The B of the Bang: Song writing in the unconvential way

Saturday 29th January

Sooooooooooooooooooooo…..

Just a short entry today as this video speaks for itself. Actions being louder than words n’all that….

I will say that if this album isn’t released until the year 2021, then this sums up why….

Where the recording process for this album differs from our first is that many of the songs on ‘Beginning. Middle. End.’ had been around for a while and were completely written/finished/sorted before recording even began.

A fair proportion of stuff for this album I’ve only kind of sketched out before bringing them to rehearsal for all of us to put our own stamp on it. It’s an extremely enjoyable process…..but it can sometimes lead to the following results:

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Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Recording DAY THREE and a bit (18th-20/01/11)

Thursday 20th January

Drummy drum drums. A day of ups and downs. Recording drums is a bit like sex. The excitement builds as you prepare, you set up your equipment, you get everything perfect, you get stuck in, you realise there’s a problem, you get annoyed, you have a rethink, things get tense, you get in a right old cop, then miraculously you’re away and it’s the most natural thing in the world, you get more done than you’d imagined, you’re smiling and then……………it’s all over and you have to pack everything away and clean up.

5 tracks in. (another title to add to the four from our last entry…’Bring You Back’.) Good going Elliott Gregg (although he did throw his drumsticks at one point. These tempremental artistes eh?) The fact that we got anything done at all is due in no small part to the next character I’m going to introduce to this fairytale.

Neil Elliott – (aka Nelly. Himmler. Tennis Ball Head.)

Our George Martin, The Colonel and Andrew Loog-Oldham all rolled into one. Actually, he’s like none of them. He just records us and tells us to do things again. And again. And again. And again. He’s a beautiful man though. Unless he’s wearing a mankini. That is a frightening sight forever engrained in my minds eye which you, dear reader, will just have to imagine for yourself. Though I wouldn’t recommend it.

At the moment, we’re laying down the basic stuff. The foundations, if you will, on which we will build glorious, towering aural structures that will be sumptuous feasts for your earholes. Or you might weep at our inept, dismal musical failings. That’s the gamble you get with The B of the Bang yeah?

The reason so far that it’s mainly me (Wit. Hi.) and Elliott in these videos is because we work together at a studio. We literally have nothing better to do with our time. That will all change soon though and you can behold the glory of the other members of TBOTB in their full wonderous entirety. What makes them tick? Why? What is their favourite mid-morning snack? These questions answered and more….same time…..next time….

As an extra treat, heres a short video introducing the ideas behind the new album…

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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Recording DAY TWO (12/1/11)

Wed 12th January

The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice in the coming weeks that Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 etc…are, in fact, not consecutive days in the Roman calendar. That is because we have to devote much of our time to the drudgery and sludgery of real-life. Jobs and all that lark. Granted, this isn’t the most exciting way to begin a journal entry but it’s one that I wanted to clear up. Nice and early. No fooling around right? YOU GOT THAT. Good.

Well step this way….here comes some hot-of-the-press-exclusives.

Ready?

What we are recording right now is a concept album. Some of you may now be stifling the urge to be sick into the nearest receptacle…you should probably navigate away from this page now. Because not only is it a concept album…it’s almost a ROCK OPERA. There. I said it.

Now…don’t get me wrong, I love Meatloaf as much as the next man (in the fact that I can’t stand him and the man next to me has a t-shirt on saying ‘I hate Meatloaf’…). We’re not going down some hugely pretentious, overblown epic, wizards and capes, 20 minute keyboard solos type-route (well, we might…we’ll have to see..). No, dear reader. However…all the songs on this album are linked to each other. They have a central story and a theme (more on which later…). They have recurring characters and follow a series of plot twists and turns that would make Ballard blush. Yes, you guessed it…we’re pretty much just ripping off the idea from The Decemberists ‘Hazards of Love’.

So anyhoo…day 2 was a rehearsal of the first four songs we are to record. Here are the working titles:

Canaries in the Coalmine

The Forest (The Devil is in the Dirt)

Sharks of the Atomic Atoll

Hang’d in the Street

I’ve just noticed the large amount of ‘in the’ and ‘of the’ within those titles. Hmmmm….

Day 2 also comprised of a photo shoot with the exceptional talents of Mr Aaron Bennett. This fellow is absolutely awesome and really understands where the band is coming from and how to shoot us (I’m sure he really would like to shoot us occasionally as the schoolboy giggling and general japery must be grating to a professional of his calibre). His ideas really gel well with our music so I’m sure you won’t mind if we give him a little plug here: http://www.aaronbennettphotography.com/. Top stuff.

Next time. Drums. Ooooooh….

Recording DAY ONE (10/1/11)

Mon 10th January

And so it begins….

Hallo fair reader.

Today marks the start of The B of the Bang beginning the recording of album number 2. This blog will provide an insight into the making of said album…the giddy highs, the manic lows, the tantrums, the tears and the slapstick pratfalls.  If you’re new to tBotB then welcome aboard…glad to have you. If you’re a regular follower then we’re very happy to announce that 2011 sees a fine, lean, fighting fit bangwagon raring to go…so let’s meet the cast shall we? Yes? Yes.

The Players:

Ox – (aka Benjamin Ottesen, Ochs, Oppenheimer): In charge of the lowest notes in the band, his slap bass rendition of the snooker theme tune could render grown men to teary mush. His beatbox skills are mighty and his heart is solid.

Rhodes – (aka David Rhodes. The Nose. DMR): A man who, given a guitar, can coax such noisy beauty as to demolish buildings or send a butterfly to sleep with a deft fingerpicked F sharp. Also makes a mean chilli and can fix an aeroplane. Swish.

Elliott Gregg – (aka Elliott Gregg. Elliott Gregg. Elliott Gregg): The fella with two first names. He bangs the drums and he does so with glee. His consumption of wine from the bottle is unparalleled and he also made some sort of electronic music device out of cardboard. That’s proper.

Wit – (aka Christopher Whitear. Father Scowling. Beardy): Myself, a one-in-a-million, good-looking musical genius that, everything he touches turns to pure gold. Or an accident-prone imbecilic cretin that can barely tie his own shoelaces and resembles a dishevelled Daniel Beddingfield with a hangover. You decide.

Rox – (aka Roxanne Johns, ROOOOOOOOOOOOOXANE, Roxy Music): Her tinkling on the ivories has been compared to Chopin, Bach and Les Dawson. Bringing a touch of class to The Bang by being the only member who doesn’t look like they’ve been found in a railway station gently weeping.

Jackamus – (aka Jack Malpas-Coker, Jackamooth, SHUT UP DOW): An enigma that only exists in our imaginations and the possibly made up town of Sherfield-on-Loddon. You give him any instrument and he’ll play it, sir. Often the wrong way round. Most Greek.

So there you go…there will be other major characters in this story and they will be introduced as and when but for now that is an introduction….a prologue if you will….

Here follows some select cuts of movie-film from our first day in the studio. We managed to just about make the equipment vaguely work for just about long enough to get 4 guide tracks down. Titles, themes, lyrics and the like will be posted here sure enough but for now…hold on tight…here we go…

Published in: on January 11, 2011 at 9:58 am  Comments (1)  
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