Hey there. John here to talk a bit about laying down some of the guitar tracks for our first album.

Before the actual recording, Michael and I divided the songs between us to get a more coherent sound in each of the individual tracks. We both have a somewhat different approach to some parts of the songs in terms of picking, which works perfectly live but could cause some inconsistencies in the guitar parts on the album. So after a talk with our sound-engineer Stef, we chose this approach.

Like Mark and Michael, I plug directly into my computer with a Lexicon Lambda. I usually warm up first with some exercises and after that I play through the segments that I want to record, before laying down the guitar parts. Mark had already recorded  his tracks, so I just had to play along with both Ben and Mark’s recordings. In the songs there are a few places where I only had to play the melodies live, so having the bass to follow groove wise when recording the rhythm parts was a big help. Like Mark already said in his blog: There is al lot going on in those riffs.

After recording most of the rhythm parts, there was still a lot of work ahead. In most of the songs there are a lot of lead parts and there were quite a few solos.

I also had to come up with solos for ‘Becoming the Lie’ and ‘Closing Statement’. There was never a real necessity to come up with solos for these songs before. This was because we planned on never playing them live, which was our first priority when the band came together.

While writing solos I like a hands-on approach, with a guitar in my lap. But instead of instantly just jamming, I like to take some time and get a melody in my head, sing it and then start playing it. Usually when I come up with a melody I really like, I start playing around with it. Do some quicker passages between important notes, sometimes a really long lick to accentuate the tonal center and sometimes superimpose some chords as well as the occasional outside playing. But I always keep the melody in mind.

For the rhythm, leads and solos I used my Bo-El MC-7. I’ve been playing this guitar for almost 5 years now and haven’t come across a better guitar for the things I want to do!
For the odd clean parts I used a Michael Kelly Archtop guitar. Even though I really wanted to use my Bo-El for everything, you really can’t beat the big clean sound of an Archtop.

Recording the album was really enjoyable. It took quite a bit longer than I expected it to, but it was time well spent. All the rhythm parts are quad tracked and all the solos and leads triple. Especially nailing the solos 3 times took quite a bit of effort, but it was a really fun challenge.

That’s about it. Cya at one of our gigs!


John Recording