Friday, June 12, 2009

In The Studio - Part 4

It's Thursday night right now and not long ago the Lakers just beat the Magic in a nail biting win in overtime. The Lakers now lead the finals series 3-1 (for those unfamiliar with the NBA the grand final is actually a 7 game series. The winner is the first to win 4 games). It's cool being in a city when there's a big time sporting event happening. Everyone gets pumped up about it and there's a buzz happening. People seem to get very patriotic about their hometown when one of their sporting teams is in a final and it's great. The only bad thing is it's just not possible to get seats at the game when it's the finals. It's just too expensive. Which is a real shame because I would have loved to have seen a Lakers game live. But enough about sport.

The last few days in the studio have started to get really great. Well everyday in the studio has been great but I guess the closer you get to the end of a record, the more complete the songs sound and, well, the stuff you've been working really hard on starts to sound good. On Tuesday we started laying all the secondary vocal tracks. I sung the backups on the songs Greg sings lead on and vice versa. I also got to lay down my final guitar parts. And that was it really. We went home and watched the Lakers game. I know it sounds like we do pretty much nothing during the day and then just go home and watch basketball but I swear we're working hard. It just so happens that a Lakers game is on every second night because of the finals.

That just left synth parts to track for the next few days. Andrew was getting all excited leading up to this part of the recording. He couldn't wait to get his hands on some really old school synths. There's been something about playing music with vintage gear that's really hard to describe. You kind of feel like you're part of a way bigger story and that somehow the geniuses who have used the gear before you will somehow impart some of their awesomeness into what you're doing. Up until this point it started to become really obvious that synths were missing and you get impatient wanting to record them. Because I work so closely with Andrew, my guitar parts sometimes don't really make all that much sense without his synth parts and so to hear synth finally being injected into the songs made me feel a lot better about life. One of the coolest synths was this really old suitcase (literally it opened like a suitcase) Moog that made crazy sounds. It had a life of its own. We couldn't really control it so we just went with what it wanted to do and got a really cool sound out of it for one of the tracks. When unplugging it though Andrew electrocuted himself and had a numb right arm for the rest of the day. It's 115 volts or something over here. I wonder whether you get a bigger electric shock back home with 240 volts?

The next day we did a taping for a music TV show. It was good fun. Performed a couple of acoustic songs and an interview. We didn't make it into the studio that day so instead, while we were in Hollywood, we took a trip to The Guitar Center on Sunset. It's a massive store and I headed straight to the vintage section and then straight to the Fender wall. I'm a die hard Fender Stratocaster loyalist and there were some amazing guitars in that store. Really old guitars with original parts. Shame they were going for between $30,000 and $100,000. One day maybe. I also saw one of the original '58 Fender Twins I'm using in the studio at the moment. It too was fetching a nice $30k. I guess it's good to have something to aim towards...

Friday and it was time for more synths. We arrived at the studio to be greeted by a CS-80. Now that probably won't mean that much to most people. But I'm not lying, this synth was the most amazing thing I've ever heard in my life. I know there are factions of people out there who believe that digital modelling of original analogue gear is just as good as the real thing. No offence to them but it's just not true. The sounds that were being generated by this thing were simply mindblowing. I was literally getting goosebumps listening to the sounds. One of the cool things about analogue gear as well is that once you get a sound you like, you'd better record it because you're unlikely to ever find that same sound again. That means no one else is likely to have ever created that exact same sound. When you're making a record, that's cool.

So we wrapped up Friday with most of the synths tracked. I also sung the backups for the last track. Oh yeah, and we decided to get a string quartet in for the last song as well. I can't wait to see/hear that in action. Kevin got busy starting the mixes so the next time we're in (hopefully tomorrow) we'll be hearing the first mixes. A most exciting time!!

One final thing. Greg and I decided to go catch a movie that night and took a massive trek by public transport to find a cinema. I'm really liking LA, but it is the worst city for getting around by public transport. Getting anywhere is a huge mission that requires intricate planning and lots of time. We didn't have either but I think people like coming to the aid of helplessly lost human beings like ourselves, and some locals aided us to our destination. We saw the new Terminator and my recommendation is to skip it. Boring boring boring. Even the action scenes were pretty boring. Looking forward to Transformers. Hot tip - Aussie actress Isbabel Lucas (ex-Home and Away star) is in it. How good!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In The Studio - Part 3

Yesterday I wrote briefly about how the Hollywood sign was determined to remain elusive despite each of its letters being 45 feet high. Today, before going into the studio, we went on a trek to see the Hollywood sign. Actually our real mission was to sit on the Hollywood sign.

Straight off I'll say that the sign looks deceptively small and deceptively close. In fact it's massive and really far away. So Kevin took us to the base of the hills in his awesome car and then the five of us began the trek. I will say at this point that there are roads that you can walk on but being adventurous we decided to take the more rustic trails that wind up the hill. I guess at some point we sort of lost perspective of where we were in relation to the sign itself but worked out the basic direction we had to head in. As we were walking (sorry, hiking) Kevin casually mentioned that we had to go off road (as in off the already kind of off road track) and that if any rangers found us we should do all the talking because we obviously sound like we're not from around here and that we could act dumb. At that point it became clear we weren't actually allowed to go near the sign. But there weren't actually any signs saying we couldn't go off the track so we figured that was their bad not ours.

I'll reiterate that the sign looks deceptively small and deceptively close. We thought that if we traversed a gully and climbed the ridge adjacent to the one we were on we would emerge from the scrub to be greeted by the glorious view of the 9 white letters. Wrong!! Also, we figured that despite there being no track we could quite easily find our own way. That was also incorrect. When we made it out of the gully to the top of the ridge bleeding, bruised and pretty buggered, we found that there were two more gullies and ridges to traverse and climb before we'd get to the sign. When we reached the top of the second of those ridges we realised there were about three more after that. Despite this setback we persevered and finally found ourselves at the base of the iconic Hollywood sign (which by the way used to say "Hollywoodland"). Greg and Kevin were at the front of the group and managed to set off some sort of alarm and then a voice came over a loudspeaker saying, "Stop hiking now!" So we did. We stayed put and climbed the letters. The voice didn't say anything more specific than that so we technically didn't do anything wrong. Then a ranger came out of nowhere and shouted at us that we were trespassing so we bolted down the hill only to find at ground level fences and many signs saying that it was illegal to climb up to the sign.

Get this. By getting lost and taking the most roundabout, off the beaten path route to the sign we avoided all the "Do Not Enter" signs and fences and slipped under the radar of the rangers long enough to get to the sign and climb it. How good! So worth the bleeding arms and legs and quite an eventful start to the morning. Then, driving on our way to the studio, to add to the excitement, a car in front of us (a Prius, quite small) ran a red light (as you do) and got collected by a massive truck (I use the American term "truck" here to describe what Aussies would call a "ute" so don't go picturing semi-trailers or anything like that). But it was a pretty full on crash - three cars. Everyone seemed alright though.

And then we were back in the studio. Unlike the other three tracks, we came to LA with the fourth song being left completely bare. We wanted to shape it in the studio and capture that spontaneity on record. We hadn't actually played the song as a band so this was real experimentation territory for us. We chatted a bit about what we were going for, set up the mics and then John started playing drums to a scratch track. Kevin actually set up the drums in the entrance way to the studio for a really different sound. It was cool. Anyway John played one take, the first he'd ever played of the song, and that was him done. We loved it. Andrew jumped on the piano and played a take and then overdubbed a Rhodes solo and that was him finished as well. Then it came to Greg's vocal take. He nailed it in one in a really emotional, bare everything take. It was actually really beautiful to watch. So that was the song, pretty much finished. And it was a really great feeling to have captured the energy we were looking for straightaway, just as we'd hoped for.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In The Studio - Part 2

It's 1pm on Sunday afternoon at the moment in LA. I just woke up. We have a day off from recording today so we went out for dinner last night at a British pub called "The Fox and Hounds". It was like stepping out of America the moment we walked in there. There's something about British pubs that's just awesome. They definitely got something right there. The bizarre thing was that a couple of hours after we got there a band started playing that was straight out of the fifties. Don't get me wrong they were awesome, but we were sitting there listening to Elvis and Johnny Cash and heaps of Rockabilly Americano stuff in a British pub. I felt like I was sitting in a movie set. I've been feeling like that a bit actually since being in Hollywood. I think it's because I've seen so much Hollywood stuff in film and TV, that by just being here it feels a bit like a movie.

Anyway, I guess we've reached the end of week 1 in the studio. It has been awesome by the way. It's so great to just be able to spend every day in the studio making a record. On Tuesday it was all drum and bass. The tape machine was rolling - yeah we're recording to tape. There's something so cool about having to rewind the tape before a take. It sounds like a spaceship taking off through the monitors. The sound though is just incredible. I've never heard cymbals sound like this before. John was using cymbals from the 1920s as well which made for some awesome full bodied sounds. Recording digitally does something to the sound of cymbals so hearing them recorded to tape was something else.

We finished drum and bass on Tuesday so John's job was over in one day. I'm pretty sure he had a few beers that night.

The piano Andrew chose to use was a Grand Steinway more than 100 years old. It had to be tuned so we had Wednesday off. What I forgot to mention was that on Monday we went to take our rental car back only to discover that someone had keyed it. Unfortunately when we rented the car we got all confused about which level of insurance to take out and so we weren't covered. So we have to pay to fix it. Awesome hey! We're still waiting to get the bill for that so we can't really afford to get another car. In LA it's pretty much impossible to get around without one. The point being on Wednesday we did pretty much nothing.

On Thursday we got stuck into keyboards and guitars. And that's when I discovered the original Roland Space Echo. I nearly died. This piece of gear is really old and just awesome. It's a tape echo/reverb. I've heard about it before but never actually seen one in real life. I had a great time getting sounds out of that thing and it sounds amazing. The only bad thing was my guitar got knocked around a bit by the airline so I had to get the intonation looked at. Andrew tracked some good keyboard tracks though. Friday was much of the same except that before we started in the studio we took a trip to this discount warehouse supermarket sort of thing called Costco to pick up a harddrive. This place is kind of gross really. You have to buy in bulk and it has everything from flat screen TVs to deli foods. We did get some beer for really cheap though as well as the harddrive of course. We seem to be finding any sort of excuse to go for a ride in Kevin's car actually. And we have a rotation system for riding in the front seat. You see, the front seat has a built in massage feature and it also hugs you as you go around corners. No kidding, the seat moves so that you remain perfectly upright. It's cool. What was I saying. Oh yeah, on Friday we did more guitars and keyboards. Then we went home and watched the Lakers smash the Magic in the first game of the NBA finals. No actually that game was on Thursday. We must have just gone home and gone to bed on Friday. Boring. Talking about the Lakers game Kevin found us five floor seats for Sunday's game so we could all go. The only blocker to that idea was that the tickets were $32,433 each!! I'm not kidding. So we got out the credit card... kidding.

Saturday was a big day, the first day of vocals. Greg and I were pumped. I've mentioned it before but the microphone we're singing into is the one Michael Jackson recorded "Thriller" with. That's incredible!! If you glanced over that last sentence (well the one two sentences ago) I implore you to read it again such is the gravity of the subject. So we felt a sense of awesomeness standing in front of that thing. When vocals get added to a track the song really starts to come to life. We got the lead vocal for three tracks done on Saturday. And that was it for the first week of recording.

We're back in on Monday. We're doing four tracks all up for the record and so far we've only tackled three. Tomorrow we'll be starting on the fourth track. It's different to anything we've ever done before and we're not exactly sure what the end product is going to be like which is a few parts exciting and the rest a little scary. But I think it's a great song so whatever happens doesn't matter really.

It's actually 10pm on Sunday night now. I got a bit distracted from when I started writing this post.

And here's a couple of random things to finish. We've been in Hollywood for 10 days now and we haven't yet seen the Hollywood sign. I swear it's incredibly elusive, like it doesn't want to be seen. We spent the first three days driving around trying to see it without success. And then apparently we were in the right spot one time but it was at night and it's never lit up so that was no good. Kevin decided that to fix this problem he's going to take us hiking up the hill to the actual sign itself. Andrew reckons there's like motion detectors and stuff up there to prevent people doing that so we'll see how we go. I'll report back next time.

The other cool thing is that the new album by Phoenix is really really good. I was going to say it is 'awesome' but I just realised I may have overused that word in this post. You should definitely listen to it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In The Studio - Part 1

On Monday we headed into Fairfax Recordings in North Hollywood to meet our producer Kevin Augunas and see the studio. I might have mentioned already that Andrew had been spinning stories for the past couple of months that Kevin is a 6'5" psycho who was going to rip my head off if I made a mistake. So I was a little bit trepidatious about this first encounter. Monday revealed (as I had suspected) that Andrew is full of shit (I already kind of knew he was joking but you can never be sure you know). Kevin is a champion, but he is actually 6'5".

So we entered the studio and my head nearly exploded. I have never seen so much awesome, ridiculously vintage gear in all my life, let alone in one place. For starters, his mixing desk was specially built for Abbey Road Studios back in the '70s. Here's a blurb about it.

EMI Mixing Console TG 12345 Mark IV

The Fairfax mixing console is one of only two that were specially built for Abbey Road Studios, London. The console was the first of two delivered and was initially installed in Abbey Road Studio Three in December 1971. It remained in Studio Three for three years, after which it was removed and reinstalled in Studio One in November 1974. The console was used to record many famous records and film scores, one of the more notable being for the Pink Floyd film "The Wall". The console remained in studio one until December 1983.

And that is literally just the start. There's a whole bunch of really really old pianos, the youngest of which is 106 years old. My favourite thing though was his collection of vintage guitar amps, and after speaking with Kevin, the one I'll be using most is an old '51 Fender Twin. It was like being a little kid in a toy store. We've taken some awesome video footage of the place which we'll post somewhere when we get a chance. For now just trust me, this place is unbelievable.

So we spent Monday afternoon going through the demos we'd put together and talking about how we wanted to approach the record. We're recording everything to tape by the way which is a dream come true right there. Then John and Kevin spent hours sorting through his drum kits to find the right tone for our record. In the end they settled on a vintage Ludwig classic maple kit from the '60s. It was kind of freaky really. John recently acquired a new Ludwig classic maple kit in the same dimensions as this one. Only this one was more than 40 years old!!

I could go on and on about all the gear but I'll stop. But here's a pearler Kevin casually dropped. One of the vocal mics we'll be using was THE microphone that Michael Jackson used for all the songs on the Thriller album!! That's the highest selling album of all time by the King of Pop, MJ himself, and I'll be singing into it!

So that was day 1. Pretty casual but I'm not sure we actually could have performed anything after seeing all the gear. And we actually get to play all this stuff!

LA Land

We're in Los Angeles!! Hooray!! But I've been somewhat super lazy writing blogs recently so I'll do a really quick catchup on stuff we've been doing before getting to LA.

Last time I posted it was like a month ago. Around about that time it started to become pretty real that we were going to LA to produce a record. Before that it seemed a little far away and something that wasn't quite real. But when that four week period hit, for me anyway, the idea of doing a record in LA turned from nervous excitement to an increasing level of terror. The terror part mostly had to do with the fact that Andrew decided it would be fun to make up stories about our producer being a psycho (he's not by the way, the opposite in fact) which led me to have really weird dreams about my head being ripped off in the studio. But despite his best attempts to see me end myself I continued to write tunes for the new record. And we rehearsed a lot. Actually we rehearsed heaps. I guess we spent so much time rehearsing that we kind of forgot about all the other stuff that needed to be done before we left. You know, like visas and flights and insurance and accommodation and stuff like that.

The weekend before LA we had shows booked in Melbourne. Virgin Blue are awesome by the way. We had way too much baggage but they didn't really seem to care. On the way down they didn't charge us anything extra for our gear and we got given the emergency exit row as well. And on the way back, no charge once again and we got upgraded to premium economy. They're cool. We played a show at The Espy on the Friday night and then somewhere in Fitzroy on Saturday. Both were really cool shows. There's a lot more to say about Melbourne but that should have been done in a separate post and, well, I haven't done that have I?

Very shortly after that (very shortly as in like five days later) we found ourselves back at Brisbane Airport, but Brisbane International this time. No one had really slept because the night before we decided we'd run out of money and couldn't really afford to stay in our rehearsal room while we were away and not using it. So we spent a stack of time packing our room up. It was somewhat of a nostalgic moment really. We'd spent quite a while at that studio and there's some serious history there. Anyway, after our recent awesome experiences with Virgin Blue we thought V Australia would be just as awesome when it came to excess baggage. Wrong! The girl on the counter was really nice and I swear she was going to let us through for free but she had to check with her supervisor and her supervisor was hating life that Friday morning. So we got burned with baggage charges. So we started budgeting and realised we had to cut down to two meals a day for a while.

I love planes and airports. Some people are just weird at airports though. And weird was out in force. You know how swine flu hit and everyone freaked out but then it turned out it wasn't really that bad and while heaps of people were getting it it wasn't actually much worse than normal flu. Well some people forgot that last part and were wearing those masks that make it look like the end of the world is nigh. I think we got them on film. The flight was good though. Except that Greg had two kids behind him who decided it would be fun to kick his chair all the time and hit him in the face with socks. Yeah socks!! And then we were in LA.

I'm not sure whether it's just me but I expected California this time of year to be sunny and, you know, summer-like. We stepped out of the plane to weather that was pretty much identical to what we'd left in Brisbane in winter. Turns out we were experiencing what was known as "May Grey" which moved into something else called "June Gloom". And apparently summer doesn't actually start until June 21 which is pretty much when we leave. Anyway, I won't complain. Los Angeles is somewhat of an epic city. It's huge!! But the time difference is shit. We left Brisbane at 11am on Friday and after a 12 hour flight arrived in LA at 7am on Friday. Go figure. We then spent the rest of the day trying to stay awake in order to avoid jetlag which involved drinking about 6 coffees and going to meetings where people would ask "Are you guys alright?" Everything seemed to get a little delirious at some point there but we finally arrived at our accommodation at about 6pm. Get this, our landlady is an Aussie, her husband is a Brit and they're both paparazzi photographers!! How good is that! So we had some beers with them and then decided to go to sleep but realised we'd moved out of the ridiculously tired stage to the "way too tired to go to sleep" stage. So no one slept. But then at 10am the next morning we got tired and accidentally fell asleep, woke up at 4pm and realised our plans to avoid jetlag were officially screwed. We explored LA a bit for the next couple of days. Well I'm using the word "day" a bit loosely here. It was more like evening by the time we woke up.

And then it was time to meet our producer and go into the studio.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

iPhone Revelation

Now I know you might read the title of this post and go, "Really, you have to post about an iPhone? Like that hasn't been done before." Fair enough point. But be assured I'm merely writing about how it's changed the process of writing a song. Well, at least, how it's made it easier. Well maybe not easier but more convenient.

You see in the past if I happened to be roaming around the place, as one often does, if I suddenly had a great song idea (well at least I might think it was great at the time) depending on where I was there often wasn't a lot I could do in order to make sure I somehow recorded the idea before it ran away to never be seen again. I'll point out at this point that my memory is so bad that, for example, in the time it takes me to walk from the upstairs level of my house to the downstairs level, I will often have forgotten why I needed to go downstairs in the first place. I'll then walk upstairs again. I might then be prompted to remember the reason I went downstairs and so begin the descent again only to get down there and realise I've once again completely forgotten why I was down there. I would then go upstairs again and be prompted to remember the reason I went downstairs in the first place and so then head downstairs again. Chances are I would have forgotten again... Look I'll stop but you get the idea. I've wasted a lot of time going up and down the stairs in my house. Now I've forgotten what I was talking about. Oh yeah, so when I would get a song idea when I wasn't near a guitar or tape recorder (yeah they still exist) I had a couple of options:

(1) The repeat technique. This technique would involve me singing the melodic idea relentlessly until I was able to pick up a guitar and had access to a tape recorder. As you can probably imagine this technique has serious inherent flaws right from the get go. I'll point out a couple. (a) It's not uncommon for an idea to happen when you're around other people, and when you start singing suddenly in public people think you're weird. (b) Oftentimes an idea can happen when you're a significant distance away from a guitar and tape recorder. In this situation it becomes difficult to repeat a 20 sec melody for more than 30 minutes. (c) Any melodic interference from other sources (eg radio) will flummox this technique as confusion can ensue and suddenly you find yourself singing a weird combination of your idea and the song you just heard. (d) Even if you successfully manage to sing the melodic idea repeatedly for the time required to reach a tape recorder, 9 out of 10 times the idea will be crap and you can end up hating yourself for wasting 45 minutes singing a crap tune.

(2) The voicemail technique. This technique would involve me calling my own phone number and leaving a message. Once again, serious flaws. (a) People think you're weird singing a random tune into a phone. They think you're more weird when you try to explain that you're not singing to anyone you're just leaving yourself a voicemail. (b) Voicemail sound quality isn't exactly awesome. Most times you'll listen back and be unable to decipher anything. (c) Calling your voicemail 30 times to get the gist of a song is f*#king expensive!!

That's just for melodic ideas. When I had ideas for lyrics in the past I would find that I always seemed to be without an easy way to write them down. By the amount of stuff you see written on the doors of public toilets you wouldn't be stupid to think that everyone seems to carry around pens. Well that's everyone except me! I never have a pen when I need one. Well, almost never. And then you need paper, or at least something to write on. An arm does work but it becomes awkward when the second verse finishes behind your tricep. You also have the cliched napkin option but I always leave them in my pockets and they go through the wash and that's your lyrics gone right there as well as a whole washing load full of napkin pieces.

This all seems very dramatic doesn't it? I suppose what I'm trying to say is that when you get an idea for a song you're rarely in the appropriate situation and surrounds to quickly get that idea written down, recorded and remembered. That used to be the case anyway.

Enter the iPhone. I downloaded a free application where you can record in high quality .aiff format with the built in microphone or an external one. Press one button and you're away. You can then transfer all the recorded files to your computer quickly and easily. The sound is surprisingly good using just the built in microphone. I'm never going to forget a melodic idea again. Then there's the notes application. When lyrics come to mind it's as easy as typing it out in the notes section. Hit save and that's it. Never forget a lyric again. I suppose these things by themselves don't seem that extraordinary. It's extraordinary because all this stuff is built into my phone. And my phone is one of 3 things (the other two are my wallet and keys) that I never leave the house without.

Remembering a song has never been easier. And for me that's a big plus. Sure you don't have the nostalgia of a little tape recorder and hundreds of napkins with words written on the back. But I've been there and done that. Time to move on.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Just Want More Time

Does anyone else ever wish they had more time to do things? By the way that was a rhetorical question. Everyone I know wishes they had more time.

Anyway I do. Today I've been trying to do a million things and yet I feel like I've done nothing. I know your probable retort to that would be "Just concentrate on one thing at a time". Ah of course, focus. And yeah I agree that's probably a good idea but all this logic seems to fall over when I'm trying to write songs.

You see for most tasks you can set a goal to be achieved, allot a specific amount of time to achieve it and then get it done, tick the box and move on. I don't know whether I'm a useless songwriter or whatever but setting goals and time constraints doesn't work. So you can't just say, "Right, let's bust out a song in the next 2 hours and then move on to the 36 emails I need to respond to".

I guess what I'm saying is that 1 of 2 things would be awesome: a slowing down of the space time continnuum; or someone who can do all that other shit for me. Actually there's a third: both. Wait maybe a fourth: songs that write themselves. No that last one was stupid - that's the best part. Let's leave it at option 3 and be done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Andrew Back On Home Soil

A little while ago if you remember we sent Andrew off to the US of A to fly The Quills flag, so to speak, over there. Well he's been and this week he touched back down on home turf. Apparently he was gone for like 4 weeks but it didn't feel like it. And on that point I can't believe Easter's here already and nearly gone as well!

In typical loose Andrew fashion he didn't book any accommodation before he left and for that matter didn't book any accommodation while he was there. Instead he spent the best part of 4 weeks sleeping on one person's floor and then another person's couch and then on a patch of carpet in someone's home studio between an amp and a drum kit. It worked out well for him (and us I guess) because along the way he met some very cool people. I believe that as I write this he's having a chat with John about everything he managed to do over there. I'm pretty blurry on details but when I get given some information about our plans for the next six months I will gladly share. One thing that's for sure though is that we'll be producing a new record inside the next few months. How good!!

If he's over being jet lagged he might annotate this blog with some more details. But he might not so don't hold your breath.

Meanwhile back in Oz I was continuing the search for a good melody, and decided to take a different approach for a while. Last time it was about sounds, and before that I was arranging a little more during the writing process. For the last little while I've been pretty much opting to go as basic as possible - acoustic guitar, voice, MacBook built in microphone. When there's nothing other than a chord progression and melody you have to work hard to make that melody count. But what you realise is that there's a lot more built into such a simple arrangement than you might think. Chord progressions by themselves have so much natural rhythm and sometimes it's that rhythm that really makes the song. So my focus turned to rhythm and time signatures. I experimented with a few different time signatures but I'm not sure how they'll come out in the wash. 3/4 can be cool but at the same time it can be really boring. You have to be careful. So we'll see whether any of those experiments make it to the finish line.

On an unrelated note I spoiled myself to a few gig outings over the past couple of weeks. Click here to read about them. Sometimes there's nothing better than hearing a band you really like playing a really awesome set. And it does wonders for motivation.

Hope you had a great Easter!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sound Searching

Last week I blogged about having a bit of a block. Not anything massive but rather just a week of nothing to get excited about. And getting excited about songs is the best bit. So last week, not so cool.

I've come to learn that when things aren't working you need to change it up. It's a little bit strange like that actually. It's impossible to just sit down and say to yourself, "Look, it's time to write a song, get going." Those songs never seem to be awesome. When you force yourself like that it's kind of like preparing to write not a bad song. It might be alright but it's not going to have anything particularly special. At the same time though you can't just hang out waiting for a melody to drop miraculously into your brain. So you need to be writing for something to happen but you can't force it either. Slight dilemma. And I guess that's where the most frustrating part of all this comes into play - you might spend days and days, possibly weeks and months writing with nothing to show for it and then suddenly you can have a song completed within five minutes. And sometimes not just one song but a few, all in a really short period.

So back to what I was saying: when things don't work, change. Instead of trying to write songs I turned my attention to guitar sounds. Now obviously "the song" is important. And by important I mean the most important. But next is sounds. As a guitar player one of the most enjoyable parts is discovering sounds and finding your own sounds. When playing acoustic guitar, for me anyway, it's about having a pure, resonant tone and sticking with it. In that way it's all about the guitar and nothing else. But when it comes to electric it's a completely different game altogether. Everything counts, from the guitar itself and the wood it's made of to the pickups, the setup, the cables, your in line effects and your amp. Everything matters and makes a difference to the tone. I swear you could spend a lifetime exploring sonic possibilities on guitar alone. Something that's been exciting me recently in this arena is exploring guitar sounds in STEREO. Now to achieve that you obviously need two guitar amps, something I don't have. But because I've been working in headphones of late I've been able to achieve the stereo effect. And wow! I've decided that I need that second amp.

Imagine a simple clean guitar tone. Nothing fancy, possibly a little bit of reverb on it. Now comes the stereo part. You split your signal to two amps. Still nothing fancy, the second amp might have a slightly different EQ and a little bit of grit on it. When you pan the two slightly left and right it's suddenly like a whole new dimension has just opened up. And that's just with a straight tone. Now the coolest bits are when you start working with delay. One channel plays home to your direct signal, no effect, just the straight sound like before. But your second amp is where the wet signal comes in. So in your left channel say is your direct guitar sound and in the right is the delayed signal. When it's put together it's incredible. There's enormous clarity but you still have the delay trails decaying in your right channel. And you can get crazy when you start putting a short delay in one channel and a long delay in the other. I can't explain it properly in text but the result is you have a whole new platform of sound to work with.

When I first considered changing my rig to stereo I didn't fully understand just how awesome it would be. The only problem now is I've had a taste and I need to make it happen. Which means saving some dollars for a second amp - not the cheapest things going around.

For our next record sometime this year I'm going to make the stereo thing happen. And then you can believe my ravings when you hear it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Week 6: I Think It's Called Hitting A Wall

This past week a few things happened: Andrew flew off to the USA to swan around at SXSW, John discovered that his new drumkit, affectionately known as "Esther", has arrived in the country, and I hit a proverbial wall creatively. About the last one in that list - it was bound to happen at some stage, surely. Yes, unfortunately this week I pretty much managed to achieve nothing. You know how originally the plan was to cut myself off from the world and go into 'solitude'? Well that worked for a bit but this week it started to go against me. I think that as a person you can only take so much time without contact with other people. But that seems well timed considering I am back in Brisbane as of the other day. I'm spending a few days not writing to get my breath back so to speak but tomorrow I'll set up my songwriting station and get back into it. I'll take some pictures etc of the new surroundings for next post.

I think every songwriter (and I'm generalising here without any possible way of knowing for sure) probably has moments where they just can't write anything good no matter how hard they try. That's what's happened to me this week. It's an interesting feeling. It's particularly interesting when in weeks previous you've been quite productive. So in stages such as these you know you're not completely useless but at the same time you have no guarantee that you'll be able to write something good ever again. To make myself feel better I like to think of things such as these in statistical terms. Statistically speaking, 99% of songs written are going to be either really bad, bad, sort of bad, mediocre, alright, and kind of good. That leaves 0.9% for songs that are good and 0.1% for songs that are great. When having a dry spell in songwriting the way I see it is that I'm just churning through the 99% really quickly and therefore paving the way for 0.1% of greatness to happen. Feel free to disagree, but that's how I sleep at night.

Anyway, it's St. Patrick's day so for all you pale skinned Irish heritaged people out there, like myself, have a great celebration. I for one am off to drink beers and hopefully do or witness something awesome and worthy of a song.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Week 5: Demoing

When putting a record together there's a whole bunch of steps that need to happen before the final thing is ready to go. These are roughly what the steps are (some people would say there are more, others less, but let's go with these for now)

1. Write
2. Rehearse
3. Demo
4. Record
5. Mix
6. Master

Over the last few weeks we've been writing songs and then for the last week and a bit we've been rehearsing them. At the end of last week we hit step 3, the demoing process. Before you get all serious with production you have to sound out the songs and how they translate to record. So for a day and a half we did a whirlwind trip into the studio to record demos of two new songs, "The Rafters" and "Comets".

I think it's probably the quickest we've ever recorded anything. From drums right through to vocals we wouldn't have tracked for more than 6 hours. Even at the demo stage you still need to mix and it turned out to be quite frustrating. When you're in the studio you're listening to the tracks with some pretty awesome monitor speakers. So when you make changes to the mix it's sometimes hard to know exactly how they're going to sound on your everyday stereo or in headphones. So you come out of the studio and listen to the tracks on as many different sets of speakers as you can. Then you go back in and make changes. The problem is this process can take ages and well, for a demo, you just don't have the time. That means unfortunately that the mix is never perfect for demos but if you're listening to the new tracks I hope you can appreciate the songs over the mix.

Anyway the two tracks were completed just in time for Andrew to head over to the States today for SXSW and also a whole bunch of meetings in LA and New York.

We also want everyone to be able to hear what our new stuff sounds like so you can listen online to the new songs now at myspace or

Now that Andrew's gone overseas with the new demo in his hands it's back to step 1 for the rest of us: writing. And that means I'm reverting back to being a songwriting recluse. I'll keep you updated on how the songs are coming along.

Oh, by the way. I know some people really like to know the lyrics of songs. So here they are, "The Rafters" and "Comets".

- - - - -

The Rafters

Running scared between the rafters of your conscience
Everyone just seems to stare
The wooden hands of eerie silence down upon us
A desperate plan to cut the air and run

Suddenly you feel it rising, a heat like needles
Crawling fast beneath your skin
Those lonely birds of fear and hope not quite forgotten
Coming home to roost again today

You tell yourself you'll face it in the morning
Now is just not the right time
But how many hours must this endure
Instead find the fight still trapped inside

- - - - -


I've discovered things since we've been talking
But they're hard to prove
Spies have crept inside here without warning
So I need to tell you

Let's live like comets

Lights atop those buildings means they're stalking
After our escape
The line of turning back has now been blocked
It's beyond our reach

So let's live like comets

Lies that maybe you should know
Are floating out of reach
And signs that happened years ago
Are pointing us to here
Instead of wanting home
We should be letting go

So let's live like comets

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Songwriting: Week 4

I've ditched the 'solitude' part of these posts. Sometimes things don't work out that way. This week was more about gigging than writing. Actually not entirely true. For whatever reason I've been going from Wednesday to Wednesday not Monday to Monday or whatever. So... half of this week was about gigging and half was about writing. So let's start with the first half.

We had a couple of big gigs on the weekend, one at the coast and one in Brisbane. Both were with a very cool band from Melbourne (or as they put it "Melbourne via Perth" - I think that's what they said) called The Violet Flames. Check them out here. Go do it, seriously. Come on, it's free. We'll be playing shows with them down in Melbourne in May (whoops, that's not announced yet). Here's a photo from the coast show (if you click on it it gets bigger). The show went very well and actually sold out.

Andrew and I ended up staying down the coast and went water skiing the next day with one of Andrew's good mates. I hadn't been skiing for a while but managed to get up on the ski first attempt (Andrew took two). We had a grand old time but skiing is really tough on the legs and we both bailed in spectacular fashion (meaning we were buggered, our legs buckled beneath us and we got smashed into the water). Anyway, that was fun but next came one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Are any of you familiar with wakesurfing? Essentially, it's surfing behind the wake boat, and if you're good at it, like Andrew's mate, it's surfing behind the boat, which is moving at pace, without a rope. It sounds impossible but I kid you not it happened. There were jetski riders who nearly crashed into a jetty because they were looking across at us while this was going on. Now I don't have a video of us in particular but here's a video I found of wakesurfing. If you still don't believe me check this out. Just substitute the German dude for our friend and you should have a pretty good idea of how incredibly awesome this was to watch.

Crazy times but very cool. Next came the Brisbane show at the Globe. Thanks to everyone who made it along. You were awesome. Some of the best singing I've heard in a very long time. We played a couple of new tracks which were a little rusty (I forgot some lyrics) but hey they were only written the week before so go easy. That was our last show before Andrew heads to the US of A. Death Cab were playing that night as well at The Tivoli which would have been awesome to see. It sucks when gigs clash. Andrew got excited and bought himself a ticket to Death Cab before being reminded by yours truly that we were playing a show ourselves. He had to sell his ticket. Unlucky Andrew. End section on gigging.

So I headed back down the coast to continue writing. By this stage I had become very accustomed to the drive back and forth, and contrary to my previous post, I can understand how people can commute, though not at peak hour, that's just silly. In the couple of days I had down there before I was summoned back to Brisbane, I got another song together called

Should Have Gone To Bed Early

I also discovered an unprotected wireless internet network which was awesome. I don't understand why people don't put passwords on their networks.

Which leads me to now. I'm back in Brisbane, again, because we're about to record a new demo for Andrew to take overseas. It'll be done very soon and we might let you hear it on myspace. But if for whatever reason that doesn't happen please don't get angry.

And now for something random to finish. I was reminded recently of one of the best inspirational psyche up speeches I have ever seen. I won't embed it in this post but see the link below. As someone in the comments section points out:

According to my count, he says f@#k or its derivative 28 times in the space of 80 seconds.
He only says [word I won't even write with @# in the middle] 4 times.

So be warned it's a bit rough but soo soo funny. I have it as an mp3 on my ipod and use it for extra motivation before going on stage.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Songwriting Solitude: Week 3

For the sake of consistency I'm keeping the title but this week it's completely erroneous. I've been back in Brisbane this week. Not by choice, but because we've had gigs which require rehearsal. I suppose the cool thing about that is we're rehearsing songs that I've only just written in the previous two weeks which is sweet. But I wasn't going to commute everyday. Seriously, I don't know how people do it. I had to come up one day to be in brisbane at 9. I left the coast before 7 and I didn't get into town until after 930. That's two and a half hours!! Can you imagine doing that everyday? I can't. Anyway, beside the point.

We're premiering a couple of the new tracks at our shows this weekend ("Comets" and "Between The Rafters" to be precise) and so after having written music for a while it was down to lyric writing this week.

Sometimes people seem to underrate lyric writing. I'm not exactly sure why. I guess it's because people assume that the "hook" in a song is what makes it successful. I would say that's not 100% correct. Lyrics are 50% of a song. If you were to delve into the copyright records of songs you'd see that the ownership is taken up by an "Author" and a "Composer" and sometimes an "Arranger" but that third one's not important right now. Just imagine your favourite song. Now imagine swapping out the lyrics for prose from the book you're reading right now. See how much you like the song after you do that. My point is, whether you might see it or not, lyrics are really important. And if you're reading this going "duh" then cool, but you'd be surprised how many people say something like, "I mean, how hard can it be to write lyrics".

So that's what I've been doing, writing lyrics. Sometimes I wish that songs could have a whole bunch of lyrics, because it might take the pressure off getting every word right. When you've only got 12 lines to work with in an entire song you really have to make every one count. There can't be any throwaways.

A question to finish this one. If for some reason you were only able to write one song in your whole life, what would you write it about? Let me know.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm not absolutely certain whether this warrants a blog. I mean at what point do you stop counting. But anyway, sometime early this morning we hit 100,000 plays on myspace. Thank you to everyone for listening!! Hopefully you're not too sick of the songs by now. We can promise that sometime this year we will have a new record out and you can listen to new songs to your heart's content.

But back to the 100,000 thing. I was up kind of late last night sending emails when I noticed that we were on something like 99,942 plays or something. I immediately realised this as one of those moments exactly like when your car's odometer is about to tick over to a cool number of kilometres - you know it's about to happen but you have almost no chance of witnessing it. Late last year my car hit 200,000 and despite the fact that I was in heavy heavy traffic crawling along the M1 I somehow managed to look down at 200,002. I was somewhat devastated. The same thing happened last night. So close to the 100,000 mark but unless I was prepared to stay up all night refreshing our myspace page I was going to miss it. Read, it was not something I was prepared to stay up all night for.

Thank you again. I'll blog again at some other milestone. I'm not sure when that should or will be. Maybe everytime a zero gets added. So that would be 1,000,000.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Songwriting Solitude: Week 2

Ironically I am actually writing this while in Brisbane. I'm back in town for a gig and we have a couple of rehearsals scheduled as well.

Anyway, I've hit week two of my songwriting sojourn and, to be honest, not all that much has changed. But in saying that, considering I'm doing nothing other than writing songs that surely isn't much of a surprise.

In order to post the previous blog as well as receive emails etc, instead of trekking outside into the world and going to an internet cafe, I decided to buy some "hotspot" wireless. A couple of things about it: (1) it's ridiculously expensive; (2) incredibly unreliable - it just decides sometimes it wants to drop out; (3) really really slow - and considering that it's really expensive and pay by the hour its slowness is even more frustrating; (4) refuses to upload anything - one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to get internet was so that I could send some demo mp3s to my bandmates to have a listen to, so by not being able to upload attachments that essentially ruins that plan. In short, my whole internet experience while being away has been quite traumatic (I've found that everything seems takes on a heightened sense of drama when you're by yourself for any extended period of time).

The other frustrating (but not entirely surprising) thing that occurred this week was that John literally would not answer his phone nor return any phonecalls for the entire week. Now I'll qualify this by explaining that when calling John you probably have a 1 in 28 chance of him answering (that being arrived at by the estimation that if you were to call him everyday for a month he would answer once). This probability is significantly increased if (a) he just sent you a text message; or (b) you're calling him back, but even then your odds aren't looking good. He would probably argue that the odds are significantly decreased if (a) "you're Butler" (in other words you're me); or (b) he left his phone somewhere (which is a frequent occurrence). The only problem with this is that usually I can email but considering my lack of internet this week my only way of obtaining information was via the phone.

Okay enough about that.

I've been slightly less productive this week but by the time I posted the blog last week it'd been slightly more than a week so one of those songs should probably be filed under "week 2" but that's splitting hairs. Anyway, I've written one more and the name of it is:


And, while it's almost impossible to tell, particularly considering I just wrote it, it might be my favourite new song so far.

As promised, now that I can upload, here's the video and photos I was going to post last time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Songwriting Solitude: Week 1

Okay so I've finished my first week and so far so good. I'm located at Main Beach, Gold Coast, on the fifth floor of a building and it's a very conducive environment to creating music. And despite somehow managing to make the sliding door fall out onto the front balcony on the first day (which required me to search for a tradesman downstairs to help me put it back in), I've settled in well. I also went to drive to the shops the other day and found my car had a flat tyre. I'm not sure how that happened considering I pretty much don't use the car. I haven't put the spare on yet, I'm pretty lazy. The only problem with not going to the shops that night was that I ended up cooking a stir fry without any sauce. Healthy yeah, but it didn't taste extraordinarily awesome. Apart from that I haven't broken anything else so far so I guess I'm not doing too badly.

These are the names of the songs so far:

Between The Rafters
Dirty Glass
Off The Ground

Having a whole block of time dedicated to doing nothing else other than writing songs really changes the approach to writing. It allows a whole lot more freedom in writing because I've got so much more time than I have ever had previously. That means I can make more mistakes, and I don't have to worry about a song being good enough or not because I can just write another one the next day. So I'm experimenting a lot more and really working on evolving our sound. I hope to have over 20 songs written by the time I have to go back. But that's being ambitious and it might just not happen.

The plan is to have enough songs for a new record later this year so if I leave with just enough for that I'll be happy enough.

I've attached a video with a bit of a tour of the place and a couple of photos of my recording setup. And that's pretty much it for now. I'll update again in about a week.

Okay so I had a brilliant video and some unreal photos to upload but my internet connection is too crap so it'll have to be another time.

Monday, February 2, 2009


It seems some people have heard of Twitter and others haven't. Anyway we're on Twitter and you can find us at

For the uninitiated Twitter is essentially a way to tell everyone what you're doing at any point in time. For example, I just "tweeted" that I'm Getting ready to go into songwriting hibernation for two and a half months. That's what Twitter's about. Initially when I heard about it first I wasn't convinced that it was anything worthwhile. But I've just started really getting into the whole thing and it's really quite cool.

If it sounds like you jump on and say hey.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dave Goes AWOL

On Monday I'm isolating myself away for two and a half months to write new songs for our next record. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to be for the whole time but I'm starting at the coast and I'll drift to wherever I can find inspiration. I haven't got a whole lot of money though but that's where the magic that is Mi goreng comes into play. Apparently it's not the most nutritious food going around but it's definitely awesome and it's awesomely cheap.

This will be the first time where I've devoted a large block of time to doing nothing but writing. In the past songwriting has been fit around everything else. So I'm intensely looking forward to it. In the spirit of being technologically cool I'll be demoing tracks constantly and emailing mp3s to the rest of the band. So for isolationist purists I must admit that I'm not actually taking the isolation thing to the nth degree. I read somewhere that Bon Iver actually did hide away in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for three months to write AND record his debut last year. While my hiatus from the real world probably won't involve hunting deer I hope I will get a substantial number of songs written. "Substantial" will be defined at a later date.

If you know of any really cool new (or so old it's new) music that you think may help my creative spirit, please let me know. I'm looking for anything and everything to fuel it.

Like I said I'm not heading into the wild (at least not at this point anyway) so I'll blog about my adventures as I go and when I can.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Woodford Folk Festival 0809

When we got the call up to return to Woodford again we were v excited (it's really difficult to express excitement in plain text so take my word for it). If you've been to Woodford before you'll understand why and if you haven't I'll try to explain. The festival goes for a whole week between 27 December and 1 January. It's bigger than you can probably imagine. For starters there's over 10 stages including the Amphi which I think is one of the coolest venues... period. The Amphi is a massive natural amphitheatre (hence the name) that can hold about 25,000 people. It's surrounded by trees which are lit up at night and the PA in that place has enough power to make you feel the bass even when you're standing right at the top. It's amazing! But the music's only a small bit of what the whole festival's about. If you go for the whole week it literally is an eclectic cultural immersion. And it has the best festival atmosphere I've ever experienced.

John has blogged about Woodford at his own blog so if you want to read more check out his post as well. I won't repeat the stuff he said so seriously have a read of his as well.

Anyway, we arrived on Boxing Day and after setting our campsite up we got a small legion of people together to post hundreds of posters around the festival grounds. After about four hours of walking around we were reminded of how incredibly huge the grounds are and we still hadn't made it everywhere. So we gave up and decided to give the rest of the posters away. Soft option I know but hey we were tired.

After annoying our neighbours by being too loud all night we were greeted in the morning by 40 degree heat which would continue for the whole festival. When you're camping and it's that hot, when it hits 7am it is absolutely impossible to remain asleep. And it's kind of disgusting to wake up covered in sweat. But it does beat torrential rain for a whole week so I won't complain too much. That said everyone couldn't help but say, "F*&k it's hot!!!!" whenever there wasn't anything else to say.

We had our first show that day. I'll point out right now that when we were planning our wardrobe for the festival back in Brisbane we didn't count on 40 degree heat. We found out pretty quickly that black jeans and long shirts suck!! The crowds at Woodford were amazing though and while they may have sometimes looked a little dazed from heat stroke they were as enthusiastic as ever. A lot of people even still found the temerity to dance. I don't know how.

We played four shows all up on the main stages including an acoustic set. I love playing acoustic sets. We don't do it that often and there's something incredibly liberating about not really knowing the setlist or how each song is going to play out. We also played four shows on the Mystery Bus which is the coolest thing ever. Read about it here.

Our last show was on New Years' Day at midday. This is the last time I'll complain about the heat I promise. I swear 1 January was the hottest day of the whole festival and we went on stage at 1230pm. By this stage we'd done our best to adapt to the heat and I'd trimmed down my stage gear to a T-shirt and jeans. It seriously didn't make a difference. We played for 50 minutes and I swear if we'd played another song I would have struck the last chord, passed out and knocked my head on the drum raiser. It would have been very rock star but at the same time not cool at all. Imagine wearing jeans and walking into the surf. That's what it felt like. It wasn't sweat anymore, it was just salt water. Once again though, the crowd was unreal and despite the setting in of delirium mid-set, I think it was the most fun of the whole fest.

I was going to try and capture a whole bunch of highlights of the festival in this blog but the task is somewhat beyond me - there's just too much to write about. So here's a bullet point list of some very cool things that went down over the week. To find out more come to the festival this year, I promise you won't not enjoy it.

- Slow motion replays and "hot spot" technology at the Woodford cricket game on the Village Green. It was the Woodford Eleven versus The Herd (who literally have enough people in their band to field a full cricket team).

- Lior playing on the Mystery Bus.

- Barramundi burgers at Common Ground (which is kind of a scary place to eat at but the burgers are awesome, and they make really weird energy drinks).

- The Fire Ceremony on the last night. There was this massive windmill set up which eventually lit on fire and had fireworks spray from it but before that there was one guy whose job it was to stand there and spin the windmill around. This windmill was massive and I timed it, he stood there and spun this thing around for 48 minutes nonstop. I seriously don't know how he did it. Props to him.

- $20 massage at The Road To Shangri-La. One of the benefits (perhaps the best) of performing was that we could get massages for just $20.

- Pancakes at 3am from the only store left open at that time. Those pancakes were unbelievable. I had more for breakfast at 8. I don't think the guy at that stall ever went to sleep.

- Frightened Rabbit performing at the Amphi when it started bucketing with rain. You know you're a cool band when people in the crowd hang around going crazy even when the power goes out and a mild cyclone hits (P.S. rain jackets do f#@k all when it's raining that heavily).

- Chocolate filled doughnut from Bryon Bay Organic Doughnuts. I bought one of these before walking up to amphi despite suspecting it may clog my arteries. Sure enough, halfway (sorry, a quarter of the way) there my breathing became laboured and I had to stop eating it. I vowed not to purchase another chocolate filled doughnut. I did however purchase many of the original cinnamon doughnuts. In short, best doughnuts ever!

- Having a shower with moderate to high level water pressure. I don't know how I managed it, but pretty much every time I went to have a shower there was no water pressure. No one else seemed to have this difficulty. So one time when there was more than three drops of water per second coming from the showerhead, it was akin to the best shower I'd ever had.

- Seeing someone wearing one of our T-shirts.

I could go on and on and on and on and on with many more obscure highlights but I'm done for now. If you've read this entire post and you're still not convinced about attending this year please email me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year/2008 Wrap Up

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!! I hope 2009 brings a whole bunch of good things your way. Second, strap yourself in for a decent read because I'm about to post twice.

Two thousand and eight finished before we knew it. We were pretty busy. In between playing a whole bunch of shows we were putting
together a live CD/DVD which we put out at the start of December. It's got tracks on there from our first EP as well as new songs we've been playing live. Check out some cuts on YouTube and Myspace and hopefully you'll like it.

The end of last year was also the time for a lot of behind the scenes work that you won't see for a while; like writing, planning 2009 and generally changing things up. When we hit the stage again in '09 we'll be sounding different. Not ridiculously different but different in a really good way. There will also be the introduction of a stupidly good drum kit. Check out John's post about it, he's obsessed.

So what to expect this year? We'll be touring a lot. Around Australia and we'll probably be making a trip overseas as well. We'll also definitely be heading into the studio to record new tracks. So if you're tired of us only having four tracks on record then 2009 is going to change that.

Apart from all that the main point of this post is to say a massive thank you to YOU!! Thank you so much for being a part of our music in 2008. We love making music but it loses its meaning without people to play it to.
This coming year we hope we can write new songs that you can get excited about and we hope we can put on shows that are better than ever before. We'll see you soon.