World's Most Jealous Girl, Behind The Scenes
We actually got a song finished in NZ Music Month! Just over two weeks from starting to posting it on-line with an accompanying video. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
Every year we mean to do something for Music Month, and every year we don't quite get round to it. This year was going to be different – the plan was to record, mix, master, make a video and release a song, all in May. I love it when a plan comes together!
“World's Most Jealous Girl” is the most recent song I've written, the idea stemming from an old Mance Lipscomb tune (though I doubt Mance would recognise what's happened to it!).
Our musical compadre John Michaelz, who's living up in Whangarei at the moment and rehearsing a new band there - curse my useless memory, I can't remember their name - was in town staying with me. He had a verse and chorus for a new tune and I had the first verse of “World's Most Jealous Girl”. Over an afternoon we finished them both.
John and I have a chemistry that makes writing together very productive. I have no idea why, but I've never found anyone else who I can write with easily. We've been doing it now for over 20 years and every Kokomo album has co-writes as do John's CDs.
The first crack at recording didn't pan out. Violent thunderstorms and wind and rain lashed the Bay. The Boatshed is a pretty sturdy studio but it's not entirely soundproof on days like that so we postponed. Background rain didn't seem like the sort of sound effect we needed.
In case anyone's interested in our recording approach, this is how we did it this time.
The whole band played the song live in the studio while we recorded just the drums. Then I put on a guide vocal and everyone else played, one by one, over the drum part – upright bass first then acoustic guitar and electric rhythm guitar, then trumpet and harp and, finally, lead guitar. That was Saturday.
On Sunday Nigel and I went back in and I recorded my full vocals (and harmonies) and we mixed it. Then, as we've taken to doing, we ran it by Beano to see if he had any extra percussion ideas to increase the dynamics. Sure enough, he added some tambourine, a shaker and cowbell (everything goes better with more cowbell!). At that session Colin took studio photos of various “crucifixion” poses for the video and CD.
Then it was off across town to the Colourfield in Welcome Bay where Tim Julian (currently mixing the new Brilleaux album) kindly dropped everything to do his usual excellent mastering job. Meantime we'd supplied an image of Colin's to Grant and asked him to make a “lyric video”. That's basically where you have a still picture and the lyrics scroll by, the simplest and quickest form of video.
Of course we should have thought ahead about giving such a task to an artist... Grant really went to town. That was the final ten days of our two week turnaround. But – damn! - it was worth it. Grant created a little magic - I laughed out loud first time. Then at the beginning of this week we had CDs pressed, covers printed, and they were sent out to (hopefully) friendly radio stations around the country. Meanwhile Colin looked after the on-line launch, social media and other essentials.
Damn fine! It's a satisfying feeling. Tonight I'm going to watch the video and crack open a fine bottle of something red from Te Mata. If you're reading this, I hope you like the song. Play it to your friends, play it to your mother, play it to your kids. Send it round the world.
PS Why not click HERE to see the Vid and Download the song