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Aye Nako’s favorite piece of gear:
Fender Deville Amp
guitar amp fender deville 531 large1
” We use Fender Deville guitar amps, and used several big muff pedals for recording and live guitar.”

Say what you will of Pitchfork (we kind of detest their judgmental, patronizing, ‘this-is-the-truth-period” style reviews), but it’s commendable that they still manage to highlight albums and artists that are seemingly coming out of nowhere, like NYC Noise Pop band Aye Nako, that was granted out of the blue a very positive review earlier in 2013.

We asked the band a few questions about their recording habits.

How much of your recording is done at home versus in the studio?

None of the recordings other people have heard are done at home. We used to record new songs at band practice onto a cassette using an old cassette-corder but it broke during hurricane sandy. Now everybody has an iPhone and it sounds worse IMO. Before we recorded our album, we had Jade help us record demo versions of all the songs so we could try and fix what was broken and add all the extra bits. That was really helpful.

What are the pieces of equipment that you find particularly inspiring when recording at home?

Sony Cassette-corder 🙂 This is just a simple plug in cassette tape recorder, but we had recorded almost all our new songs as they are finished for the past 5 years using this. It was kind of “our sound” for personal listening.
There are lots of different models, but this one was ours.

What one piece of hardware/software would you most like to add to your recording setup (cost not an issue)? Why?

A Tascam 8 track portastudio! They’re super fun to use and give you a nice physical connection with the recording process.

Do you expect your next record to be self-produced, or would you like to work with a producer? If it’s the latter, who would you most like to produce your band, and why?

We would work with a producer in some way. We didn’t really “self-produce” this record either. Justin Pizzoferrato recorded and mixed the album for us. He was also super helpful in getting the right sounds, making suggestions, and guiding us through the entire process. He also assisted in our end of the mastering process by offering advice and support. He definitely oversaw every aspect of the music.

Do you use rack effects or guitar pedals to forge your own sound? If you do, please list the ones you use the most and let us know why you love them.

We use Fender Deville guitar amps, and used several big muff pedals for recording and live guitar. We love it cause that’s what we know, but always on the look out for new things!

Who determines the direction and style of your recordings?

Well, we’ve only had that one recording session. I guess a combination of our band and Justin determined it how it went. Other bands and their recorded output is a huge factor also. Finally, I think taking into account how our recorded sound will affect people’s idea of our band is a big deal.

Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in perfecting your recorded or live sound?

Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab in Western Mass for sure. We can’t say enough good things about him and his recording style. He put in a lot of care and really helped us take what was in our heads and make it something everybody could hear. He just has invaluable experience dealing in the type of sound we are trying to create, combining different elements of pop music, noise, outsider art, whatever you call it.

Would you say that your live show informs your recording process or that your recording process informs your live show?  Both?  Neither?

Both! We used to play with just three of us live. After having the time to sit down, record and layer our songs more, it was really hard to go back to that more stripped down sound. I guess live shows inform the recording process through the kind of feedback they provide. Sometimes you write songs in this little bubble, spending so many hours trying different things and occasionally losing track of where you started. Live shows are good feedback for what songs/parts/etc… might suck and not move other people.

Is there a piece of equipment that you find particularly useful on stage? (Please mention the brand and model name and say why you like it)

Boss tuner pedal and Etymotic earplugs for sure 🙂 Those are probably self explanatory.

With bands doing more of everything themselves these days (recording, performing, self-promoting, etc.) and the evermore multimedia nature of the world, how much effort do you put into the visual component of your band – fashion, styling, photography, graphic/web design, etc.?  Do you do these things yourself or is there someone that the band works with?

Thus far the only photos we really have of the 4 of us together have been taken with someone’s cell phone. We would like to put more effort into the visual component of our band, but money is always a factor. -angie

Yea, we clearly aren’t putting in enough effort in some of those areas. You’re right and we do handle everything regarding the visual component of our band. Mars and I put together all of the art for our record, we designed and printed our own t-shirts, I made our Web site and we usually make the flyers/other art for shows that we’re responsible for. We all have our own style that contributes to the overall aesthetic of the band, and  everything together comes out to a good bit of effort! -joe

What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of the recording process? On the flipside, what aspects are the most rewarding?

I hate playing drums to a metronome – it sucks the life out of my playing! Knowing that, I think I’m constantly obsessing over the tempo while recording. Mixing is also pretty tedious and I’m usually really persistent about having every detail of my drum parts heard. In the end, the most rewarding aspect of recording is when all the hard work pays off and we have a final product – something to show for all the hard work. – angie