Making a Record

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Making a record: Pullman Strike

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Step 2: Studio prep


On Aug. 13, Charlotte's Pullman Strike goes into the studio for the second time. They'll be recording the followup to the band's 2011 LP, People We Know, at Charles Holloman's studio, and they've been prepping for months; writing, demoing and - as always - gigging around town to pay for the whole process. As part of our Making a Record series, we caught up with the members of this country-rock outfit in the lead-up to these sessions. You can read the previous entry on Pullman Strike's record-making process here.

Tell me about the studio you're using. How did you decide?

Daniel Beckham: (Charles Holloman) was referred to us by a good buddy of mine, CR Rollyson of the Sammies. After letting the rest of the guys in Pullman Strike suggest studio options, and after pricing and shopping other options, we came to the easy conclusion that Charles was the best option. We met with him, and he came to see a couple of our shows, invited us in to meet with him and tour his facility, and genuinely got to know us and what we hoped to accomplish in this process. It meant a lot to me and the guys that he approached us in a way that was much more than a spot on his calendar, and just another band cutting him a check for services rendered.

Wes Hamilton: We had been working hard and saving our money so we wanted to go with someone who had proven to turn out quality work. I think Daniel initially contacted Charles just letting him know we were interested in recording with him and that we had a show coming up also. He showed up to our Snug Harbor show and watched us barely make it through our set that night. We all thought it was pretty cool he showed up though. I think him showing an interest in us helped to make that decision also.

Evan Stepp: The first time we met, there was no talk of money whatsoever - just hanging out in the studio and Charles taking an interest in who we were as a band, and what we wished to accomplish. He even came to a few of our shows to get a better feel for our sound. We just got a really good vibe from Charles, and the studio itself seemed like a really lax, comfortableenvironment to record in. I think that's when we decided we were going with him. Since then, he's allowed us to come into the studio and have a practice, just to make sure when it came time to record, we would know where everything was and we come make ourselves at home.

Neil Mauney: It's a really badass place. It's very relaxed and not stale like studios can be sometimes. It probably helps that Charles is such a chill guy, too. The atmosphere is very comfortable.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Making a Record: Temperance League

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Last September, Temperance League released its debut LP: a concise little collection of two-minute scorchers that split the difference between power-pop, bar-rock, and Springsteen-meets-Strummer rabble-rouser anthems. This fall, the Charlotte rockers aim to release another. As part of our new series on local bands' album-making processes, we caught up with vocalist Bruce Hazel and guitarist (and "band co-pilot," as Hazel puts it) Shawn Lynch to talk about their studio time - and the light-speed turnaround on this new release.

First off, could you tell me how soon after the first LP you decided it was time to go back in for another? This seems like a fairly quick followup. What all went into that decision, too?

Bruce Hazel: It was a pretty simple decision. It was almost immediately after the release of the last LP. We had new songs that we wanted to record. We started recording back in February and we finished it up this past weekend. Hopefully between mixing and record pressing we will have it available by September.

Shawn Lynch: Also, why not? Most bands only make one album, then either break up or wait two to three years to make another one. We had the songs, so we might as well make another LP. That's what we're best at - playing shows and making records.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Making a Record: Pullman Strike

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Step 1: Demoing

  • Dane Abernathy

So much of music journalism focuses on finished product, on LPs and tours and festivals: stuff that's been fine-tuned, perfected, and prepped for public consumption. Yet the finished product is only one step in a long process - one that takes months on average, but can drag on for years (now paging Kevin Shields... ). Hell, even going into a studio happens relatively late in the game - particularly for working musicians for whom studio time is finite and precious.

Something we'd like to try here is a look at the processes that lead up to a recording, particularly with musicians who live and work here in the Queen City, so that when records do appear, it's not like they formed in a vacuum. It's good to peel back the curtain sometimes and see what artists do when nobody's watching.

We'll start with Charlotte's Pullman Strike. With its outlaw sensibilities and full-time pedal steel player, the five-strong, steady-gigging band has most often fallen under the alt-country umbrella. In September, 2011, the band released its debut LP, People We Know. With a year and a half elapsed at this point, they're itching for a followup.

Here's how drummer Daniel Beckham outlined Pullman Strike's decision-making process:
a. Do we want to? = "Yes"
b. Can we afford it? = "Not really"
c. What do we do about it? = "Play shows, save money"
d. Now can we afford it? = "Mayyyybe... but just barely "
e. Where do we want to do it? = "Local, and legit."

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