This little EP, Rave Mates, is the latest release from Van der Saar, a home recording project I've been doing for around 13 years, now. Rave Mates took a long time. Eight months for three songs? That's too long, and we're not exactly in Kevin Shields territory, here.
So what territory are we in, then? Who knows, really. Accessible, maybe? The music isn't angular, or mystical, or inscrutable, it's just what comes out, I suppose.
Anyhow, here's how it went: a bit of guitar to kick things off and guide things along. Guide guitar, they call it. Guide vocals sometimes, too.
The drums came next - on a rare weekend when I was alone in the house - and they took a while cos I SUCK at drums. I promise you: drums are hard. Another promise: I SUCK at drums.
That weekend (sometime in August) I holed up in the basement next to the laundry machines. I wrote some parts, practiced them, and then recorded them. After that rode my bike around town and took some pictures. I came home, made myself a baguette sandwich, and went outside to sit on the porch and drink with my neighbours. It was a nice, quiet weekend, save for the drumming (and you can't save enough, in my case).
After that, a long break set in because of life. My wife and I had a little boy, Felix, who's ended up being about as delightfully time consuming as we'd expected. His arrival, mixed with everything else in life, made making the effort to create things a colossal fucking challenge. It's still that way. Writing a song, never mind sitting down to properly arrange and record it, takes mental energy and some uninterrupted time (realistically this is just a couple of beers and a Raptors game on mute, but still).
I don't remember recording the bass. I find it's best to just lay it down and fuck off as quick as you can.
The guitars came in fits and starts. The main thing to know is that I recorded them loud. I pretty much insist on recording guitars loud. It's the only time I get to crank the amp and let it do its thing. I struggled to get a second rhythm part with Rave Mates. The song's in a weird tuning, and keeping the one guitar in tune was a nightmare. Don't Come Find Me was more fun. There's not much to that tune. You just blast away at a few barre chords. I ended up putting the guitar through my bass stack. It made a horrible noise with all the pedals on. I recorded a little skit that involved me opening the front door, waking into my house, and heading downstairs toward the noise. It was cool, I guess, but a little too long in the end.
I wrote and recorded the guitar leads upstairs in the house on an afternoon I had free. Those tracks were loud, too. Oh man, the guitar was screaming. After that there was some singing in the basement at Pine. I haven't recorded there in a while. The basement there is weird, but I always find myself in basements, and comfortably so, so I guess that's weird, too? I did a bit of hollering that gets buried in the mix. Nothing to worry too much about.
Little Felix helped me record the piano part for Holland Call. He sat on my lap while the tape (so to speak) rolled.
Lastly, here's a weird prop-hand that my father in law left us once. His name (hand or in-law?) is Mitch.