Sunday, August 12, 2007


I always thought a good idea for a psychological thriller would be where a guy gets followed (or thinks he is getting followed) by a character in the films he watches. Not in real life, but every time he goes to the movies, he sees the same character, like some offscreen extra, staring at him creepily until he finally goes crazy and knocks off a bank teller or something. Who knows how it would end, but I think there might be some cool possibilities. Plus, it would go great with a Rod Serling voiceover. What I'm trying to say is, this is what Cameo is about.

This is what the outside of Tarbox Studio looks like. To the north is trees, to the south is hills, the east is more trees, and to the west is Keystone Light.

With Cameo, we went into the studio with a song I felt only mild attraction to, and left the studio with a song that seemed to make sense. With a little coaching from Dave and his handy Casio reference keyboard, we added lots of sweet layers in the vocals, plus lots of tasty guitar noise throughout, but ultimately the actual recording process for Cameo was fairly straight-forward and more or less boring, so here's a picture of Philip partying with Mogwai while we were there:

Scotland vs. USA!

There is one point I'd like to make, however. Those of you who have heard a lot of our past stuff may have been surprised to hear the mixing approach we favored for PoV. We chose, and not with a little controversy, to go with a very live, very peaked mix, and had you been in the studio with us whilst mixing, you would have been amazed to see all the red in the meters. Cameo is one of the most "clipped" songs on the record, and we felt this new approach gets across the rawness, the energy, and the danger of everything the new record stands for. Incidentally, the "loudness war" is a controversy in itself within producer circles, and At War with the Mystics has been pegged as a major offender. As well as Thursday's A City by the Light Divided, and CHSY's Some Loud Thunder. Notice a pattern here? Where there's controversy, might as well be in the middle of it.

Otherwise, my favorite parts of this song are the chorus, which is an homage to Blue Oyster Cult (at least with the guitars), and my vocals, which I think fucking rule. Srsly. One thing though, I would have really loved a shiggy-shiggy tambourine over the guitar solo, but I failed to think of it at the time and the other guys more than make up for it in awesomeness and rockity. (Edit: Believe it or not, the first line of the song is a take on Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. "There you are, you're there." I'm being totally serious here.)

Yep, Courtney Cox.

Jonathon Christopher Newby of Brazil

1 comment:

Floridian Missile Twister said...

While blasting my headphones, I immediately noticed the overall intense epileptic pulsation, and near clippage on the track just as I was reading this passage. Such a great track!