liner notes.

January 14, 2009

these are the recording notes of the appleseed cast’s low level owl volumes I and II.
this is why this is one of my favorite records of all time.
(ps i typed this whole thing in like 8 minutes with next to no spelling errors)

“we went into low level owl with a million ideas and once we got to red house we had a million more. the basic tracking was done together in isolation booths. cobra later finished the drum tracks. he used two older 1960’s slingerland kits for most tracking, using certain drums for certain songs. we used the big twenty-four inch bass drum for most of it. we tried drums in the small room but ended up going with the large open room because we’re in love with the way it sounds in there. marc finished up his bass tracks next and the foundation for most of the songs were laid. marc used a hammond b3 organ for some of his bass parts. he used a fender jazz bass and an ampeg svt 2 pro for the rest of it. enter guitar mayhem. since all the basic tracks were concrete, it was time to take on the task of filling up the songs with sounds using our guitars and other toys. we started making noise with a pile of pedals, mainly the line 6 delay modeler, a small stone, an old dod delay and a faithful fender twin reverb. we used a les paul studio, a fender strat, ed’s telecaster and a fender jaguar for the electric stuff. we used an old alvarez for the acoustic parts. ed did some amazing studio tricks, flipping tape, running it backwards, slowing it down, basically trying anything on whim. we tuned guitars to open b and g on a few choruses to get some different tones and doubled a lot with acoustics. we also traveled into unknown territory using lots of percussion instruments like tambourines and sleigh bells to fill and add color. we put piano, rhodes and / or organ on almost every song. although none of us are really keyboard players, we thought the songs needed it. once we started using them we decided not to stop.

we spent hours on each element of every song, going through each one making sure we didn’t add too much or too little. eventually we felt all the music was there and it was time for vocals. we used a lot of effects and positive mental attitude to get it done right… changing words and choruses, singing less or singing more until every song sounded right. we then spent countless hours watching ed put it all together, adding a little here and there to get the mix right. keep in mind that we had twenty-two songs to mix as both volumes of low level owl were done together. through a lot of coffee, cigarettes, chinese food, beverages and misbehavior with hula and the cat, we finally completed the project. there’s a lot of experimentation in these songs, loops, echoes, footsteps, leaves blowing outside the front of the studio. it’s real headphone material. there’s also a lot of blood, sweat and tears in these recordings… a lot of “what if we try this.” we hoped to make something a little different. we thank ed for being the fifth member of this band, making this record a reality and putting up with us. and thanks to john for believing in this project. thank you.

low level owl was recorded in october, november and december of 2000 at red house recording in eudora, kansas. ed rose engineered, recorded and co-produced the record with the appleseed cast over a total of three weeks divided into three sessions. mastered by mark schwarz at uberstudio in chicago, illinois. layout and design by christopher crisci and john szuch. visit with us at http://www.theappleseedcast.com. all songs copyright 2001 i wish i was but oh well.”

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