Our prog song! Time signature changes, irregular time signatures, polyrhythms and atonal guitar riffs, this is a weird one. The style isn’t normally my taste but it’s actually one of my favorites that we played. Jeff had this written prior to us forming as a band and is one of the first things he threw at us. Jeff, Brandon and I had been jamming together for a while before Jared joined us on drums. When we first started out this was a really tough song for me and Brandon for obvious reasons. Interestingly, this was the song that really sold us on our drummer Jared. There was some uncertainty about him on his first jam session with us but he picked this crazy song up right away and really impressed us. He’s been great and we’re very glad we stuck with him.
In addition to being a complex song that needs to be really precise this was our most difficult demo to mix. All our demos are self mixed, not professional done. Jeff, Brandon and I are all good at different things when it comes to mixing and between the three of us, I think we generally do a pretty good job. On this one we had to enlist the help of our friend and the head of our label, Ken Kato. We got some good lessons on mixing heavier music. It was also a lesson for us in making sure you’re happy with your raw tracks because there’s only so much you can do in mixing. Ultimately I think it came out very well and I think the demos we recorded afterwards are even better for having that experience.
The bass part mostly follows the guitars during the distorted parts. When that’s all the song calls for I’m happy to do that. It’s always my goal to serve the song and never just play notes for the sake of doing so.
I was mostly sticking to root notes for the verses as well for a long time but wanted to do more with that part of the song. I couldn’t figure anything out that I liked better until I stumbled on the BBC’s “How Music Works” series on youtube. Specifically I saw the part about contrary motion in bass parts. Up until that point all my bass parts moved in the same direction as the guitar part. I watched that and said to myself ” what if the bass moved in the opposite direction of the guitar on Dream Sequence?” The basic part wrote itself from there, although I’ve added some little things to it since. I’m very proud of that part and definitely want to get into writing more parts along those lines in the future. I guess my band likes it too because they left it really high up in this mix. Interestingly, it’s mostly roots and fifths, so it goes to show how far that can take you in writing bass parts if you don’t get too corny with it.