I have had the pleasure of working on the newest EP from Jared Estes entitled “Leper Messiah”. I have worked with Jared on many projects in the past as we have a great working relationship, that spurs spontaneity and creativity in the studio, that which Jared has no shortage of. The song “Elephant” has one of the fullest arrangements he has worked on, Jared showed his multi-instrumental talents by performing on drums, bass, acoustic guitar, lead electric guitar as well as main and backing vocals. Sometimes we would start with guitar, sometimes bass and sometimes drums.
We recorded the drums with just a handful of microphones to capture a raw and punchy sound. Bass was recorded through a Gallien Krueger bass amplifier with 15″ speaker where Jared dialed in a crunchy and punchy bass tone, we mic’d this and blended in the mix to taste. The other unusual item on this song was the use of a heavily distorted backing vocal track which during mix down was panned to the right. This gives the vocals extra thickness and grit in those parts where he sings in a layered effect.
Songs such as “Leper Messiah” were more straight forward in arrangement with a vocal and acoustic guitar. This tune showcases Jared’s talent for live takes, most of these are done in one or two takes allowing us to move quickly through the studio. This is how we captured this song, by recording the acoustic guitar with a condenser microphone and at the same time I set up a Shure SM7B for Jared’s vocal. The natural rejection of sounds from the sides of this vocal microphone lends itself for helping with isolating the guitar from the vocal. This helps me to gain better control of each element during the mixing process. This is important to achieve a high quality studio sound as well as allowing Jared to feel most comfortable during the recording and give his best performance which will always translate in the recordings.
I appreciate how open Jared is to experimentation, nothing is off limits in our sessions, we have gotten some pretty crazy sounds. Experimenting with vocal styles, different instruments to record, different lyrics and on this EP adding additional sounds and sound FX. This includes the sounds of a storm blowing through on end of “Polythene Anna” and the old steam train coming through the speakers at the end of the epilogue “Music” the last song on the EP. This project has a wide variety of material, some of the most ambitious yet that i’ve been a part of from Jared showcasing his versatility, song writing chops and willingness to grow as an artist.
– Jason Suko
Have a listen to “Elephant” by Jared Estes below or see his Sound Cloud page for more tunes.