We’ve written about Vernon Jane before and readers will know that we hold them in very high esteem. With the band now gearing up for their first proper release, “The Inner Workings of a Damaged Nobody”, we got the low down on what went down in the studio from lead singer/guitarist Emily O’Conner. Vernon Jane will be celebrating the release this Thursday March 24th with a gig in The Opium Rooms. Support on the night comes from MEGACONE and Mescalito.
Over a few days in December my band Vernon Jane took to the studio to record our first ever release. After a tough struggle to find a studio that would respond to our inquires and fit our price range Lamplight studios appeared. It’s a cosy studio based on Cork Street.
Day 1:- Months of practice had gone in to make sure we could get 5 songs completed in 2 days. I knew this was a big undertaking but reassured my worried brain with thoughts of Alex’s dad spouting anecdotes of old school bands rocking up and recording albums in just a week.
I arrived in the early AM with a beautiful Richwood on my back and a belly full of butterflies. This was, is and forever will be a massive deal for us. We are a live band no doubt about it. For my whole music ‘career’ people have said record to a click, I have recorded to a click and we in fact practiced to a click but I knew in my heart when entering the room that a click was not right for us. We’ve been together almost two years and I felt it in my bones that an internal clock had been created. (Weeks later I might add Steve Albini secured this thought process in a masterclass). We vibe off one another, we click (terrible joke).
The rest of the band arrived within a few minutes and other then a hefty walk up the stairs with Daragh’s percussion we were ready and able to record. Steven our engineer didn’t know what to expect really and I broached the idea of recording live. This meant two electric guitars, drums, bass, percussion, trumpet and Saxophone, all live. Steven accepted the challenge and we began to set up.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that first day of recording. I could go into the semantics of every song and detail of our conversations but I think the only thing that mattered was we were all in it together. Time literally flew by and we had the music for all 5 songs down. We followed each other, that type of trust you only find with family, we had that in our favour that day. We all knew our parts, we all knew the message behind each song. I think I’m the luckiest lady alive to be making music with people who just ‘get it’. I went home, over analysed the day and waited for the next one to begin. (Honorable mentions, thanks to Pauric O’Niell and Tony Cunningham for dropping in for moral support and a cheeky listen)
Day 2:- This was a week after our first day in studio. I was meant to do all the vocals for the songs but unfortunately the winter that was in it had me very sick altogether. I arrived in studio with the brass duo, pins and needles. We recorded some extra brass, and also some wonderful sound effects (heavily featured on the track ‘Cool Breeze’). Pins and Needles are the best pairing any band could ask for, hard working, dedicated and musically gifted. They have brought sounds in my brain to life and I know that has not been an easy task.
After this it really felt like a solid foundation for vocals had been brought to life. I went home over analysed, drank honey and lemon and prepared for the final bit ahead.
Day 3:- A tough day it has to be said. Pins and Needles needed to finish some brass so I got them in early to the studio. Myself and Niamh arrived with them and made sure the process ran smooth. At this stage, I am a nervous wreck. Will I get 5 vocal tracks done in under 5 hours? We could not afford anymore studio time, so I psyched myself up and went for it with everything I had. The live feel captured as a band was so important to this process. I tried my best to engage with the movements of each piece, I felt I had an advantage as the first day was imprinted forever in my mind. I held in the back of mind how important this body of work was to me, how much time, energy and love was poured into it. My wonderful band members have invested so much to bring this all to life, so I recorded all 5 vocals in 4 and half hours. Live and emotive, I gave it everything.