Take note. Well, rather we should take note. 

Home work done! I’ve listened through the HowManyDevils back catalogue to see which, if any, of the tracks I’d like to revisit. I have a short list of ‘YES’ tracks and a much longer list of ‘MAYBE’  & ‘NO’ tracks. It was nice to revisit them with a critical ear. Brought back memories of reversing every other night in the old run down office block we had a room in. I wish I’d spent more time on the drums back then. Some of the tracks do sound like they need leaving in the past where as others feel they have unfinished business. There is still the case of getting a drummer type to join us. I think that might be better left till we have, as a band, got the set list decided and learned well enough to play through with hitch.

On a side note check out The Midnight. Amazing 80s sounds for your ears!

Listen. Listen. Listen some more. 

Things are going quite smoothly at the moment and this is a good thing. We have a couple of weeks break from recording and production which is a chance to ponder on what we’re doing next. Probably a couple of older tracks. Probably writing some new tracks. Definitely working on some mastering of the EP and also looking to play some gigs. Need a drummer for that bit. Which is always a sticking point. We’ve had difficulty with the job of keeping drummers in the past. Maybe we need some one who can play a gig or two and record every few months rather than a permanent fixture. On the subject of gigging we might have a crack at streaming a performance or two. See how that goes. See if there are any tracks we can do anything with acoustically. 

Deep Within The Sea It Sleeps

SpaceCowboysUnderTheSeaOfJapan_Booklet_300_Front…is the title of the next track. A little story of an unknown force waiting in the depths of the ocean to unleash its power upon the world.

This is probably the most rock type track we have written. Very powerful. Very strong melody hooks. Brilliantly written and played solo section. Solid bass lines that lead and enhance the songs flow. I tried to write some lyrics to match the powerful style of the song and I think I managed.

I can’t remember what gear I used on this. Probably the Gallan Strat style guitar. Certainly the analogue phase and over drive. I think the vocals we used were the second maybe third take? I know the style changed slightly from the original recording. Whilst I was recording the vocals on the final mixes of these tracks I was trying to be mindful of my breathing. Listening back I think it helped project the words clearly and added to the power of the sound of them in general.

The drums slide along nicely and the marching type pattern for the verses contrasts the slowed rhythm of the chorus.

Job done.

Flesh Reunion 21 – snip, snip, ow!

So, I’m Stumpy Boxhead.  Hello, pleased to meet you!  I’m the non-existing drummer from the band HowManyDevils.  This is their blog I’m writing on.  I started off life as Stumpy, an Alesis HR-16 – occasionally with a Roland TR-505 slaved.  Later that became a TR-626.  Simon made an actual head out of a cardboard box, so I gained my surname.  Then I evolved to some soundfonts on a SoundBlaster AWE card.  Very, very briefly I was samples of Rob saying ‘boom’, ‘chick’, and ‘diddy’.  Recently I’ve been made of Logic 9 samples and – back to Alesis – a D4.  All of which is fine:  I’m an imaginary robot drummer with a cardboard box for a head and all that you hear of me is sampled or synthesised and played by a drum machine.  Machine being the key word.

This time around, I’m just not so sure.  For starters they’ve called the album Flesh Reunion.  I’m an imaginary robot drummer… flesh isn’t actually that inclusive to me is it!  Then what do they do? yes, they use a REAL DRUM KIT – I’m a MACHINE!  I’m pretty offend already by this point.  It has been so difficult trying to play real drums with a cardboard box for a head.  I can’t see what I’m hitting. MIDI was easier (please sequence me again).  Then… then they make me a new head, and wear it on their fleshy selves.  Mockery!  If I wasn’t a figment of their imagination I’d have left long ago.

So that brings me to the insult they laid on me today at their Flesh Reunion.  They edited the drum tracks to A Different Breed.  Why? <sarcastic>because they weren’t quite in time</sarcastic>.  I USED TO BE A FAULTLESSLY ACCURATE MACHINE.  Now I’m all gooey physical flesh and my tempo drifts.

It does sound good after the edits though…

Err, thanks guys.

Stumpy Boxhead at the drums

Flesh Reunion 20 – 7 hours, 4 bars and a ghost

I’ve just got back from Flesh Reunion 20.  In a whole 7 hours we recorded 4 bars of drums for A Different Breed.  It’s the chorus, I just can’t play the chorus and we’ve ended up making those 4 bars out of 7 different takes.  Crikey!  If it sounds alright when we edit it back in to the song it will feel like a little victory

Flesh Reunion 20 – 7 hours, 4 bars and a ghost

I’ve just got back from Flesh Reunion 20. In a whole 7 hours we recorded 4 bars of drums for A Different Breed. It’s the chorus, I just can’t play the chorus and we’ve ended up making those 4 bars out of 7 different takes. Crikey! If it sounds alright when we edit it back in to the song it will feel like a little victory.  The song has a great little riff and we’d all be disappointed if it didn’t make the album.  It’s just the riff is so hard to drum to, especially when your head is a cardboard box…  Still, we’re a step closer and I think the guys are happy.  Just before we left though, snares started playing at times when snares weren’t played.  It turns out technology lets us have so many tracks to record with nowadays that we’d left an extra snare take un-muted…

Oh, and we found something else that is rock and roll: white pepper on chips.


Flesh Reunion 19 – Drummy, drum drum

World In Flames, A Different Breed, Icepick Lunatic.  These are the HowManyDevils songs that got some more drums today.  Who played drums? Me.  Whose fault is it? Mine.  I’m not a drummer…  There’s a tom fill that I can do pretty well now, and I’m pretty close to being in time.  Not really selling you on it there though am I?  Intensive editing will happen and you’ll think the drums were played by a professional. We have got a much tighter drum sound out of this session though.  How? By covering the drums with plushy dog toys.


A band marches on its drummers stomach

I’m not sure if that’s strictly true, a band marches on its drummers stomach.  In fact it sounds painful, especially since it may be me that is the drummer today – or it might be Simon.  Either way, today is another drum track laying day.  If it is me drumming I expect to expend a lot of energy, so I want a lot of food.  So I’ve just made sandwiches: Ham & Mustard on Sourdough.  I can’t remember if we’d declared sandwiches as Rock n Roll or not, but I’m sure Simon will let me know in a few minutes.

Pete will be engineering today, and I don’t expect we’ll play much guitar or bass but I’m taking ‘Little Brian’ just in case.

More later…

Flesh Reunion 13b – yeah, b

Last week got postponed, to this week.  We laid down some particularly shoddy drums (me), and some decent vocals (Simon).  Digital editing technology will be our friend.  Stumpy Boxhead himself joined us in the studio for a few of the tracks.  Pete videod lots of soft toys.  Jessie the dog lost her blanket (temporarily).  Rob defined exactly what was and what wasn’t Rock and Roll.  Simon drank lots of water.  Things are really taking shape now.  Next week we should (adding to the list of what is Rock and Roll) be recording some guitars again.

It’s all coming together.

Photo on 2013-12-08 at 15.56

Flesh Reunion 11 and 12

The HowManyDevils Flesh Reunion recording sessions are happening so fast I can’t keep up with blogging about them.  Two weeks ago we finnished putting down the basic live takes for the album.  Last week Simon laid down drums tracks for everything.  I (Rob) also put drums on a few songs, but I get to do the rest next week.  I need more practice too. 
Once the drums are done we’ll be re-recording the vocals.  Then… we may have something to release.