Hi, my name is Runtt. It’s been quite a year….
It’s been that long since I had the wonderful opportunity to play drums for Matt. It’s been a challenge and a whole lot of fun, from playing live shows and recording the new CD, The Lives Of Dexter Peterson. 99% Runtt based percussion!
One huge challenge was getting me to sing backing vocals while playing drums. Forever, my vocals while playing, have been hit or miss. Never consistent. I was shaky in the beginning, but seem to be doing much better as a result of pounding my voice into shape. Practice, practice, practice. It really works!
After watching live video of our Further Confusion performance, all that hard work seems to have paid off. I wasn’t cringing. That’s a good sign because, well, I hate the sound of my voice. *lol*
Recording the CD was another challenge. Matt had pretty much ALL the music and vocals finished. My job was to lay down drum tracks using only a metronome over the music and vocals to guide me. On top of it, they had to sound natural, like I was actually there, in the room with Matt, playing along with him. NOT AN EASY TASK.
I think I did a decent job.Each song had a very different feel from the last. I had to conform and play accordingly. Most of it was having a very basic idea of the song and then adding my own character and style into it. The majority of the CD was me playing by the skin of my teeth. A lot of the music was unfinished and I had to learn the complete song just prior to recording. *HEADACHE*
It’s really evident on Normal Is Not For Me.
Luckily, the drums for the majority of the music essentially wrote themselves. The pieces just seemed to know what they wanted and I was more than happy to give it to them. When you get a song with a certain feel, your brain goes on autopilot and lays down the rhythm accordingly. Matt’s music has that kind of feel. This is what it wants. That’s what it got. With surprising results.
One thing that intrigued me about working with Matt is his ability to allow me freedom with his music. You don’t get that a lot with most singer/songwriters. Most have an idea of what they want and THAT is what they want you to play. Not Matt. He gave me full range to do whatever.
“You’re the drummer. Do what you do. Make my songs sound good.”
Heh, as if. Your stuff already sounds good. I’m just giving it that extra push over the edge.
Most of it was used. Some, not so much. Some I went a little too far over the edge. *lol* It was like that throughout the recording sessions.
Another thing that surprised me was Matt was totally open to try stuff. I did a fill here, an off kilter beat there, some busy work here and there. Most all was used. One thing that happened was I heard something in the dance track All Over Again. It was a trashy percussive attack, behind the drums, in intervals during the chorus. He thought I was crazy. I started piling cymbals together and hitting them, trying to get the write attack and tone. When hearing them live, they sound terrible, like I was bashing a trash can lid. But, the mic hears it differently. It comes from my many years of trial and error in recording. If you don’t have a sound, you try and create it. Matt still wasn’t convinced until he heard it in playback. The rhythm worked and the tone was there. Now time to make it sound just right. He compressed the hell out of it, added some EQ and bang! It worked.
I love that Matt was very open to at least try some of my ideas. When they work, the grin on his face is priceless. He literally bounces up and down in his conductors chair.
After hearing the final mixes all professionally mastered, I’m really excited about its’ release.
All in all, it’s been a GREAT year for me and music in general. Matthew Ebel has been the best thing to happen to me, musically, in a LONG time.
I’m sure the new disc will not disappoint. It’s available for pre-order right now.
Well? What are you waiting for? GO ORDER IT! : )