"All About The Album" - If you'd like to feature your band/album, email: urban
SECRET : "The End Of The Road"
SECRET- rising from the ashes of cult AOR band 91 Suite... The Secret is out! Featuring the former 91 Suite vocalist Jesus Espin and guitarist Ivan Gonzalez, this new band is no longer a secret to the melodic rock fans and if there's any justice in the world, the album's title is not accurate at all... We sent out our questions to Jesus E., and despite just becoming a father (gongrats!), he found the time to write down thorough answers for us!
1. How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
Well, fas far as we know the reactions are being real positive. We, more and more, are getting great reviews, making friends from all over the world via our Facebook page and having requests for live shows. We are really proud of the job done and we are looking forward to playing it live everywhere we can.
2. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
We almost took all the time in the world to finish the album. We did everything by ourselves and had to be totally convinced with the result. So that, it took us a year and a half to finally end it. We paid much attention to every single detail, every little sound, to get the best sound we could. We repeated takes until we thought they were near perfection.
3. What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We did kind of a vintage approach to the album, I mean, deeply influenced by the productions we always loved. Taking care of dynamics and getting rid of the over compressed new wave of sound that you hear everywhere. We wanted to sound like in the old days great bands did, recording in such incredible studios, with large budgets and all that stuff...but in our home studios. We both have studios, mine is more vocal oriented and Ivan's more guitar driven. We tried to capture that magic in our recordings and now it is up to people to tell whether we did it right or wrong.
4. What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
We both served as producers for the album so introduced every single idea we thought important for it. We felt free to experiment and it was an incredible experience. The sequence was this way, we looked for the drum sound we loved and tried hard until we got it. Then moved on to another instrument and did much more same. Reference is really important when it comes down to production matters and we had all those great albums from the 80’s and early 90’s that really helped us to find our way.
5. And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Really, really pleased! Taking into account the fact that it is an self-produced album with a low budget. We got the sound that we wanted to and we learned from the process too. Of course there are always some little aspects that you would like to change right now but overall, we are really proud of the sound coming from the album.
6. Did the producer use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
We used a bunch of quality stuff to get the sound we wanted to. All of the guitars you can hear in the album except for the spanish and acoustic ones have been recorded using kemper Profiling Amp. Ivan used a Gibson Standard, a Fender Telecaster Richie Kotzen Signature, A Music Man Axis, and Takamine and Martin Acoustic Guitars. We also used a UA LA-610 mkII heavily for bass and vocals, used parallel compression and a great amount of quality plugins. We layered as many vocal takes as we could in order to get strong power backing vocals. We worked hard on the takes until we got them right. It was a laborious work to do but we had a blast!
7. How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn’t?
We have always thought that there is a significant difference between live and studio environments. And we did not pretend to make them sound the same way. Of course we love live sound, because is straight and rough, playing live is a real and unique experience. But studio gives you flexibility and the opportunity to sound more produced, polished, and is so nice to explore this world too. You can get great harmony power chorus layering track after track, doubling guitar solos, adding some percussion…we, basically, tried to record the album we liked using the studio tools we had.
8. Please inform us about your favorite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Here With Me
Since I Fell For You
I Believe In Love
When You Really Love Someone
Peace Of Mind
9. Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
We love writing about happy things, life is a joy and it is up to us to discover and enjoy it. Sometimes we go through pain too and it is good to write about it but always ending with a light at the end of the tunnel feeling. We believe in hope and time, sooner or later, gives you some kind of a reward. Love is everywhere and is one of most inspiring things in life. We then try to match lyrics and music searching for the right positive mood in every song.
10. Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
Of course, time changes you no matter what you do. It is a natural evolution to every man. We cannot write the same songs we wrote when we were in 91 Suite, there are some similarities, of course, but by no means identical. We have grown up as artists being influenced by other types of music and ways of writing. In Secret people will discover a more mature way of doing what we did back in 91 Suite.
11. Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
Nowadays it is easy to find that a company only has to release the album and do some kind of promotion. In this case, we did all of the writing, recording, mixing, mastering and editing. So that the company MMR only had to release it. We are so glad that Andrew McNiece from MelodicRock Records got involved in the project because he is a wonderful person and a really supportive spirit.
12. Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Of course, when you spend time recording there are always many kind of strange and funny situations. I remember one of them because it was a panic moment for us. We were having a hard time recording 5 songs from the album. We always do backing of all the work done previously in order to secure the sessions and not ending up losing everything. We still don’t know, but could not manage to find the 5 songs we completely recorded, anywhere the Mac. We started panic, getting really seasick, but after those very minutes we restarted the system and we finally found them in the same place they were. Digital recording goblins!!!
13. How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
It is a mixture of hard rock, AOR, country, rock…and all the influences we all have. You will not easily find another album with such a musical blending. We wanted to put out a varied kind of record, not that one with a 40 minute song that you may like but it is always the same song rolling and rolling, again and again. Maybe people want to hear that, maybe not, but we wanted to give this sense of heterogeneity to the record.
14. Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Well, we have been influenced by many bands through the years such as AC/DC, Toto, Mr.Big, The Beatles, Queen, Van Halen, Boston, Dream Theater, Extreme, Cinderella, Giant, Kiss, Stryper, Harem Scarem…..and more recent acts such as H.e.a.t., Soleil Moon, Michael Thompson Band, Maragold, Work of Art, Steel Panther…but we also like any band or style with a certain degree of quality. We would also like to make a special mention to Jimi Jamison who suddenly passed away just a few days ago. He was one of the best singers we have ever heard in our lives.
15. If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
We would like to thank you for your support and your great review. We hope to see you all as soon as possible.
Here is our FB page if you want to know the last from us…
Photos provided by the band.
(c) 2014 RockUnited.Com - Contact or simply send your answers to above address.