By: Jennifer Baguss
Ottawa-based indie rock band Right by Midnight have taken a different route during the recording of their second album Leave the Door Open.
They subtracted the layering techniques familiar to big bands and recorded the album in one large room together.
The band came away from the experience in good shape and is now promoting the album.
A week of television appearances and radio interviews culminated in an album launch party at Mavericks bar at the end of September.
Right by Midnight’s second effort is the product of six months of recording at Gallery Recording Studios in Ottawa with producer Dean Watson.
Watson said the recording process this time around was vastly different than Right by Midnight’s previous effort.
“The first record was a mish-mash of tunes that ran the gamut of styles and actually had a few different players on the bed tracks,” said Watson. “This second record was by far a more focused effort with a clear end goal and sound in mind.”
This album is the first to feature drummer James Brint, a graduate of Algonquin’s music industry arts program, and bassist Chris Slaney.
According to Watson, the two newest members of the group helped make recording proceed seamlessly.
“Tracking the drums, bass and bed guitar was a breeze. James was a charm to work with and laid out in the drums in a handful of takes at most.”
The band explored live recording techniques on this album used by such groups as The Strokes and My Morning Jacket according to singer Kris Ward.
“With this new record, we had flushed out a lot of the songs and ideas before going into the studio,” said Ward. “We also decided for this record to record a lot of the tracks ‘live off the floor’, together in one big room.”
“We were getting really great feedback about our live sets and we wanted to try and capture some of that energy on the album. It was definitely a different way to record, but we had a lot of fun with it.”
While creating the album the band took part in an online drive to raise funds for their new release. It allowed fans to support the band by donating money for the recording via PayPal or credit card.
Donors received signed posters or free copies of the album based on the amount they donated.
This year, through Live 88.5’s Big Money Shot competition, Right by Midnight had the opportunity to record in Toronto with producer Matt DeMatteo. He is known for producing songs for The Barenaked Ladies, Hawksley Workman and Mobile.
While the song they recorded in Toronto does not appear on the new album, the band does feature it in their live shows.
The song titled, Somebody September is a good example of Right by Midnight’s ability to try different recording methods and make it their own.
Guitarist, Charles Downey, said that the recording in Toronto was a great learning experience and he is excited to experiment with different types of recording in future albums.
For more info, visit their website http://www.rightbymidnight.