I could not be more stoked to bring you this — an exclusive studio update from vocalist Ben Ward himself on the recording process for Orange Goblin‘s first full-length album in four years! The plan is to have a couple installments over the next few weeks as the band lays down tracks at The Animal Farm in South London, so we’ll all be able to keep up with them as they finish the record. Fucking. Awesome.
Here’s the latest, straight from Mr. Ward:
Orange Goblin – Album Recording – Week 1
It’s fair to say that since we returned home from the US tour in mid-June we have been working very hard on piecing together the plethora of riffs and ideas that we’ve accumulated over the past four years since we recorded Healing Through Fire. Rehearsals have been intense and the only respite we had was a weekend performing at UK Sonisphere Festival alongside the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Motörhead, Slipknot, Mastodon and more…
Last Thursday, the evening before we started recording, we finally put the final touches to the 10th song in preparation for the next Orange Goblin record. This will be our seventh studio album and first for our new home, Candlelight Records. The label have shown great patience with us, waiting over two years for us to finally deliver an album, so I hope we can repay their faith! I’m pretty confident, as the material seems to be a real mix of everything people have come to appreciate about Orange Goblin. The material is heavier, darker and at the same time catchier and as psychedelic as anything we have written before. Whether that comes across during the recording… only time will tell. Lyrically, there is no real theme as there was with Healing Through Fire, and I am having fun writing some typical, fantasy-type heavy metal lyrics, kinda like Geezer Butler did for Sabbath!
We are working in a completely different way this time around. In the past we have locked ourselves away for two to three weeks at a time to record but due to work commitments that wasn’t ever a possibility this time around (none of us earn a living from doing this band so we all have to earn a crust doing other things to pay our rent and feed our families!). We had to find a studio that would be willing to let us work over a period of seven consecutive weekends, as well as let us leave our gear set up. Luckily we found one, almost on our doorstep. We recorded a Sabbath cover at The Animal Farm studio in South London last year for a Metal Hammer magazine compilation, so we knew that we would be OK going back there and working with a young producer/engineer called Jamie Dodd. Jamie is a fan of stuff like High on Fire, Mastodon, Monster Magnet, Metallica, etc., so he knows the sort of thing we are trying to achieve with this album.
Anyway, last Friday we started work at The Animal Farm and whilst I went out to stock up on the studio essentials (beer, wine, whiskey, vodka and crisps!), Chris [Turner] started setting up the drums as Jamie set about miking the kit up. By the time I got back with the booze, everyone was ready for a drink and Chris was ready to start getting some drum sounds which after a while were exactly what we were looking for… that huge John Bonham/Bill Ward-like kick and snare with plenty of fizz in the cymbals! In no time Joe [Hoare, guitar] and Martyn [Millard, bass] had set up too and we were ready to start recording. Chris is like a machine when he gets in the studio and before we knew it he had laid down four of the 10 drum tracks, alongside guide guitar and bass tracks and my vocal guide for good measure.
We arrived back at the studio on Saturday morning and Chris proceeded to lay down the final six drum tracks (even managing to record alternative takes of every song in case of a disaster!), meaning that he had finished all his basic parts by the end of play on Saturday evening. He will have some percussion parts to do later in the process but that will come at the ‘bells and whistles’ stage! We contemplated setting up the bass so Martyn could get started but Jamie decided we should call it a day there and resume first thing on Sunday. We didn’t need too much persuading on that and took it as a green light to go out to the Crobar (famous London rock bar) and spend the night getting wasted in celebration of Chris finishing his drum tracks — which we did in style!
Sunday morning hurt a little bit, but by the time we had all reconvened at the studio, Martyn was ready to start laying down his thunder! Using his massive Orange bass rig his sound is awesome! It can do everything you need, from the Steve Harris galloping basslines in Maiden to the smoother grooves of Geezer Butler’s bass on tracks like “Solitude.” During the course of the day he managed to get three or four tracks done before we decided that we were well ahead of schedule and spent the rest of the evening burning discs to go away and listen to until next weekend, when we will carry on. I fully expect Martyn to be done by the end of Saturday which will mean it’s Joe’s turn to start piling on the riffs and playing around with tones and whatever guitarists do!! I’ll let you know how we get on next week!
Ben Ward, 16th August 2011
Tags: Candlelight, London, Orange Goblin, Orange Goblin Studio Update, UK