‘When The Time Comes Round’ was our first song which we put onto Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook. A Battle of the Bands was taking place in our local area but in order to register to perform you had to send in a song which your band had recorded. We had a few different recordings made via our smartphones but nothing which sounded ‘professional’. We then had to delve into the world of the recording studio…a place which the Arctic Monkeys in ‘Teddy Picker’ made out to be a fun, happy place where you can chill out and make music and have the craic and what not. It is a fuckin terrifying experience………..at the beginning anyway!
Don’t get me wrong the studio itself was excellent. It was situated in a converted room in a house and was owned by a friend of my brother. We went to the studio to jam before we decided to record a song and were told that we could make as much noise as we wanted which was like a red rag to a bull as, during our usual house practice sessions, noise had to be to a minimum – I suppose I didn’t actually having to keep noise to a minimum as quite a lot of the songs I was writing at the time were just nice wee acoustic songs. The addition of a bass and an electric guitar changed the dimension of the songs…for the better!!
So why was the studio a terrifying experience?
For two reasons to be precise. It was one thing singing in front of your friends in a room in the back of your house, it was another singing into a microphone in a studio which amplified your voice ten fold. I had never sang into a microphone before and this was a baptism of fire for me. My voice isn’t strong but listening back to some of the first recordings I made on my phone it sounded as if a light breeze would blow me over. There was no strength there at all…I suppose this is part and parcel of my fears of singing but I think I am slowly but surely overcoming this fear. I knew that I would need to get used to singing into a mic and hearing my voice boomed back at me. Following the session, and after a bit of research, I purchased a Shure SM58 microphone…to be honest I hadn’t used anything else so cannot compare it to other microphones but I’ll say this. It does the trick.
The second reason is as follows. I have told you that I have played the guitar since I was thirteen (and left it down for quite a considerable amount of years). I used to be able to read sheet music but now I read tabs if I am practicing a cover song. I know a few chords. I have forgotten all my scales. I sometimes have difficulty changing strings. Some of these things may be universal problems which others experience or have experienced. When we went into record our song for the Battle of the Bands I needed to be able to play to a click track…I didn’t even know what a click track was.
Having now been schooled in it, a click track, for those of you that don’t know, is a form of metronome which you keep time to which allows for easier editing in garageband, for example. We wanted to record When the Time Comes Round but if we wanted to add in drums to our song, which was advised and is quite an essential instrument needed when you don’t have a drummer, we needed me to be able to play to a click track. After two hours of start, stop, rewind, record, and over and over again I didn’t get it. I couldn’t get it. For whatever reason I could not play to the click track on time. Don’t get me wrong I am good with time in that I can tell time and I am punctual so how hard could it be to play to a metronome…pretty fuckin hard let me tell you!!.
As such we abandoned the click track and made a ‘raw’ recording of the song which I really liked (probably because I wasn’t under any pressure then). For our first professional recording I don’t think it was wise that we chose a 6 odd minute song but we did and we submitted it and we got into the Battle of the Bands (another tale for another time).
‘When The Time Comes Round’ is one of those songs which has very little in the way of meaning and more in the way of convoluted things thrown together. It doesn’t follow a story or anything but has one or two small messages contained in the lyrics. I think one of them is a reflection of myself in regards to writing music and now, in hindsight, writing this very blog – “write your story about your life, end on a high or start afresh its your own tale its not a test”. There are no right or wrong answers in what I type into this blog about me, my music and my collaborations. There is just me, my music and my collaborations so I shouldn’t be afraid to write away…and I will try…
Recently a friend said to me that he thought that the song sounds like it is off the 28 Days Later soundtrack…I’ll take that…