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Recording of the Pressure Fractures

We started to think about the recording a long time ago. Even everyone says "CD is dead"..we had clear idea to have something concrete to our hands. Idea to create music years, almost ten years, then record them in week, and publish everything in one minute to "net", wasn´t our idea.

I wanted to have some kind of graphic expression of the "Pressure Fractures", using photos for the covers and booklets.

For me it was clear that we shall do a "album" not just a demo CD or so. Harri was convinced that we should record every song in the studio, but that wasn´t greeted by Joni.  Even I had a lot of songs, we realized during the year 2011, that we can not have more than 6 or seven songs ready for the Studio Session. Our plan B was that perhaps we could record some drum-tracks to be later used. This was good idea. So it was good compromise, more than just demo, but not too much.

We managed to arrange a long weekend in August 2011 into the well-known studio called "Seasound Studio" in Helsinki. My friend Harri Heinonen had recorded there several albums, and he recommended the place. I liked the place immediately when entering the house, traditional wood panels, grand piano, Hammond a-100 with Leslie...and so on.

Our technician was Davide Floreno, a man who could run the whole studio by himself without no problem. He is also   touring musician in blues-rock circles, so he really know the business.

Harri used of cource his own TAMA-set of drums, which was fully miked by Dave. I brought in my Korg-synth and PC with Moog-emulator. Joni had Rocktronic amp, and some his guitars. ( I have never been able to find out which is his primary guitar, and what brand it is...sorry ). Sami played with Harri´s bass, no amp, straight in to the disk -method.

One day we were roadies, two days we were session musicians. These songs we managed to record:

Far Away
Unhero2 ( now just Unhero )
Love Has Left the Building
Intro 2 ( now just Intro )
Pressure Fractures, prt.1 ( Mother )
Pressure Fractures, prt.2 ( Stairway to hate )
Pressure Fractures, prt3 ( music school -77 )

and then some of these extra songs:
Symphony of the fools
Which were later to be found very valuable tracks.

This was first time for me in real studio, I had arranged copies of notation, lyrics for everyone, but of cource some things was missing, like fire-fire-sound card installation disks ( I had changed recently my laptop, so new one didn´t recognize the fire-wire sound card that I needed for Moog-emulator...etc.) Harri arranged us a lot of energy drinks, recovery drinks, just like real athletics! They really helped to balance the energy levels. Once in a day, we had a hot meal in gas station near by.

My friend Kaarle Kukkola provided us with pro-level Kawai keyboard, that I used as "Hammond" organ in some songs. I was of cource interested about the a-100 but I realized it would have meant a lot of extra time to start fooling with that. Kaarle handled the whole thing up and running, I just had to learn basic "on/off" things, as computer based system, there was some "system malfunction"..but nothing serious. They are nice in studio, but I would never take anything so complex to any gig: PC central unit, keyboard, mouse, fire-wire card, DIN-5 cables, music keyboard....sounds scary, isn´t it ?

Activities outside the Studio:

There are two things that normally got involved in everything Joni or Harri does: broken car and police, and . This time it was Joni, who had a misfortune near the Studio. He had banged some car, and he called us "Hi, I just had a car accident...I will be there in fifteen minutes..sorry about the delay.." But eventually It was something close to one hour, when he arrived. "I was almost taken in by Police..." What ? !!!

When Joni had his accident, he lost his side mirror, which he repaired on the spot in the side of the main lane of East-Helsinki..some police patrol spotted him, and started to ask stupid questions. Joni got a "bit" nervous and said with hyper-kinetic voice "I am in a hurry to studio...I don´t have time for this conversation.." Police replied "What have you been taking..." and they almost took him into some drug tests or so.

Harri had ofcource a lot of problem with his Chevy Friday ( on the way to back home ) they had to leave the old work horse to the road side, Tonza, our loyal roadie, managed to arrange "on-the-spot" type of fixing, but since there is a lot of pressure ( so nicely, suits in to the album theme ) in this machine, the pipes started to leak. I managed to run into the garage near my house and I said "We have studio session, and my friend is now on his way to Helsinki with valuable instruments, I need some kind of tube that can handle gear box oil pressure..." and they provided me some tubes, I collected tools from my garage, and took this set to the studio. Tonza managed to fix it now properly somewhere. in the evening he arrived with van, which was running nicely.

Well...almost. The steering  wheel system has some device, that makes the turning more easily. That was totally off. If you have ever tried to drive Van without that, you are either totally insane or strong as bull. But Harri made it.

Strangely, I had no problem with my Volvo 245, which Joni had gave to me. I was able to use it happily through the summer, but when the first cold day came, the heater said "goodbye". My only problem was our kids, who had some flu and fever just when the studio session started.

Time flew fast, and soon everything was over. Dave provided us snapshot mix versions, without any effects and so on. It sounded all right.

In the end of the session, we asked from Dave, when could he mix the whole thing together ? He said in "December". What ? We can not wait so long...soon we arranged that he would provide us a full export in multi-track format called AAF so that we can use another studio for the mixing. It wasn´t too easy, since the amount of data is gigabytes ! But finally we found working solution between Mac-workstations, FTP-transfer protocol and server, and finally were able to transport the whole project into the Mac Mavis studio.

Year 2011 started to came to its end, Joni moved to the Sweden, and we were flat broken, everyone. I had to sell my reel-tape recorder, which was used in legendary Love Records a long time ago. I figured that I have to be ready to sell all my instruments, if that´s the only way to fund the project. Harri luckily was able to get some money, so we managed to continue with the recordings.

next phase: Mac Mavis in Herttoniemi.