The Last Two Albums Are Out…..

My Flag Is On Fire’s album “Europa Song”

available for download at bandcamp

RECORDING EUROPA SONG
by Ty Williams (My Flag is on Fire)

We tracked all the basics LIVE together (drums, piano,upright bass, accordion, and guitar) in the concrete basement of an old brick building in east Reno, Nevada.  It was home to one of the oldest freight elevators in Nevada.  Which made transporting recording gear, including an old upright piano, very easy.  My favorite memory was having my dads tuning lady arrive on the first day and leading her down a dark, dark stairway down deep into a eerie damp basement past flickering lights and say, “There she is.”  It looked like something out of a horror torture flick but with a piano instead. She was a tough old broad and didn’t seem to mind the conditions.

The natural reverb of the space was incredible.  From the look of the place it was like it was an old bombed out shelter but the sound reverberating up the freight elevator shaft soared like an old european church.  With like a 5 to 6 second delay it was almost too much boom, but with the instrumentation, mostly acoustic, it was a perfect affair.  It was a cave and what conjure in Caves? Wizards.  I couldn’t wait to track the strings.  The strings were really important to me on this recording because I was able to work with good friend and long-time MFIOF collaborator Charles Taggart.   Remember kids, make sure you and your band practice, practice, PRACTICE before recording an album.  This makes everything so much easier on the recording guys.  We tracked strings on the last day, which consisted of a cello and upright bass.  It also rained.  A lot.  So much the upstairs wherehouse area had a few feet of water on the North end of the building and water leaking through the walls in the basement.  There were a few nerve wracking equipment moving missions.  Zak and Krevis had to give up there comfortable control room nestled under the concrete stairwell in the corner.  BUT we got through it.

We then took a few weeks off and returned to our daily lives.  I was already getting goosebumps with just the rough sub mixes of just the instrumentals. My girlfriend’s family owns an old summer cabin in Lake Tahoe, and they were kind enough to give us the place for three days.  In contrast to the booming concrete basement, where we tracked mostly instruments, the cabin was dry, crisp, and quiet.  With this wonderful escape and isolation, I believe I was able give some really comfortable vocal performances.  It was here where we tracked all the vocals, trumpet, percussion, and the opening bird sounds on the first track “Rec’d Forever”.  We kept our sanity throughout the 3 days by taking my dog Betsy down to the private beach on the lake, tending the fire, cooking, and watching episodes of the first season DVD of East Bound and Down (yeah, a little pop culture doesn’t hurt anything).  This is what inspired Zak to come up with the actual title of the record “Bulletproof Tiger”. We celebrated on the last evening of tracking with a growler of Pliny the Elder, so tasty, quite proud of what we’d accomplished.  Everyone who played on the record did a wonderful job, calm and focused all the way through.  I am so grateful to be surrounded by such talented people and can ask for no more.  People that help me paint the soundscapes of my imagination and always blow my expectations out of my mind.  Shelly, Mike, Charles, Karen, Mechanic, Kevin, Zack, Ruben. Thank you.  I am rich in life because of you.

Next came mixing at Old Bosley Road.  Krevis would send Zak and I a few songs at a time and we’d listen on Zak’s stereo in his living room, cruise around in his Ford truck (rip), or in my girl’s old honda tercel which stock CD player and speakers sound the best to me.  Our ears crafted the mixes around, and in a few months we had a final mix ready for Kramer to master.  I discovered Kramer while recording my first My Flag is on Fire album at my buddy and band mate at the time, Joshua Vineyard’s house.  We recorded it all mostly on Sonar in his 100 year old house.  I remembered he (Joshua) gave me a Galaxy 500 disc to listen to and I felt like this guy is gonna understand us, man.  And come on, it’s the dude from Bongwater? RAD!  After liking the first MFIOF recording he mastered so much and not getting any label support, he offered to put it out digitally on his own label, Second Shimmy.  He’s done all my mastering since.  I love working with him because he brings trust, knowledge, and truth to anything he touches.  Funny in the 5 years I’ve worked with him I’ve never met him face to face but if I did, plenty of hugs and hi-fives would be in order.  Kramer’s the best.

Check it.  http://www.kramershimmy.com/

Recording with Zak and Krevis has indeed changed my musical life.  Their level of professionalism, passion, patience, and eye for detail has by far brought this band and my songwriting to a whole next level.  I can not wait to start on the next one guys.  CHEERS!

MFIOF – Tiny Machines

Buster Blue’s When The Silver’s Gone

available for download on itunes

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~ by zakandkrevis on February 19, 2011.

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