INTERVIEW: Feedback Scars
October 28, 2011 1 Comment
For the past few weeks, we’ve been bringing you news on Feedback Scars, the mysterious all-star recording project coming together in Main Street Studios. You’ve heard about the mind-boggling array of local musicians making guest appearances on the album; and you’ve also heard the first track from the album ‘Emergency Interplay’; and of course, Radar is presenting Feedback Scars’ album launch and debut live performance tomorrow night at Rydges CBD Bar.
But for all that, the actual lineup behind Feedback Scars has been a closely-guarded secret. Today, Radar can exclusively reveal that the mastermind behind the project is none other than Adam Jordan, of Main Street Studios! This is Adam’s first foray into the band world, working on the other side of the recording desk for the first time in his nine-year career. We had a chat to Mr Jordan himself to find out more about Feedback Scars:
Tell us about how Feedback Scars came into being
Earlier in the year I decided that I wanted to do something for myself. It wasn’t about feeling that I was getting old, because I still act like a teenager… I have been at the studio for 9 years and never released anything, so I decided that I wanted to work on some songs that had been sitting around and put something out. The original idea was a 4 track EP but I kept finding more songs I had worked on previously as well as writing new songs over the year as well.
How long had these songs been around for?
One of the earliest tracks I did the music for in 2006 or 2007. I had 4 songs I was working on, then my hard drive died and I lost them, but I did have an instrumental mix for 2 of them, so I added to those. One of them is the track featuring PomPom which I added the guitars and piano to, the other is a hip hop funk track with Simon and Alex from Free Agent Crew and Rob from Policing in Crisis. Most of the tracks were ideas I had recorded onto my camera phone over the last 2 years and a few I wrote in the studio when I had some free time.
What made you finally make the move, from behind the recording desk to actually recording your own material?
In April I had a day that wasn’t booked and I wanted to record an acoustic track with the idea of getting other people to play over the top of it. Murray [Stace, Policing In Crisis] came in to record me playing and we put down the basis for that track. I didn’t have any aim of actually being a band, it was more about putting down some of the song ideas I had, plus we have so many good musicians around that I wanted to work with and let them add their flavour to the tracks, the majority of the musicians playing on the tracks I had in mind to perform from the earliest stages of planning the album.
How long have you been working towards this album? How long has the recording taken?
The actual recording first started in April and the sessions were booked around the studio bookings as well as the musician’s availability. The album had to be completed early October to be ready for the gig, so I booked out 4 days in the studio to do the mixing and Murray had also been doing some of the tracking in Studio B while I was working on studio sessions in A.
This is the first time you’ve recorded your own material; was that a bit scary?
Whenever people ask if I play an instrument I say I play guitar, badly. Being on the other end of the metronome really put me in my place and I certainly feel for the musicians I record, now that I have been on that side. The beauty of being an engineer more than a guitarist meant that I knew the best way to use the tools available to me to get the performance I wanted. So I wasn’t afraid of doing some copy & paste and “Pro tooling” the tracks.
What was the recording process like? Looking at the teaser video for ‘Emergency Interplay,’ it looks like it was recorded largely live…
The teaser video was from one of the rehearsals for the gig, the actual recording was me playing the guitars to a drum track I programmed and then getting the drummers in to play to those performances. The recording process, being booked around the actual “real” studio work, took quite a lot of time. Most of the musicians came in after work or on days off. It was at times hard to co-ordinate between studio availability and musician availability. The studio is generally booked about a month in advance so at times it became quite a mission to get the parts down.
We’ve heard the first track, ‘Emergency Interplay,’ but what else can we expect from the album, sound-wise?
That track is the “heaviest” track. I see that one as an industrial doom kind of track. Each track on the album is different. There is a hip hop track, rock song, hardcore punk track, acoustic/indie track, club style track as well as a couple variations of atmospheric and experimental music. I listen to so many styles in the studio and like so much different music that I don’t want to focus on just one style for myself.
Is there a set lineup for Feedback Scars? Who will be playing with you at the album launch?
The band for the gig is myself and Murray Stace on guitars, Brett Williams on bass, Scott from Crash Tragic on drums and Andrew Smetanin on vocals as well as some vocals from Scott and I.
Why did you source so many local musicians to appear on the album?
I know my limitations as a musician and I know what so many of the musicians I work with are capable of, so I could hear in my head who would suit what songs. For example the rock song I could hear Shaun Snider wailing over it as soon as I put it down, I knew it would suit his style. My other aim was to get some of the musicians playing on stuff that was also out of their style but I wanted them to add themselves to the tracks, examples of that are Chris Harbin playing bass on the club style track and Atanas from Mind At large playing guitar to make it sound like a violin melody on the indie style track.
What can we expect from Feedback Scars in future? Is this something you’re planning to turn into a live performance project?
I am already working on 3 songs at the moment for future release and I have in mind some of the musicians for them as well. I don’t think I will release a physical format album after this one, this one is more of a special event and is limited to 100 copies at the gig, after this I think the future releases will be digital downloads… I would be open to playing more gigs live.
Feedback Scars launch their debut album tomorrow night (Saturday) at Rydges CBD Bar with Policing In Crisis and The Sidetracked Fiasco. Free entry! Click here for more details.