“What is best for the song, not the ego of a specific band member.”
After we took a month to record the album, I did not think it would take so long to mix it down. There are so many things going on in these songs, to get them right was top priority. And we all know that “getting it right” is very subjective. Jam took the lead on this one. He has a history and great relationship with Duane Lundy so it was the best way to have it streamlined. Jam and Duane would take a song at a time, make adjustments to what they thought would be best for the song, and then Jam would share the song with us so we could listen, take notes, and suggest changes.
With 11 songs, that took awhile. Actually, it was taking so long that Jam went back to Lexington in September for a few days to hurry the process. It was too much back and forth on emails and texting in the middle of the process to be productive enough.
Thankfully, the process worked because of Jam’s keen ear and Duane’s commitment, professionalism, and dedication to the band and making us sound as good as he could.
I, myself, had many notes on my drum parts. Jam and I agreed on many of the changes to the drums, but Duane was less convinced. Most of the changes had to deal with volume comparable to the rest of the band. Duane is a very bass drum/snare drum sound of guy, which means those two sounds from the drummer are key and most crucial. I get that but I thought the toms and hihat needed to be brought up more in the mixes than originally they were. We went back and forth on many songs where the hihat and toms needed to be brought up. We ultimately came to a very nice compromise on them. Again, it what was best for the song, not so everyone could hear me more than everyone else; that just makes for a terrible song.
For example, one song that we went back and forth on is “Dank Mississippi.” I play a slammin’ hihat and a driving floortom throughout most of the song. In the recording the hihat and the floortom are way in the background. I thought the hihat and floor drives the song more. Duane thought that it is the bass drum and snare, associated with the guitar that drives it. In the final mix we came to a compromise. They are still pretty low, but I want what is best for the sound quality of the song more than my own drumming. I think people are going to love the song as much as the band does when it is released.