Rock n’ Roll by Silver Century at SSS

Hailing from the Olympia area this new and up-and-coming rock ‘n roll band came to my studio to record eight songs for their new album “Breaks the Ice”.  Silver Century members include Johnny Lyons on bass and vocals, Steven De La Vega on guitar, and Malcolm Monaghan on drums. Johnny and Steven have known each other since high school and after some time out of contact with each other they have recently connected back up again to form this group. Malcolm came about via a Craigslist ad and has been providing the solid rhythm beats.

Jonny, Malcolm and Me, Silver Century in the control room, we play while Steven works...that's right...

Johnny, Malcolm and Me, Silver Century in the control room, we play while Steven works…that’s right…

Malcom behind the drums at south sound sound

Malcom behind the drums

For this eight song project, the plan was to record all in songs in one day. This is not an easy task to pull off so the guys had come prepared and well rehearsed. We set up the drums, bass and guitar amps in the room in three corners so that all the musicians could see each other while they’re playing and record at the same time. Malcolm supplemented my studio kit by bringing extra cymbals and a nice snare drum from Gretsch.  I decided to mic just about everything on the drums using mics on kick, sub kick, hi-hat, snare top, snare bottom, tom one, tom two, tom three, overhead left, overhead right, and drums smash/room microphones. With so many microphones one of the guys joked that drummer Malcolm wouldn’t even be able to sniffle without the guys hearing it in their headphone mix–Ha ha.

By lunch time, we had recorded four of the eight songs basic tracks of drums, bass and rhythm guitar. The first song on the agenda was a snappy tune called “Isebella” (have a listen below). The afternoon session of basic tracking went well, without too many overdubs. We were moving right along, we were gonna pull it off in one day!  After all the basic tracks were laid down we moved on to some additional overdubs of guitar solo work, acoustic guitar for the song “Freelance” and a little bit of percussion on the of the tracks. Then it was onto vocals for Johnny.

Steven working his guitar parts during a take

Steven working his guitar parts during a take

Jonny on Bass during an actual take tracking

Johnny on Bass during an actual take tracking

We did a short mic tasting session between my Shure SM7B dynamic microphone and Sterling ST 77 large condenser. We decided that the sure SM 7B was the better choice, after all, it has been used on countless hit rock records, so how could we go wrong? What ensued was a two hour marathon session of lead and backing vocal tracks pushing Jonny’s voice to the ultimate limits. He was beat tired by the time we were done, but we persevered, made it through, and the resulting tracks have lots of emotion, power, and feel–he did a great job.

Mixing the diverse range of rock and roll songs was a real treat and I look forward to getting my copy soon.  Have a listen to this section of the song “Isabella” that will be available from the guys soon as the CD is in production as I release this post. Find out more about the guys HERE.