"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where a recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
JAMES BYRD's Atlantis Rising's: "Chasing The Shadows"
Comprised of 14 never before heard performances and 7 new songs, "Beyond The Pillars" is -literally- a lost album. The material's origins date to when James Byrd began writing and recording with vocalist Freddy Krumins within days of departing Fifth Angel in the summer of 1987, with much of the music material Byrd had originally intended for the second Fifth Angel album. The forgotten masters that make up "Beyond The Pillars" were undiscovered until early 2011 when Freddy Krumins was going through a box of old tapes. Here's JAMES BYRD...
Q: How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Byrd: Recording took place between the summer of 1987 and the winter of 1988.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Byrd: Well first off, it wasn't recorded in a dedicated recording studio. It was a very grimy rehearsal facility with sound stages called The Music Bank, in an industrial area of Seattle. Freddy and I had sketched out the songs in the living room before we set up to record at The Music Bank. The production wasn't really a forethought, it was just a matter of the songs taking shape naturally.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Byrd: I am the producer...
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Byrd: Yes, definitely. Two reviews (one is yours) have called the sound “dated”, but this was analog tape, and to me it's warm and vastly superior to digital. But maybe to someone who's grown up listening to digital music, they might think it's inferior. I absolutely disagree. I've never liked digital recordings and many people agree with me. So the album sounds like an album from the 80's, because it is an album from the 80's, and no one has made any apologies otherwise. I think it sounds great, and wish my later digital recordings had the kind of warmth and depth that this has.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Byrd: Freddy was the recording engineer, and we just moved mics around until it sounded right. That's how things were done “back in the day”, but no, nothing unorthodox was done.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
Byrd: We had the largest sound stage at the music bank. I think it was around 800 square feet, with a very high ceiling. The drums and guitars were recorded in that room, and there is a good amount of room sound in the recordings.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Byrd: It usually takes me years to decide on a favorite song when an album is finished, so I could change my mind here. But for songs, I'm liking “Stranger in The Night” a lot. My favorite performances are probably “Eye of The Storm” and “Requiem Atlantis”.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Byrd: Always, but this is never a forethought. Music comes from the heart and mind and “is what it is” so to speak.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
Byrd: No, I was without a record label when this material was recorded
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Byrd: Crazy? No, not really. But we were drinking a lot of beer after the sessions, and there were girls hanging around the studio.
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
Byrd: It sounds like an album, and it sounds like albums sounded in the 80's because that's what it is.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, UFO, Scorpions, classical music. I learned from too many guitar players to list, but if someone was great, I learned from them.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,