"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.
DELIVERANCE and their self-titled debut from the year of 1989 (produced by Bill Metoyer of Slayer, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sacred Reich, fame). If there's merely one underrated Thrash/Speed Metal album of the late 80's that you need, surely this must be it? Deliverance were (more or less) the first christian metal act to play 'Bay Area' Speed/Thrash in the eighties. They came from Southern California (L.A.) and played the local scene for several years without a recording contract. Their self-titled debut is a lovely mix of Thrash/Speed 'ala Metallica and Death Angel, plus a healthy dose of the very early sound of Queensryche and/or Sacred Warrior. Vocalist/guitarist and overall band leader: Jimmy P. Brown II has an soaring voice 'ala Geoff Tate (Queensryche) or Rey Parra (Sacred Warrior). Well, perhaps not quite up there, but not far off really. This is just a great mix of aggressive thrash music and excellent melodic vocals, and a must-have in any serious Thrash/Metal fan's collection. Here to answer our questions about the 1989 album, Mr.Deliverance - JIMMY P. BROWN II.
How long did this album take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
With our first release, we were in the studio for 3 weeks.
What kind of initial budget are we talking about here?
Budget was 15.000 and we only used 13K and some change.
How much of the budget did you actually spend on useless equipment and other nonsense?
Since it was our first CD, we didn't know about spending foolishly on the label's dime yet. That came with the next few records... LOL...
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
I wanted the record to be dry and not have a lot of effects used. As pure as possible. In some ways, I wanted it to sound like a beefed up demo, and it kinda did...
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Bill Metoyer was great to work with. I do regret being a little pushy with him though as to our first experience with a producer 2 years prior made me real edgy about producers. I was never really sure what a Producer's role was to be and didn't learn it until a few years later when working with Terry Taylor... That is when I settled into the artist mode comfortably without having to try to co-produce. I think given the chance, Bill would've made the album better, but again me and the band were very leary of producers as a whole...
And were you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
I think that overall, the album came out great sonically. Guitars are a little fuzzy, and I dislike the drum tones, but Bill actually reproduced those as the sounded live. I always thought Chris's drums sounded like crap...
Did the producer use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
I do remember Bill using a mic technique for the guitar tone. He didn't use any eq, but rather used several different mics in different positions around the 4x12 cabinet and then using the faders like a graphic eq to find the guitar tone. Very cool technique, but didn't use it again until 5 years later...
How much time did you spend on overdubs?
Only things overdubbed were vocals and the solos... So, not much time at all...
Which band member spent most of his days in the studio and why?
I was there from day one till the end of mixing and went to the mastering sessions as well... I just wanted to make sure from A-Z it was what I wanted...
Which band member hardly spent any time at all in the studio and why?
I would have to say Glenn, our lead guitar player. He didn't do any of the rhythm work on the album, and he did his solos in one day... He came around once in a while, but Glenn had already left Deliverance at this point to join Steel Vengeance, a band from England. He finished his time with us and recorded all the solos, and above all introduced us to Bill Metoyer...
Let's talk about the lyrics. Are you just as fond of them today or are they typical of its time?
I think that they were a product of a young mind, and very zealous lyrics. You have to remember, I was 15 when "D" started, and I was the lyricist writing from a heavy evangelical frame of mind... So, 4 years of these songs were finally realized on a recording. I think they are great for that era, although would've been better a few years earlier...
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound', or perhaps you didn't?
It was me, Chris and Brian. We set up, played the songs, then I went back and overdubbed the 2nd rhythm track... We didn't use click tracks and all that noize yet... It was just us playing..
Did the record company interfere anything on your "sound" and "songs", considering what's 'hot and not' at the time?
For this album, no. That came later by the 4th CD...
Your favourite songs off the album and why?
I think I will have a fondness for all of them for some reason or another as to these were my first compositions as a musician. But, I will always love the last track the best. "Awake"...
Any 'oh-I-wish-we-had-never-recorded' song on this album?
Actually, the only regret would be the dorky spoken overdub at the beginning of 'Jehovah Jireh'. I like what I read, but I tried using a terrible phony British accent... It reminded me later of Stonehendge by Spinal Tap... Of course by then, it was too late to change...
Were there any other tracks recorded during those studio sessions that didn't make the cut?
Nope. We recorded and mixed 10 tracks...
What's your honest opinion about the songs and the production today? Dated, fresh, a mess?
I honestly think it was the best produced sonically and overall feel from the triple thrash era of Deliverance. (Self, Weapons & What a Joke) Weapons and What a Joke were produced by George Ochoa, who was not a seasoned producer yet, and you hear all sorts of punch-in mistakes, over-eq'g, too much effecting, etc. With regards to the first CD, you can hear it was recorded and mixed by a well seasoned veteran... It's par for the course, all good things take time... Dated, but good..
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Nah, unfortunately we were just so happy to be in the studio after a year of making demo after demo for the label. Intense Records was owned by Caesar Kalinowski in 1988/89. We signed in Jan of 1988 but didn't enter the studio until Feb 1989. That whole year, Ceasar kept telling us to send him demo after demo of the material. He kept complaining that he couldn't make out anything. I went and bought a 4 trk recorder, went to small studio, finally we recorded a demo with a little boom box and he like that one most of all. I then get a call from him saying he was in LA and wanted to have lunch with me. I met with him and he explained that he had been having financial trouble and that is why he was stalling us on recording the album. But he had sold the label to Frontline Records of Newport Beach, CA and he was sure they would take care of us... He made the formal turnover intro, and I never really heard from Ceasar again...
Were you ever a "priority" case or merely just another release at your record label?
I think with a few CD's, we definitely were a priority... But, the only problem was the were pushy about time frame, which we were able to fix by the forth release.
Did you ever feel like the record label supported you guys enough afterwards? (promotion-wise, tours, etc.).
I think FMG did what they were able and sometimes went above and beyond, but not often... There were the people at the label who fought for us, then the usual red tape tanglers. All the BS of the corporate world... But, overall I didn't complain too much... We always got paid!!!
Any regrets whatsoever? (regarding the album of course)
Only that I didn't let Bill Metoyer have complete free reign over the production...
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, or promote, please do:
I think it's great that 21 years later, people are still interested in the s/t CD... Now that she's old enough to drink, I think I will join her... ;)
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, ,