|SKATERS’ favorite piece of gear:
Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe
|” I am a big Electro Harmonics Memory Man fan.”
SKATERS excitedly pronounces their name repeatedly on landing on their nondescript website. But once you’ve seen the pizza-loving video for ‘Schemers,’ you’ll get a better idea for the sense of humor the trio is capable of. Shooting toy guns through confetti-soaked backgrounds, it’s obvious this is a band looking for a party. And with this much energy, there can’t be one far behind. The band was selected as The Deli writers’ best band of 2012, and recently signed a deal with a major label. Be ready to get familiar with them.
We asked SKATERS a few questions about their recording process.
How much of your recording is done at home versus in the studio?
Our whole first EP was done in my appartment. All of the demos still are too. However, for the LP we went to Electric Lady. It’s slightly nicer than my place. Some of the vocals and overdubs were still done at home though
If you use a studio, what do you record there and what do you record by yourself and why?
Recording yourself allows you to grow. You learn more about your own tendencies, strenghts, and weaknesses. We’re working towards total indepenence from studios and engeneers.
What are the pieces of equipment that you find particularly inspiring when recording at home?
The Apogee Ensemble (pictured) and a few Neve preamps are pretty much my workhorses. The ensemble is hooked up to a patchbay and it make it really easy to plug play and record pretty quickly. Pro Tools is kinda slow at some stuff like midi which is a bummer though. Might switch to logic (gulp).
What one piece of hardware/software would you most like to add to your recording setup (cost not an issue)? Why?
I think a nice old API desk wouldn’t suck. I love blowing out the board with direct tones. its a SKATERS signature
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?
I think the next record will be “co-produced.” Having an outsider is really important, someone you trust and can turn to that is outside the band bubble of subjectivity.
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.
At home i use a lot of “guitar rig” and various plug ins and in the studio everything is organic with pedals and old gear. I am a big Electro Harmonics Memory Man fan.
Do you have a particular recording style that you aim for? What techniques do you employ to recreate it?
Only follow one rule. Trust your ears. If it sound shit in the room it will sound shit on tape. Also never place mics where they are “supposed” to go, just place them where the sound is best.
Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in perfecting your recorded or live sound?
John Hill was a big help as producer on the record. Live we are on our own.
What other artists would you say have had the biggest influence in your approach to recording? Why?
If you have never youtubed the instrumentals from London Calling i suggest you do. Sure can learn a lot about tones. The Beatles got some sick sounds too
Would you say that your live show informs your recording process or that your recording process informs your live show? Both? Neither?
A little of both. It’s hard to say. If you find an amazing tone on the record you have to try and match it live. Sometimes this is tough. I think the live show has to be its own thing to some degree. Unless you want to have 200 pedals like the edge or something
Is there a piece of equipment that you find particularly useful on stage?
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?
We work with all our friends for photo and video work but the direction has to come from the band as far as asthetic. It makes everyone’s job easier if we are opinionated, and god knows we are.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of the recording process? On the flipside, what aspects are the most rewarding?
Tempos can be really tricky. 1 BMP can change everything. It’s also important to know when to turn the click off. So many recordings can be ruined by the click. A good drummer helps with that too. The most rewarding thing for me is getting the record mixed. It’s like your own Frankenstein coming to life!