The Blanket LP 2006? - The Diary
Hi. This is Ville from Blanket.
We're going to try to make an album. This is the diary of how it came about or failed miserably. Here's how it goes.
Full cast and credits:
Jaakko - producer / recording engineer / backing vocals
Willi - drums / engineering
Simo - bass / backing vocals
Teppo - guitar / coding
Ville - guitar / vocals
Pikkis - occasional producer / candle lighter ( / flatulence) + guitar on "My Two Hands aka Visual Basic"
Janne - keyboards / piano
Kusti - trumpet on "Bulletproof"
Jupe - percussion on "Reservoir"
Hampuris Kyläsaari / Chico's Bulevardi / Pizzataxi Hakaniemi - catering
|Henry the Killer||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok|
|Eyes Wide Shut||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok|
|My Two Hands / Visual Basic||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok|
|Bags Under My Eyes / Firenze||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok||ok|
February 12th 2007:
Hey. We have release date set. All of this will be out April 10th 2007. It'll be great. Check out the Blanket News page for continuing details and revelations. Peace. vk
November 30th 2006:
Hi. We took some pictures for the record cover last Saturday. We won't be on the cover itself, but we'll show up somewhere on the inside surfaces. The cover itself is a big panorama picture which I talked about before and it has a bit of wedding theme going on, so to keep everything in line, we tried to look like a wedding band playing in the edge of the yard or something. We hauled guitars and drums to Hanasaari and found a few good trees to set up camp in front of. Luckily it wasn't as cold as it could've been for this time of year, but it was still cold as hell to stand there in suits trying to mimic playing with no amps and no music. Willi couldn't hit his drums so that we wouldn't be thrown out of the nature refuge or whatever. People walked by with their dogs and they (both people and dogs) looked at us like were out of our heads. I can imagine what it looked like for their perspective. Well, it's rolling along, we should have all the pictures taken and edited this week. Later. vk
November 2nd 2006:
Hey babies! It's done. Finit, kaput, slut på matchen gubbe. The music at least. I just got out of Chartmakers in Helsinki where mr. Svante Forsbäck mastered the album in full style and grace. Me and Teppo we're greeted with tons of coffee and chocolate cake and enjoyed watching a master at work. I just got home with two copies in my bag, which I haven't had the guts to listen to yet. We worked out the correct sequence of the songs during the last few months; it came together real easy. I tried to make an whole album first and foremost with the feel of a live show with songs coming in tight succession when needed. Yesterday we mixed the two little mid-course snacks, "Madeleine" and "Interlude #1" and took them along from Jaakko's work. These two tracks are more acoustic and try to lighten the mood so it's not all yelling and banging. We'll continue to work on the cover art and look for a place to print the thing. It's all good and I can't wait to play all these songs to you guys. I've lost all perspective a long time ago, but I have a strange feeling that they are pretty good. Peace and love. vk - a recording artist
October 19th 2006:
Hey, is it done? Last Sunday we went to Jaakko's work and recorded an small intro piece using the guitar theme from "Henry". It might be called "Madeleine the Mass Murderer" (light theme) and it's just over a minute long and it might start the record. We'll see. We have noticed that the record is fairly action-packed so we re-recorded an older idea known as "Walk on Water" to make a little one minute interlude somewhere in the middle of the LP to make a break between the (imaginary) A and B sides. Jaakko will mix these two pieces and we'll be set for mastering on November 2nd. Later bitches. vk
October 10th 2006:
We spent yesterday in the studio, this time a photographing one, with Jussi editing our album cover panorama extravaganza. It took until 3am but we're super happy with the result. Moose heads and assault rifles from different angles again. Same old, same old. It was cool to see how much photo editing resembles music editing these days. Different layers/tracks edited, twisted, turned and finally mastered to make one cool single entity. Hopefully it still looks good when we print the thing. There's a little storyline in the picture as well, so we'll see how people respond to it. We'll take band pictures tomorrow. Later. vk.
October 9th 2006:
Hi. Finding a great idea for an album cover is hard. We knew we wanted to do something with our photographing friend Jussi and we bounced around ideas in the last few weeks. We were short on time again and set a date for the shooting as Jussi is away somewhere most of the year, but we just couldn't find that single great idea. But, two days before the shoot as we were setting the details with an ok idea, we ran thru a few other possibilities one last time and stumbled across an old idea I had that would make a great music video. We thought of how it could make a single cool picture and soon changed all plans and put together with photo shoot with the new idea. Invited a bunch of friends to model and ordered a catering setting and one moose head and a bucket of fake blood and pulled it off! We'll do some additional takes today and see how it works out. A nice role-switching theme for the wide digipak package and some gory shock effect from Jussi's request in the picture which hopefully will make an awesome cover. Huge thanks to all the models: the victim Heidi, Jaakko S, Siwa, Marko, Mitro, Janne R, Nurja, Meea and Late and especially Quuppis and Henna for the location, Pousi for the Van, Satu for styling and Jesse and Anni for the Food! Thanks for helping out on such short notice. Personally I couldn't be happier to have a bunch of friends looking good on our album cover. Later. ville
October 2nd 2006:
Hey ho. The table above this is almost fully green. I never thought it would come to this. It's been a long ride let me tell you. We got the missing few tunes from mixing about a week ago and we listened to them closely and took notes on what we thought should be fixed or changed. Last Wednesday we met at the mixing studio with Jaakko and the mixer and looked over the songs for hopefully the last time. Bass dominated most of the early mixes, so we took it down a bit. We finetuned some backing vocals that weren't quite perfect and made other adjustments here and there. So there are the basic 10 tracks that will form the upcoming Blanket LP. Next we'll make some small additional recordings to Jaakko's horror. We'll try to get an acoustic intro to Henry the Killer and some sort of small interlude too. We might even try to record a whole acoustic track, "Rolemodels" or "Independence" are the candidates, but we'll see how it turns out. I worked out a small hiphop (!) outro to "Reservoir", I haven't heard any comments from the guys on that yet. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. We should have the additional recordings done within a week or two and we'll take the album to mastering after that. The album covers are being processed; we have old friend J. Hyttinen figuring it out so that it will look as well as sound totally awesome. We'll take some pictures next Saturday. That's about it, it's hectic and a lot of work, but it should pay off in the end. Peace and love. ville j.
September 12th 2006:
Hey. Days #39, #40 and #41 down I guess. Last Saturday was the first session I didn't attend with Simo recording the missing backing vocals with Pikkis in Nosturi. We edited stuff ready for mixing on Sunday and Monday too with Pikkis, Jaakko's away in Italy somewhere. There are strange days, I'll take the rest 4 songs to the mixer tomorrow and should get them back late this week. Tomorrow I'll also be going to see our old pal Jussuf Hyttinen - a photographing genius - as he should have some cool ass pictures we could use in all the sleeves and covers and what not. Later, bitches. fid of finland
September 6th 2006:
Days #37 and #38 down I guess. Last Saturday we added a small guitar to the opening of "Henry" and edited some crazy parts in "Software". Jaakko was away, so Pikkis came in and did the chores. Yesterday we tried to record the few missing backing vocals but it was a little tough. Jaakko was tired and we were unprepared, so we didn't get too much done, which was unfortunate as time is not on our side right now. We did a repeat sing thing for the second chorus in "Henry" and some backing vocals for "Firenze". We'll go back on Thursday and try to get all the missing vocals in then. Six songs have been submitted to the mixer dude and we've gotten three back so far. We weren't too happy with the first batch "Ivalo" and "Action" but we got "Eyes Wide" back next and it was a lot better already. Some informed people say that mastering eventually makes it a lot better too but we'll see. Later. vk
August 25th 2006:
Days #35 and #36 gone and I'm not sure where. It's getting confusing. "Ivalo" and "Action" went under mixing Wednesday and we visited the mixing studio on Thursday with Jaakko, Teppo and Pikkis too. The songs were fairly good and rough and aggressive, but we weren't as articulate as possible on what we wanted it to sound like, so the sound was a bit too "out there". Afterwards, we edited and packed "Fanatic", "Eyes Wide", "Visual Basic" and "Reservoir" on a DVD and I'll be taking them to the mixer in an hour or so. Jaakko's going away for a week and since we depend on him like air, we had to work overtime yesterday to have as much songs ready as possible. I even recorded a military-like vocal piece for "Eyes Wide" at the last moment to underline it's war feel. It's hectic as hell, but it'll clear up next week as Jaakko's away. We still need a few more backing vocals which we might be doing with Pikkis meanwhile. We'll see. Have mercy. ville ineedsleep
August 23rd 2006:
Ok, day #34 down. It was a different one. We had the first mixing day booked for today and that meant that we needed to let go of at least two songs. "Action" and "Ivalo" were pretty much done, so we cleaned up those, checked that all the right takes were there and packed them on a DVD, which I'll taking to the mixing man today at noon. The only recording we did yesterday was an attempt at a small acoustic guitar part for "Ivalo" but it didn't sound great and the part didn't need anything more anyways. We'll continue on Thursday with more coding and editing, possibly some background singing too. We'll see. We are getting there. ville
August 21st 2006:
Whew, what a weekend. Days #32 and #33 down and we are nearly there. We started off on Saturday waking up a hungover Jaakko at his home. Dragged the poor man to his work and found out that the left channel on the digi 002 rack was somehow broken. Damn it, the first real technical problem and probably at the worst possible time. Jaakko hungover as hell and we have a deadline to make as we should have things recorded before the mixing starts on Wed the 23rd. Jaakko worked around the problem with some other gear and we were able to continue somewhat unscathed. We first worked on some background vocals with Simo and later on a good friend Janne came in with his electric piano to throw in parts here and here, most prominently featured on "Henry" and "Ivalo" I guess. Janne's a real pro and we got some really good stuff in there. It was probably the first time these sessions felt like a real studio session with a separate recording booth and people hanging out and messing around with their instruments. Most of the stuff recorded so far has been with just a few people around in not so hospitable enviroments and not much free time to waste. We worked hard and long on both days and started to get really creative as everybody got tired; we threw some very strange vocal stuff on "Fanatic" and crazy piano arpeggios on "Bulletproof". It's always easier to take something out of the mix than to put it in there. Anyways, it's getting real good, we'll continue on Tuesday with some missing backing vocals. We'll probably submit a few of the songs for mixing on Wednesday and continue work on the few that still need something. We'll see. Peace and love. vk.
By the way, now we have officially used all the members from the mighty Clark Kent for this album! Jaakko's vision is everywhere of course but also his backing vocals are on at least "Eyes Wide", Pikkis has been helping out as well in a lot of ways, and he also put in a small heavy metal guitar part for "Visual Basic". Kusti did the trumpet tracks for "Bulletproof" and we stole a percussion sample which Jupe made from a Clark Kent song called "Remember" to our track "Reservoir". I'm not sure if that'll make the cut though. Anyways, not a bad helping hand, I hope Blanket can return the favor when Clark Kent start their LP recordings later this year. Most likely they won't let us anywhere near the studio. :) Thanks guys, we owe you big time.
August 18th 2006:
Hell yeah! A small victory. On day #31, the vocals are on tape. What a relief. We saved the toughest one for last, "Firenze" was hard, a lot of words in difficult timings and what not. Teppo also came in and in all truth looked bored at times. Don't blaim him, I probably did the first two verses twenty times before they were ok. A combination of me sucking and Jaakko being meticulous. I got to hand it to Jaakko again; the last few days have been crazy. Wake up and go to work, stop work at 7pm, I come in, sing a lot and try to fit in lyrics at the last moment. We go home at 11pm and do the same next day. It's like reading out of the national bestseller "How To Get an Ulser and Heart Failure at a Young Age". :) Well, we don't have long to go. We have the weekend reserved for background singing and some keyboards too, so we are getting there and it all good, baby! pipes könönen
August 16th 2006:
Day #30 in the bag. Recorded vocals for "Action" at Jaakko's work and it went ok. A few last minute changes in the lyrics as usual and a lot of choices on how much energy should be applied in which part. One of the problems with recording vocals pretty much line by line is that you could basically belt out each single line with maximum power which you could never do in a live circumstance. I think we found a good balance of anger on "Action" though. By the way, "Visual Basic", "Firenze" and "Action" are just working titles, names thrown around the practise space before any lyrics were made, so they might be changing at some point. It's likely that "Action" will become "Chickenshit" (really) and "Firenze" -> "Bags Under My Eyes" and since Simo hates the title "Visual Basic" so much, it will most likely be changed to "My Two Hands" even though the wonderful Ben Harper has a wonderful song with almost the same title. We'll vote them out when we all get together for a change. Today's a day off and we'll tackle the last one of the batch "Firenze" tomorrow. It's gonna be another tough one as the song has more lyrics than three normal Blanket songs combined and it's different type of song in a lot of ways as well. Peace. One To Go! Alright. ll cool fid
August 15th 2006:
Day #29 went ok. We took the gear from noisy Nosturi to Jaakko's work closeby and took full use of their new recording booth. Recorded vocals for "Visual Basic" in about two and a half hours and went home. The song went ok, it's a tough one to sing and the melody line follows the guitar very closely so we are probably going to autotune the vocal track so it matches as close as possible. (I don't carry a tune all that well as it turns out) I even thought about possibly using a vocoder or something with this one to make as tight and strange as possible, but I think the autotune will do the trick. "Action" next up today evening, gotta finish up the lyrics. Two to go! vile
August 14th 2006:
Day #28 was a bit of a mess. We didn't have time to haul the gear to Kyläsaari so we tried to record at Nosturi as last time, but the noise (or beautiful music depending on how you look at it) seaping thru from the other practise spaces was too much. Otherwise we would have way too much other bands on the vocal tracks and might get into some copyright problems or something. :) However, the multi-talented Kusti from Clark Kent came in and recorded even more wacky trumpet tracks for the chorus of "Bulletproof". They turned out real great and we just have to figure out what the hell to do with the final part of the song as it's strange and a bit too long. Otherwise the song dominates. We'll continue today probably somewhere else with vocals for "Visual Basic" (name will change). It's getting hectic. Have mercy. vk
August 7th 2006:
Hey, back after a summer break. We took it easy for a while, had a bunch of other stuff filling the daily planners. Back to the grindstone with day #27 done yesterday; I recorded vocals for "Eyes Wide Shut", one my favorite tracks of the batch. I hope it went well, I just finished the lyrics the night before and made small adjustments in the studio and the words are pretty over-the-top I must admit. I read a blog of a US soldier serving in Iraq and blended in some influence from "A People's History of the United States" from Howard Zinn and worked off those. Also tried to put together some backing vocals for Eyes but I totally suck at those, it's great that Jaakko has the musical talent to figure out the backing vocal lines. We got to bring in Simo to work on the backing vocals since he's good at them too. We have a deadline at the end of the month to have all the recording done so we've got a clear goal and have to step up to the plate big time. It's all good. Later. vk.
June 27th 2006:
Day #26 done, another three hour raid. Did vocals for "Ivalo" which turned quite nice I think. Especially the quiet middle part has a lot of space and it was a fun part to put in. We'll have another small break and continue after a week or so with all the "new songs", meaning stuff we haven't recorded earlier which might make them a bit more troublesome with lyrics being fixed on the spot etc. Peace out, ll cool k. Btw, here's a link to a cool political cartoon I've checking out during quiet hours at work. Recommended.
June 21st 2006:
Day #25 down yesterday. We didn't record on Monday, I was too sick to scream, so we only got one day in this week as Midsummer festivities will cancel Thursday. We did "Hank the Killer" yesterday and it was as difficult as anticipated. Lots of words and especially notes to hit, often at the same time too. At the end of the day, it turned out ok I guess, a nice end part and lots of abandon on the choruses. :) We'll continue next Monday. My birthday today by the way. I'm old. Later. Don't drown during the weekend. ville sinatra
June 19th 2006:
Day #24 down last Saturday. We put in some vocal tracks again with Jaakko. Put in the choruses for "Reservoir" and did the whole of "Software Dev.". I had a flu of some sort so it could have gone better I guess. No greater than life performances, just your average standard singing. We'll continue today, tomorrow and on Thursday with "(Thierry) Henry the Killer" next up. I'm still not in 100% shape, but it will have to do; hopefully caffeine and adrenaline helps. Later. fidel könönen
June 1st 2006:
Day #23 down. We worked on "Fanatic", nothing from the day before made the cut, but we got everything we needed fairly quickly. I threw in a little jam at the end, sounds strange at first, let's see how the other guys respond to that one. It's always easy to delete something if it doesn't work so it's good to try something weird on the spot. Often those are the good moments you end up digging the most. We started work on "Reservoir" and got the verses in quite ok. We need to listen to it again with fresh ears, but it should be ok. Nothing spectacular, but your good basic singing I guess. The choruses were off, so I'll have to re-do those later, they're a bit of bitch to sing with these long notes. But man, this is a huge project overall and can't say enough about Jaakko and his role in this. Without Jaakko this album wouldn't happen, simple as that. In this phase where no-one's getting paid, it's so admirable how much energy and freetime he's able to put in this. He goes into whatever has to be done without question and gives it his all without any bitching or moaning. I hope that we can make up for this either financially or in other ways. Afterwards when everyone has forgotten the amount of work put into this, at least we'll have something concrete and hopefully cool to show for it, and that's priceless anyways. Next up, we'll have a small break in recordings as we have to get ready for our gig in Turku. Later. vk.
May 31st 2006:
Days 21 and 22 down. So we're finally underway with the vocals. We hauled the recording gear to Kyläsaari on Monday and started with "Bulletproof" as it's probably the strangest song of the bunch and a straight-forward punkish song that should be easy to get thru. We continued work on Tuesday finishing the choruses and threw in a few more strange things in to the final section of the song. All in all, it came out fairly nice and I'm really starting to dig the song anyways, a feeling not shared by everyone in the band. :) I was a bit nervice before starting, I'm not 100% sure about my sound and getting in tune can be difficult at times, but it was just me and Jaakko in there working it out and everything went real smooth. We started work on "the Fanatic" as well, which is a totally different kind of song and we'll continue work on that later today. We also have finally decided on who is going to mix this one. It's just a leap of faith as there's no telling how it'll turn out beforehand. We just picked the guy for his good references and some nice things we've heard about him. We booked the mixing for mid-August so now we have a fairly clear deadline on when everything has to be recorded. It'll get hectic I'm sure, but we should be ok. Later. - ville "pipes" k.
May 23rd 2006:
Little update; I felt compelled to share this nice story about freedom of speech in the land of the free. actions speak louder than words.
May 19th 2006:
Hi there. We've had a CD of the songs without vocals for sometime now and all seems well. I've been listening thru the songs over and over in my car, singing full on in traffic lights across the great state of Hellsinki. It must look amusing from the car next to me. We'll start recording the vocals in a week or so. We are also currently choosing the right person to mix the LP once it's recorded. It's a tough choice to make as mixing is the most expensive part of the whole deal. Choosing "our man" is mostly a leap of faith anyways, there's no way of knowing how it will end up and we won't have the resources to have it re-mixed if it doesn't work out for some reason. We'll try make the educated choice by checking references of the potential candidates as much as possible. We'll know more next week. Peace and love-x. ville könönen-valo
April 24th 2006:
Day 20 done. We worked on "Bulletproof" a bit which has been evolving towards a ska-like song lately. We added some reggae-type drums for the end part but ran out of skills when we tried to add some more reggae touch. We found out that the choruses will need horns, so Kusti will get another gig sometime soon now. Added some guitar tracks to "Fanatic" as well and overall the guitar tracks are pretty much in the bag. Jaakko will make some sort of half-way mix cd and we'll listen to it in the car and at home and see if something needs to be changed or added. I'll put the finishing touches on the lyrics and start recording vocals in a week or so. We all walk the long road. Peace. .subsubcomandante v.
April 19th 2006:
Ok. Days 18 and 19 down. Teppo recorded a bunch of guitars in and I got the "solo" for "Henry the Killah" in as well as fixing one out-of-tune line in "Firenze". We will continue on Sunday with the end sequence of "Bulletproof" which is going thru a bit of a transformation. We'll see how it goes. Later. fid k.
April 13th 2006:
Hi. Another break as Jaakko was working (and getting sick from what I heard) in Lapland for a week. I called some people who could possibly mix the LP once it's all done, it seems kind of costly but very promising. Also it's clear that this thing won't be released before the summer. Schedules are hard to fit and we can't get in as much work as we would like due to other responsibilities and also we want to be meticulous on getting everything right for once. There's also a lot work to be done concerning the release and all the new concepts with that, so that'll take up some time for sure. So we're talking about an early September release for now. Good things happen to those who wait. Anyways; we'll be back to the grindstone on Sunday 16th, Monday 17th and Sunday 23rd for hopefully the rest of the guitars. Take care. ville. Oh yeah, I talked with Willi a couple of days ago and we decided that from now on, Blanket is the best band in the world. No more unnecessary modesty or hesitation. We rule and we rok and that's it. I feel that this new approach will take us far. :) And also; we have a gig coming up as well; June 7th we'll be traveling off to Turku to play in Klubi with a few local bands. Check the GIGs page for details and come support us if you can.
March 30th 2006:
Day 17 down. An unlucky number for us I guess. You win some, you lose some. Teppo was a bit sick and everybody was beat from work, so it wasn't the best recording day ever. We started with "Firenze", the tough one, and it didn't go very smooth. You know, guitars are difficult instruments, especially when you have two different guitars with two different people playing them. We tried and tried but Teppo's overlapping guitar at the start of the song always sounded out-of-tune. Well, it turned out that the other melody line I recorded on Sunday was itself a bit out of tune, so it got tricky. After a good hour of constant tuning and frustration, we gave up and moved on to "Eyes Wide" and managed to get Teppo's complex tracks on there just fine. Now I understand why Who's Pete Townsend was so enthusiased when he was in tune that he wrote a song about it. (see "Getting in Tune" from the "Who's Next" album) Well, Jaakko is off for at least a week, so we'll have another pause in recording. We'll keep on fighting. Til the end. Later. ville = tired
March 27th 2006:
Hey ho. Days 15 and 16 down. Teppo was away skiing and getting a tan, so it was just me and Jaakko in the studio and I recorded some guitars on Friday and Sunday. On Friday we worked on "Bulletproof" which has always been very iffy, on the verge of being dropped from the album. We recorded some basic guitars for it and there's this small melody bit at the end which was formerly done with a guitar, but we got this grand idea that it should be done with a trumpet. Well, Kusti from Clark Kent is another multi-instrumentalist talent and he showed up, greased up his horn and did a killer three-piece horn section harmony all by himself. This might have just saved this song from the axe. :) Huge thanks to Kusti for popping a few vains in his head for this one. On Sunday, I got "Software" in on pretty much one take and moved on to "Firenze" which is a song we put together just before the recordings started, so it was another small question mark to begin with. We got some nice guitars in and a almost too sweet guitar melody for the feel-good end bit, so this tune might make the cut as well. Well, if we don't find some horrible mistakes somewhere, my guitar playing days are almost over (the "solo for "Henry" is still missing), so Teppo is up on Wednesday for the remaining songs. We will have to cancel next Sunday as Jaakko is away, but hope to find a replacement date somewhere. Peace and love. ville j.
March 22nd 2006:
Time flying. Scheduling problems again; we didn't record on Sunday but will be back on Fri 24th, Sun 26th and Wed 29th this month and Sun 2nd of April. The guitars should be in the bag after these. Keep. Fingers. Crossed. fidel k.
March 14th 2006:
Hi. Day 14 down. We put in a solid 3 hours of recording with Jaakko and Pikkis too. I recorded guitars for "Eyes Wide Shut" which is one of the more complex Blanket songs and it took a good while to get things right or even somewhere near right. Teppo carried most of the load on "the Fanatic" but "Eyes Wide" is mostly on my broad shoulders. We'll be back next Sunday. We briefly listened thru the songs with guitar tracks and while there's a lot of nice moments there, there was also a lot of stuff which has to be somehow fixed later on. Which means more work. Uh. I guess this is where it would be convenient if one could really play and have perfect (expert) timing as well. We wouldn't have to edit and use so many takes with everything. Wait until we reach the vocals. Shudder to think. LAter. - villek.
March 13th 2006:
Day 13 done. It was a beautiful day yesterday so it was a bit painful to spend it indoors in a small room while slightly hungover (congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Rysäkeppi and thanks for the party!). We recorded Teppo's guitars for "Henry" and fixed a few things in "Visual Basic". We recorded at Nosturi again and Jaakko put a mike in the hallway to get some real-life reverb and echo for the guitar melody lines in "Henry", but as soon as we started recording some punk band started their practice next door and we had to postpone that one. Had lunch at the nearby Chico's, I had the Salmon Siesta which was really tasty and returned to record guitars for "the Fanatic". The chorus didn't turn out 100% perfect but we'll listen thru it with fresh ears today. It might be ok with keyboards or something. We'll continue today. Oh yeah; to visualize where we are in the project, I put together the nifty progress table (above) just to show where we are at and also to keep track so that we don't forget anything you know... Later. vk
March 10th 2006:
Another small delay with too much going on; we didn't record on the 2nd, but will next Sunday and Monday and the Sunday after that too. Hope to get most of the guitars on tape then. The semi-unplugged thing featured Mr. Janne on keyboards and we will exploit his talent somehow during the course of these recordings. Later. -vk.
February 28th 2006:
We played a small semi-unplugged gig with some new personnel last Friday, you can check the details at the GIGs page. We will continue recording on Thursday 2nd of March at Nosturi..vk.
February 20th 2006:
Day 12 down. We had to cancel Saturday's recording but made up lost time on Sunday by recording guitars for "Visual Basic" and "Henry". We were meticulous on both songs and didn't quite finish "Henry" as we had to start preparing for a surprise gig this Friday! More on this exciting event later... vk
February 14th 2006:
Hey-ho, no sleep 'til the record release party, right!? Day 10 and 11 in the bag. A tough two days as me and Teppo recorded guitars in Nosturi for "Action" and "Ivalo" on Sunday and "Reservoir" on Monday. We took some time to refine the sounds and couldn't always figure out what to play in each and every part so we made slow but quality progress. On Sunday we spent about 1,5 hours putting together a strange flute-like harmonics thing for the middle part of "Ivalo", time well spent for some 20 seconds of musical moments to remember. Hope it still sounds good come mixin' time. Anyways, we'll re-convene next Saturday and Sunday for "Henry", "Visual Basic" and possibly "Eyes Wide". Oh yeah, Teppo hates the working title "Visual Basic" so that might have to be changed. The title gives away too much of the Blanket essence I guess. :) I'll think of something less obviously geeky although I had a small not-so-far-fetched analogy going with this one. LAter. ville
February 9th 2006:
Hi, been a while. I was sick a bit and it was hard to get all our schedules to match; everybody's working and doing other stuff too. But we'll continue with guitars next Sunday and Monday at Nosturi and continue at Kyläsaari the week after. More reports after Sunday. Take care. -vk
January 26th 2006:
Ok, day 9 down. The scheduled Monday recording was postponed to Wednesday. We had a long session yesterday at Nosturi and luckily managed to record all the bass tracks for the remaining songs. As we are doing this project purely as a hobby of sorts, it's sometimes rough coming in and focusing real hard on recording when you've just finished a hectic day at work only to return home just in time to get some sleep in before another day at the office. To some extent this would be easier if we were all on welfare. :) Anyways, Simo was on top of his game again and we got the bass traxs to "Software Developer", "the Fanatic", "Eyes Wide Shut", "Firenze" and "Bulletproof" and we'll be going after the guitars next. Should be exciting and potentially time-consuming. The overall schedule is not as tight as I would want it to be but there's so many schedules and people involved that it's hard to get everybody in the right place at the right time. All in all it's sounding quite good, so stay tuned. -vk - a working man.
January 18th 2006:
Hi guys. Day 8. Our bass player, Simo, is a pro. He plays in like 5 bands at the moment and the routine showed as he played the bass parts for our recording like a machine. We started a bit late yesterday but laid the foundations for 4 songs: "Aktion", "Ivalo", "Henry Kissinger" and "Visual Basic". Meanwhile Jaakko had found a way to get the right drum parts for "Fanatic" and "Firenze" and they should be fine for further recording without re-recording or anything - Willi can chill. We will continue next Monday and with any luck we might get the rest of songs done bass-wise then. But until then, take care. -vk. Also, we have some very cool ideas for the eventual release of the LP, but we'll keep the ideas to ourselves for now as nothing's 100% sure yet. But it should be good and different and media-sexy and comfortably communist too. :) Stay tuned.
January 12th 2006:
Hi. We were Jaakko's place with some coffee and a few cinnamon rolls and listened to the stuff recorded with specific attention on the drum parts. It's tough to listen as only further recording will usually reveal some flaws, but most songs seemed very nice, only "Firenze" and "Fanatic" will have to be looked at somehow. Maybe there was a better take there somewhere. So next up, Simo! He will do some bass overdubs next Tuesday at Clark Kent's practise space. Overall, in such a vast project, my personal thoughts constantly slide from sheer delight and excitement to full-on dispair. There's so many variables, things that could go great or horribly wrong that play a big part on how the final product will sound like. At the moment, I'm cautiously optimistic, we'll know more after some solid bass lines are there. Later. -rmbl
January 10th 2006:
Wow. How time flies. We are heading over to Jaakko's place today to give a first verdict on the material recorded so far. We'll listen thru the songs and see if the drums and basses are as we want them to be. If everything's super-duper, we'll continue with guitar overdubs in the following days. I haven't talked much about our recording setups so far and probably I'm not the most informed guy to talk about them, but basically after a lot of thought we decided early on that because we would record all the material in our practice space we would record the drums and bass lines first with only reference guitars and vocals plugged in the line inputs. No wailing amps which would leak in to the drum tracks. We still played live, but all guitar and vocal tracks will have to be re-recorded eventually. So, today, we are listening thru the drum tracks to see if they are perfect and rocking and we'll continue from there. Take care. -vk-.
And I have to mention in current news, we won't be missing Mr. Ariel Sharon all that much, whoever is going to follow him will have to work extra hard to have a worse record. Mr. Robert Fisk has been there and knows a lot about this stuff if you're interested. Will the suffering decrease with one less bulldozer?
January 4th 2006:
Hey. Happy New Year. We've been taking it easy over the holidays. The drum tracks still aren't ready as we've been focusing our own real strengths - coding and computer wizardy. We couldn't get the software we wanted to work fine, so we had to rely on older technology. Jaakko will be hard at work during the following days and we'll continue work after that. Stay tuned. -v "the lyrics are almost done" k
December 22th 2005:
Hi there. Hope you're there following the trail. Day 7 down. Simo was out of town, so we did the best we could on "The Fanatic" which might turn out real nice if we get the Native-American theme really going on that one. (it should make sense once you hear it) Also, we re-recorded the final bars of "Bulletproof" and that was it. All the drum parts we were planned to record are now in the bag - or in the computer to be exact. Jaakko's going to take the various takes and bits and tracks home and find the best runs and set them up for further recording. If the stuff passes our air-tight quality inspection, Willi can pack up his gear and concentrate on giving us other guys a hard time. We already talked about all kinds of bonus tracks and what not; we have a few surprises up our sleeves, we'll see how many we actually can throw together. We'll continue when Jaakko has the finalized drum parts ready, which might be late next week at the earliest. So, everybody, have a real happy christmas time, remember to take it easy! Peace and love. v "no lyrics" k.
December 20th 2005:
Back to the old grindstone, day 6 of the recordings for the Blanket LP was a real Trial by Fire (to quote the good-ole Testament song) to our drummer Willi. We spent the whole day (or night to be exact) going thru the most un-rehearsed song of the batch, "Firenze". It's a fairly slow and long song with kind of a soul feel, so getting the timing and all the little nyances just right was essential and it took heavy meditation and one double-burger from Hampuris for Willi to get it right after a bunch of takes. Everybody stayed in good humor thru out and we'll get back to action on Thursday with "(Myself, the) Fanatic", which very well might be the last song we'll record for this release. Thanks and take care. v.k.
December 16th 2005:
Hell yeah. Day 5 in the bag. Recorded the usual drum tracks and bass for "Henry the Serial Killer", which went real well with the slightly altered arrangement. Went thru "Bulletproof" too, but we have to get back to that one next time as Simo had to leave and we ran out of time. Blanket will return to action next Tuesday when we'll record drums and bass for "Fanatic" and "Firenze"(working title). Take care. ville.
December 14th 2005:
Day 4 done. Recorded drums and bass for the previously unrecorded tunes "Eyes Wide Shut (in to the Minefield)" and "Action". "Eyes Wide" was a bit tough to get right as it has more stuff in it than three normal Blanket songs combined. We spent a good deal on that one, so we had to rush thru "Action" a little bit, but it should be fine as it's just a basic straight-forward rok song. We'll continue on Thursday with "Hank the Killer" and "Bulletproof" in store. So far, thru four days and six songs of recording, Willi has broken one drumhead, one crash symbal and countless crappy discount Millbrook drum sticks. Our costs are climbing and we haven't even gotten to guitar smashing yet. Well, this only means we're doing something right - giving 110% as we should. Stay tuned. ville.
December 12th 2005:
Day 3 down. We recorded drums and bass lines for "Ivalo" and "Visual Basic" (working title). Both seemed very fine. Jaakko made a rough mix of "Software" with everything but vocals and it sounded real nice. Had a good laugh on the various guitar noises we recorded for the mid-part of "Software", one track sounded like a F1 car. :) We'll proceed to rok next Tuesday with at least "Action" and "Eyes Wide Shut". Until then. vk. And I'll try to get some pictures up here soon to prove that we're not just making all this up.
December 9th 2005:
Oh yeah. Day 2 of proceedings down - many to go. Simo couldn't make it yesterday so we recorded guitar tracks for "Software Developer". Jaakko came in with his effect kit and we rampaged thru his gadgets looking for that big ass sound. I think the best sounds for this tune was still found in Willi's perfect combination of a Spetel amp and an old Philips speaker. The guitar tracks were also recorded to find out if our homemade studio setup can produce quality results. All sounded fine, Jaakko will make some pre-mix of the stuff recorded so far and we'll evaluate from there if everything's a-ok and ready for more songs. We'll be back on Sunday the 11th for "Ivalo" probably. Peace. .vk.
December 7th 2005:
Let's born to rok. Day 1 proper of the recordings is over. After some good old programming and fine-tuning we recorded drums and bass lines for "Software Developer" and "Reservoir". Both songs were sort on the slow side tempo-wise, but maybe this way they'll have room to rok more. "Software" went in real nice but "Reservoir" was a bit tougher, but it'll be just fine after we add the symphony orchestra to it. (it's just that kind of song) We'll continue on Thursday with some guitar work for "Software". Later. - a tired vk.
December 5th 2005:
Things are rollin' along nicely, all the mics are now in place and the headphones are attached. We'll start recording tomorrow. "Software Developer" is on first, we'll see how it goes. We might have some pics from the sessions available as soon as tomorrow night. "Firenze" is still lacking lyrics, the other ones are fairly ok. Good old themes and pathos re-addressed. You know the drill. Peace. vk
November 27th 2005:
I think i had the grand idea sometime after the Semifinal gig of July 2005 where played really well in my opinion and got a lot of good feedback over all despite that we hadn't been practicing as much as we would have wanted or could or should have. As you might know, during the course of quite a few years we've made a bunch of homemade EP's and singles and split releases but no Big One yet. and when you make stuff yourself with not a lot of money, you tend to rush thru the few studio days and then when you're not 100% happy with the way it turned out and no way of going back to change, you don't want to spend money on actually printing the deal in a pressing factory only to have hundreds of copies gathering dust at home. So you figure you'll be smart and save some cash and make some sort of CDR release which then won't be taken seriously anywhere and you're always aware that burnt cdr's won't last and they look bad and so forth. Sort of a vicious circle of a small and poor part-time rok band i guess.
So, to avoid the aforementioned, this time around we'd try something different. We would try to record enough songs to make a LP length release which we could print in force. we would never afford to book enough studio time to record enough songs and be 100% happy with the quality, so the only viable option was to record the material on our own and maybe mix and master it somewhere else. This approach is good that, in theory, we can take as much time as we need, we don't have to rush thru the songs and we can work from the comfort's of our practice space without financial pressure. It works both ways; with no deadlines, the risk of a never-ending process is ever present. We'll see how this works out.
Right away i thought of asking Jaakko from Clark Kent his thoughts on this idea since he had recorded us a little before and he knows this stuff and is a super nice guy. Willi knows computers and recording stuff more than anyone i know and i asked him to look at some recording gear we could buy.
A few weeks on we had gathered the gear from various places, installed the necessary drivers and started to put the song list together. We had a few songs we hadn't recorded before and were looking to re-record some older songs which we weren't happy with.
So far, we've had a bunch of practises during the last month and Jaakko has joined us for a few ones. We've been trying decide on the songs we'll try to record, it's going fine so far. The song list at this point is:
- Henry the Killer - a cool song but the Harju recording didn't do it justice in my opinion.
- Ivalo - same deal
- Reservoir - we could do better on this one too.
- Action - a simple rok song not previously recorded
- Eyes Wide Shut - a complex song for our skills, this might work well if recorded well
- Visual Basic - also quite hard, but might work well with a good recording
- Software Developer - a lighter tune previously recorded in Arkki. fun to play at least.
- Fanatic - a simple song with a great chorus. this might benefit from a re-recording.
- Bulletproof - a song liked by some listeners. Teppo always hated this one but i guess he's ok with the reworked arrangement, so this might get another shot.
- Firenze - a new song with a easier theme, might work well
- Oslo - a possible re-recording for quite an old song
- Salzburg - not recorded before. a possibility but lacking something. (lyrics for one)