King Lizard – A Nightmare Livin’ the Dream

By March 3, 2013Blog, Engineering, Music
King Lizard - A Nightmare Livin' The Dream

I admit, this post is WELL overdue! I started recording this album back in August 2011! But it’s been a long project and I had loads going on so I do apologise for the delay 🙂

I have worked on various little project with King Lizard since I accidentally ran in to Niro Knox (guitar) at the Big Red pub in London somewhere in November/December of 2007! I recorded and mixed two live shows for the band with the Underworld 2009 Live N’ RED Raw show released on DVD. But I was a lot more interested in getting the band into the studio for a proper album recording.

I was commissioned to engineer the band’s new album – A Nightmare Livin’ The Dream – which was going to be produced by Pedro Ferreira (The Darkness, Tank, Shikari, Therapy). Working with Pedro was an experience in itself. He is a very skilled rock/metal producer and I learned a lot from him.

The actual recording of the album started before Pedro came on board. We recorded two songs on the 11-12th of August 2011 at Snap Studios as a test and pitch to the band’s record label. We recorded If It’s a Sin and Down. I mixed the initial versions, but these were not the ones that ended up on the album as they had to be remixed to be consistent with the rest of the mixes.

I’d like to shout out to Shure UK who were very kindly had lent us a goody kit of lovely drum microphones to play with. They were absolutely brilliant and I was very sad to part with them at the end of the session! If any engineers – studio or live – are reading this, I urge you to give the Shure microphones (beyond the usual SM57, SM58 and SM7B) a shot. I feel that they are unjustly ignored in the UK.

Fortunately, the label liked what they heard and the album recording was scheduled for early February with Pedro producing the album and myself engineering.

We spend 3rd till 9th of February recording the drums, bass, rhythm guitars, some solo guitars and overdubs, and some vocals for the remaining 10 songs on the album. Additional recordings of solo guitars, vocals and even horns were done at Pedro’s studio in the following weeks.

All drums were tracked to sync’ed 24-track tape and bounced back to Pro Tools. All tracks were recorded live with the whole band playing live! This makes a huge difference to the feel of a recording and isn’t always the preferred modern way of recording. We were lucky to use a studio that can accommodate this space-wise and more importantly the band were professional enough as musicians and were well rehearsed to be able to play all the songs live top to bottom. Respect!

As you will see from the photos below, February 2012 was an especially cold month, but the studio was kept very warm by the music, gear and excitement. For me, this album was a fantastic thing to be a part of and I am very proud of the result. Working with the band, Pedro and being at the brilliant Snap Studios with Ben Mclusky assisting was just a joy. I think the band’s rockumentary explains it better that I can though:

The album was released in November 2012 and has received dozens of smashing reviews from around the world by rock and metal magazines and punters who got to hear the band for the first time following this release. The band is booked for major tours around Europe in 2013. I highly recommend catching them live as they put on a hell of a show!

The album was mixed by Pedro Ferreira, mastered by Ade Emsley at Table of Tone, and released by Bad Reputation Records.

Recorded at Snap Studios and assisted by the brilliant Ben Mclusky.

You can buy the album on iTunes or the band’s website at http://www.kinglizard.co.uk/collections/shop

Also, please follow King Lizard on their Facebook page and Twitter feed.

 

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