Studioreport 2007 – Part Two (Bass)
February, 19th – 23rd:
During the 8th week of this year it was time for Yenz to record his bass lines for the new Iron Savior album. I was very happy that Yenz invited me to his session. He’s my primary person for recieving news about the band and he supports me a lot with the information I can supply you with. After a very hard week for me, working twelve hours during the nights for a security service, I didn’t want to miss the chance to be part of the bass recording session.
There were two reasons why Yenz had invited me to Piet’s Powerhouse Studio. The first reason was of course, this studio report and the second and important one for Yenz was the fact that he used a great new instrument for this album that he had been waiting to get his hands on for a while. You might remember that Yenz during the “Battering Ram” recordings, started out with his Gibson Thunderbird, then switched to a Fender Precision and later a Music Man Stingray, before ending up recording on Piet’s good old Yamaha studio bass. This time you can expect something totally different and you will see Yenz playing his new bass live, too.
When I arrived at the Powerhouse Studio, Piet was taking a little break and therefore Yenz could give me the latest news about Iron Savior! The band had just had the photo shooting for the “Megatropolis” album the day before. He also told me that Piesel already had done his recordings for the album and that he laid down some very cool solo parts. After the short break, Piet came back and the recording process could quickly be continued. The following photos show you the place in the Powerhouse studio where Piet recorded the bass together with Yenz.
[Pictures I] Yenz in Piet’s Powerhouse Studio recording the bass lines for the new album and Piet in front of his two monitors with the virtual recording tracks containing the finished drum and guitar tracks.
As I’d learned during the first session, the drum recordings, the whole album sound will be a bit darker. Yenz told me that the bass and the guitars add a darker sound to the whole album because everything is tuned three semitones deeper and it did indeed sound more gloomy to my ears. The first thing that had to be done before the recording, had been a lot of adjusting the saddle and the bridge of the bass to this deeper tuning and heavier strings.
The first song Yenz was recording was titled “Flesh” and was a quite heavy and slow paced track, but definately a song with extreme power. Piet played back the finished drum and guitar tracks from his recording system and Yenz added his bass lines to it, precise, cutting and banging sound of the drums and bass on top. After the first lines of the song a part with some cool breaks came where Yenz stopped playing for a short moment, starting again. I could hear the voluminous bass sound very precisely and I liked it a lot. Then we suddenly reached the end of this song and the guitar I got to hear almost sounded like a hymn to me. With that recording done, it was time to listen to the playback of the whole song with the recorded bass. Wow, a very brutal sound and very impressing. This was, I think, the third song I got to listen to and again a song that I like very much, and that makes me look very much forward to the new album.
Yenz’ equipment for the recordings of “Megatropolis” in 2007:
(1): A Hartke HA5500 Amplifier with 500 W, with both tube and solid state preamp sections.
(2): A Warwick “Buzzard JE Ltd.” bass guitar…
(3): Some effect racks in the studio and Piets famous red BC Rich “Mockingbird”guitar
As I mentioned above, Yenz used a totally different instrument this time, than on the last album and from what he’s used live so far. During these recordings I got the chance to talk about the great and expensive new instrument he will use from now on. It will be a four string Warwick Buzzard JE Ltd., a Signature model designed by the bass legend John Entwistle from ” The Who “.
Yenz had seen this bass hanging on the wall in the reception area of the Warwick plant in Markneukirchen, and spent a whole day down there playing it in the show room. For the recording sessions Warwick sent him the bass, so he could check it out before he orderes his own custom model after the studio sessions. The whole bass looks like a buzzard but you have to look twice at it, to see it! The one Yenz used in the studio had a natural high polish body with gold hardware, his will of course be black on black. Yenz will be able to add his individual touch and wishes to his instrument, that will be especially built for him. He will be able to choose the wood, finish, electronics and the pick ups and he will also have customized inlays in the frets.
Yenz showing his Warwick Buzzard recording bass in February 2007