Documentary: Weaponry “Forever Nothing” Studio Diary Day #5!

The Indian summer continues at The Ranch Production House as we’ve reached day #5 of 6 for the recording of “Forever Nothing” by Weaponry, a place where Employed To Serve, Conjurer and Rolo Tomassi have all recorded recent material. Producer Daly George (Creeper, Milk Teeth, Boston Manor) sits at the production desk while vocalist and guitarist Al Bristow adds riffs to the previously tracked material, the duo tuning and re-tuning the guitar throughout to ensure it sounds as tight as possible. On the sofa at the back of the room lead guitarist Max Ashworth is practicing his parts for later in the day unplugged, bassist Jay Rozentals is on his mobile checking social media and drummer Tim Doyle is on his laptop. We’re all off the Hot Tamales having noticed that the Cinnamon flavoured sweets actually contain no real Cinnamon but the Off brand Monster and Cherry Pepsi Max are flowing while Al has Peppermint tea that has gone cold which should allegedly help with his vocal chord recovery.

Next up it’s a return to the bass, this time to record “Take It Or Leave It” which Daly and Jay section out to allow more emphasis and sustain on particular notes. It’s a slight change to a song that the band have been playing since day #1 however the results when heard on the playback speak for themselves. Both guitars and bass have been recorded while sat on a drum stool to give more space for lateral movement of the arms. Jay doesn’t use a pick, slapping the bass is his preferred technique so there are a few trial runs to get the timing right on the faster parts. The afternoon starts after a combination of burritos, egg, ham and cheese sandwiches with the vocals tracking for “My Name Is Glory” and Daly picking up a guitar to help get the best vocal performance from Al as he tries to work out where the band are trying to take the song and vocally and then assist with some direction. It’s all about pitch, tone and sharpness when it comes to the vocal delivery and getting it consistent and Daly follows the vocal lines with the guitar in order to audibly show Al where he is going with the melody and where he needs to go, a technique that works incredibly well. As they break down the cut and do the song line by line Daly makes a few points about maintaing energy levels and diction between takes which pay off in spades in the following takes.

During a break Max is heard noodling “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden, “Marigold” by Periphery and “Come As You Are” by Nirvana to keep himself warmed up as he knows he is up next. However before the lead guitars can be recorded, the Ibanez Gio he’s brought to use has to be stripped as the intanation is causing the tuning to go out. After half an hour or drummer Tim Doyle and Max agree that they’re not going to be able to resolve the issue here and so Daly sets up the guitar (An ESP LTD Sparrowhawk Signature Series guitar for Bill Kelliher of Mastodon) that was used for the rhythm parts once more, dialing in the tone of the bands choice. Adding in Strymon Big Sky and Timeline pedals into the effects loop makes the leads sound incredible and against the backdrop of the existing music there are distinctive early Metalcore vibes and in all honesty, even though we’ve heard the track countless times live, “Take It Or Leave It” has never sounded this good…

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