Making the Invisible Visble - The Writing Of Behind My Wall (Part 2)
From Demo to Track
Following on from the previous post the song "sketch" now needs to be developed. The first stage is to prepare an accurate demo
After sitting with the "sketch" in the car for a week or so you do hear what works and more importantly what doesn't. Large cuts can be made or extended. In the case of this song not much was changed. We added the piano "Coda" at the end of the song just as a bookend to the beginning
At this point we get the lyrics and the tune finalised and fitting both rhythmically and melodically. The opening line of the song "Sometimes In Your Life" originally didn't fit as well as the 3rd verse "You can't hide away from all that haunts you" so that line became the blueprint for the verse rhythms. This in effect is when the "song" is written and to a degree complete. We record this version as the definitive demo.
Demo To Track
Making a track is a similar process to the demo. The difference is the song will be finished and in a releasable state (with a bit of luck) or certainly in a position where it can be used for adverts or radio play. The hardest part of this is actually listening to others especially if you have written the song. You are attached to it and therefore have an "inside out" view rather than looking at it objectively. I tend to have a group of people I run the track by initially just to get their opinions.
Stewart and myself decided that this song was going to remain the "Pianoman" song and the structure of the song and instrumentation should just support that. It is to be produced as a "band" song rather than electronically so live instruments would be the way forward. This makes a big difference to the "sound" of the track. We can work electronic tracks in the studio, live tracks we either have to put a band together and record or work via email with other musicians in their own studio to "build" up the instrumentation.
We worked with Jonathan Howells on this track who put the drum track down for us and emailed it all back. (The wonder of technology!)
Behind My Wall - Drum Take
Consideration is now given to who will ultimately put the vocal on the song. I'm happy preparing demos myself but I don't feel my voice "sells" the song when there are so many amazing singers out there that will bring it alove. The hunt starts here!
Once the drums are added the track starts immediately to sound more finished. I removed the accordion / harmonica line replacing with an Organ and decided that some of the guitar parts need revision against the live drums.
The latest version
Here is the latest version of the song now with live drums, revised lyrics and a few instrumentation changes. On this version we have taken off the "fat" of the track and left it without some guitar which will be replaced and the lead vocal added. The vocal on here is a corrected vocal from the sketch to align lyrics and melody
Behind My Wall - Drum Take