Days 1-4 Stratosphere Studios, NYC

August 12, 2010

After a couple of days of rehearsing in a rehearsal studio once frequented by Lou Reed (although from what we could gather, he may have only rehearsed there once!), we felt inspired and only just ready to start recording, so we headed to Stratosphere Studios for the first time. We figured that this was the best way to be, because, let’s face it, who wants to be over-rehearsed?!  Jim and Shahzad had their heads around the songs, but for the first two days we recorded the songs that just involve me, Holly & Sally. Jim came along to offer moral support and opinions and we recorded the first two songs. They’re based around harmonies, acoustic guitar and piano. These are the simplest songs we will record. By the end of day two we recorded the basis of about 5 songs and we felt very proud of our progress. Then on the third day the bass player, Shahzad came in and we started to record the fuller band songs. It’s been so much fun, just as we’d hoped… Hearing Jim play up close like that is a really exciting experience for all of us when we’ve been fans for years and Shazhad has now been named “the oracle” because he has great patience, ideas and a knowledge of almost any topic you may care to discuss with him. I also found out yesterday that he’s done recordings with Tom Waits. I’m really excited about this and casually asked him some questions yesterday, but I may need to revisit this topic in a few days to gather more info. We also found out that one of the owners of the studio we’re recording in is James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins. He’s a really nice guy with a cute dog called Buddy. Today we met Buddy’s canine friend who has inherited a 3 million dollar New York apartment. I’m not kidding. The sad looking Maltese Terrier lives in the apartment with 2 housekeepers and a couple of Picasso paintings and has the same dog walker as Buddy. The dog walker lady throws puppy parties for the lonely little rich dog and gives her massages once a week. It’s all very strange.. In other news, Holly has been giving us daily Julia Gillard updates, and I’m addicted to Words With Friends (similar to Scrabble on the iPhone).
It’s now the end of day four and we’re all very excited to hear some rough mixes of the songs in the morning. Victor  has stayed back at the studio to do this tonight. We’ve made our way through the basics of 12 songs already and we’re feeling really good about it all. It’s nice for all of us to be doing something a little bit different to what we all do individually and we’re enjoying being a band. We’re in the studio until Monday so there’s plenty left to do, but it’s all well and truly on its way… Below is a video that really inspired Sally to write one of the songs on the album. It’s Stevie Nicks singing one of her songs while getting her makeup done for a Rolling Stones photo shoot. It’s an amazing version of this song (in fact it was unfortunately never recorded like this) and she looks and sounds so great.

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