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By Molly McCowan
Mosey West, the winning band of this year’s Scene Magazine Battle of the Bands, began laying down tracks at the legendary Morningwood Studios this week.
The alt-country/sonic folk band is made up of Adam Brown (vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica), Mike McGraw (bass, vocals, acoustic guitar) and Matt Weitz (drums, piano).
Scene was there for part of the eight-hour session on Sunday, December 4, and the mood was energized. The band expressed excitement in returning to a more roots-oriented, authentic sound.
“We’re not using a click track for this album,” Weitz said.
“That really helps to keep things sounding organic,” added Kevin Brookfield, owner and sound engineer at Morningwood Studios.
For those unfamiliar with the recording process, a “click track” is essentially a metronome that clicks on each beat. Using a click track can insure that members of the band aren’t actually playing off-rhythm from the rest of the song. Since each layer of a song is recorded separately in the traditional recording process, a click track can help a band make sure that they won’t have to record anything over because it’s out of time. For some styles of music, like hip-hop and a capella singing, for example, having a click track is key to creating an on-tempo song.
For other styles of music, especially folk, country and Americana, the goal is to create an organic, less produced sound. Not using a click track can create a more down-home feel, allowing for a little bit of push and pull with the rhythm of the songs. It’s like the band is singing on your back porch instead of on a heavily produced, lighted stage.
The members of Mosey West were jazzed to work with Morningwood Studios.
“Everything flowed so smoothly and went so quickly here at Morningwood. We’ve been here for three hours, and we’ve already got the basis for three brand-new songs,” said Weitz.
Morningwood Studios is a vehicle for creativity, drenched in warm ambiance and vibe. The walls are covered in handcrafted, geometric pieces of wood and foam, helping to bounce and deflect sound, and also to absorb some of it as well, creating a warm tone. The detail in the decoration is amazing, and Brookfield did it all by himself.
The main area of the studio is complete with a fireplace, couch, old-timey piano and rugs. There is a room for laying down vocals, and another room in which to sequester the drummer while he records his tracks (this room can also be opened up, allowing an entire band to play in one room if they so desire).
There are African and Pacific Island masks adorning the walls; a Felix the Housecat clock cheerfully reminding you of how much time you’ve wasted talking about which vocal track to lay down next; and buckets of top-of-the-line recording equipment.
Stay tuned for more news about Mosey West – they’re hitting the big time and moving quickly towards reaching their goals. Scene Magazine will be keeping an eye on them!
Find out more about Mosey West on Facebook.
Learn more about Morningwood Studios by clicking here.