly a Gibson SG, but also an Epiphone SG, which has more gain and a little chunkier sound. The green ESP thing also has got a run, for our new metal stylings. A Kasuga Les Paul from the 70s found it’s way onto a track, mostly coz it sounds better than Jason’s Gibson Les Paul. And last, but not least, a big motherfucking pointy red thing, the preferred axe for such people as Dimebag Darrell and Goonbag Gordy.

The Marshall JCM 800 is the amp of choice so far, with a Boss SD-1 to make it sound like murder. There’s also a hot cake pedal being thrown around. And a Fender Deville amp for when we want to sound retro, as is the style of the times. Amps not used so far include the Doctor’s Mesa Boogie Dual Rectalfryer and Peavey 5150, Jason’s JCM 2000 a UniValve and Framus lying around, and some funny looking 10 watt Fender and Orange combo things. Tom’s using his wings of fire Shadow-Sky bass, into his garden of Eden head. And plugged it through some things. A Sanspants amp thingy, and some MXR other thingy. As you can see, we pay attention.

We’ve done about 12 or 13 songs so far, almost halfway through the first stage of tracking. That's the drum tracks, all the bass, and one guitar track (there's at least two guitar parts for each song, for that stereo vibe).

Tracking live is so much bloody better than laying it all down separate-like. It’s a lot easier to play in time when you can see Gordy’s snare drum, look at Tom’s slappy fingers, and laugh at the Doctor’s terrible emo fringe. Jason has been keeping Phil company in the control room, where all the knobs are; warming his fingers by the whirring 2 inch tape machine and singing guide tracks when the other pricks get lost.

More later, time to eat.

Yours, Frenzal Rhomb.

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