So, way back in April I was twiddling my thumbs looking for something to do. I had recorded a few solo piano videos but was really keen to collaborate on something fun, funky, and not too serious. I've always been in awe of Kala Gare, and a comment on social media prompted me to ask if there's anything she's been working on that she would like to record together as an iso-project. A few ideas were tossed around and she eventually sent me a voice memo of the chorus of what is now Chill Please.
We went back and forth sending voice memos and messages and eventually compiled a song to which I recorded a demo backing track - complete with excellent midi drums and myself screeching soprano Ab's. It's not pretty and I hope no one ever hears them isolated - they do exist in the final track just mixed in with Kala (whose Ab's are to die for). The idea of two choirs, all double tracked, came from making backing tracks for Rhonda Burchmore; It became apparent to me that in pop music (good pop tho, like from the 70s and 80s) there is layer upon layer upon layer of backing vocals and it makes this enormous roar that you can't get live, unless you have $100k and an 80 piece choir.
It was time that some real drums were added, so I approached one of my favourite drummers: Gerry Pantazis. He has a pretty swish home recording set up, and was able to give me some pointers of what to do next; He asked questions like "what's this song for?" and "how are you going to release it?" and "who's mastering the project?" - none of which I had even slightly thought of doing - it was just a fun iso project right?
So I approached my friend and music guru Jeremy Alsop for some advice on how to mix and place everything in stereo. Hours were spent on the phone, each time blowing my mind and making me realise how much I know nothing. But he's opened my ears and eyes to a lifetime of exploration and learning with music production; I listen to my favourite albums all over again with brand new ears - Thanks Jeremy!
Icing on the cake came with the incredible Emilio Kormanic and Patrick Schmidli laying down Guitar and Bass respectively. I work with these guys a lot, and they are still some of my favourite musicians to play with! Emilio even re-recorded all his guitar parts for free when we realised there was something wrong with them (my fault), such is the generosity of that beautiful human!
Patrick Schmidli is a crazy talent with an exceptional brain, with a penchant for graphic design. He took it upon himself to spend countless hours learning new software (on a computer which he built himself - nerd), compiling and synchronising all of our footage, and creating the incredible music video which went live this morning. He also put together the promotional photos and cover art, with the wonderful Aleeah Gabriel. All my thanks and gratitude and awe goes to Patrick - I'm very honoured that you're one of my best friends.
Thanks also goes to the brass gods - who have not always looked down on me with favour. (Trumpet's hard, and it does not come naturally to me). The day I tracked the trumpets and trombones was apparently an exception; I had not played those instruments in months, and for whatever reason I thought I could get away with recording them. Somehow - literally miraculously - it sounded good! I suspect this will never happen again if I decide to play the trumpet in public sometime!
My good friend Charlie Irvine mastered this track for me; We've worked together on a number of projects and he always knows the sound I'm going for. He's a genius and was really supportive of my first attempt at mixing a track! He's also a fan of The Doobie Brothers' What A Fool Believes which is one of the greatest songs known to man, and is often my getting ready in the morning (early afternoon) song.
Anyway, do check out "Chill Please" on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Share it with everyone you think may love it, and if you have any spare change I'd really appreciate if you purchased the single on Bandcamp - Melbourne has gone into round 2 of lockdown and I am once again unemployed! Please share this track with the world, as I'm super proud of it and honoured that the incredible musicians featured here gave their time to record this little iso-project which became an actual single, complete with launch campaign, photo shoot and music video! Funny how things turn out!