Unveil the Mystery (Issue no8)

August 29, 2014

Travelling overseas is not always as fun as it may appear when it comes to gear. In the case of Jean-Sebastien, that means playing another drum kit, for Benoit Dupuis, it can be borrowing some controller keyboards over there too. For me, its using another borrowed amp, leaving the old Taurus home, and bringing with me only one bass. This leads to the heartbreaking moment of having to choose between the Fender Jazz and the 5 string Ibanez. The later one is not my favourite, i don't like five strings actually, but its always that one who wins since Antoine Fafard recorded every bit of his original bass parts with either a five or six strings, even playing fretless a lot on the last studio album. Honestly, i find it sad because i like to bring lots of gear, i  even considered bringing the minitaur -AND- the original Taurus so i can play like if i had a two octave pedal board,  expanding all the combinations and possibilities, but i have to face the fact, we have to travel with less. But let me reassure you, it doesn't affect the quality of the performance whatsoever, it just  needs some more time to adjust to the new configuration. For example,  the new 12 step, very compact to travel with, but since the pedal board consists of very tiny rubber buttons and not actual pedals, and no controls (sold separately of course)  like volume and filters are accessible with foot sliders and switches like on the original taurus. My hands are doing all the extra's from now on, so the old ''choreography'' doesn't work anymore (!). The plus side of it is that the minitaur can bring some new odd sounds i could'nt do with the Taurus, adding some fresh new occasional, personal touch to some of the new upcoming live versions of some songs.

I don't have that much studio experience, but if possible i'm always happy to bring and try newly found (old) toys while i'm recording, with mystery or demo's in my own studio, as many as possible. If its too much, i'll delete them in the mix. I remember one time bringing a cr-78 drumbox at a ''one among the living'' session, the same drum machine used on ''heart of glass'' by blondie, or ''duchess'' by genesis, ''in the air tonight'', just to see what i could do with it, try to bring a totally new sound texture...as soon as it was plugged in i ended up having trouble with the 30yo machine so i did'nt used it. Mystery is involving a lot of guest musicians, it makes stuff that is not easy to reproduce live. My biggest challenge in the set is ''through different eyes''. I've played a lot of bass pedals on the studio version, Antoine (Fafard) played a lot incredibly difficult slapping bass technique at some point, wich never been part of my own style and so i've never been practising that technique enough, and some bass lines had intricate bass pedal's part under it that i recorded very early in the studio sessions for OATL, not knowing yet what would be played on top of it. With back vocals added even more later on, eventually you realise you got quite a lot to do once on a stage. Very few bands think about live arrangements when writting and recording, rush maybe one of those rare exceptions.

In the meantime, i'll take this opportunity to wish a very happy birthday to our multitask band leader Michel St-Pere!!! Bon anniversaire mon ami!

thick as a prog!
-frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unveil the Mystery (Issue no10-part1)

December 25, 2014

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