Recorded: Jan’s house, 2006/2007 Bass and noises on tracks 4, 7, 9, 10, 13 and iTunes-only “My Robot”
Harry and Jan both had an epiphany at MIA’s gig, I believe, and soon got in the studio to unleash MPC artillery from neath the subterranean depths. For such a sonically extreme album I felt like playing normalbass wouldn’t cut it, so I played differentbass. I think I took in all the gear I had, and just tried something different for every song.
Gear: All of it. Fender Precision Highway One, Steinberger XL-2, Hondo double neck 8+4 string. A lot of effects. Eliza: the synth sweepy sounds (there’s one right at the start) which was a Frostwave Spacebeam through a Line 6 DL-4. Probably the P-Bass through a Boss ODB-3 for the distorted bass in the bridge, then clean for the octave line in the chorus, then a bit of Digitech Bass Whammy when the vocals stop, then over to the Hondo for the little riff at the end of the chorus. A whole lot of palm muted eighth notes probably on the P-bass (triple-tracked, played over three octaves) in the middle of the song. Grab a Gun: that line was Ollie’s idea. I was just playing a bunch of stuff to figure out something that worked, and Ollie said “That one!” just when I did something in the wrong key. But it made the guitar part sound “less normal”, he said. Down to the River: the closest to “normalbass”, just shufflin’ on a P-bass, only for the second verse. Lonely Ooh: P-bass, Sansamp, and some Maxon AD-999 analog delay for that nostalgic slapback sound. They were all recorded direct, through a Sansamp Bass Driver DI (either set to clean or dirty, depending on the song), and from there into Jan’s Avalon (not sure which one…it has purple knobs though).
It’s on Spotify.
(Looking back in 2019…this album is so good, what a time to be alive. Also I’m glad I wrote down which tracks I’m on, it’s hard to remember. No wonder sesh guys have disputes about who played on what. For the record, all the bass playing that’s not me on this album is the inimatable Jules Pascoe. I remember feeling like a fraud trying to do live what he did on some of these tracks…)