(c) 2003 by Lewis D'Aubin
"Gun it! We kin jump that frozen pond! Yeeeeeehaawwwwww!!!"
Jeff King's love of southern rock (Charlie Daniels in particular) inspired me to write this proud ode to all things southern. Of course I had to mess with the southern stereotypes by setting the song in the really deep south - Antarctica - in a tribute to our musical siblings in Antarctica vs. the World.
This song began life as the guitar hook figure - the pre-verse - that opens the song. After that I wrote a verse and chorus to round it out. I kind of got lost on the bridge, which was sorted out during recording, and in the original demo there was a forced attempt to wedge in 'Dixie' after the solo section, but fortunately that was soon jettisoned when the band started to flesh out their parts.
This song probably has more guest stars than any other number on the CD. First off, I wanted a real Hammond B3 organ to replace the little digital patch in the demo, and so I called on Lord Belial himself - Ross Karpelman, organist of the local swamp sludge groove band Clearlight. After purchasing a new 8 channel Behringer mini mixer, I drove to the House of Shock where Ross had had his B3 in storage since Clearlight's hiatus. We lifted the heavy case out of storage and set it up in the local jam room, then held our breath as we waited to see whether it would fire up after being in storage for a year. It did in the end, though I had to fix a couple connectors, and I miked it up in stereo with three mics, one on the bottom speaker of the Leslie and two on the rotor. I mixed these equally into a stereo spread, recording it to a pair of tracks. Ross spent over an hour throwing himself against the keyboard, frustrated by his self-perceived rustyness on the instrument. He had nothing to worry about though; it was all golden, and we got some really meaty tracks. After that, we tried to lay down some midi piano parts but Ross had unfortunately reached his frustration threshold. But I had what I needed; so I packed the equipment up and left (and got a flat tire on the way out the parking lot!)
Next guest star was the beautiful and amazing Misty Marshall, semi-finalist of 2003's American Idol. I love working with Misty - she's always a total pro, and had contributed to 'All I Wanna Do' on the previous C.O.G. CD. She stopped by the Secret Lab and laid down some wonderful backup vocals, improvising on some really soulful shouts and harmonies.
Finally, I decided that the midi drums weren't cutting it, so I drove out to Chalmette to get the help of my friend Mike Martin, former drummer for the seminal local metal band Dead Rebecca. Mike already had his drums miked up for a recording session with his current band, Devil Dust (which features Chris Flattmann, C.O.G.'s former bass player, on guitar and lead vocals.) I added a couple of overhead mikes and we recorded the whole thing on his computer, giving me the luxury of separate tracks for each drum mic - 8 tracks in all for the drums. Mike Martin blazed through a bunch of takes, finally nailing it an hour later.
Mixing this song was pretty difficult due to the number of elements. I finally hit upon the formula of putting the guitars in one side and the keyboards in the other, as if the soundstage represented a real stage layout. An overdrive plugin helped to grunge up the keyboard (it was actually too clean at first and didn't sound like a 'real' B3!)
B-3 Organ.......Ross Karpelmann
Lead vocal......Lewis D'Aubin
Backing vocals..Misty Marshall
Recorded and mixed January-February 2004 at C.O.G. Secret Lab, Harahan LA (drums recorded in Chalmette)