Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Uncoffined Studio Report

Chris over at United Kingdom Extreme Metal asked me if I would do a studio diary/report for the debut Uncoffined studio recording, the Doom band that I drum and growl/scream in, so I gladly obliged. The studio report was originally posted on his site but I have reposted it for those who follow this blog to read.
"Formed from members of Winds of Genocide and The Obscene, North East death/doom metallers Uncoffined have just returned from Bradford where they recorded their debut offering 'Ritual Death And Funeral Rites'. UKEM asked Drummer/Vocalist Kat to document their time in the studio and to give us an insight into their recording process and general studio experience (including drunk old Yorkshire men!!!). Let the drinking and death commence.....
Finally the day we had been building up to and working towards for the best part of 2 years since the band was formed and we first started rehearsing and writing material as a 2 piece had arrived, I woke up early as I needed to get some things sorted before getting picked up to head down to Bradford on the afternoon to begin the recording process at Studio 1in12 so once I had got a few things taken care of I went back home and finished getting the horror film samples together, writing the times of where the samples were that I wanted to use etc...(typically I left sorting that out until the last minute). I had decided to use samples from a couple of my fave hammer horror films namely "The Plague Of The Zombies" and "The Devil Rides Out"...I was going to take a sample from "The Zombie Dead" too but due to rushing about I left the DVD at home next to the DVD player!
The rest of the band namely G.Hall(guitar), J.Sugden (lead guitar) and G. Sugden(bass) arrived at my place at about 2.30 on the Friday afternoon and once my drum stuff and personal stuff for the recording weekend was packed into the car I squeezed into the back with Glynn...I ended up being sandwiched in between his large bulk and the guitars and various bags...I suppose if we had of crashed I wouldn't have went anywhere as I was firmly wedged in between both...after some initial moaning about the lack of space I settled into the journey and enjoyed the scenic route down to Bradford, there was definitely a sense of anticipation for the weekend ahead in the car and everyone was in good spirits and really looking forward to finally recording the 5 songs that we had crafted properly in a studio.
We got to somewhere in North Yorkshire and decided a toilet break and a pint was needed plus a much needed stretch of legs for us cramped in the back so we went in search for a pub, the first little village we arrived in was very sleepy, so sleepy the local pub wasn't even open...but we parked up behind the pub and the others went off in various directions to relieve their bladders, me being the only girl in the band I had to wait as there was no way I was going to go and squat behind a bush so I waited until we found a pub that was open and much to my relief one was found in another sleepy village about 15-20 minutes or so later...a very idyllic scenic little place quite high up, it was so "in the middle of nowhere" that I barely got a signal on my mobile phone... there was definitely "An American Werewolf In London" vibe to the place...if it had of been dark and foggy it would have been perfect! Anyway I got my much needed toilet break and we all settled down to a pint and a chat.
After that break we hit the road to Bradford again aware the time was pressing on as we had arranged to meet Bri Doom the producer at the 1in12 club (which as well as housing a little studio in the basement is also a world renowned gig venue having hosted countless anarcho/crust/HC punk etc gigs since the early 80's, even bands like Neurosis as well as lots of other now classic and legendary bands played there on their very early UK visits)..we hit the outer limits of Bradford just as rush hour was approaching and it seemed to take forever until we finally arrived in BD1. We arrived at about 6pm..not too much longer after we had planned as it turned out, Bri and his faithful four legged canine companion Devo were already at the club and greeted us on the hallowed cobbles of Albion Street...I unloaded my drum stuff and went to help Bri set up the drum kit while the rest went to check into the various hotels we would all be staying at for a couple of nights.
Bri 'doing his thing'
After I went to my favourite local Polish shop to get some strawberry cider I started to help Bri get the drums sorted ready to start getting the sound levels. It didn't take too long until I could finally start hitting things but not long after I started to sound check the kick drum disaster struck...the headphones I was using started making this awful crackling sound and I couldn't really hear what the fuck was going on so we tried another pair of headphones and they also started to make this horrible sound and were totally unusable and as it turned out were the only other pair of headphones in the studio....Bri was not very happy as it turned out someone had been messing with the sound levels in the studio which in turn had totally blown the headphones...he was getting quite stressed and even said at one point that the whole recording might be doomed before we had even started!! But heading back to Durham without a recording really was not an option as we had already paid for two nights worth of accommodation but Bri saved the weekend and went out and got a new pair of headphones the next morning which thankfully worked for the rest of the weekend.
After the rest of the band had got their guitar sounds we decided to call it a night as we couldn't do anything else without a pair of headphones for me to use whilst drumming so we decided to hit the 1in12 bar for some much needed cheap alcohol and some music (the 1in12 jukebox is one of the best I have ever came across in a bar and first discovered the gems on it whilst doing the first recording at studio 1in12 with my other band Winds of Genocide a few years ago). So we got ourselves a table and we spent the rest of the night getting drunk and putting various old Slayer, Bathory, Nausea, Venom etc..tracks on the jukebox...despite the first day headphone disaster we were all in an upbeat mood and ready to get quite drunk...we met a couple of the local Bradford crust punks in the bar who looked like they had already had one cider too many!! The Sugden brothers decided to go back to their hotel just before midnight but myself and Glynn decided to try and relive our early-mid 20's by staying in the bar drinking and listening to music until the bar closed at 1am or so...after that we went off in search of our hotel which was a bit further away..it took us about 15 minutes to stumble there via a late night supermarket for food but we eventually got to the place not long before 2am! The budget hotel Glynn had booked looked like some kind of sleazy roadside 70's motel that you see in American movies...very retro looking! We had bought beers earlier so decided to drink a couple of them before going to sleep...we ended up not going to bed until after 3am both completely pissed...not really a sensible thing to do in hindsight when we had a long day of recording ahead of us starting at 10am!!
Woke up at about 8.30am not feeling too great as abit of a hangover had manifested itself (serves me right really for staying up drinking so late!) Glynn had decided to go grab some overpriced breakfast in the hotel lobby but I decided to just stay in the hotel room and get ready whilst having a can of lager for breakfast which did the trick and soon pulled me round...we got a taxi back to the centre of Bradford not long before 10 and made a stop at the supermarket near the studio for supplies (booze and food). We met up with Bri and the rest of the guys in the band around 10am and got ready to start recording, Bri had managed to pick up a new cheap pair of headphones which we all were praying (to lord Satan) would work...thankfully the horned one was looking up kindly upon us and we could commence the recording session!

Another disaster sprung up though before we could start recording, Glynn's BC Rich Warlock decided to misbehave and kept going out of tune...that had happened during the previous Winds Of Genocide recording session in 2011 too when Glynn ended up using one of Bri Doom's guitars that was lying around in the studio....luckily for us that same guitar was still in the studio so Glynn decided to use that to save time and stress...so once again Bri Doom and his trusty stickered guitar saved the day!

I had never drummed in a studio before, in fact this is the first band I have ever
attempted to drum in so I was feeling kinda nervous about recording in a room by myself with only headphones on to hear what the rest of the band was playing but I soon got into the swing of things and didn't really find it too difficult, it was definetly a relief to get the first few tracks down and get final takes under our belts that we were very happy with, the whole drum / initial guitar/ bass tracking went along very smoothly overall and by early afternoon we had got over half of the songs down before taking a quick lunch break in the 1in12 cafe (which serves the most delicious homecooked vegan/veggie food I have ever tasted!).

We bumped into Tony the drummer from Deviated Instinct in the cafe who was also enjoying the delicious grub on offer that day, it was nice to see him again and have a chat before heading back down into the darkest depths of the club to continue recording.
We only had two more songs to nail after lunch and we got those two songs down within an hour or so...we left what we thought would be the hardest song until last which has caused us problems during rehearsals but it turned out that this song was laid down the quickest in the studio..funny how things work out! So by middle of the afternoon we had 5 of our own songs plus a Revelation cover version "Frustrations" recorded and had final takes that we were all VERY happy and satisfied with.
Whilst the other guys continued to double track their guitars I decided to get some fresh air and take a walk to the pub around the corner which is usually full of assorted quirky locals and drunks...this day was no exception..sure enough as soon as I walked into The Castle pub I was surrounded by various quirky old men supping real ale and arguing with each other and just generally being..drunk old men! An old Yorkshire man took a fancy to me and came over and started talking to me, he looked and sounded liked he had already had a good skinful of booze as he kept kissing my hand and saying how lovely I was!!. His friend offered to buy me a drink but I politely declined his offer, finished my drink and went back to see how the others were getting on with their guitar tracking. When I got back to the studio Glynn and Jonny had made good progress and only had a couple songs left to double track...once they were finished with that Jonny did his solos which didn't seem to take too long.
We decided to call it a day once the solos were done as it had already been a long day by that point, I was starting to feel tired...a combination of a late night, hangover and drumming were starting to take it's tool on my body but myself and Glynn went back to the aforementioned pub for a pint whilst waiting for the 1in12 bar to open again.
Once we had finished up our pints we headed back to the 1in12 where there was some kind of hippie gig happening, the club and bar was becoming quite a hive of activity with all kinda of quirky looking hippie-ish arty (hipster?!) types wandering about the place and by that point I was becoming increasingly tired and not really in the mood to continue drinking as we couldn't listen to the jukebox although Glynn was starting to perk up after suffering from a hangover all day and was just getting in the mood to get drunk...We compromised and stayed at the club drinking (and in my case falling asleep) until around 11pm when it was decided to go and get some food then head back to the hotel - Glynn was planning to continue drinking and pick up some booze on the way but much to his disappointment the late night supermarket we had rolled into at 2am the previous morning was shut! I didn't care though as all I wanted was an early night so I could feel refreshed for the next days vocal recording. We watched a film in the hotel which I fell asleep during.
 DAY 3
After an earlyish night and a good solid sleep I woke up feeling refreshed and raring to go...so we got ready and the Sugden brothers came to meet us at the hotel as they had left their car there as for some strange reason their plusher hotel didn't have car parking facilities!. We had arranged to meet Bri around 11.30am so after another stop off for booze and food supplies at the supermarket we went to the club and waited for him to arrive.
Once we got into the studio it didn't take long to get the vocal recording equipment set up and the headphones were still (thankfully) working so we were soon ready to start laying down the vocals...this was going to be the fun part of the recording for myself as I had already got the hard part over and done with the previous day, so armed with 4 cans of strongbow I started growling and screaming like a woman possessed and I really did have a blast doing the vocals for this recording...it didn't seem to take too long before I had all my vocals laid down and we could commence the mixing and adding of samples to the songs...the adding of samples proved to be abit of a headache for Mr Doom who had by that point developed a sore hand (probably from checking his facebook page too much in the control room I dare say!!)..but he persevered with adding and editing the samples before and after the songs and he did a great job with that...then we sat and drank some more booze whilst he mixed the whole recording down. By early evening we were pretty much done and ready to hit the road back North with a complete recording in our hands! Bad weather was forecast but we managed to get back to County Durham at around 9.30pm without really seeing too much snow.

The weekend had been a great success and we came away from the studio with a recording that we are all VERY happy with and proud of. The recording was actually meant to be a promo demo but the owner of a label called Memento Mori in Spain heard the recording a few days after it had been finished and said that he thought the quality and length of the recording would easily qualify as a debut full length album so a pact was made with him to release this recording as a full length album which will be titled "RITUAL DEATH AND FUNERAL RITES" and will see the light (of darkness) around late summer on CD via his label and pro tape by the Irish label Underground Movement. Many thanks to Bri Doom at Studio 1in12 for doing such a great job and saving the recording session a couple of times with replacement equipment!. So we unwittingly ended up recording our debut full length album during this weekend in Bradford.
All that is left to say is hope you like the preview track that Chris at UKEM has posted up in this feature and watch out for our debut album....DARKNESS, DEATH, DOOM!!! K.Shevil Feburary Anno 2013.
Note: This version is not the final mastered version that will appear on the bands debut album.

Band Page: Here

No comments:

Post a Comment