Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Til the Break of Day" by Last Tribe

From Last Tribe's "Substance and Soul" record... One of my favorite songs on that record. It was the band's first time in a real recording studio and we fought hard to record just about every song we had. We ended up releasing the record with 15 tunes on it although we probably should have trimmed it down to 11 or 12. This song was a bit self indulgent, especially for me, and I don't think we ever played this track live. We certainly didn't after the record was released as there were probably about 10 guitar tracks on it. At the time I was listening to a lot of David Gilmour and Allan Holdsworth and it reflects a little in the solo.
It was recorded at Pyramid Sound Studios in Ithaca, NY by Alex Perialas and Rob Hunter. Alex was a Metal/Hardcore/Screamo producer and didn't really understand where Last Tribe was coming from. Regardless, he looked at our band as a pop/rock hopeful for metal label Energy Records and signed us to a deal. He introduced us to larger, louder amps and he also had some beautiful guitars to record with, as well as a beautiful recording studio with a 48 track Neve console. I remember playing the solo on a white Charvel that had a sweet, rich tone through a Marshall head and a four twelve cabinet. Although I always tried to steer clear of guitars of that ilk (Charvel, Kramer etc.) that guitar was a screamer and played so nicely. The rhythm stuff was done with a Strat through my JC-120 and is super clean. I always enjoyed Pete Jameson's excellent fretless bass playing on this track.

Despite being in a recording studio with fantastic gear, the original mix of "Substance and Soul" came out like poops. It was a classic case of "it ain't the gear, it's the ear" and unfortunately Mr. Perialas' ears were fried. I ended up re-mixing/salvaging the entire album down at The Hit Factory NYC and BearTracks with engineer Doug Oberkircher. Because of the poor quality of the recorded drum tracks, most of what you hear are triggered samples on kick and snare. The snare sample came right from The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Blood Sugar Sex Magic" record, hence the gated reverb sound on it.