Studio Stuff




New Cloudkicker in 2012 is very likely according to the man himself, keeping the one-man project on its reliable one-release-per-year schedule. Here’s a post from Cloudkicker’s (aka Ben Sharp) Tumblr, via Heavy Blog:

I’ve gotten some emails from people asking about what’s been going on on my end (also if I’m still breathing), so here’s a little what’s what concerning what my plans are at the moment.

I’m done writing the new release, but I’m doing things differently this time. Since my schedule has been a bit busier this year I just haven’t had the time to sit down at 9 am and get up at 8 pm, starving and dehydrated but finished with an entire song. I’ve been writing in bits and pieces, not worrying about whether it’s perfect or about anything other than song structure. I finished the actual writing process about three weeks ago and in my spare time I’m listening to everything over and over again, taking notes and thinking about how everything should fit together.

I’ve even been jamming things out with my drummer BFF, recording those sessions and using them as reference for programming the drums. After that I re-record all the guitars, trying to get them as close to awesome as possible without using any computer trickery. I’m really trying to take my time and make sure that the final product is as good as I can make it.

If I had to sum up what things sound like I would use the words GUITARS and LOUD. Hell of a lot of guitars on this album. Like 6 tracks of lead guitars. If you read about how Butch Vig recorded Siamese Dream I’m basically trying to copy that—which should tell you something else about how it will sound. I’m using almost no reverb or compression. Oh and LOUD. It’s probably the loudest album yet which is ironic because it’s also the quietest. For you audio nerds, the quiet parts are around -10dB and the loud parts top out at ~-1dB. All that means is that it’s fairly dynamic and I’m not trying to squeeze everything as far as it will go. My goal is that when you TURN IT UP it will sound like you’re listening to a band play awesome music in an awesome space—not listening to a guy punch in and out until everything is perfect and the waveform looks like a brick. Personal preference.

There are seven tracks, it will probably be about 40-45 minutes. The longest track is 10 minutes long. I’m using a Telecaster and a Jazz Bass in standard tuning (except drop D). As I mentioned previously, you will definitely hear the Siamese Dream/You’d Prefer an Astronaut influence. But it’s also definitely post-Beacons Cloudkicker. There’s no china cymbal at all or passages that require a calculator and an excel spreadsheet (yes I’ve done that), but you can count the 4/4 parts on one hand. You might not even notice the odd timing parts, but they’re there. And in the midst of all the mid-90s arena-shoegaze will also be wacky influences like Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Hans Zimmer and Battles.

When? Right now I’m aiming for late September/early October. It will probably be before that but I don’t want to rush anything.

Thanks for all the emails and for constantly reminding me why this is so much fun. I’m not trying to be weird and withhold anything like I’m some kind of big deal, I just really want you to get it all at once—I think it will be more fun that way.

Pretty exciting news. Cloudkicker hasn’t let us down, and I expect this next release will be no different; I like that he’s pushing on and progressing as an artist instead of being content to write Beacons II.


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