T-shirts and time off

The mixing is on and Mario is performing magic in his studio. This means I have a little more time now to see friends and walk around like Uncle Traveling Matt. Yesterday I visited my friend Lance and we went for a little vintage t-shirt shopping. He has a HUGE collection of mainly old 80’s metal shirts and knows all the best stores in town.

Ozzy & Line

Love Lance’s place. So many cool details.

Metropolis. Probably my favorite vintage store.

Discussing stage outfits with this fine gentleman. He is a suit collector and plays saxophone in a jazz band. He belives that you should always dress up and look beautiful on stage to give the audience a visual experience – not just a sonic one. Amen! No t-shirts and jeans. He told us that he likes to wear a colourful suit, a leather suit or a mix of both.

Settled for these two.

Sequins 4 ever.

Feel in love with these at AC Gears.

Lance & Line

There is a right way to play something wrong

Hotel Terminus is off to Mr. Garson in LA, who is now busy recording the piano at his house. He knows the basic ideas of the piano, but has total creative freedom to play whatever he feels like.

The very first component of Hotel Terminus: the guitar riff that I send to my grandfather Boy Grunert back in December. I asked him to play something on his piano for the track, and decided to go to Ribe where he lives to record it.

The case is that I wasn’t able to hear what he was playing as we recorded it, and that led to the unorthodox, almost random use of piano on the demo.

I have a cable with an USB output that goes directly from my guitar to the computer. This cable luckily worked with my grandfather piano as well, but somehow the speakers of the computer wouldn’t play the piano sound when the cable was plugged in. The headphones were ok though, so Boy had one of them playing in his ear while recording. I heard nothing.

At the same time I couldn’t get GarageBand to play the guitar track and record the piano track on top of it. So the guitar track was playing from the speakers of Boy’s PC for him to listen to with the other ear, while the piano track was recorded in a completely separate file in GarageBand.

This means that I never heard where Boy played what in the song. Which didn’t hit me as a problem until I got home and everything sounded beyond confusing. But since I travelled 600 km to record it, I was very determined to use some of it no matter what, so I edited everything into bits and pieces and placed it randomly throughout the song. This awkward and occasionally out of tune and tempo piano inspired Mario to think of Mike Garson to have him bringing the idea of playing something “wrong” in the right way to the next level. When Mario suggested Garson I listened to a bunch of his work and was blown away by this effortless, creative and uncomplicated way of playing something very complicated. So beautiful and so powerful. And if he is good enough for Bowie, Reznor and Corgan, he is of course good enough for me…. I’m so excited!

No noisy jewellery in the iso booth

I am not a singer. Not in the sense that I make music to get the chance to be in front of a microphone nailing those notes that only Mariah Carey can hit and dogs can hear. But vocals had to be recorded and it was actually a lot of fun and very intense. I was so exhausted after each session that I was almost sleepwalking home from the studio and passing out on the bed. Green & Black’s dark chocolate 70%, dates, raw honey and Sarah’s Silk warming scarfs – tak for hjælpen!

Line can’t hit the note: “Øh, Mario, maybe that other take we just did was ok….” “What? do you think this is high school?” “Ok, this is not high school…” Gotta love Mario!

M7 Neumann from 1956. (no, not a machine gun)

Pitch, timing, feel, attitude…

Retro 176 compressor for the vocals.

I learn so much it’s insane.

Drum roll…

You know that feeling of becoming aware of the fact that you’re smiling like an idiot and then try to tell yourself, ok you can stop smiling already, but you can’t? Now, this smile not only covers: 1. I just got laid, 2. I’m about to eat a chocolate brownie, but also: 3. recording drums at The Magic Shop with Marc and Mario. 

The drum recordings for ‘United we stand apart’ was a huge eye/ear-opener for me. Still so green in this field, I’m surprised what difference it makes to the vibe of the song to have the drums recorded live in an amazing room with an amazing drummer like Marc Slutsky. I would expect it to be good, but this was like getting that last minute party invite, and sure, I’ll come, and it turns out to be the party of the year.

Microphone mayhem. 20 all together.

A little help from the world of super powers never hurts.

Getting ready for the bongo session.

This is of course rock n’ roll gin in disguise. Or maybe just water for the thirsty yogi…. I came directly from the Golden Bridge yoga studio to the Magic Shop. A dinner at Pink Pony would have completed a day of potential Foursquare check-ins of ‘she is either on acid or in New York’.

“This is not a girl’s guitar”

… and that would be a Les Paul to be exact. Indeed a heavy infiltration creator with a testosterone loaded sound. Perfect for the rat suit vibe as long as the girl doesn’t have to play it! Aaron did an amazing job nailing the tracks and I’m thrilled with the sound of the guitar.

Knobs of the finest kind…

We recorded the guitar at Mark Plati’s cool and comfy studio in the East Village. It has such a nice vibe and being there feels like hanging out at a very good friends house. It was pure Danish hygge discussing subjects such as music, Danish pork, music and music in between recording.

You know you’re with geeks when your iPhone accidentally plays 0,5 seconds of a song in your iTunes library. Mario: Was that Morrisey? Aaron: The Smiths? Spot on boys…

Aaron’s custom made brown brick of awesomeness.

Be sure to check out Aarons band The Madison Square Gardeners. They are playing in Brooklyn at the Rock Shop February 24th so I get a change to see them live while I’m here – weeeee! They have an EP and a loaded tour calendar including SXSW coming up.

Stars and stripes and sunshine

Rise and shine! What a beautiful day to wake up to after a great flight and a great nights sleep. Thank you Pete for the flag reminder minimizing location confusion waking up from jet-lag sleep: I can on only be in America or at Burger King, Rådhuspladsen.

The first two days here Mario and I went through the songs at his home studio getting everything in place and making the final decisions about arrangement, tempo and drum sounds. Before I arrived Mario and his friend Sterling did a number of electronic drums for ‘Hotels Terminus’, and they sound spot on. We will record real drums for ‘United we stand apart’.

“Oh, you are looking to make that really strong European coffee?” Exactly, miss shop assistant.

I have spend a lot of time walking around, soaking in the city, doing yoga and stocking up on my essentials from Whole Foods such as fruits and nuts and tea and espresso and chocolate and my newest addiction that Cristiaana got me into: shortbread biscuits and almond butter.

Gluten free since 1988? I know I’m not. Great almond butter to fit in your bag. God bless America.

This nice weather man (yes yes, it is in fact him) has been pouring heat and sun all over New York City since I arrived. Thank you! (great hipster 2008 glasses btw)

The recording plan goes like this: guitar, drums, vocals x 2 days, keys, piano, mixing, mastering. Love it, love it, love it.