Sunday, June 29, 2008

Two more songs recorded!

I am a somewhat tired but very happy Zak Claxton at the moment. I am back at my home near the beach after spending last night in lovely Riverside, CA, recording two more songs for my upcoming album -- "You're Like a Cloud" and "Thanks Anyway".

As usual, it was a great time working at Sound Sanctuary along with Phil and Bunny. I couldn't be happier with the way things came out yesterday. I arrived just before noon, and hung out with Phil for a short while until Bunny rolled in. We got the drums set up and after a little warmup, dialed in a guitar tone and stared our first track, which was "You're Like a Cloud". I used Phil's Epiphone Casino for the rhythm track. The song became a little less ethereal and more poppy/funky due to the switch away from being primarily an acoustic-driven song to being more rock-based. I liked it a lot. Recorded bass tracks, then did a texture track using Phil's 12-string Danelectro. I mean, what's a song about a cloud without a 12-string, I ask you?

Zak doing his 12-string track on "You're Like a Cloud"

We then tackled vocals for the song, which went pretty smoothly. We were hoping our pal Ralph Torres would make it to the session to contribute some backing vocals and good vibes, but sadly he wrenched his back and couldn't drag himself there, so I took his place along with Phil to do the vox. Finished it up with some lead on the Les Paul, and we were done. I had Bunny turn on the video camera for a short clip of me recording my backing vocal part.

It was already evening by then and we were starved, so next came dinner. We had a delicious pizza, and then it was back to work, tracking "Thanks Anyway". We started with drums and rhythm guitar again, as has been the case of everything we've done on this album so far. But something was amiss; there are a lot of little breaks in this song, and it's not an easy one for a drummer to get in the first few tries. As opposed to having me play the song 800 times or so, Phil had me lay down the track by myself, with a scratch track of guitar and voice. Then Bunny had the not-very-easy task of playing drums over my recording. I believe he did a magnificent job.

Bunny gets in the groove.

After we had a couple of good takes from Bunny, I overdubbed bass on the track, and then went back and re-recorded the acoustic guitar track with my Martin. Then I did vocals and harmony vocals, and finally got out the Les Paul again and did a little counterpoint guitar part. And we were done... a pretty early night for a recording session in that we wrapped and started tearing down about midnight.

We got Bunny's drums put away, and then after saying my goodbyes, I drove the half-mile down the street to the always luxurious Motel 6, where I got some sleep before heading back to the beach the next day.

As soon as I have some clips of rough mixes, hopefully later this week, I'll post them at

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