Monday, 30 January 2017

Of Of Woe or: Behind the scenes with ECW, part 1

It's been nearly five years since we began recording the album called Of Woe or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom, and now it has finally been unleashed upon the public. To commemorate this joyous occasion, we thought we'd share some insight into how the songs on the album came to be, since it's something we ourselves would be interested in reading, coming from bands we like. Furthermore, we decided to do it piece by piece, or rather song by song. In this first part, we'll, however, cover the intro track as well as the first song proper, Cœur.

Sunrise Has Gone
Henri: This, the intro track, sprung forth from the soft arpeggio it starts with and the idea that it would get progressively louder, until becoming overwhelmed by distorted guitar, which then, in turn, becomes overwhelmed by noise that carries it over to Cœur, which we were already at the time playing with Otto making noise in the beginning. The original version was something like 7 minutes long, but we edited it down to less than three. I can’t recall who thought of the bitcrusher drums or why, but they were added because we could.
Otto: I have a vague memory that the idea of using bitcrusher drums was your idea, Henri, and your reasoning behind it was "because we can". I found no remarkable holes in that plan.
Henri: Yeah, that’s probably it. I recall programming them with this app I had on my phone. It turned out surprisingly good.
Otto: It did. I'm especially content how my idea of having a chromatically descending chord progression in the background turned out: it could've ended up sounding just pure wrong, but instead it added this kind of nice, jarring kind of effect to the song. A little bit of dissonance has never killed anybody, right?

Henri: The second song to be written for this album, thrown together from previously written riffs from here and there, some added to tie the whole together and the result works rather well.

Otto: As this was one of the oldest songs of the album, having been written probably already in 2009 or early 2010 and also recorded for the first time during our drum recording sessions as a studio live take, I felt the version we were recording for the album needed some retouches here and there. Probably the most obvious part is our poor man's "choir" which is used for a few times here. I came up with this background vocal part while we rehearsed the song, originally singing those vocal lines just by myself. Once we were recording the vocals, I introduced this background vocal idea to Henri and Asa (our recording engineer) and then asked them to do nothing more than just come stand next to me by the mic and sing whatever they wanted to in the key of C# minor, us all three together. I think that the result worked really well (Henri: and would probably have worked a lot better without my input) and we've been singing that part together with Sami when playing the song live.

Henri: The age of this song shows in the evolution it went through over the years, prime examples being the choir bit Otto mentioned and a screamed vocal bit in the middle, which are notably absent in some early live videos.

Of Woe or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom is out now on our Bandcamp page as well as Spotify, Google Play, iTunes etc.

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