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Old 05-19-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
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Anata drum diary

We have decided to post the Anata drum diary here for those who are interested in reading. For pics please visit our myspace page or the Anata page on Earache's website.


ANATA drum diary

Finally the day had come that we had been waiting for so long. Preparation is the key and if you can be over-prepared I guess I was. It was nearly three years since we recorded “The Conductor’s Departure” and we have rehearsed many of these new songs for nearly as long. And for this album we decided to record in another studio. Studiomega has been the choice for every ANATA album and almost all other recordings I have done this far except one. I felt it was time to try something new. Fascination Street Studio in Örebro got to be my choice. Bands like Opeth, Katatonia and Symphony X have recently worked with this studio, and me in 2007 when I did a session recording with the band “Starter Head”. I knew that this was the right place and that the studio engineer Jens was the right man for this.

I brought my Pearl Masters BRX drums, Sabian HHX cymbals, Remo drumheads, Vic firth sticks and my Axis long boards and after four hours of driving I reached the studio on Sunday evening.

Monday, May 12th:
I started at 8 in the morning with putting the kit together and Jens did the micing. I had brought several drum heads with me for the toms. The choice was between Ambassador, Emperor and Pinstripe Clear batter heads. I chose the Emperor Clear as batter head and as usual we miced from below with no resonant heads, this for better separation. On bass drums we used the Power stroke 3 and for my 6,5” Ultra Cast aluminium snare; Ambassador Coated batter head. After tuning the drums and a serious sound check the drums sounded outstanding. I always have the goal not to use triggers on snare and toms but when playing in 240 bpm on the bass drum we have to trigger the bass drums to get the right sound.
After lunch this sunny day Jens did the last fine tuning of the drums. First my reaction was like; “What the hell are you doing Jens?! I’m the fucking drummer around here.” But clearly Jens knew what he was doing moving his little moon gels around on the snare drum and toms making them sound incredibly good.

My choice was to first record the easiest song to play: Lanterns shine black. It’s partly a heavy and melodic song, not as fast as the other ones. Well maybe not as fast all the time I might add. I usually begin with the easiest song in order to get used to the modifications of the drums that occur in the studio. The Hi-Hat ended up a little further from the snare than I’m used to and the Ride cymbal had to be placed in a higher position. I was so happy after recording this song. The drums sounded truly amazing. They were so clear and yet very heavy. This is the best sounding drums on any recording I’ve done this far.

Tuesday, May 13th:
We started the recording around 9:00 in the morning with Jens behind the drums fine tuning every drum using his exceptional ears. I had done sort of a working schedule for me to follow in order to get the maximum result out of each song. I usually start with an easier song to warm up and then move on to the more advanced tracks. I didn’t follow this through all the recordings but this morning I decided to warm up with Acts of God; a very strong track on the album which contains everything you can expect of an ANATA song. It’s also a song most likely to be played live. After this it was time to move on to one of the fastest songs with the title The darkest of souls. This song will also probably be performed live and it’s a strong runner for the opening track of this album. We ended this day by changing the snare head.

Wednesday, May 14th:
I had breakfast at 8 as usual. Nothing special happened this day really. I began with the most demanding song of the day because after lunch I tend to be more tired in my brain after eating. And as I feel that lunch is the most important meal of the day it would be impossible to stop me from doing so. In the past I used to record everything for the day before lunch but as everything is much faster and more difficult to play and we feel we need to overcome ourselves in everything we do, we can’t satisfy with anything but perfection. Also Jens made sure that I did my very best. Even if the take sounded good and would have been acceptable on past albums Jens still wanted a few takes more just to get the best out of every song. “Don’t hit the snare in the centre!” Jens shouted at me. “Hit it beside of the centre, I want the ring from it.” And he would tell me things like; “That wasn’t the most masculine blast beat I’ve heard, hit harder.” In order to play harder I had to play certain parts open-handed like Gene Hoglan does. I understand the benefits of playing open-handed, as my right hand on the Hi-hat normally is preventing my left hand on the snare to go as far up above the snare as needed to make a masculine stroke. There were times when I hated Jens for pushing me to the limit but with time I actually grew to love him.

Well anyway, the songs I recorded this day were The part of me that had to die and A welcome change of pain. “The part of me that had to die” is expected to be the last track on the album with its melodic clean guitar parts. It also contains the albums fastest blast beats along with some nice double bass patterns and rock fills. “A welcome change of pain” is a song with many different tempos but one of the easiest songs to play. I didn’t want to drain myself completely this afternoon because the next very hard song on the list was Machinery. Later in the evening I picked up Fredrik at the train station and got a little company for the rest of the week.

Thursday, May 15th:
Me and Fredrik listened to the tracks I had been recording and Fredrik was blown away by the result and said: “This is without a doubt the best drum recording ANATA has ever done. The sound is great!” So we sat there happily together and shared this beautiful moment until Jens marched in and grumbled: “Warm up Conny, we have some work to do.”

Now it was time to record, in my opinion the ultimate ANATA song; “Machinery”. I was extremely excited about this song. It’s a fast and demanding track with some elements of, again in my opinion, “Meshuggah” grooving in 7/8. Being my favourite song on the album I wanted it to sound as good as I possible could make it. Normally I don’t warm up like this but this morning I warmed up to my metronome. I started it at 200 bpm and did some blasts, some bass drumming and various exercises. I slowly increased the bpm’s until I reached 260 bpm. Then I felt ready to play this 240 bpm track more relaxed. And the result was great I think. Even the “Meshuggah” parts in the middle of the song came out very pleasing. And after lunch I recorded Exploited and left to die. Well, what can I tell you about this song? It’s heavy, it’s fast, it’s groovy and it has a very tricky part somewhere in the middle that really will get the listener’s attention I’m sure.

Friday, May 16th:
This was the final recording day. We started by changing the snare head and Jens tuned all the drums into perfection as every other day. I had two tracks left to do. I started with Greed conquers all; the first track written for this album. It’s a fast killer track and also one of my favourites. It has a small part sometime after its first guitar solo, where the drums and guitars go a little crazy. We did several takes for this part and both Fredrik and I thought it sounded as it should. Jens still wanted me to play more and more and Fredrik said: “I think Conny have done 5 or 6 perfect takes now in a row, I can’t hear what is wrong.” But Jens is not satisfied with everything only being in time; he also wants the drums to sound right in a way we couldn’t understand. Fredrik went nervous and walked out of the control room. And I struggled some more and suddenly Jens was happy. We have always believed that we were the worst perfectionists possible, and people would tell us; “No one will hear the difference anyway.” But now it was the other way around.

And finally I had only one track left, the only instrumental song on the album. On “The Conductor’s Departure” it was “Children’s laughter” and now it’s this piece that is 5 minutes long, full of grooves and in ANATA style progressive fusion death metal. And this song has actually never been rehearsed by us as a complete band. Normally we rehearse the songs quite much but Earache wanted a sort of bonus track and we decided for this song with short notice. The song has no name yet but we will figure something out before the album release.

With this track done, the drum recording for this ANATA album came to an end. I only regret one thing as usual; we didn’t have the time to shoot anything with my video camera. I brought it and was planning to use it but the first three days I was alone, and when Fredrik arrived he also wanted to film me while I was playing. But we are so 100% focused on what we are doing in the studio that we simply forget. Next time we will bring an outsider to film us, I guess it’s the only way. Stay tuned for more news regarding the album.

Thanks for reading this far/
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:06 PM   #2
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I'm looking forward to this so much! You guys need to come to Norrland and play ;)
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:51 PM   #3
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This is fucking awesome! So excited for this album.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:42 PM   #4
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fascinating read.. this album will be monumental. you are the man, conny!
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:06 AM   #5
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The new album will be absolutely phenomenal. I have no doubt. Thanks for this update, it's a great read.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:49 AM   #6
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sounds fucking awesome, itd be nice to hear this kind of feedback from each member of the band as well
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:57 AM   #7
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"Now it was time to record, in my opinion the ultimate ANATA song; “Machinery”. I was extremely excited about this song. It’s a fast and demanding track with some elements of, again in my opinion, “Meshuggah” grooving in 7/8."

Oh my...
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:22 AM   #8
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Woah, thanks a lot for the writeup. Great read. Really can't wait for this album!

Conny, will you record the other guys tracking their parts or do you have stuff to do?
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:49 AM   #9
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Awesome shit Conny, it just makes me more excited for the new album. Hell yes!
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Antæos View Post
Woah, thanks a lot for the writeup. Great read. Really can't wait for this album!

Conny, will you record the other guys tracking their parts or do you have stuff to do?

Hey man!!!!
No they will record their instruments by themselves. I have a lot to do with my house and taking care of my girlfriend, two children and my insane dog

I also recently did an album recording with "Lion's Share" a Swedish power metal band sort of. And I also have two other bands, Revengia and Justified to attend to.

Thanks everyone so much for reading/
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:49 AM   #11
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sounds epic!! great stuff man!

you are one of my favorite drummers :P
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:30 AM   #12
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Gotta check out those pictures now....
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:04 PM   #13
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fuck yes!
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:08 PM   #14
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Man, I can't wait for this..reading that diary makes me really, really excited for the new album!
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:07 AM   #15
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sounds amazing, cannot wait!
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