"Just For The Record" is a brand new section at the RockUnited site where 'DJ Urban' has a look at some old(er) records/albums in the great history of hard rock and metal. It could be some "obscure" minor record label release that simply didn't get the attention it so rightly deserved the first time around. It could also be a what you would call a "classic" album or sort of a best-seller. They all have one thing in common though. They all ROCK and and they all have at least one classy enough band member to answer our q's.
X-SINNER: "Get It"
X-SINNER and their debut album "Get It" from the year of 1989 (Pakaderm Records). The title is actually spot on. Simply get it as this is one classy hardrock release in the style of Acca Dacca's "Back In Black", Cinderella's "Night Songs" and Def Leppard's "High N'Dry". Vocals in the style of Brian Johnson, flashy guitarwork inspired by Van Halen and typical Def Leppard background vocals. The song, "Livin' On The Edge", very similar to the High N'Dry, Pyromania sound. Sadly underrated by the "mainstream" audience since many refused to look past the band's CCM connection. By the way, there's no such thing as "christian" music, merely christian musicians. X-sinner, consisted at the time of David Robbins (vocals - also known for his great contribute to the first Mastedon CD), Greg Bishop (guitar), Rob Kniep (bass), and Michael Buckner (drums). They were the first band signed to Pakaderm Records (A&M), the label of brothers Dino and John Elefante (Kansas), also the producers of this very album. Band leader Greg Bishop didn't quite get along with the bros. regarding what sound and production this record should have. Still, this is pretty much a must have in any serious hardrock collection. You really should "Get It". Here to give us his insight on the record, Mr.X-Sinner himself, Mr. GREG BISHOP...
How long did this album take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
What kind of initial budget are we talking about here?
Not sure really (the album was recorded at the home studio of the producers)
How much of the budget did you actually spend on useless equipment and other nonsense?
We didn't waste...
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
AC/DC's Back in Black
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
It was a partnership between the band and the producers but mostly us. Basically the producers had a lot of input with the background vocals.
And were you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
I wanted everything to have less reverb but in the end it was OK.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
They would run tape backwards and volume ramp up the vocal. You can hear what I'm talking about on "Steppin' on Toes's" first word of the first verse (i.e. the word "Authority")
How much time did you spend on overdubs?
I tracked both the left and right rhythm guitars in a day, then a couple of days to do the lead guitar. The background vocals took a week.
Which band member spent most of his days in the studio and why?
Me because it was my band. I was the only one signed to the "record" deal. So I kind of oversaw everything. Most of the band was there for all of it.
Which band member hardly spent any time at all in the studio and why?
Rob the bassist lived the farthest away so maybe he was there the least I think.
Let's talk about the lyrics. Are you just as fond of them today or are they typical of its time?
I'm not a big fan of lyrics in general. I'm more of a music guy and my concerns are more about if the music rips or not. My bullish comment about lyrics is "if you want read/hear good words/lyrics then read poetry." I really don't put much effort in to them. Dave the singer at the time, wrote the lyrics on at least 50% of "Get It". Sorry for this answer but I don't know how to answer it more honestly.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound', or perhaps you didn't?
We constantly compared what we were recording next to CDs that we like.
Did the record company interfere anything on your "sound" and "songs", considering what's 'hot and not' at the time?
I would say no because I had the last word with most issues but again they (the producers) really helped us out in the backing vocal department
Your favourite songs off the album and why?
"Living on the Edge", and "Steppin' On Toes" because they showed our two basic types of songs and styles we utilize and like to play.
Any 'oh-I-wish-we-had-never-recorded' song on this album?
Were there any other tracks recorded during those studio sessions that didn't make the cut?
Yes. We started tracking a song but it was rather new and would have taken a couple of days or more to complete it. I don't remember the name.
What's your honest opinion about the songs and the production today? Dated, fresh, a mess?
I still think the songs are OK today (only because bands like AC/DC are still relevant in the music world) but the production is dated, especially the reverb on the solos.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Their were many disagreements between the producers (who were also the label) and me. By the time the CD was finished the honeymoon was over between the band and the label.
Were you ever a "priority" case or merely just another release at your record label?
We were the first release of the label. The label was just a production company at first (meaning they had a studio and made records for other labels). When they took the next step, becoming a label, part of their pitch to potential investors was we (X-Sinner) were going to be their first band. So in a small sense they built their label on us.
Did you ever feel like the record label supported you guys enough afterwards? (promotion-wise, tours, etc.).
Not at all. Their answer to everything was "no".
Any regrets whatsoever? (regarding the album of course)
No. The CD launched us.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, or promote, please do:
Sorry I'm not more verbose. It was a long time ago. Thanks for this
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,