From demo to master, “When I Saw Your Ghost" is one of my favorites songs for the upcoming album. It was written on a delightfully out-of-tune upright piano in the same room that inspired the song, and through an evening or two I sat alone in an old, dust-filled room with one lamp and my voice recorder to capture the arrangement and lyrical ideas.
Drums were recorded in Nashville by Miles McPherson who completely took over the song from first snare hits to finish, having the foresight to discard my somewhat clunky drum ideas and instead march the song along with a brilliant, danceable beat in the choruses. In the demo phase producer Jeremy Rubolino and myself envisioned a slinky sort of bass-playing that only a fretless could really pull off, and much like the rest of this record we just went for it and called our “dream list” fretless player Tony Franklin. He graciously agreed to work with miscreants like ourselves and solidified the heartbeat of the song with his playing. I love how loud he is mixed in the choruses and would keep turning the fader up if I could- I often solo’d the drum and bass tracks on the console to simply laugh in awe of how far and wonderfully my song had come along thanks to an amazing rhythm section.
Like most of this record we were able to cut guitars in North Hollywood with a few choice old Fenders and Marshalls and the capable hands of Bruce Kulick adding a dramatic push to the big sections. I played a few leads in the chorus but opted instead to give the track more “lift” with some Prophet and Minimoog synth, adding width and the vibe that only twisty, unpredictable analog synths can do.
Perhaps my favorite part about recording “When I Saw Your Ghost” was not any of these but rather the night of recording background vocals for the song. Adam (Bialik), Jeremy and myself arrived one night with three headphones, one mic and some good bourbon for a home session, mapping out the three harmony parts and singing them live in the room. One of us would be a foot from the mic, the other a few feet away and turned around, another a few feet back still to achieve the best blend possible. We sang, yelled and chanted until voices were fried. The results were exciting and added a wonderful energy to the vocal.
With the many sections and “ear candy” throughout the song, “When I Saw Your Ghost” was a behemoth to behold on the console- markings for vocals, guitars, chimes and shakers extended beyond reach and all patiently waited for their cue to bring the song to life. It was a joy to make and I hope you enjoy it as well- you can find it on www.andrewlondonmusic.com as a free download or on iTunes today.
Many moons ago I went for a walk with three chords repeating in my head and came back with a song…this became "Back To Old Street" and also kicked off the major writing phase for a “solo” album. Not much changed in the arrangement from the original Garageband demo but every person that played on the track added something special. Miles McPherson is on drums playing what we later dubbed the “George of the Jungle” beat, Chris Chaney on bass and Bruce Kulick on guitar duty. I found a Yamaha DX7 synth on Craigslist which found its way on the track in all of its analog-y, crackly goodness. My bandmate Adam Bialik from Brave Citizens is wailing on all the background vocals up in the stratosphere.
Once the song was completely recorded I sat down with the producer Jeremy Rubolino to listen back to what we had done over the many sessions. We began thinning out guitar and keyboard parts until we felt the quiet sections drew you in close and the big sections were flying out the speakers. I love how this one came out. Anyways, I’m happy to release it as the first single from the record…check it out on iTunes.