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.
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.
As Pete would say, Modern Living Is Killing Me (it’s a song he wrote and Sadistic Chicken recorded). Weeks have gone by and I haven’t blogged what we’ve been up to – I just don’t get the time.
So, in that time: We’ve had a good old listening session and criticised ourselves to pieces. And we’ve had an overdubbing session for Halfway There. I expect each song will have an overdubbing session of it’s own from now on, before we get to the mixing. We also came up with a stripped down version of Through These Eyes, I don’t know if that will surface at some point… Anyway, so long for now. Here’s another picture of Stumpy Boxhead.
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.