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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Making of Love

posted by on January 10 at 10:16 AM

agtsk3.jpgA Gun That Shoots Knives is releasing a six song EP called Love on Seattle’s Bad Horses Records. The CD release show is Saturday night at Sunset Tavern. Theyíre playing first and last with the Resets doing the middle set. Your $6 cover gets you a free copy of the EP. A Gun That Shoots Knives is Stubby Abbot, Jimmy LaRue, Jeff Greenwood, and Kurly Sorbel. They play deranged pop that touches into metal, groove, and soul balladry. In Love they sing of sushi and making you wet. If Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a band from Seattle it would be A Gun That Shoots Knives. Theyíre odd, they fly, and they have the power to make dreams come true.

AGTSK has toured four times. They have collected and worn over a dozen wigs, eight jumpsuits, five false moustaches, one chicken suit, one cow suit, one horse head, six mexican wrestling masks, several pieces of lycra, twelve two-dollar thrift store suits, a jetpack, and one pair of knee-high six-inch tranny boots.

agtskboxpic.jpg

picture: Gunther Jose Frank

I met the band at the McDonalds Playland in Ballard to speak about the making of Love. We sat waist deep in the Pac-Man plastic ball pit:

How was the recording? Where did y’all do it?
AGTSK: Well, Trent More-man, it was great. And we donít mean that to sound sarcastic. We recorded at Titan Studio, with our dear friend Scot Michael. It’s a classic basement studio environment, complete with spiders, spiders everywhere.

Did you do any pre-production? (They are throwing the little plastic balls at my head.)
Yeah, we started by practicing the shit out of the songs we were going to record. I’m talking at least twice a week. We pre-recorded everything as if we were going to be mixing it ourselves so we didn’t have to dick around a ton once we got there. We’re all vaguely capable of playing each other’s instruments and have a lot of input on each otherís parts. More of that comes out when we listen back to a multi-tracked version of a song and we can hear the individual notes/beats weíre playing. Scot uses Nuendo, and has an awesome collection of newish and vintage mics. (His condenser that we used for vocals is a trippy, old, and Russian.) We ended up throwing all six tracks down in three afternoons, five the first two days and one on the third, which was pretty fast for us. We took the better part of two years trying to record a full-length on our own. It was nice to hand most of the board work off to someone who’s a lot faster and has a better ear than you.

Talk for me now about any drum pad type gear you might have used. PLEASE do this, and do it now.
Drummer Kurly says: I used a Roland sampler that has nine indivdual trigger pads. That sampler then gets run threw anlog and digital effects that can be minipulated manulay by my own damn hands. The idea is to incorporate all that crap with an acustic set and keep it real. Also, it (the sampler) allows me to fill “sonic gaps” as well as being able to perform songs live the same way they are done on recordings. Eventually there will be more crap.

agtsk11.jpg

picture: Gunther Jose Frank

How did these sessions differ from the sessions for your first CD?
We made a lot more weird-ass noises this time. We can make some pretty sweet space noises now, and everyone besides Jimmy can make a realistic whale noise with their live set-up. All we need now is a church choir and light orchestra to join the band in real life.

Who mixed and mastered it?
Scot. Scot Michael. That man has REALLY got his shit together, both with his ear for producing and his skills at engineering what he hears. The main reason this recording went so fast is that he mixes virtually everything as he’s tracking it, so by the time you’re done with vocals it’s pretty close to the final mixdown. He just has a keen ear for filling holes in the EQ, keeping it really full, and finding little ways here and there to put some snap into it. To top it off, heís completely affordable. It feels like you’re getting away with something. He kept sending us different masters as they got more and more perfect. He even drove the last, most perfect unsolicited master to our drummerís work, because he was excited to have us hear it.

What was the most challenging part of recording the new cd? I know it sounds stupid to ask, but recording is such a bitch sometimes. How did y’all conquer the beast and render the beauty?
Kurly had to be at work at 7 AM all three days that we booked for recording. After we messed around into the evening and Scot got sick of listening to us, we were left with a very sleepy drummer man. We conquered this beast by getting him really stoned and drinking lots of Sparks. Our friend Billy Stern was sort of interning with Scot while we were recording, and he has long been making wherever he hangs out feel like a clubhouse. Scot has only the newest and funnest of video games. We’re pretty much going to be trying to emulate this recording session for the rest of our lives. But with more sleep.

And then you hung up on us. What the hell, Trent. Trent are you there? Donít leave us, Trent. Hold us, Trent.

We would appreciate it if you didnít mention our mob ties. Oh, and donít spell check Kurlyís drum pad quote. AGTSK4EVA.

***********

After the interview, we exited the ball pit and I thanked the band for their time. They bought me a Happy Meal, and asked if they could keep my prize. It was a wind-up Ronald Race Car. They said they collect prizes.

RSS icon Comments

1

I would never sit in a ball pit with Stubby. Not without a note from my doctor, anyways. You're a brave man, Mr.More-Man.

Posted by Jason Josephes | January 10, 2008 10:24 AM
2

It was all good until one of them sort of touched me.

Posted by trent moorman | January 10, 2008 10:55 AM
3

I'd like to meet Trent in the pac-man plastic ball pit to talk about my new record. Where do I sign up for that?

Posted by rice crispy treat | January 10, 2008 11:05 AM
4

There is actually no other place you could have interviewed these dudes than a Pac Man play fort.

Pretty weird but I gotta love em.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was my favorite. Dick Van Dyke sang his way into my heart.

Posted by Natasha | January 10, 2008 11:17 AM
5

hi. i'm about ready to eat a bacon cheeseburger.

Posted by bosch | January 10, 2008 11:38 AM
6

Bosch, reguards to Brooklyn. Is the bacon cheeseburger from the Diner? Your classing it up over there. That sounds good right about now. Order me one, I'll be there in 4 days.

Posted by trent moorman | January 10, 2008 11:45 AM
7

This is an epic post. Substantial plus to my day thus far.

I don't know about their music, but they look like they know how to entertain. Tranny boots always entertain.

Posted by Liz | January 10, 2008 12:14 PM
8

Pictures of them entertaining:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=65149222%40N00&q=a+gun+that+shoots+knives&m=text

(Courtesy of soundonthesound.com)

Posted by Jason Josephes | January 10, 2008 12:24 PM
9

Bunny Ears, boxing gloves, ball pits, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

That would be a yes please. You should have touched them in return. Return the love.

Posted by Kevin | January 10, 2008 12:40 PM
10

Dick Van Dyke is a prick.

Posted by Bri | January 10, 2008 12:56 PM
11

Does anyone ever clean those balls? I don't they get cleaned too often. Fucking classic Trent.

Kurly, I have a Happy Meal toy from a few years ago. It's this pipe with ping pong ball, speaking of balls. You blow on the pipe and the ball floats. You want it?

Posted by Anna | January 10, 2008 1:08 PM
12

Long time no Trent. Glad I did. These doods look krazy. A Gun That Shoots Chitty Chitty. I'll have a Spark!!! Hit it. C ya.

Posted by Monty | January 10, 2008 1:44 PM
13

They do clean those balls. The Hamburgler personally cleans them himself.

Posted by trent moorman | January 10, 2008 2:16 PM
14

If only this post were a pop-up.

AGTSK as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is interesting. Two heart warming stories. I don't think Dick Van Dyke would wear tranny boots though.

Posted by KK | January 10, 2008 2:51 PM
15

And mixing while you track = A VERY GOOD THING.

I am changing my name to Gunther Jose Frank. What a frikking name!

Posted by KK | January 10, 2008 2:58 PM
16

Russian condenser mic? LOMO? Or Oktava? Geak me.

Posted by One More | January 10, 2008 3:02 PM
17

T, no, the bacon cheeseburger was from pies n thighs. it kills the diner burger. and kills the burger eater too. i'm in a coma.
http://piesandthighs.com/

Posted by bosch | January 10, 2008 3:34 PM
18

I'll take an egg biscuit from Pies and Thighs. With cheese.

Posted by KK | January 10, 2008 3:50 PM
19

Awesome, Scot, and all! Love,

Dad

Posted by Dad | January 10, 2008 3:59 PM
20

Trent,
You are truly remarkable. I've heard of these guys, never wAnted to see them, had no plans to buy their CD and all of a sudden I'VE GOT TO HEAR THIS SOUND. I'VE GOT TO GO TO THE TAVERN.
I think More-man is dicing some strange elixirs through his blog. Hope you are reviewing them??
Siza

Posted by Siza | January 10, 2008 4:22 PM
21

Trent,
You are truly remarkable. I've heard of these guys, never wAnted to see them, had no plans to buy their CD and all of a sudden I'VE GOT TO HEAR THIS SOUND. I'VE GOT TO GO TO THE TAVERN.
I think More-man is dicing some strange elixirs through his blog. Hope you are reviewing them??
Siza

Posted by Siza | January 10, 2008 4:22 PM
22

A Gun That Shoots Knives RULES!

Posted by WE Mike | January 10, 2008 4:26 PM
23

It was an Oktava MK-319 replaced with a gold diaphragm. Nothing special. It's actually kinda old and falling apart, but still works and sounds pretty good. It just seemed to sound better (with Stubby's voice) than the few other Large Diaphragm Condensers I have.

Posted by TITANRS | January 10, 2008 4:55 PM
24

Trent you are totally wrong. Where are you getting your baseless info? Grimace washes the balls.

Posted by Mark C. | January 10, 2008 5:32 PM
25

Another Grimace ball washing vote here. I'm going to start A Gun That Shoots Knives cover band and we're all wearing Grimace costumes. We will be called A Gun That Shoots Shakes.

Posted by DrumSchool | January 10, 2008 6:10 PM
26

yes please! I want to head off into the sunset with them!!

Posted by wheeee! | January 11, 2008 1:20 AM

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