My Flag Is On Fire Pre-Production

•February 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This pic is from rehearsal last week for the new My Flag record. We Begin Tracking on March 2nd!

The Last Two Albums Are Out…..

•February 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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

My Flag Is On Fire Vocal Tracking May 2010 Lake Tahoe

•July 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment


My Flag Is On Fire - Rec'd Forever

My Flag Is On Fire. April 19-21 2010. Reno, NV.

•May 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

We tracked the basics in for the new record by Reno’s My Flag Is On Fire in the basement of an old  warehouse just east of downtown. It was very cold and dusty, but the sound of the room was worth it. absolutely beautiful cavernous reverberation.

Kevin Lum

Shelly Goodin

Kevin Lum played piano and organ. a very talented player, and a gentleman to boot.

The delightful Shelly Goodin played her accordian beautifully while dressed like an adoreable gnome.

The deeply soulful Mr. Mike Mechanic operated the drum kit with panache, verve, enthusiasm and skill. He also kept everyone in snacks and good humor while we toiled in the dust and cold. I don’t think we could have done it without this particular cat.

Mr. Mike Mayhall is a huge player. we spent the first half of day one getting sounds before he arrived. When he did, he simply sat down, tuned  his bass, and NAILED IT. It’s what he does. He is Awesome.

Charles Taggart and Zack Teran  comprised the string section, on cello and bass respectively. Both of these gentlemen are consummate musicians and fine fellows. The strings Frickin’ sang in that room. It was what drew us to recording there at first. Just thinking “wow…the strings would sound amazing in here….”  Well, they did….thanks to these two chaps.

Mike Mechanic

Mike Mayhall

Tyler Williams

Of course the glue holding this whole thing together would be the man in charge, Mr. Tyler Willams. The songs are his, the vision is his, and he knows what he’s doing. This is going to be a good one. We are very excited to be working with Ty on this project.

Phase 2 will take place in late May. Ty thought that after we subjected him to the punishment of a 50 degree dusty basement with a flooding problem, (we had to evacuate the gear from the control room on the last night when the walls began to leak!) he would seek his revenge during vocal tracking.This sadistic bastard is making us track vocals in a cabin at Lake Tahoe. Payback is a bitch.

Charles Taggart

Tech notes, photos from Phase 2, and  audio to come…..

Tyler Williams

Zak Teran & Tyler Williams

Buster Blue. Virginia City, Nevada. January 2010.

•February 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 

Krevis and Zak

Bryan Jones & The Panda

Listening Back...

Brandon & the Panda

Andy Martin

Bryan jones

Old Man Ricketts