“Free Ride” is the 2nd song on Last Hero of the Western World and the first song that was recorded for the album. It was an accident of sorts: On the first day of my confinement I was hellbent on optimizing my microphone setups, finding the sweet spots of the room and defining the ultimate presets for all kinds of gear.
Turns out I should have delegated these tasks to somebody who isn’t me. My ambition only lasted for about 15 minutes and ended immediately after I had listened to the first thing I had recorded, some random chords strummed on a banjo. Before long, I was subconsciously humming the melody for the chorus and wondering how long it would take me to get some decent sounds out of the big dark upright bass, an instrument I had never played before. Was there any time to waste on negligibilities like audio engineering? Was my interest in technicalities strong enough to keep me from dabbling on the drums (an instrument I will never be able to play)? Of course not.
When you listen to “Free Ride” please keep in mind that it is nothing but a failed microphone check. There are no electric instruments simply because I hadn’t plugged them in yet. Once I start recording there’s not much plugging going on. Everything I need better be in immediate reach. If it isn’t, it’s not going to make it. To be honest, I did not even move the microphones from their “banjo position”, so what you hear is mostly room sound. Thank god it was a good room.
The recording session for “Free Ride” started at 2 pm and ended at 10:30 pm. I went up to the ground floor, took a lawn chair, sat down in the factory courtyard and drank Pastis in the warm night. It was a pretty good start in my book.
Posted in The Songs