Colorado with The Henhouse Prowlers (Part Two)
Words By J-man
... Waking up that sunny monday, I immediately reflected on the show from the night prior. I had a great time, but I wanted the Prowlers to turn it up just a little bit more. Everyone at the show had a blast... I'm just tough on them because I expect greatness. They were good, but I was hoping that this day would bring greatness.
I shot Jon a text that I was awake and to let me know when they were at the studio and ready. I was honored that they had invited me out... It meant a lot to me. I received a text back letting me know that they would be good to go around 11:00am. Carly and I headed out to breakfast to start our day. We talked about the previous evening and Carly expressed that she was excited to see them that evening at Sancho's. We finished our breakfast and made our way to the studio.
The studio was located in what may be best described as a warehouse district and was located on the outskirts of downtown Denver. We approached the location, seeing only a sign that said "Prado Studio Apts."
We were greeted at the Door By Eric, who as always; was very kind a welcoming. As we entered the studio I could see Oriental rugs, brick walls, wood floors and instruments along a majority of the wall space. to my right there was a large pain of glass, behind which was the production room, with all of the computers and equipment. Jon came over and escorted us to the back room, which was much more casual; with couches and equipment strewn about. there was even a kitchenette, as well as a hallway leading back to some offices. It seemed that we had come at a time where there was a lot going on and just walking through the door, I felt this odd energy. In the back room, Jon and Ryan explained to me that their produced was not present and they had to wait until she was out of school around four pm to get to some of the tracking.
I suggested that we take off and return when the tracking was being done. Jon and Ryan agreed and Carly and I were on our way. We headed out to Evergreen to visit with Murray, and our friends James and Carla. We ended up going for a hike with Murray around a reservoir that he had taken a liking to. When we returned to the car from our hike, I noticed that I had missed a text from both Ben and Jon. They were good to go.
Carly and I parted ways with Murray and headed back to the studio. We arrived the second time, to be greeted by Ben. Right behind Ben was their producer, Sally Van Meter. She was short with us as she passed by and was blunt in telling me that I was not welcome in the main room as they were recording as my she suspected that my camera made noise. I informed her that it was a digital and that I would have no reason to be in that room regardless. With that, Sally was back to work and we were shuffled into the back room again.
We stood in the back room and I prepped my camera and notepad. I stood there a little confused as I wondered when and how I was to capture some photos and write about what was happening from the back room...? Seconds later Ben came into the room to tell us to join him in the production room. We walked through the large room utilized for recording purposes into the room behind the glass. As we entered, Sally turned around from the main console to look me in the eyes and basically yell at me saying "You're not to walk through the recording room again while they are prepping/recording." I smiled as Ben spoke up saying that he went and got us, inviting us to join them. Sally ignored him and turned back to the board.
First up was Jon, to touch up some parts that needed to be fixed. Jon was quick to correct and very focused on what needed to get done. It was delightfully awkward to sit in the room with the band and listen to their individual vocal tracks, which sound great as a whole, but individually, tested the limits of tolerable listening. At one point Ben spoke up and I smiled at him while he tried explain the situation. I laughed.
Next it was Ryan's turn to do some touch up work. As Sally sifted back threw the tracks, she absolutely ripped apart a couple of the band members as well as a couple of the previously recorded vocal tracks. I could feel the pressure building and the tension in the room. Sally was comfortable, and I assume that's all that mattered to her. In between sideways glanced and embarrassed looks from the band, she continued on her rampage.
One thing I will say about Sally is that she knew what she was talking about and she was efficient. She was spot on with her criticism, even if it was being delivered harshly. Ryan stepped up to bat and while showing no notice of the negativity that was taking place, nailed his parts. Ryan was hitting parts that were way outside of his range. I was impressed.
Following Ryan's parts, there was a lot of technical/computer work that featured Mario Casilio. Mario sorted through vocal tracks, sampling tracks within the songs and changed pitches. It was dry and tedious but an essential part of the progress and Mario reflected the work of a pro. I was extremely impressed with his knowledge of the editing software and the ease with which he refined the music.
I collected my gear, signaled to Carly and announced our departure. With that I told the band that we would see them in a few hours at Sancho's and headed towards the door. Sally, gave us a smile and a more upbeat demeanor as she said goodbye.
The minute we stepped out of the studio, I felt the weight of the tension disappear. Ben laughed as we shook hands. "Hey J-man, do you have a light?" Ben asked as he sifted through and ash tray... I looked at him horrified. "You're such a wook." I said. "I am going to write about this..." I said with a smile. "You'd better not!" he said back with a weary grin.
... I was excited about that evening's show.