I’m having my second cup of coffee, sitting in a cafĂ© of Sanomatalo, in Helsinki centre. After months of grey sky, my eyes are hypnotised by the light outside.
Caffeine and light are making their way inside of me, yet they don’t stimulate me as much as I would wish them to. They can’t compensate for the rush of energy that studio gave me last week, and which has stopped by now.. I’m in need.
A studio session is a funny thing. Exciting and devouring. It feeds you and it consumes you at the same time.
I spent months preparing a session that lasted all in all 6 studio days.
Yet this is how it works: the more ready you are beforehand, and the deepest you’ll be able to get into details.. I like details.
On this session for the first two singles of the album we got into some pretty intense situations. The studio video that features all players will show you the essentials; what I’m giving you now is extra anecdotes.
Among them, I’ll remember the first night that Tero spent alone at the studio to edit the drums and during which 4 people tried to break in with metal bars.
(Luckily, nothing happened; alarms and the police did their job well. As for Tero, he was too deep inside his work to even notice what happened. :))
Another intense and slightly out-of-this world moment happened on day 3, after the recording of strings.
Recording/producing strings is particularly demanding in terms of concentration.
Your ears, mind and soul must be simultaneously aware, and for long hours, navigating from one instrument to the other, then to the global sound again, deciding whether it is fitting the song at its best or not. If it does not, you’d better be sharp and react. Because once the session is over, there is no other chance.
Our session with the Jousikaiku quartet and the extra double-bass player went beautifully.
It was 8pm when we finished.. And we had not started to record my voice yet. đź™‚
..So Tero and I decided to take a break, some fresh air, and to take a walk in the night.
Close from the Finnvox studio is a place for horse racing competition.
We walked there. As Tero stopped to chat with some of his acquaintances I observed some of the horses that were waiting, either to compete, or to go home.
I was stricken to feel how nervous and tired these horses were. The lights and the noises around us were aggressive. Some of the horses had chains that were preventing them from turning their heads.
I walked to the racing spot and I watched horses running for a while. I wondered once again about this passion that some men have, to tame and use wildness.
Ironically enough, I was back to the setting of Fusion: watching horses being tamed, together with Tero. Only this time, the snow had melted.
Because our schedule was too intense and too short, we booked an extra-day for the recording of my voice.
Wonderfully enough, Jan and Tero had placed the Eilera backdrop in my recording room that day. I sang alternatively watching the mountains of my southern home in France, and the trees of my northern home through the window.
Once we were happy with the recording, Tero and I decided it was best to edit the vocals straight away.. It carried us to 3.30am.
When Tero drove me back home that night – imagine two zombies in a car – we were welcomed by firemen trucks surrounding the neighbouring building from mine. We understood soon that someone was threatening to jump from the roof.
We had been all this time working in studio recording and producing life, and we ended our day seeing someone teasing death.
Recording edgy pop-rock, or melodic metal songs in studio is a bit of those three experiences in one.
– You create a bubble for yourself so full of faith that you don’t pay attention to the ugliness of the outside world anymore.
– You tame some of the wildness inside of yourself, you train it, until you get the best, highest level you can reach as a musician.
– And you walk on roofs, towards the unexpected, on the exciting rock line between life and death. At some point you break through your comfort zone and you jump, towards the stars.