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Studiophile: August 2011

| August 1, 2011

Local H At Million Yen

Million Yen Studios owner Andy Gerber was a bit suprised to get a call from Scott Lucas about demoing material for a new Local H record. “Scott had kind of officially declared the ‘era of demos’ as over,” remarks Gerber. “A lot of what you hear on PJ Soles and 12 Angry Months are drum tracks recorded shortly after Brian St. Clair [drums] learned the songs, and some tunes on both CDs started out as ‘concepts’ that we then forged into real songs in the studio.” But after about a decade of having the first recordings of a song be the only versions, Lucas felt he wanted the luxury of letting the tunes grow a bit before declaring them finished. “I know they had been playing ‘Cold Manor’ and maybe one or two other songs live for awhile, but Scott went through a really productive writing period and wanted to toy around with stuff like arrangements, key changes, and drum parts, and then be able to sit back and get some perspective on the tunes before total commitment.” The sessions turned out well, and everyone had fun with the process. “It was nice for Brian and Scott, and certainly me to be a little more relaxed and experiment with things without the pressure of ‘Holy shit, this is the new Local H record, it better be amazing!’ I think it will pay off in the long run; I saw them play a new song called ‘Another February’ at Metro at the end of the last tour and the kids in the audience were losing their minds!”

Million Yen has also had some extensive changes to studio hardware. “I finally upgraded to the latest and greatest Pro Tools HD hardware and software. Version 9 has fixed a lot of the issues I’ve always had with Pro Tools, and the old HD hardware was pushing 10-years old,” says Gerber. “The new stuff works great and sounds terrrific. I also got a brand new ‘super Mac.’ My joke is that for the next month or two, I’ve got the most powerful computer money can buy!” While he was at it, the studio got a bit of a facelift acoustically and cosmetically. “I’ve been at this location for 12 years without changing much, so the time was right to fix a few problem areas and splash some fresh paint around. I have to say, I’m probably more excited about the way the control room looks than the new gear! Now if I can just update the Web site” . . . It’s already been an exciting year at the studio. In addition the the Local H demo sessions, former Virgin recording artists AM Taxi returned to track two new songs for a Verizon promotion; Smoking Popes frontman Josh Caterer tracked a solo Christmas EP; and producer J Robbins was in town recording a Braid reunion CD.

In other studio news, Gold Motel have wrapped up their recent U.K. tour to play Lollapaolooza and an August 3rd Metro date. Then they begin tracking for their next full-length LP, with an eye to a 2012 release.

Carbondale’s punk pioneers The Copyrights enlisted legendary producer and fellow Illinoisan Matt Allison of Alkaline Trio, The Menzingers, and Smoking Popes fame to produce North Sentinel Island (due August 9th) in his Atlas Studios Compound in Chicago. The band says “you should listen to the record, because it’s packed with awesome songs about hating your fucked up iconoclastic lot in life and all the shit that makes good urgent punk music good and urgent.

Hey Studiophiler: To get your studio or band listed in “Studiophile,” just e-mail info on whom you’re recording or who’s recording you to ed [at], subject Studiophile, or fax (773) 751-5051. We reserve the right to edit or omit submissions for space. Deadline for September 2011 issue is August 15th.

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