Recently my good friend Ethan Stinson and I hit the studio to cut tracks for his debut solo record. Ethan was one of two primary songwriters in our band “What?” (along with his brother Caleb.) He had been working on a number of new songs and it was clear what he was working on was not material for a new “What?” record, it really was more of his own thing. He sent around 30 demos or so, on top of the stash of demos I already had of his. I got to pick from a stash of around 45 songs and narrowed it down to 11. We ended up cutting 10 songs.
Once the songs were picked Ethan packed his gear up and headed north to Indiana. We got the entire album tracked in 6 days! To help things move along quicker I used his original multi-track demos as the skeleton for each song. He had actually tracked the demos surprisingly well, so there was a lot of useable material.
The first task was taking his demos and converting them into Pro Tools. He had been using a combination of Mixcraft and Studio One at his home in Oklahoma. I had originally selected 11 songs, but unfortunately we couldn’t locate the stems for one of them. It may have been for the best though, the 10 songs we did cut sound very strong together.
Once the songs were in Pro Tools we got to work immediately. It was quite a whirlwind experience, we literally went from doing one thing to the next in absolutely no time. Ethan had a very clear blueprint of how the songs were to go so very little time was wasted.
The direction of this material is vastly different from “What?”. I always classified “What?” as being “Modern Classic Rock”. This material definitely has more of a pop feel to it, and I have to say I think it’s very good. There’s a bit more keyboard action and a little less electric guitar action, very melodically driven.
At the moment I’m busy mixing and polishing the material and Ethan is making plans on how to unveil this to the world. More details to come as they unfold for sure.