Last week’s show at Mascot was exceptional. We hustled like maniacs and you guys, the Flush Mob, turned up in masses. Some from Slovakia, some from Germany, some from Sweden, some from an open bar with a global super star… Doesn’t matter how far or close, we are eternally grateful. And a special thanks to those that acquired new Flush fan gear. Fuckin hell, there are more than 20 new Flush t-shirt owners out there! Safe to say, we also did our best to empty the bar at Mascot, but as so often, the house won this time.
Back to work now. Tomorrow I will again be driving to Hiili’s studio for guitar recording. It’s also the first time I hear properly what the backing tracks from a few week back sound like. It’s pretty exciting. As a guitar gear nerd, I am obviously packing my 3 best guitars, my trusted Hot Rod Deluxe combo and 20+ effect pedals (of which I’ll probably use 2 or 3 including the tuner). More sessions for guitars and vocals next week and the week after. Now is really the last call for getting the lyrics finalized…
Btw, based on the pic above, you have to admit that a Flying V guitar goes pretty well with a Hawaii shirt, right? And that Mikko Linsiö is a damn good photographer.
Here we are, at Sound Supreme Studio in Hämeenlinna Finland. Today is our fourth day recording with our producer, the esteemed Mr Hiili Hiilesmaa. Hämeenlinna is one of Finland’s oldest cities (the oldest inland city), it has a really old castle and is the birth place of Jean Sibelius himself. Sound Supreme is a great studio with everything one might need. Great facilities, sounds and atmosphere.
We’ve so far nailed down the drums and most bass for 14 songs. Bögä has done an amazing job on the drums, playing to a click, which is a totally new sensation to us. It’s all serious and pro now. Today Eero is fixing bass tracks and after that we pack up and leave. Over the next month or so Lasse and Janne will be recording guitars and vocals at Hiili’s own studio, also in Hämeenlinna. Oh, and we’ve got a gig next week too. Must remember to turn up there too! Two additional gigs also confirmed or close to. April 30th in Helsinki (club gig) and June 13th in Loimaa (mini festival). Exciting times!
The album will come out this spring or early summer. Title and cover art yet to be determined. And a bunch of other things. But so far it’s looking pretty fucking promising.
In Finland we take Labor Day seriously and party for two days. What better way to do that than by arranging a metal fest with our home boys Ninetyfive50! The venue, Hard Rock House, is a cool live music club in Roihuvuori, Helsinki. We’re going to blow the roof of. This we guarantee. Sign up here and stay up to date on our planning for this special event.
The year is coming to an end and it’s time to be grateful and reflect on… blah blah. No, it’s not. It’s time to get to work. Our pre-prod is done, we’ve done the listening and the songs are pretty much ready. Janne and I are fine-tuning guitar arrangements, and as a full band we have a few more practice sessions before the studio.
I’ve added more stories about our songs and hopefully at least some of them are of some kind of interest to someone somewhere. Bögä has acquired more drum sticks to break and we’re tuning our guitars to a perfect 432 Hertz (just kidding – we’re not silly). Lyrics will stress me out for the next few weeks as I procrastinate on whether to re-write everything, do major editing of key parts or just leave it as-is.
The pic above is from our annual band Christmas event, which is usually quite eventful. This time we ventured to Tallinn, had some fun and still made it back home safely, which is a minor miracle given our drinking habits.
Last week we finally got around to record the second round of the pre-prod recordings. We had the privilege to visit our gig buddies’ Röökipaikka’s rehearsal space for the recordings and the nicest man alive, Mr Kari Degerman, took care of the engineering work. 12 songs recorded in two nights. Some of them in one take, some two, and a few required more than that. We only did the basic backing tracks, drums-bass-guitars, and mixed live on stereo tracks. This week I will add the vocals and that’s pretty much it. The solos were also part of the live recording. We’re not doing multi-track layers, effects or anything like that in this round.
It’s clear that this is a super useful exercise to do. The acoustics in our own practice place are not ideal so now we get to hear things properly. We have a month and a half until the studio and some of the stuff needs to be tightened up and some of it loosened up. I am finding that probably more of my notes are about playing less – especially on guitars it’s about reducing some of the picking hand movement. I personally also have a bit of Hetfieldesque downpicking practice to do to tighten up my rhythm guitar. At least for guitars, ‘Bad Time’ is the hardest song to get perfect or close enough. It has a long instrumental ending with all kinds of guitar fuckery and it’ll probably require a few takes at the studio before we’re happy.
I’ve also made progress on the lyrics side of things, with one song completely re-written. It will be interesting to see what it sounds like with all new lyrics. At least now the words make sense and tell a story. I think it will be called ‘Shine’, but we’ll see…
Last week’s highlight was obviously Finland men’s football team qualifying for the Euro championships for the first time ever (no world cup attendance either). Fuckin ‘ hell… who would have thought. Finland’s men’s team making it in football and Flush being serious about making an album. Wait, I think I see a pig flying outside!
It’s Lasse writing again. This month I turned one year older and developed pneumonia. Pneumonia was also known as “the old man’s friend” because it helped old people die faster back in the days. A terrific month indeed.
In less than two weeks we’ll do our second round of pre-prod recordings for the album. We’ll go to our friends’ practice place & studio and record for two evenings. Everything but vocals live. This is primarily to test the arrangement changes we’ve done since the first round of pre-prod.
Most of the changes are minor but some are pretty significant. Like starting the song with a chorus (wtf), adding a modulation in the end (WTF), and alternating between two different keys (WTF!). Are we still punk rock? Hell yes! We do what we like.
Lyrics editing is happening too. It’s surprisingly hard work and I am trying to maintain a certain degree of ambition here. The words should mean something, they should flow with the song and they should not be too obvious. Those are the three key criteria for me, and simply writing “I need you like the roses need the rain and the poet needs the pain” won’t do.
What else does one need for an album? An album title, art work, merchandise, promotion, distribution… all kinds of stuff that I’d gladly hand over to someone else, but being independent (which is punk, of course), we do it all by ourselves. Like Eric Carmen back in 1976.
Thanks for checking in. Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding (this is a The Hold Steady reference – check them out too).
Exciting news! Best kind of news! First gig booked for 2020 at Bar Mascot in Kallio, Helsinki, Finland. We’ll be joining a really exciting band, The Black Bubbles, for an event we’re calling “The End of Tipaton”. Mascot is a place we’ve not yet played at so this is a new stage to conquer. This is also a gig we’ll promote the hell out of as we have a hard ticket target to achieve. We need you all, your friends, and your friends’ friends there!
Ja vielä suomeksi: Tipaton päätetään ensi vuonna todella tyylikkäästi Kallion Mascotissa. Flush ja The Black Bubbles lavalla. Tätä ei kannata missata. Tätä ei voi missata. Tätä et saa missata.
Let’s be clear about one thing. This album has been in the making for a long time. A loooong time. This approach to start talking about it is our own psyching method to make sure it actually happens. The first part in achieving one’s goals is to tell someone else about that goal. So here we are.
At this point we’re down to 14 song candidates for the album. In spring and summer we recorded rough pre-production versions of 16 songs and got input and feedback from an outside producer. This was a super-useful exercise to do. Not all songs changed that much, but it helped us emphasize the most relevant parts of some of the songs – like bringing out the choruses much more – and it made us re-discover the potential in some of our older materials. At the time of writing our plan is pretty straight forward:
Book a studio for early 2020
Do one more round of pre-prod recordings to ensure we know how the revised versions sound
Practice, practice, practice.
Now that the arrangements, structures and melodies are close to final, there is quite a lot of effort still in finalizing the lyrics. If the music and the playing is good, the songs have to fuckin’ mean something too. And they will.
At some much later point we still need to deal with minor things like mixing, mastering, promotion, distribution, art and massive streams of money flowing in. One thing at a time though…
Stay tuned for more updates on our journey towards the long anticipated album. Look after each other and be well.