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Secret Codes And Battleships
Format: CD Album
Label: Mercury Records, EMI Records
Release: 21/10/2011
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Stupid Mistake
Format: 7" Vinyl
Label: Mercury Records, EMI Records
Release: 7/05/2012
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Bloodstained Heart
Format: 7" Vinyl
Label: Mercury Records, EMI Records
Release: 05/09/2011
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Black Out The Sun
Format: 7" Vinyl Singles
Label: Mercury Records, EMI Records
Release: 2/10/2011
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Talk Talk Talk
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Label: Mercury Records, EMI Records
Release: 24/06/2011
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This Delicate FILM We've Made
Format: Music DVD
Label: Powdered Sugar
Release: 02/2009
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The Time Machine Tour
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Release: 21/07/2008
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Big Night In...
Format: Music DVD
Label: Roadshowvideo
Release: 1/12/2006
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Truly Madly Completely
Format: CD/DVD
Label: Roadshow
Release: 21/11/2005
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Darren posted a new blog
: JulyGarden 22 2010 : 0 : 3954    
, 22, 2010

MAKING THE ALBUM VOLUME 9.
Originally written on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 for member's of 'Delicacy' Darren's official fan club www.darrenhayes.com


Sydney Australia 11.39 am Tuesday September 29, 2009

Im in a famous Australian recording studio listening to the refrains of G as studio engineer Mike sorts through the hundreds of takes of guitars that we recorded last week. In the other room, Aaron is setting up microphones to record a brass section to be placed on the song W. Yesterday we recorded a 20 piece orchestra on 3 songs H S M and G. It was possibly the most stressful day in the entire recording process!
But back to that later.

Flash back to Los Angeles. The last time we spoke, it was as I was about to head into more sessions with Brian West, he of Track and Field (Nelly Furtado) fame. I can happily report that he excelled. Or rather we did. We wrote a song T L F which is probably one of the most unique narratives Ive written in a song. I cant really give anything away until you hear it. But like the previous song I did with Brian, its got a lovely understated quirk to it. Lush and introspective but with a colorful language.

I did 2 days with Brian, then rushed back over to Walter As house to finish vocals on L (or it might be called R) and that was a huge job. I left his house on a Friday night and then had 2 days of bliss in San Francisco. I cant tell you how fantastic it was to disappear into a willing anonymity as opposed to the kind of anonymous faceless feeling I had in Los Angeles. In San Francisco, I wanted to be enveloped by the city, wrapped up in my memories. I walked around like a ghost haunting my past.

I hired a car, and I know this sounds crazy, but it made me so happy! Because I was driving an SUV around in America which is an experience unique to that country. In the UK I sit in traffic in my tiny mini cooper (purchased mainly because the one I love loves it) having no idea why Im waiting. At least in my (rented) petrol guzzling earth destroying SUV I can see why Im stopped in traffic. Ace!

Anyhoo I drove around, I bought records. I sang songs loudly (Huey Lewis and the News). I drank loads of Peets coffee. I saw a movie. I bought vintage clothes. It was so fun. And necessary. Because what was about to happen was mammoth.

I made the journey over the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Sydney at the customary time of god awful early feeling wide awake. Which is fine until about midday when you realize your eyeballs are falling out of your head with exhaustion but you have to stay awake for another 12 hours.

I went straight into work on Tuesday September 15 and spent the week with Justin in a small room programming and preparing for the big sessions the follow week. Programming involved working intensely on the electronic elements of the songs and adding to and enhancing what we already had. It can be laborious and boring but also thrilling when you hit on some new sound you hadnt anticipated. In these sessions we worked on a Rick Nowels song called P and pretty much transformed it into a new beast altogether. Like the Walter A song, I have no idea if it will end up on the album but its great to have them on the table for choices.

At this stage, everything is fair game and I just have to trust that the cream will rise to the top, as it always does.

The second week in the studio was in a much larger room with a proper Neve desk and next to a massive room suitable for recording drums and the orchestra. As with some of the songwriting, I found myself reunited with people I havent worked with since the Savage Garden days. First up there was the drummer Terapai Richmond who drummed on the first album (songs like Break Me.. and Moon..). He is considered to be one of the best drummers in the country and his work on the tracks here was supreme. He drummed on 5 songs but most notably provided a calamity of noise on W as song that, as we speak has over 250 separate elements. The largest Ive ever had on record.

In keeping with the reunion theme, the next day my old Savage Garden bass player, Lee Novak came down from Brisbane. Well he eventually came down. The red dust storm that dominated the country seemed to bring most of Sydney and Brisbane to a halt. I woke up in the morning and it looked like the end of the universe. Justin said he half expected to see zombies emerging from the copper cloud. Consequently Lees flight was delayed and we spent all day waiting for him to arrive. When he eventually did, his luggage was missing.
At some point in the evening he and his bass made it to the studio and we recorded his parts on W and it was worth the wait. Hed been practicing for weeks and brought a bounce and stride that is difficult to emulate with synths.

Wednesday was more bass with Lee, again 5 songs in total. All sounding ace.

Thursday was guitar heaven. Rex Goh, who played the solos on Truly Madly Deeply and Moon.. (see the them here?) came in and TORE IT. UP. He also played on about 5 songs and his contribution was effortless.

At the end of each big day with the players, we had to sift throught he performances and choose what we wanted to keep and blend it into the master tracks.

So that takes us up to week 2 in Sydney.

Monday Septebmer 28 was the day recording the live orchestra. It would be no exaggeration to say it was the day from hell. Why is anyones guess. Lets just say we worked with a very distinguished and legendary arranger who perhaps had his wires crossed with regards to what it was we were asking from him. The end result was, our very tightly timed session of 3 hours for 3 songs became a frenzy of stress as Justin could be seen hurriedly scrawling parts by hand on to manuscripts (at one point I was literally singing parts to the lead violinist) to make sure we had all the pieces we needed to be recorded.

It was a joint effort and by the end of it poor Justin wanted to rip his hair out.
But we got what we needed.

Which leads me up to today, Tuesday the 29th of Sept. Im lying on a couch (below is an image of me doing the same a few days ago when I was ill but still soldiering on hehe). Today we finished a live brass section for the song W which was arranged by Graham Jesse. The section of 5 players did a brazilliant job transforming our pithy attempt at horns with a keyboard into full grunting marching band glory. Im absolutely shattered and I can honestly say I havent worked this hard on an album for a long time. But I have only a few more days left of this pace before heading home for some much needed rest.
As I type this, I can hear Justin editing some of the strings we recorded. Theyre sounding filming, huge like an old musical. Im going to write again when Im home and Ill let you know whats happening next!

In the meantime, here are some photos from the last few weeks.

xD

Terapai Richmond at the drums
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Sunny Afternoon in San Francisco
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Magical Fog Rolls In
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Looking out of Peets Coffee On Filmore St
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The Desk
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Justin At The Helm
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Rex Goh Plays, Mike Engineers And I Look Drunk
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Me Ill On The Couch
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