Sunday, July 08, 2007

And there will be sorrow no more

To everyone stopping by from Crooks & Liars, welcome! And please, click the "Home" link at the bottom, or here "Home" to read other fun stuff by me and the other great writers here. And for those primarily interested in the music posts, check out my series on Under-appreciated Guitarists, 'Cause I can play this here guitar, Pt's, 1 - 13.

I certainly knew of Brett Gurewitz and Epitaph Records, and his band Bad Religion, but had never met him until he came into the studio where I worked as Chief Tech. Engineer to mix "The Process of Belief" in 2001.

Jerry Finn was originally hired to mix the album, and recording was taking place at a furious pace. The band would record all night, and deliver tapes (yes, no ProTools was used in the making of this album!) to my studio first thing in the morning for Jerry to start mixing.

After a few days, Brett decided things were moving too fast, the quality of the recording was suffering due to the tight schedule, and he stopped the process (no pun intended). After finishing the overdubs at a more sensible pace, however, Jerry was committed to another project so Brett decided to mix the album himself. And thus I got to know him.

We talked music, and especially politics. Brett has a fine mind, and a clear understanding of world issues today. We talked about the sabre rattling toward Iraq, and how the U.S. had armed the Taliban and the Pakistani Mujahadeen to fight the Soviets, and how this was clearly going to backfire in our faces.

While he was mixing "Sorrow" I told him that in my opinion it should be the first single. Radio friendly, great melody combined with the patented Bad Religion guitar drive, it really felt to me like a hit.

There is a sound effect in the chorus of "Sorrow", in the line "there will be (explosion) sorrow" that I told Brett I thought was especially cool. I was truly surprised when he called me to come into the control room and listen to the final mix, before it was printed. He asked me it I though the explosion was loud enough, I told him, "No, I really think it should be up a bit more."

"Cool", he said, and pushed it up a bit more.

He was kind enough to give me a credit in the "Thanks to..." section of the liner notes. Great guy, great band, and great music.

Here they are live on Craig Kilborne:

Here is "Sorrow" live in 2002 (sadly, without Mr. Brett):