"The Wonder (What They Were Doing All That Time) Years". The Tortoise and the Hare. Without the Hare.
The recordings that make up what we still like to call an album were started at Tim's house one afternoon after Ed had just received some V drums and wanted to try them out. Instead of banging out some covers, they had a bash at some of Tim's songs. "Hmmmm,” they thought, "this is fun! Maybe we should record them." So about a year later, armed with their recorded sketches of songs, they de-camped to "The Compound," Aart Knyff's studio in Wrentham, Massachusetts, to record the drums for real. Over the next few days, with Aart manning the controls, Ed laid down the basics of what we hear now. With intentions of having it done "really soon," they de-camped and had a little think.
Gradually, little bits of overdubs were added by Tim, and most of the bass tracks were laid down by Remy LaPlage. Two years later, Ed went over to the UK to see if he could hurry things along a bit. They installed themselves in the "Playroom" for a week of intensive joke-telling, 1664 drinking, and yes indeed, recording. Instrumentation well under way and all the lead vocals sung, they, well, paused.
Whilst doing a session in White Star Sound, Virginia (probably months later), Tim persuaded Stewart Myers, with whom he's worked many times, to add his talents to a couple of songs that still needed bass guitar. At around the same time, Sean Hurley added his touches to two more songs. "Things are moving again," they thought. So they had a bit of a rest.
And so, a little while later, it came to pass that this pair of slowcoaches ended up back at "The Compound." Aart Knyff once again stepped up to the mark for the final guitar overdubs sessions, and all three finished off the backing vocals. "Only the mixing to be done," they laughed. "We'll be done before Christmas!" Only they didn't know at that point which Christmas.
Mixing began with Brian Silver and Aart at the helm at 9B studios in Milford, Massachusetts, but then, well, life got in the way again. Possibly the longest running mixing project finally came to an end in December 2011.
So when we say it took five years or so to make, it didn't really. What we mean is, it was done when it was ready. We took the slow-cooker approach rather than the microwave. And when we tour, we plan to travel by canal boat.
Tim Bradshaw: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Ed Toth: Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Aart Knyff: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Remy LaPlage: Bass
Sean Hurley: Bass on “Real Love” and “Halloween Again”
Stewart Myers: Bass on “Personal 2” and “Coming 'Round Here”
The Porthill Philhamonic: “Real Love” Orchestra
The Compound – Wrentham, MA, U.S.
Farm Fresh Studios, Bloomington, IN, U.S.
White Star Sound – Louisa, VA, U.S.
The Playroom – Newcastle Under Lyme, U.K.
The Spiderman Suite – Newcastle Under Lyme, U.K.
Produced by Knyff, Bradshaw, and Toth
Engineered by Knyff, LaPlage, Myers and Belser (Percussion)
Mixed by Brian Silver and Aart Knyff at 9B Studio, Milford, MA
Mastered by Vinnie Alibrandi
Web design and album artwork by Eric Toth
All songs Tim Bradshaw ©2012 except Halloween Again Tim Bradshaw ©2011.
Cooper would like to thank: our family and friends, especially Zoe Gerrard and Meredith Toth. Aart, Brian Sean, and Stewart are also partly to blame for this record and we hold you accountable, and thank you dearly for it. Sincere thanks also go to the Knyff family and to the Keup family.
Members of Cooper also receive the support of these companies:
DW Drums, Evans Drum Heads, Zildjan Cymbals, Pro Mark Sticks, First Act Guitars, Muse Research Receptors, Splawn Amplification, D'Addario strings and EMOTIVA monitors.