Why Be Credible When You Can Be Incredible? 01 Somebody New


01: Somebody New

We started moving things into our studio in October/November 2013. It took a few weeks to get everything painted and set up to our liking, but a slick purple and gold paint scheme in the control room made it feel distinctly ours (the shade of purple we selected was called "Success"). Sessions for How Do You Feel Now? had actually begun earlier in October down in New York. A few of the songs required big rock drums, which we tracked at Premier Studios in Manhattan. Taking the files back to our place in Rochester, we decided to start the recording process with "Somebody New", a song that we'd been playing live for about a year but hadn't had the capacity to record until now. The track had been written before the 88888 mixtape, but it didn't feel right with fake drums, virtual instruments, etc. We shelved it at the time and decided to wait.

This song is probably the most polished and tightly edited track on the record, a fact which I attribute to its being first. We recorded the album in a linear fashion, so we'd complete one song before moving on to the next. This is probably the only song on the record where we asked ourselves "is this professional? Are we professionals now?". Andy Wallace mixed the song for us, and we got to sit in the room with him in New York while he did it which became one of the highlights of our HDYFN recording sessions. Our label A&R (Hi Mio) refers to him as "Yoda". I could recap Andy's illustrious career, but here: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Andy+Wallace

Lyrically I refer to "Somebody New" as a "lazy love song". Yes, it's about monogamy, but it's really coming from a place of feeling simultaneously unappreciated by the world around you and not good enough. As far as the production/musical palette of the song is concerned, we wanted to make something that felt like The Matrix. I had DJ'd a goth/industrial club in Rochester several times throughout 2012 and 2013 (with our now tour manager Bud) and the patrons there were always fascinating. I remember playing that "they will not control/degraaaaaaade us" Muse song and everyone losing their minds. We wanted to capture a bit of that spirit as well.

A few technical notes/facts for those who are curious:

  • The initial idea was built from a bass riff I'd dreamt one night. In my dream, international celebrity superstar dj Skrillex was performing at a club, and the "Somebody New" bass riff was blasting through the system as kind of a "wub wub" synth line. When I awoke, I laughed it off for a minute before deciding it might work well as a bass guitar part.

  • The riff for the recording was played on a Fender American Jazz Bass, then Sean and I beefed it up with a synth sound or two from our DSI Prophet 12. A few other signals are present as well, including a DI bass going into an API 3124, one through a Tube Screamer/70's Fender Bassman 410, and a third through an Electro Harmonix Bass Micro Synth pedal. Live you're probably hearing the synth bass pedal and Tube Screamer mostly.
  • I believe we used a '72 Fender Telecaster Thinline reissue for all the guitars on this song. A '62 American Jaguar may have snuck in as well. Most of the guitars are through a Fender Twin Reverb that came into our possession a few years back, but we also used this little Fender Tone Machine amp with a Royer R121 in front of it that we liked for the lead line. We love guitars, but not in the way most guitarists do. The more we can break traditional guitar rules, the better. We also used a Boss Terra Echo pedal for some of the lead lines on the track.
  • The big screaming synth hook thing is actually my vocal pitched up an octave. I think I yelled that into a mic that came with a Fender Passport PA we bought in 2005. This was from the initial demo that I made. We passed the signal through a UA610 tube pre to warm it up a bit, and obviously there are a lot of plugins on it, probably half of them are SoundToys.
  • The sound you hear at the beginning of the track is the master recording passed through an app called Yellofier.
  • 2015-09-11-1441967014-1940022-IMG_4819.JPG

    Studio lobby as we found it.


    Control room before painting.


    Live room.


    Vocal booth before setup.


    Beginning of "Success".


    Lots of "Success".


    Fender Bassman setup.


    How Do You Feel Now?

    1. Somebody New
    2. Carry Me
    3. Tongues (feat. KOPPS)
    4. Destruction
    5. Now
    6. Parade
    7. In Clover
    8. Fees Like a Lie
    9. Traveling at the Speed of Light
    10. Nice House
    11. Bad Dreams
    Listen to HDYFN:

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