The God That You Deserve

…you think you come in here with original ideas?
Killing in the name of the Lord?

We’re in the studio day 2, listening to the playback of the basic tracks.

My fingers are grooved and sore.   The cruel contour of steel roundwound guitar strings visible from eight straight hours of laying down the rhythm tracks, then doubling those again.
But it’s a good pain, like the catholic glow of hurt after too many situps.

It’s there, concrete. The drums committed now, even though  Nick now finds fault in a second verse pattern here, a rushed fill there.
Heh.  What was it we were saying about tracking to the grid?

But it all sounds just great to the guitar players in the room , so we move on.  We have the sturdy foundation upon which we shall layer on the melty cheese.

We begin the lonely business of overdubs now, that singular experience of adding your stuff to the song all by yourself.

Isolated from the rest of the fellas by glass and headphone, you become that rogue cosmonaut floating around deep space.
Tethered to Mission Control only by a coiled cord and the static clip of the talkback in your ear.

You are alone with the song now, yet you can feel everyone in the booth concentrating on every movement of your fingers, each crack in your voice.
Ready to stop the track and congratulate you for nailing it, and just as eager to call you a dick for fucking it up yet again. Do you need a moment in there? Shall we stop for dinner?

It’s thrilling, to see these things take shape.

We’ve only been concentrating on the basic track for so long, each downstroke and downbeat, that we only now start to see the song emerge.
Everyone has been keeping their own individual ideas for the songs til this moment.

You get your turn to lay down an idea, then just hope you are not met with a roomful of puzzled looks and the suggestion that, hey, maybe you can go do the taco run right now, hmmm?

Carnitas por favor!

I do a quick scratch vocal over all the tracks so we can set all the marks.
I’m still scribbling out verses up to this point, and stumble over the phrases as I try out the words for the first time.
I scratch out words and mark breathing spots with a magic marker, looking all the world like a grumpy community college teacher grading papers as I sing along to the tracks.
I blow out my voice as I have no clue where to breathe or even what key we’re in, but the proper real estate is now claimed for voice. And now the guitars come in to do their sneaky infestation.


Jay and Kimm were  out in the lobby all the day before, going through the songs and scratching out ideas. For this track, they submit totally to its shameless roots in Train Kept a Rollin and Ace of Spades.

Kimm comes in and lays the lead, like, quick.
We all take our places on the couch for another playback, check the new color added to the canvas.
It works.