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Discussion in 'Nevermore' started by derrickm, Nov 17, 2014.
Waddya mean I like to pay my guys? Why do ya think I'm rich, huh?
No he structured it like a Soilwork album. "Moonrise" is the most obvious example. I love Soilwork, especially 'Natural Born Chaos,' but he made a cardinal mistake by trying to turn Nevermore into Soilwork.
I dig NBC big time. Same formula, just doesn't work for Nevermore.
Yea Wichers totally ruined TOC because of this. It's almost like these guys go into the studio with a band and have absolutely no concept of the band's primary fan base. What kind of Nevermore fan would want songs "stripped of the fat?" I've never met one.
Im not trying to brag, but when i was 14 jeff loomis sent me a message on myspace saying he liked my stuff! i have a picture somewhere.
To be fair, on all the Nevermore stuff I worked on, we spent several weeks "trimming the fat". It's a normal part of the pre-pro process, and nearly always has been in the 40+ years I've been making records. Still happens on every album I produce.
Yeah but Neil, there's trimming the fat and there's cutting the steak in half and throwing it out. Jeff said he came in with 7-8 minute songs and by the time we got the record they were 4 minutes long. That's gutting a song.
On RFO there was a lot of fat trimming / rearranging that went on - about five weeks worth in fact. Great fun!
I got some Saxon demos once, and the "songs" were all at least 8-9 minutes and completely shapeless - would have taken forever to turn them into songs, and they would have needed to be concise songs, not 6-7 minute meandering ones, so..
So let's stick with the album we all know: Dreaming Neon Black. How much revising did it need? Were there any original versions that were completely different when the album came out?
We spent two weeks working on the material and getting it tightened up and ready to go for the studio. I always prefer to work on one song each day if possible, and after all the initial changes have been made on that (and there were often quite a few tweaks) I'd record the latest updated version onto tape so that if anyone forgot the arrangement changes we could refer back to said updated version.
The next day, we'd run the previous day's song down to refresh everyone's memories on it, and then work on another song and do the same exact process on that. Then I'd record the revised version of the second song (so we had those changes on tape). After that we'd re-revisit the first song again - always a sort of acid test - and make sure everyone still remembered the changes to that one. After that we'd run down the remaining songs just to clear everyone's head of all the mind-numbing analytical work.
That part of prepro is often pretty mentally exhausting for the band. Having been used to existing arrangements, sometime for quite a while, it's pretty difficult to immediately unlearn what's been played many times, so occasionally people would space the changes and go back to the "old habits" of the old arrangement. That's why I always kept a recording of the latest version handy so we could stop and get a quick mental refresh from the tape, and then have the band play the new version a couple of times so that the old arrangement slowly got pushed out of the brain.
On top of that, at the end of the day we'd go back to the house and listen to the updates, and there were often further tweaks suggested that we'd try, so I'd note all those down on the trusty legal pad, and we'd try those out the next day. It's an ongoing tweaking process that's pretty intensive. Generally speaking though, the idea was to do the reps in such a way that by the time we got into the studio a couple of weeks later all the old arrangements were (hopefully) completely forgotten by then. Prior to recording I'd give the guys copies of all the final versions so they could listen to them over and over again before setting foot in the studio.
I don't think ANY songs were *completely* different - if they were they'd have probably morphed into different songs, or possibly been split apart and cannibalised for their component parts.
That's something that sometimes happens, where a song isn't quite working right, so you try to hammer out some brand new sections to bridge the gaps in the song that aren't quite clicking. There have been many times where two songs that weren't completely happening / flowing ended up being literally split into pieces and a new, really cohesive song created from the parts that *were* working. Of course that often involves changing the keys of the sections to completely work, but that sort of modular approach is something that has worked on projects throughout the years.
I still have all those prepro tapes I recorded in those rehearsals somewhere, with all the incremental changes logged down as we went. - I'll have to dig them out
Do you remember how "Beyond Within" and "Dreaming Neon Black" came together? Both of them have these jarring changes that come out of nowhere. BW charges at top speed then hits the brakes at 2:19 for that softer middle piece, and DNB has that abrupt change at 3:14, which I love the riff, but it kinda comes out of left field.
I would love you to do a new Nevermore album, and I think I'm not alone. The ones you did are by far the most expressive ones, and to me that's all music is about.
I have the same feelings with the Prototype albums. I am slowly beginning to think it's not primarily those bands that I like, but your production/engineering skills...
Do you like particularly this kind of crossover (heavy guitars and rhythm with clean singing) and it inspires you to do such good work? Or is it just that you and that kind of bands is a great combination by chance and there's no explanation?
Yeah, I know what you mean. Sounds like some rank amateur had access to the tapes and then just cut them up at random. Sucks.
Not really any explanation, but I only work on music I like, so that way I'm always able to give 100% to everything. Music is not a job to me - it's a passion.
Oh stop joking. I'd love to know their evolution, those two are my favorites along with "Poison Godmachine"
To be honest, the only thing I specifically remember (off the top of my head) is that that lovely vibey intro to BW was put together one very late night by my two assistants, Justin and Bobby. Killer job.
These 3 and "No More Will" (speaking of evolution, this one is very high on my list). And "Deconstruction". And "The Fault of the Flesh". This album is so awesome, I'll never understand why it is so underrated.