This weekend was spent in the studio at the University of Newcastle with the rest of the Get Frank guys recording our debut EP Awake, Not Drifiting.
I realised after looking at the track listing that three out of the four tracks are connected to the theme of ‘bed’ so it seemed apt to name the EP after the line ‘When I’m awake/Not Drifting’ from one of our quirkier numbers, Next Door.
Here’s a short ‘behind the scenes’ video of us in the studio. It was shot on my Kodak Zi8 and my new Casio Exilim camera (final shot only). You can occasionally hear my voice, but I’m the one behind the camera.
We recorded the EP live with me singing guide vocals behind the screen in the control room. I then rerecorded the vocals the next day. The trickiest track was Next Door as it features a variety of tempo changes – unlike the rest of the band however, most of the vocals used in the final mix were done in one take (which can’t be said for the other tracks!) We only used a click track to record ‘1 minute 20 second wonder’ It’s Not You.
We haven’t got an order yet but the EP will feature.
1. It’s Not You
3. Next Door
I think one of the biggest surprises about working with the new lineup is that Vacant (formerly known as Untitled), which was the first song I wrote as ‘Get Frank’ back in Summer 2008, has become a firm favourite to play with the band. Having a real piano (and an expert musician in Neil Andrew Smith on keys) makes a real difference to the sound. Neil and Todd Green (guitar) both have solos at the end of the track and they both sound gorgeous.
There have been multiple incarnations and lineup changes of Get Frank (I still feel that core member James Chester from the last couple of Birmingham lineups is present in the form of his friend, bassist David Mabbot), and it’s quite surprising that our current group has only been together for about six weeks.
I always feel slightly overwhelmed when I hear what other people bring to my songs. I love that feeling of realisation – when you hear the track as you imagined it, with extra flourishes (such as David Mabbot’s ‘sensual bass-line’ in Next Door that felt like the natural progression from the ‘orgasma-bass’ of former player Richie B Brookes in Brum). Our last Brummie lineup felt quite ska in nature, whereas in Newcastle we’re heading towards a more organic, acoustic jazz feel. The unmixed recordings sound chaotic, but very much alive – hopefully our producer Rob Blazey will have an idea of what to do with them!
It was always a dream to record – I don’t think it’s set in that we’ve done it yet!
Now we need to find some Newcastle based gigs…