Earlier this year, I had an interesting conversation with Melbourne musician Jamie Hay. It was a bit bloody exciting, but one that I never thought would happen. We’d been talking shit, maybe even drinking a couple of beers when Jamie had asked me if I’d be interested in playing with him at a few shows, and possibly doing some recording.
I was a little surprised being that Jamie is a strong performer, one who roars his way through meaty, weighty songs with the conviction of one who has lived the words he writes, who doesn’t write filler songs. I’d always thought he was the kind of performer who didn’t need accompanying. But I was stoked. Oh boy was I stoked.
After a few weeks spent running through demos and throwing around ideas for vocal harmonies and accompanying guitar parts, I headed to Hobart with Jamie, Carl (Arrows) and Matt (A Death In The Family / H-Block 101) to record a week’s worth of songs at Linc le Fevre‘s house in chilly South Hobart. It was good to be back under the shadow of Mt Wellington. We were due to start work with production team Linc and my brother Nic, fresh from working on the newest Luca Brasi recording.
I had lived in three separate houses on the one street in South Hobart over a period of six years or so, one where we recorded the tracks in a spare bedroom that made up The Scandal side of the split CD with Stand Defiant that launched the record label that I co-managed for five years, Disconnect Records. To a few people it’s still known affectionately as Disconnect House. To my neighbours at the time, I’m very sorry.
I arrived at Linc’s house to find that Matt had already laid down his drum parts and was back in Melbourne already. His parts sounded better than I could have imagined. We spent the next few days flipping between recording Jamie’s guitar parts, my guitar parts, which were in all honesty still pretty tentatively formed, and Carl’s bass parts. I was glad for the times where I could step outside in the cool sun and think about the next part, because I was still figuring out how my guitar should fit in with the other instruments.
We hadn’t rehearsed as a band at that point, and I was suffering from trying to make my tentative parts come off as the confident parts they needed to be. Carl and I swore a lot and drank a lot of coffee in between Carl popping painkillers to try and mask the pain from his freshly pulled tooth. Ouch.
We wound up the week with me desperately trying to relax my way through vocal tracking as my voice went from rough to worn out to completely, raggedly fucked due to my raging head cold (ask Linc about my track record of getting sick EVERY SINGLE TIME anyone even mentions recording).
The record is done now and I’m immensely grateful and proud to have been a part of it. I can’t wait to get out on the road with Jamie and Linc and play these songs with them.
The photographs above are all shot on Canon 5DmkII and is the first work that I’ve shared that I’ve shot on digital. I’m still shooting film, but I’ve started to branch out a little, too.
Here are a few mobile phone snaps from the week of tracking in Hobart:
My feet and a room mic in Linc’s lounge room. Note firewood; it was cold.
Linc’s monitor speakers set up in the lounge room so Carl and I could listen in to vocal takes as Jamie went through part by part. Linc ended up using this image as a basis for the cover art for his soon-to-be-released album Resonation.
Nic’s Ibanez bass that we ended up using on a couple of tracks, along with Linc’s Marshall JCM800. The weird box on top of the 800 is a headphone box so we could sit in the hall and play guitar instead of being right in front of the (LOUD) amp.
Linc at work in the control room.
Jamie killing time in between takes.
Nic in the observatory on top of Mount Wellington.
Jamie and Carl. We did some location recording on the top of Mount Wellington. It was blustery, cold, and so windy that it almost blew us sideways a few times on the way out of the car. The howling wind was eerily present through the recording we did, but unfortunately we didn’t end up using that version of the acapella cover of Eric Bogle’s Gift of Years that ended up on the album.
Jamie at a coffee fuel stop before starting tracking for the day. I liked this picture a lot and aimed to capture a similar, but slightly more relaxed feel in the first portrait in this post.
These next couple are borrowed from Nic’s instagram feed. Hopefully he won’t mind.
Myself and Linc chewing the fat at the end of a long day of tracking.
Jamie and Carl playing a couple of rounds of Last Action Hero pinball at the Alleycat in North Hobart.
And the next couple of images are borrowed from Jamie’s instagram feed. If he minds I will fight him.
Mount Wellington from South Hobart
This is how you deal with the cold in Tasmania. TWO HEATERS.
That’s my ‘trying not to mess up the record’ face.
King of the Sun is now available to pre-order. You can do so HERE.
Hope to see you at one of these shows!
You can listen to ‘Rabbit On’ from King of the Sun HERE.
Jamie Hay’s tumblr
Jamie Hay’s page at Hobbledehoy Records
Linc le Fevre