Recording Revenge: DIY Tracking

It’s like some kind of weird dream… I’m apparently back in Exhumed. Only, it’s not in the same room, and like, there’s a snake rolling a donut. I mean, it’s actually been almost two years since I accepted the invitation to rejoin, but we’ve had just a handful of shows since. Matt has had a record ready to record before I even joined, though. This last March, when I asked Matt when we would get down to practice new stuff, he informed me, actually, we were going ahead and recording . It had to be done before May. Oh, fuck. Okay, the dream became a nightmare.

And I show up to the show with no pants on [pic courtesy]
So, okay… get your shit together, Sewage, this is fucking happening. Matt and Mike were heading to Florida to get guitars and drums tracked. To keep things easy (and cheap) I was going to take care of my own vocal and bass tracking back in Oakland. This not only had the benefit of saving costs, but also of sparing anyone the time of editing all the shitty playing that was to be forthcoming on a bunch of songs I’d never actually played with a band. It was lucky that I had collected the gear, had the studio with my other Oakland-based band, and had been through some of this before. Here’s how I did it.

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Humans Till Deth video

Our band recorded a tune for Image Comics’ The Humans graphic novel series by Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely. It’s a cool comic set in the ‘70s and follows a motorcycle gang’s exploits, but with a twist; in this world, the gangs are all apes and actual humans are primitive beasts kept around for sport. Each issue of The Humans is accompanied by two original songs released online from bands such as Goblin Cock and Witches of God. Our song, “Humans Till Deth”, is an octane-fueled surf-thrash tune attached to the release of issue #8 on October 7.

The song is available for download from the Humans Soundcloud page. I was so excited by the tune, I decided to put a video together for it. I used nothing but iMovie, some old television clips, and art from Tom Neely.

We recorded the tune at a new studio to us, Antisleep, with Scott Evans. I think it came out rad and I’m pretty pumped to start recording the new album there in December.


Recording at Antisleep Studios

It all started with a simple Twitter conversation…

Flattery will get you everywhere
Flattery will get you everywhere

We had been talking about recording somewhere else for awhile now, as we prep our fifth full-length. Scott Evans is an engineer and guitarist who I met when Ludicra played a show with his band, Kowloon Walled City. I liked their heaviness and was impressed that he recorded their excellent material himself. So, I approached my bandmates about giving it a go at Scott’s Antisleep Studios for a song we had to record for an upcoming compilation. Things turned out smashingly.

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Dead Alive: Ludicra 1998-2011

From 1999 to 2011, I was in a band called Ludicra. It was a good run with four amazingly talented people. There were a lot of good times. The ending of the band wasn’t one of those good times. The feelings left behind could make one want to forget the whole endeavor. But all good things must come to an end, timely or otherwise… except the memories. Those can live on, and with music, they can live on loudly. This is what I intended.

In this age of information, a picture is worth a thousand lines of code. So what’s a song worth? I spent the last few months compiling all the recordings I had packed away. With the help of some websites, some free programs, and some D.I.Y. production work, I completed the total archive of Ludicra’s output over it’s 13 year existence, downloadable and free to all.

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Ghoul School

It was a strange weekend in the Bay Area. It had been so nice, but all of a sudden it was stormy out, lightening was crashing, and the smell of boiled beets was in the air. Obviously, splatterthrashers Ghoul were in town.

The original hooded menaces in Ghoul have often journied to Oakland in the past. I think there must be some kind of special travel deal or a direct flight from their homeland of Creepsylvania to Oakland. I shudder to think of what their passport photos must look like. This time, they were in town to record their long-awaited follow up album to 2006’s Splatterthrash. I guess Mr. Fang’s wax cylinder recording device must’ve been in the shop, because I found the Ghouls at Oakland’s vaunted Earhammer Studios, a place well known to record some of the best doom, crust and punk coming out of the Bay Area. I’m sure they felt right at home in the depressed neighborhood with people pushing their entire belongings about in shopping carts, not unlike the wheelbarrows of their European homeland. Just less donkey shit everywhere.

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Hammering away with Sir Cadbury Cobbett

Hammers of Misfortune is the brainchild of my bandmate in Ludicra, Sir John “Cadbury” Cobbett. They are in the midst of working on a new record to be released on Metal Blade sometime in the future.

I got the call from John. “I need my pedal back.” Crap. The pedal I was supposed to fine tune. Oops. Oh well, I got it working, at least. Problem is, I was working in Oakland, and John is hard at work in South San Francisco. And it’s rush hour. So I guess after getting here I’m sticking around and writing about what the fuck Hammers is nailing down.

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Rockin’ the Jack

So, a few months ago, Aesop, the drummer from Ludicra (the black metal band I also play in) asked me and our guitar player to help him with a project. His four year old son, Ezra, had made up a band and he wanted to make it a reality. Thus was born Rock Jack.

So one night we made up and recorded a veritable crapload of songs, and Aesop’s kid put lyrics about poo and Darth Vader over them. It’s rapidly becoming a local phenomenon. The CDs are selling, and now one of the major alt-weekly publications has done a feature article on Ezra.


The story is sweet, though. I’m glad they didn’t mention the whole story, where I got blackout drunk during recording, and the guitarist and I went to the East Bay Rats Fight Party, and I found out three days later I’d tried to drive myself home, puked through my nose, and tried to make out with my friend who then squealed about it to her friend, my ex, who apparently got offended, and I looked like a complete ass and had to call my friend I’d tried to make out with (probably with puke breath) and apologize.

We work hard and we live hard in Rock Jack.