July 31, 2016 - 9:09pm
... I don't usually finish these travel blogs until well after I'm home... but not today! Today I'm doin' it! I'm finishing this travel blog today!!!
... mainly because I'm home now and anxious to get cleaned up, cook something, and (probably) get back to Game Of Thrones... I "don't have to work tomorrow" so I'm free to be irresponsible with the rest of my evening.
... so today... I had trouble getting out of bed again... I think it was 9:30am by the time I actually hit the shower... the studio is super close to the hotel so I figured I'd be maybe 10 minutes late.
... skipped Tim Horton's on the way... I still had some food from yesterday... it's weird that I've had pretty much no appetite this entire trip... I think it's from Wendy's... that Wendy's was supposed to be good.. but it screwed me up... it let me down!
I got to the studio just after 10am and chatted with Justin (GCR Staff) for a bit... if you've run a studio, big or small, you know what it's like to run a studio... and you've got some stories for people on your side of the glass..
I got a text from the band about a Tim's run... bagel it is... iced cap it is...
... I am weak.
Today went smoothly... my goal was to be done by 7pm... that way I'd be home by 10-11pm. The band's plan (7hr drive) was to drive a bit then stop the night somewhere.
... bass, background vocals, guitar leads, and a guitar solo left to do.
... it's not much... but sometimes recording there are hiccups... and studios have their gremlins.
We went through bass pretty quickly... then dug into vocals for a few hours... I think it was 3:30pm by the time we finished them... I think we'll make that 7pm goal!
I'd arranged the day in order of priority... and in a 1 guitar band... I wasn't sure how many overdubs we'd be doing.
... not much.
... even at a leisurely pace, we were done by 5pm.
(... the band might make it home tonight... I might make it home by sundown... not that it was a priority but it'd be nice!)
We tidied up the studio, put the 6 guitar amp heads (Marshall JCM 800, Marshall MKII, Mesa Roadster, Bogner Ecstasy, Soldano SLO, Peavy 5150) away, wrapped up some cables, settled up with the studio, and hung out in the parking lot for a few minutes...
... it was a pretty awesome weekend... doing the math, 26 hours in the studio and another 9 at the hotel... so 35 hrs between Friday 10am and Sunday 6pm... for our first time working together and in new studio for me... listening back to the 2 songs... we did some good work... good jaorb team!
... I was on the fence about finding dinner before the drive home but the only thing close that wasn't Wendy's (ya did me wrong Wendy!!!) was McDonalds... and while I'm sure it'd be tasty... I wasn't absolutely sure it'd be "2hr drive home" worth it.
... anyway... I had water and chewed gum as a snack and was on my way.
The border is super close... easy crossing back into Canada... easy drive back overall... didn't even need my GPS... just over 2hrs door-to-door again.
The goal is to have these tunes done (mixed / mastered) in a couple weeks, then Scarlet White plans to release one in September before tour.
If we're friends on Facebook, I'm sure you'll see me sharing it... pretty happy with how it turned out.
... for now... it's back to Game Of Thrones.
... I hope Ned wins.
- Mike :-)
"Have you ever been to a Tim Horton's in Canada? Have you had an éclair before? They have éclairs there but we don't have them here... they're so good... so light and fluffy... so good early in the morning!"
July 31, 2016 - 1:45am
It was a rough start this morning... alarm went off at 8:30am but I wasn't out of bed til after 9am... I love (most) hotel beds... super comfy and quiet here... reminds me of the days off on tour where you just want to lay in bed... it's been a busy past few months... and as much as I'm here to work, I was hoping at least a hint of this trip would feel like a bit of a break.
... it has it's moments... between 1am - 9am.
I decided to walk "the other way" to the studio this morning... seemed to be a couple breakfast restaurants (not that I had time) but I wanted to scope out the area.
... and then I saw it... a Tim Horton's.
... and now my feet are taking instructions from my tastebuds... someone wanted an ice cap and I was trying to convince myself it was logical choice for breakfast.
... I really needed to flush out that Wendy's disaster from last night too.
I stood in line.
"Have you ever been to a Tim Horton's in Canada..."
I told the woman I have... and that I'm from Canada. She seemed pretty disappointed US Tim Horton's was holdin' out on her.
I asked if there were other places to get them... she said yes... but more a bakery type of thing. I said maybe it's a good thing... it's more of a special occasion type donut... a fancy donut... a real "pinky-out" treat... she didn't think so though... Tim Horton's was her stop and her stop was letting her down.
Ice cap, raisin bagel w/ cream cheese, apple cranberry muffin.
On my way out I took a second to put my sunglasses on by the door and another woman walked in... then looked at me... then went back out the door to hold the door open for me.
"I'm sorry, I hate when people do that", she said with a smile.
(... I don't know where that comma goes.)
"It's all good! Thank you!"
... felt just like home... thank you Tim Horton's.
I should keep this short... it was a productive day but we still have a fair amount to do tomorrow and I probably won't get to sleep until after 2am.
Tracked guitars, lead vocals, and set up for bass today... went til 8pm... I keep telling myself not to do more than 8-10hr days... realizing today would've been 15hrs (10am - 1am).
... I'm loving the tones we're getting... sometimes I feel like you get lucky with mic placement... sometimes I feel like you solve a bunch of problems without thinking about it too hard... aka experience... and killer gear.
Decided to take a lunch break today with the band... tried to take some pictures but my phone (16GB, never again!!) was telling me I was out of space... after I deleted about 100 pics and 6 videos to free up space... so I only got one pic today... hopefully the band took some.
... stopped at Tim Horton's again for dinner... Ham and Swiss sandwich... and another ice cap... there was so much mayo on the dham sandwich... it took 3 napkins to deal with it.
How much mayo belongs between two pieces of bread??? Seriously... as soon as I picked it up, it started oozing out the sides... and just forget about taking a bite out of it... it was everywhere... sorta disappointing since I wasn't really hungry, but felt I should eat something... I didn't sign up for 1/2 cup of mayo.
... I should get to sleep... big day tomorrow... need to track bass, finishing guitar leads, vocals, and then the drive home.
We'll get it done... good times.
P.S. Forgot about our first world problem during lunch today... had to stop on the sidewalk to wait for a sprinkler to rotate out of our way... if the record falls behind schedule I'll remember you sprinkler... I know where you work!
July 30, 2016 - 12:05am
... so I'm in Buffalo.
I didn't mention this trip to many people... just a few who needed to know... hopefully the other projects I'm in the middle of right now don't hate me for ducking out for a weekend.
... I also didn't mention it because of how my brain works.
... when you work in music long enough (or probably any entertainment industry) you get used to plans not working out... so I tend to not mention things that could or should be happening... I'd rather wait until it's happening... so I'm in Buffalo... producing a couple songs with Scarlet White.
I've been awake since 5:30am... I did my best to be responsible and not binge watch Game Of Thrones last night... trying hard to catch up... I might as well of though... had trouble sleeping last night. I'll admit I was anxious to get going with Scarlet White tunes but also to cross "drive across border solo" off my list.
The drive itself was pretty easy... I got butterflies when I saw the final signage... "last exit to USA crossing" or whatever it is... no turning back now!
It was somewhat backed up at the border... definitely the busiest I've seen it in a while... sorta car chaos at the Fort Erie crossing into Buffalo.
Despite having nothing to worry about (really), I don't know why the border freaks me out so much... I understand they're doing their job but I just feel like I'm always on the verge of answering a question (humorously) the wrong way.
(... act cool... like you've done this 100 times before.)
I somehow ended up in a fairly short, fast moving line.
... I joked to myself that I probably have "that guy" as my border officer... that's why the line is shorter than the rest.
I started preparing myself mentally for having him (I just know it's "that guy"... spidey sense was tingling) ask me to pull aside to have the car searched... even though it's basically empty aside from a suitcase, backpack, and a cymbal bag.
... again, not that I have anything to really worry about.
After he's done motioning the car ahead of me to pull off to the side for inspection, he motions me to pull forward.
... then he waves his hand aggressively to stop and then go back.
... he's waving to the car behind me. I wanted to turn around and yell at them too... partly to show the officer I'm on his side, but also to tell them I don't need their shenanigans right now. I honestly still feel like a kid around "real adults" so in situations like this... in my mind, I'm two kids stacked wearing a trench coat, bucket hat, sunglasses, and fake moustache, trying to pull a fast one at parent / teacher interviews.
... again, not that I have anything to worry about... really... seriously.
... let's call him Officer Silver.
Officer Silver asks me for my passport and to roll down the back windows.
... I realize at this point either my arm is short (which I know isn't true) or I'm awkwardly far from his booth.
"Where are you going?"
Officer Silver is digging through my passport now... I said the magic word.
"On your P2 or O1 visa?"
"You know you're supposed to surrender your P2 visa when you leave right? ... or else we don't know you've left the country."
... now this is that moment in the conversation where I see 179 responses that lead off a cliff...
(... go with "ok, sorry")
"Oh ok... sorry aboot that."
(... good job... everything is cool... you're cool... done this 1,000 times.)
I watched him tear the old P2 from February out of my passport before handing it back to me.
"... we're good?"
(... what are you doing???)
... Officer Silver gave me a weird look and an awkward nod before looking at the car behind me and motioning them forward.
I half smiled... not in a mischievous way, but in an "I'm not sure if I'm allowed to smile again yet" way.
I drove away from the booth at a snails pace... partly trying to figure out where to go, partly observing my surroundings. Officers, guns, dogs... people just doing their job but I was sorta overwhelmed... I'd evolved from the teetering tower of stacked kids in a trench coat, bucket hat, sunglasses, and fake moustache to the cat inspecting new surrounding... low to the ground... slow calculated moves... with no couch or bed to hide under.
I followed my GPS to GCR Audio... it was barely 15 minutes on the other side of the border. The drive was beautiful, lots of tree lined streets and older buildings... very quiet... the area reminded me of a small town outside my home town.
Found the studio... parked... success.
... another milestone reached... age 32.
I should get to bed soon... but in short, GCR is a fantastic facility... beautifully built, lots of gear, smart work flow, and awesome staff. I'm pretty hands on when it comes to tracking but I felt it was a good balance of assistance and letting me do my thing.
... really happy with the drum sounds and Dango (drummer) was solid... makes my job easy when drummers can lay 80% of a song down in 2 takes, and take direction on the details bits... and knows how to tune a kit!
Finished up around 7pm and walked over to my hotel... where I watched Conan (movie) and did some drum editing.
... Conan was not what I was expecting... but I feel like it's where Arnold really found is "HULALALLALALUHHLALAL" voice.
P.S. Internet is really slow at the hotel so I'll post pics tomorrow.
P.P.S. I woke up at 7:15am... I had no idea where I was for a minute.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!