On the evening of February 28th 2011, Saint Cecilia loaded up the van with guitars, amps, sleeping bags and pillows, and headed out from Detroit to Chicago. That night, they made their trip out to the windy city to arrive at the studio in an old Chicago neighborhood close to Logan Square.
Drake Studio is owned by Anthony Gravino, a dedicated capturer of sound and vibe. He works there, and he lives there. Almost every room is reserved for the purpose of capturing or creating sound, except for a small kitchen and bedroom. It was just after the first of the year when James Simonson (bassist for the band) recorded on a session at Anthony’s studio. James excitedly returned to Detroit to play a gig with Saint Cecilia and tell them about the sounds Anthony gets in his studio. After their gig he urged Brett Lucas (guitarist and vocalist for the band) to sit in The Odyssey (James’ van) and listen to the sound of those recordings. After a quick listen, the agreement was made right there in the parking lot of a hole in the wall bar in Detroit. The agreement was to travel to Chicago to record Saint Cecilia’s first album!
The Odyssey, arrived late in the evening on that Monday in February. After a quick load-in to the second story studio, it was off to a local bar for drinks and to map out a game plan for the next couple of days. It was a simple plan, record all day on the 1st of March and mix all day on the 2nd! The band wanted the sound of the album to be live and alive. Everyone set up in the same room as Todd Glass (drummer for the band), that way there was visual contact with everyone, just like when we’re playing one our shows! Even Anthony wasn’t behind any glass window or mixing booth as he engineered the sessions in an open room adjacent to the band. It is music after all, which through most of history, was done by playing and listening together in the same room, that were not separated by sound proof walls! The vibe was right and the songs rolled one after another. Before the the days end, their set was played and the songs were chosen. It was to be a 10 song album influenced by the way vinyl records could fit only about 5 songs on each side.
After a full day of recording that went late into that Tuesday night, Wednesday morning came early when they began mixing. The day was strenuous and everyone worked on an intense level. After all of their hard work, the new Saint Cecilia album was finished! No going back, no decisions left to be made; the paper was signed and the letter was sealed, it was done! The Odyssey started it’s engine around midnight and it’s wheels rolled through those Chicago streets onto I-94 eastbound for Detroit. It was a sense of relief and excitement for the band. As the street lights passed by, the new album was cued in the CD player and the band sat excited to hear the outcome. Blasting through the speakers was the sound of Brett’s guitar and vocals, gritty but strong, that laid nicely over James’ thick punchy bass tone as Todd’s drums thumped with heavy attack. The bands driving beat propelled them into the wee hours of the night. Saint Cecilia hopes that you enjoy these recording as much as they do!
Until next time, Saint Cecilia rides again....
For further reading about this recording from the members of the band, continue below:
So many records are made over long periods of time. Many overdubs, take after take to eventually end up with a record that is a far cry from the original intention, or is just an all out lie as to what the artist actually sounds like or is even capable of making. St. Cecilia wanted to make an honest record that was true to itself. Three well rehearsed musicians in the same room recording and making music together. We were confident that we could record and mix an entire record in 48 hrs. To do this the band had to remove themselves from the comforts of home and go on a mission of sorts to feel and breathe life together as a unit, make fast decisions and execute some American home grown Detroit music for the people. The recording took place early spring 11' in Chicago at The Drake with Anthony Gravino. He was the perfect match for us. He works fast, knows his gear, and isn't afraid to turn knobs in a not so safe way. Tubes and dirt by the truck load! We were ready and he was ready. We feel what we captured here is an honest representation of us. It sounds great and it's what we sound like live. We hope you enjoy the record.
James Simonson, bassist for Saint Cecilia. Producer and cover photographer for this album
I really enjoyed the recording process that took place on this album. It was an excited feeling that reminded me of how I felt the first time I went into the studio. I was eager to really let it all out; to get into the music and my guitar playing on a deep level. Every step felt new and fun! From setting up and getting sounds, to listening to the first playback. There were those moments on certain songs were we didn’t even need to listen to the playbacks because it just felt right! We would all look at each other and just know that it was a good take, then onto the next! With James producing this album and Anthony at the controls, it was great to be pushed into a different direction with a lot of these songs. I consider Todd to be one of the greatest drummers to play with! His energy and humor is a lot of what I hear when I listen to these recordings. Also, since we are all close friends and we have worked in the studio together as a backing band for other artist, there was an overall easy feeling about the two days that we were in the studio recording this album. I’m already looking forward to recording our next album, and that’s something I haven’t felt in a while. Enjoy!
Brett Lucas, guitarist and vocalist for Saint Cecilia