Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Interview with BRACKISH TIDE by Dave Wolff

Interview with BRACKISH TIDE

Brackish Tide are working on their second full length. Where is the band recording it and how much of it has been completed so far?
We are recording our second disc in our own studio. It's our rehearsal studio; with the digital age upon us it's not so far-fetched (if I described its location you wouldn't believe it). We have been writing for a considerable time, so we have about 75% of the songs written and arranged. We have done demos for four or five songs just to get a feel for what we're really looking for in a sound. In a nutshell, we're a little while from completion.

Where exactly is the location of the band’s rehearsal studio?
The studio is actually located in what once was a service area for a chicken housits sizee. It was converted to a studio several years back when one of our members, Murdock, joined his first real band. Currently we are working on an addition that will double its size.

How long has the album been underway? Is there anything you paid particular attention to when you were writing and composing the songs?
We’ve been writing and rehearsing songs since our last album release “The View From Below”, in 2015. When we recorded it we already had a handful of songs completed, but we decided against putting them on that record for one reason or another. In terms of how we write, it all comes down to feel and sound. If we find something we like, we work on that riff or melody and form it into a full song. Basically, if we like it and it grooves, we work with it until it becomes something we’re happy playing.

Many bands practice and record in their own studios, using certain equipment to produce with a unique sound. Is the equipment you use to record mostly analog or digital?
On our previous recordings, we visited studios. We used a variety of equipment (some was our own and some belonged to the studio) in order to capture the tone we were looking for. As far as our personal gear, we go pure analog with tube amps. Our recording equipment is digital consisting of Presonus and programming is Logic Pro X.

What are the differences you found between analog and digital recording? What are the reasons you chose the latter?
I still like analog for the warmth and it’s what I trained and played on for most of my life. Digital however is much more efficient and the equipment is much less expensive. The flexibility of digital makes it much more sensible. The fact that once a song is recorded in digital you can do anything you want, the possibilities are limitless. The room also doesn’t make much difference in digital however I do try to bring some analog techniques into digital recording to give it more depth and warmth.

Does the band still use analog gear performing live? Does this gear still work for you when you/re on stage at a small club or larger venue?
Yes, we do use analog for our personal gear and it has worked well for us so far. Our PA equipment is mostly digital but most of our shows are multi-band and the sound system is provided.

Is all your work released and advertised independently or through labels and distros? What are the advantages to having your own studio?
We recorded our first full length album in Beracah Studios and our EP "Carpe Noctum" at Redharbour Studios. These releases were done independently, though we did patent and release our music through CD Baby. Having our own studio gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to the writing and recording process. It’s convenient to be able to lay down a track when the inspiration hits and be able to work on a song at your own pace, tweaking as you go along.

Did you work with anyone in particular on your previous releases? How much input did they have?
For our first album, we recorded and mixed with Andrew Baylis. We then sent our files to be mastered by Drew Mazurik. On our EP, we worked exclusively with the owner of Redharbour Studios, Kenny Kingsborough. In both instances, during our recording and mixing process, the engineers had some input in terms of arrangement and offered suggestions in order to help things flow more smoothly.

Are copies of “The View From Below” still available for purchase or download? How many copies were pressed upon its release and where were most of them mailed?
Our first CD is still available on most digital platforms and also here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/brackishtide. We had 1000 copies pressed of which several were mailed around but mostly used for selling at shows, etc..

Did you press as many copies of "Carpe Noctum" as you did of “The View From Below”? Are you still receiving orders for the EP?
"Carpe Noctum" was ordered as a download card/sticker and we only ordered 100 but have since ordered 100 more. It is also available on most major platforms and we still get an order or two. It’s still available here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/brackishtide2

What songs were demoed in preparation for the next full length and why were they chosen?
The first was "Angel No More" because it's one of those second nature songs as we first started work on it before the first CD was finished, "Six Feet of Hell" was also a tune that's been around a while but a departure from the first disc's sound. The main difference is because this was the first that one of our guitarists, WW, had brought to the band. The rest we'd rather not discuss so as to keep them under our belt for now. Haha!

How close are the demos to the sound you are looking for?
We’re still a way off in terms of getting the exact sound we want as our studio is not yet completed, though we are getting closer. In terms of the way our gear sounds, we have that dialed in pretty well, it’s just translating that to a recording atmosphere which is taking time.

Listening to the demos you recorded for the next album, how much improvement do you think the songs need at this point?
Most of the songs we have done demos of are pretty close to complete as far as writing/arranging is concerned because they've been floating around for several years. As far as the mix goes there's plenty of tweaking needed.

Describe the songs you’re working on lyrically: what they’re written about and what inspired them.
Here's a rundown of a couple songs off the new disc; “Hold On” is about a friend of a band member who was killed in a tragic car crash and how much life he had left to live. “Shallow Grave” is a story from the ID channel where a female drug addict had stolen from everyone she knew, including her family, who along with all of her friends had given up on her. When she was found dead her boyfriend was the prime suspect until he revealed that two of her 'other' boyfriends were responsible and he had witnessed the entire crime! The strangest part is they used the same exact plan as he was to use but were a few minutes ahead. 'Angel No More' was based on a poem that a member had written called “Eyes of an Angel”. It's about when you're born you have an open unbiased mind but as you age the world jades your thinking. It was inspired by the birth of friends’ children and all the horrible things they face as they grow.

How soon do you expect to finish tweaking the demoed songs and re-record them for the album?
We will probably take our time with the first few tunes and get them just how we want them so it may be a month or more before the real recording takes place.

What made you decide to record the new album in your own studio instead of Redharbour Studios? Did you want to release something closer to the band’s own vision?
It was actually a few reasons for this change. We had no problem with Redharbour nor Kenny, but it's about 2.5 hours away so travel time was a factor there. Also, the budget is gonna be so much less on the per hour side because studio time is not free! One more reason is that we can record or rerecord individual tracks, or mix/remix anytime the feeling hits. On that same note I think it will be closer to the bands vision because most of the usual restrictions are gone!

How much will studio time cut into the budget for the new album? How do you intend to use what you have to achieve the sound you’re looking for?
Actually the studio time is going to be quite reasonable because we have most of the equipment needed and we are the engineers. In order to get our sound it's going to be trial and error for the first few tries til we find what we really like.

Do you have a working title for the new album, or are you still in the process of selecting one?
We have thrown around a few ideas but probably won't have one until all the songs are set for the disc.

What are some of the ideas the band has been throwing around so far?
One idea was 'Devouring the Depths', a continuation of our first disc 'The View From Below', as in devouring the depths while attempting to surface. Another was 'Ascending' which would be along the same lines.

Will you be pressing copies on CD or exclusively releasing it on digital format for purchase? Are you planning to stream it on sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud?
More than likely we are going to do both a physical and digital format - It's still something about having that supercool disc and the cover art that goes with it. On the other hand a lot of fans are downloading music so we will make it accessible on any digital format that's available to us. We are currently on Reverbnation, Spotify, ITunes, Soundcloud and several other streaming sites.

Are you considering cassette and vinyl editions, as some bands are still doing with their material today?
We may release our new music on vinyl but that would be later down the road.

Some bands post updates about the making of their albums on Youtube, sometimes on Facebook or their official sites. Is this something Brackish Tide is doing?
We'll be doing some video at times, but we may or may not publish them until it's finished just to keep things interesting!

How are you planning to advertise and promote your new release on the internet when it’s available?
Promoting our new disc will probably center on social media. We are also working on something that will put our music in places that it's never been before!

Murdock: guitar
WW: guitar, vocals
DD: bass. Vocals
Tim 6: drums

-Dave Wolff

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