Thursday, February 19, 2009

Recording "Some Place New" Again

Revisiting these songs was a trip. It felt really good to go back to each one and add and take out whatever we saw fit. The most appropriate person to engineer/produce our record was Joel Pack. Joel was actually recording a band in the next room over from where we practiced 4 years ago. We wanted him to record "Some Place New" way back then but our schedules conflicted. We would have to wait 4 years to get another chance. Luckily this time around he was available.

The first week of recording was all the acoustic songs. Joel and I ended up tracking in my home studio (Red Room). We recorded 6 songs in 5 days (Lost in July, When You Fall, If I Died Tonight, Clovers, Prince of Pain and Crack One More Smile). Its crazy to hear how different I sing and play in comparison to 4 years ago but the weird thing is that it still sounds very much like the old versions. 

Later on I tracked of Jason on cello. He was added on songs that originally had synth and violin. It was really cool to replace them with a more smooth and organic sounding instrument and one we could play live. It brought out a lot more emotion than the initial mixes.

I really noticed some things were missing. So I got Dave to actually record some acoustic lead parts on his own that we imported later on. We kept each version very true to the original recordings....but you may pick up on a few improvements and  subtle differences.

The second week of recording commenced and we ended up tracking drums at Nate's house. This was the first time Nate has ever officially been on a Allred recording. It just so happens he joined the band in between records. I met him at Snow College at the first band show back in 2004. 

Later that night he actually hung out with us in the studio listening to rough tracks of  "Some Place New". He has been there from the birth of these songs so this was a really big deal to finally have him playing them the second time around. He played amazing and really brought a new energy to each one. We were out before lunch.

Colby got to come down and track some bass lines on Golden. I was stoked to get him on this record. It means a lot that all the guys are represented on this one. I think this album will be more true to our live show than any other CD I've released.

Having Dave playing again is a pretty awesome thing. These songs started with him so it's only right to have him play on them the second time around as well. Many of his guitar parts were written years after the original record was released. He was finally able to add all the parts that were not initially recorded but people would always hear at shows. So really some of this record was 4 years in the making.

We did 5 songs in 5 days (Some Place New, Summer is Over, Lucky Scars, Autumn and Golden)

I ended up spending the final days recording vocals. I made sure I had no shows scheduled for a while. My voice was more rested than any other time I've recorded. I think thats something people will notice on this one. 

As we spent the remaining days mixing and mastering I couldn't help but think back on everything that has happened in the last 5 years. Good times, bad times...the big moments and some regrets. I feel like rereleasing this thing kind of mends a few wounds for me. I feel like I have a more stable foundation to build upon. I feel like people can finally hear what I was trying to say 4 years ago.

This record really sends out a clear message. It's about how life can be hard but you have to carry on. You have to keep breathing and realize that some of the beauty in the life is brought out by pain and tribulation. 

April 18th will be big day for Allred. I can't wait for you guys to hear this. It's going to kill me that I have sit on this record for a while. Some tracks will be added to Facebook and Myspace as the release gets closer. If you're out of state you can preorder the record at

Till then, God bless...


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Some Place New

Have you ever done something in the past and thought "I wish I could go back and change that...if only I knew what I know now"? Well every time I listen to my first record that exact phrase comes to mind. 

There seems to be something very special about those songs and that time in my life. The Summer of 2004 was one I will never forget. I moved out West with the clothes on my back and my guitar in hand with an open mind and an open heart. Utah had a profound effect on me. The people and the scenery inspired me greatly.

I wrote a considerable amount of songs in a very, very short amount of time. Starting that July, I would go down to a small studio in Ephraim to record. I started out with acoustic songs and added more and more as I slowly assembled a band.

I had these ideas of the potential of what this record would sound like. I had a very clear vision on how I wanted these songs to sound. But unfortunately at the time I had no money to afford recording at a high end studio to make that happen. So after finishing up 11 songs. That Winter I received the final product on disc. As I listened, each one fell short of the vision I had. It was heartbreaking to listen to because all I heard were the imperfections. More than anything it captured the awkwardness of starting a band, as if it was documented for everyone to hear.

I had spent so much time and energy, I didn't just want to throw it all away. So on February 11th, whether I liked it or not "Some Place New" was released at Muse Music to a sold out crowd. But something extraordinary happened. People looked past the poor quality of the record and payed attention to the songs themselves. They cared more about the words and the melodies, and not the fact that there were sound issues and things were off time. 

After 2 years and selling 3 pressings (3,000 copies) I retired "Some Place New". I no longer sold it at shows. Partly because of the quality but also because the band had changed so much. For the next few years the band evolved greatly. The quality of the records became much better. We all became better musicians. But we were a different band than what I originally intended. So last year, I went back to basics and became acoustic again. For the first time in years I would ask people what songs they would like me to play. And surprisingly the majority of songs requested were off the first record. 

Recently, I have been asked by many people if I would ever put the record on Itunes or sell it at shows again. And after much contemplation I've decided to rerecord the entire record this Winter. I'm attempting to match that vision I had almost 5 years ago. So I'm going back...

I'm doing the same songs. There will be no drastic changes. Just what I intended all along. Here is the original track listing.

1. Golden
2. Lucky Scars
3. Summer is Over
4. Lost in July
5. When You Fall
6. If I Died Tonight
7. Autumn
8. Crack One More Smile
9. Clovers
10. Some Place New
11. Prince of Pain